This fourth part of our Samsung Galaxy S5 troubleshooter series is a testament of your continued trust and patronage our dear readers. We hope that the items mentioned below will be a useful reference for some of the commonly asked questions and issues regarding Samsung’s flagship.
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Corrupted SD card on Samsung Galaxy S5
Problem: My galaxy S5 photos that are being saved to the external SD card are being corrupted for no reason. They have bars across them or just get a box with broken symbol… All the articles I’ve looked up say the card is bad but it works fine for everything else. — AJ Gorman
Troubleshooting: Hi AJ. The problem that you have encountered with your SD card is not unique to Samsung’s Galaxy S5. Most of today’s smartphone users will encounter this trouble one way or another because SD cards are prone to a few factors that can render it partially or totally useless. These factors include phone temperature, humidity, dust, and even design flaws.
We understand that you need help how to recover your files and/or prevent this from happening again. After doing some digging, we believe that the steps below can help you resolve this problem.
- Create a back-up. If your phone can still access some of your files, make sure to create a copy of your files to your computer or laptop as soon as possible. This will help you salvage whatever’s left in the card.
- Reformat the SD card using Galaxy S5.If this is a dedicated SD card for your phone, try to reformat it after you save your files. When formatting, select the FAT file system as this is the most common file structure most mobiles are using today.
- Reformat the SD card using another device. This must be done only when your S5 can no longer format it. We’re hoping that another device like a computer can still save whatever is still in the card at this point. If you want to format using a computer, make sure you have a card reader at hand.
- Clean the SD card. Sometimes, dust or dirt can interfere with the card’s conductors rendering it undetectable by a computer or mobile. Check for grimes on the surface and the metallic looking strips of the card. Clean these parts with soft cotton or cloth to remove the dirt.
Another good thing to check is to remember what were the circumstances that may have led to this problem. SD cards, like any other electronic parts and components, are sensitive to power surges and sudden spike in temperature. Have you left your phone connected to the charger longer than usual, which may have helped drove the phone’s temperature up? Are power surges happening in your area from time to time? In a word, try to check for factors like electrical disruption or power surges which may have led to this problem.
One thing is for sure though: if the card has been damaged and your phone or any other device can no longer detect it, there’s no other way to recover your files. We hope that the steps above can help you and in the future from suffering this trouble again.
Samsung Galaxy S5 RAM usage question
Problem: Hi. Using my Samsung Galaxy S5 I often find myself clear the recently activated apps list to close background running apps. When checking out my RAM memory usage, it shows about 80% in use even if no app is running. How do I decrease it significantly? Thanks. — Erez Reshef
Troubleshooting: Hi Erez. Before we try to answer your question, we must ask you this: Does your phone lag significantly that decreasing RAM usage is the only solution? If closing apps and lowering RAM usage meter is the only way to make your phone do what it’s supposed to do (which is unlikely) then please go ahead and close the apps.
We don’t know what your reason is why you are concerned about your phone’s RAM reaching 80% even if there are no apps actively running, but from Android developer team’s perspective, an optimized RAM is ideal. This means that your S5’s RAM was designed to be used to its full potential at all times. RAM usage of 80% or higher, so long as it doesn’t cause lag, is expected.
To put it simply, RAM is designed to be used as a re-writable, temporary storage so your operating system can access commonly used apps faster. Storing information temporarily in your phone’s RAM is faster and gentler on the battery than reopening an app every time. Android is designed to use RAM to almost its capacity so the phone can access app information faster. In other words, you are supposed to be seeing your RAM occupied most of the time because this is how it’s supposed to work. This is not inherently evil. Remember, unused RAM is wasted RAM.
It is common for many task killer apps today to misled Android users by marketing their wares as the best way to make phones faster. Actually, your S5 does not need any task killer apps and you don’t need to worry about your phone’s RAM spiking up.
Again, unless your phone lags so much that closing and tweaking how your RAM manages apps is the only way out, you don’t have to worry. If a phone lags because of RAM issues though, you must have the phone replaced immediately.
Network keeps on dropping on Samsung Galaxy S5
Problem: I find my networks keep disconnecting randomly throughout the day. It will say there is no network and won’t support calls or texts without being restarted to receive them all. I’ve tried many methods to get it to reconnect however it won’t unless you restart it. The smart switch isn’t affecting it. I monitor and limit everything on this phone and keep it running very efficiently. It’s just this one problem that keeps happening. Sometimes after reconnection the phone freezes upon application utilization and then returns back to normal. Any suggestions? — Matthew Stamp
Troubleshooting: Hi Matthew. It looks like you have a hardware failure in your hand. It is not normal for an S5 to lag or freeze or to keep on losing connection to your network. We recommend that you get a replacement phone if you don’t want to trouble yourself with further troubleshooting steps. However, if you have time to spare, try to do the following to help you identify if the issue is coming from your carrier.
- Check if your phone is receiving stable network coverage. You want to ring your carrier for this step. Alternatively, try checking your phone if it comes with a built-in signal troubleshooter. For example, Verizon users have a coverage map app so their users can enter their complete address so they can check if they are within the Verizon Wireless National Enhanced Services Rate and Coverage Area.
- Make sure that your SIM card is inserted properly. Sometimes, a loosely connected SIM card can cause the phone to freeze or lose connectivity. Turn your phone off then gently pull out the SIM card. Wipe the SIM card clean using cotton and make sure that the jack cover is properly closed to prevent dust and water from getting inside.
- Tweak your phone’s network setting. Try to cycle through the available network modes on your phone and see if any one mode is disconnects it from the network.
- Run your phone in diagnostic state (Safe Mode). Doing this step will help you identify if the problem is being caused by a third party application. When the phone is in Safe Mode, only the basic apps run so it is a great way to pinpoint troublesome apps.
- With the device powered on, press and hold the Power button (located on the right edge) until the Phone options prompt appears then release.
- Select and hold Power off until the Restart in Safe Mode prompt appears then release.
- Tap Turn On Safe Mode.
- Note The restart process may take up to 45 seconds to complete.
- Note Upon restart, Safe mode appears in the lower-left of the unlock/home screen.
If you cannot replicate the problem while in this mode, it’s safe to assume that any of your third-party apps is the culprit. You must try to uninstall every recently installed app.
Once finished, restart the phone to go back to Normal mode.
5.Do a hard reset. This is the last step that we recommend before you ask for a unit replacement. Take note though that this will delete everything on your phone so make sure to back everything up.
- From a Home screen, tap Apps Applications icon (located in the lower right).
- Tap Settings.
- Tap Backup and reset.
- Note To determine if an issue is caused by a third-party app, uncheck Automatic Restore.
- Tap Factory data reset.
- Tap Reset device.
- Note If presented, enter the current passcode or draw the unlock pattern.
- Tap Delete all to confirm.
- Note Allow several minutes for the factory data reset and reboot processes to complete.
- Note To setup the device after the reset has completed, refer to Initial Activation and Setup.
Auto back up photos in Samsung Galaxy S5
Problem: My phone’s memory is running out because a huge number of photos I have saved in it. I love taking pictures whenever I have time and right now the over 2,000 photos are starting to annoy me everytime the phone reminds me that I only have a few hundred MBs remaining. I’m planning to eventually move my files to an external hard drive but I don’t plan on buying it until this November.
In the meantime, is there a way for me to put these photos (or some of them) somewhere other than my phone’s memory? I’ve heard of the cloud but I don’t really grasp what that means. Is that something I have to pay for or are they free?
I really need to free up more space as I have an upcoming party to attend to and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to record the event on my phone.
Thank you for helping me in advance. — Luna
Troubleshooting: Hello Luna. Upon signing in for a Google+ account on your phone, a default feature should automatically create backups of your videos and photos to Google servers. This service is free although it is limited in terms of how much GB you can use. When you first use your S5, the Google+ app will scan your phone for any photos and videos and will create copies of them.
To check if this feature is enabled, open your Google+ app, access the menu, go to settings, and check if Auto Backup is enabled.
You may also want to call Samsung or your carrier to check if your phone comes with a free subscription to other cloud services like Dropbox.
Two years ago, a friend was given a free Dropbox subscription that offers a 30GB storage space after buying a Samsung Galaxy S3. If you’re lucky, you may be able to have that offer too.
Otherwise, try investing in some cloud services so you can have your precious pictures taken cared of.
Water-damaged Samsung Galaxy S5
Problem: Hello guys. I’ve been facing an issue with both my cameras(front & back) on the S5, maybe I’ve gotten a li’l more excited than I should have about the water resistant S5, even though I knew it wasn’t water proof, but after watching a couple of videos on YouTube boosted my confidence that I could take videos and picture in my pool. After doing so, I started facing problem with my speaker, so decided to take the battery out and place it in rice for couple of hours. After doing so the speaker worked fine, although I realized my camera was being a li’l foggy, so I even started comparing with other S5 and there was definitely some differences. This incident happened around 3 months ago. I’ve been reading online about this issue but not many people have faced it and the only solution I read was to get the insides of the camera lens cleaned up, but I’m a li’l shaky to open up my S5 just yet.
Please find me a solution or tips on how I can get my camera back and enjoy my S5 like the amazing phone that it is.
Thank you. — Ali Afsari
Troubleshooting: Hi Ali. It’s good that you have done your own digging on the matter. The Samsung Galaxy S5 has an IP67 certification, which means that it can only resist water so much. Technically, this phone can withstand being immersed in only a meter of water for a maximum duration of only 30 minutes. High pressure tap water can easily damaged the phone even if left exposed for only a few minutes. We are assuming that you only exposed your phone to pool water under the specified conditions above.
Unfortunately, it now appears that your phone needs a much needed repair as the cameras are no longer functioning as they should be. We can only recommend that you let a professional handle the repair by going to a Samsung-certified shop, or better still, have the unit replaced.
Samsung Galaxy S5 battery drains faster than usual
Problem: Hi. I updated from Samsung Galaxy S3 to Galaxy S5 recently. I am experiencing two problems. First, my phone gets heated up for nothing, like for 5 minutes of browsing. Secondly, I don’t feel ultra power saving works. Phone battery discharges like 20 – 30 % in 5 hours of ultra power saving. That too without using the phone. Regards. — Philip Isaac
Troubleshooting: Hello Phillip. Going on Ultra power saving is already sacrifice enough for S5 owners and must only be used sparingly. This mode is meant to be used only for moments that require extra juice out of the phone’s battery so more important things like call and text capability can be extended. If you have been regularly using Ultra power saving to use the phone for a few hours, that is already indicative of either a phone or battery problem.
Most of the time though, it is the battery that turns out to be the problem so we recommend that you buy another battery for this phone. This will also help you identify if the phone needs a replacement or not.
You may also want to search our site for ways how to improve your phone’s battery life by checking the following articles:
Wi-Fi hotspot on Samsung S5 unreliable
Problem: Hi Droid Guy. One of the main reasons i got an S5 is so that if I’m in the park with my laptop I can use it as a hotspot and do some work. But I find connecting to my phones Wi-Fi hot spot option completely unreliable — it works with my computer about one time out of every ten attempts.
Is this a problem with my phone itself, with the software that Samsung codes, or something that i can prep on the device I’m trying to connect with? — Al
Troubleshooting: Hi Al. Is there a specific error message of code showing when your laptop or another device fails to connect to your S5 hotspot? Assuming that there is no hardware issue on your S5, the problem can come from the quality of signal from your carrier or the type of data plan you are subscribed to.
While there are many plans right now that offers S5 owners a personal hotspot without additional charge, you may want to check with your carrier if the current plan on your phone has a limitation when engaging its Wi-Fi hotspot feature. It’s also good to check if your current plan has a daily cap limit, which can greatly affect how much your phone can share data to other devices in a day.
We know that Virgin Mobile and Straight Talk don’t allow a Galaxy S5 to be used as a personal hotspot while Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T have their own shared data plan for this scheme.
If you are outside the United States, kindly check with your regional carrier what type of shared data plan is available for you.
Samsung Galaxy S5 keeps on restarting by itself
Problem: Hi. My phone turns off by itself and won’t restart until I remove the battery. It happens when I’m not touching the phone (at night). It also happens both when it’s connected to the charger and when it’s not. What can be the problem and how to solve it? Thanks.
Troubleshooting: There are a number of possible root causes why a powerful phone like the Samsung Galaxy S5 reboots by itself. We have outlined some of them below for educational purposes only but we always recommend that you get the phone replaced as soon as possible (especially if the warranty is time sensitive). There is simply no excuse for an expensive phone like an S5 to reboot randomly. For us, random reboots issue is an indicator of either a hardware or software problem that require repair or even a replacement.
- Faulty ROM from providers. Every carrier wants to make their phone appear unique so they load their own pre-boot features. Unfortunately, such add-ons may not be fully compatible with Samsung’s stock ROM or operating system. Other forum users have reported having this problem only after installing custom ROMs or mods.
- Battery issue. Try using another battery to isolate the issue. Depending on use, a battery may go bad faster than usual so it’s good to check its health from time to time.
- Operating system glitch. An operating system glitch sometimes occurs due to a variety of reasons. Downloading the latest operating system for your phone may resolve the issue. Alternatively, you can try to factory reset the phone. You can Google the steps on how to do this.
- Unidentified hardware problem. As mentioned earlier, any of the hundreds of parts on your phone can cause this problem. Contact your provider or call Samsung and try to get a replacement unit for a resolution. Make sure to create a copy of your files and contacts before doing this.
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