Samsung Galaxy Tab S is one of the most powerful Android tablets available in the market today, however, it’s not free of problems, glitches and errors. This post is the first part of our Samsung Galaxy Tab S troubleshooter series that will tackle the most common issues, provide helpful solutions and answer questions any owner may ask.
There are two variants of Tab S, the 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch models. Both will be supported in this series so if you own one, I urge you to follow this series as we will be publishing support posts every week. Feel free to contact us at email@example.com if you have questions or problems. You may also post on our Facebook wall or Google+ page as we also use them to support our readers. What we ask of you are details. Include all necessary information when you contact us so that we can accurately assess your issues.
The following are the problems I addressed in this post. Click a link to jump to a problem:
- Galaxy Tab S 10.5 Keeps Freezing
- Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Shuts Down Randomly
- Galaxy Tab S 8.4 WiFi Switch Greyed Out
- Pictures, Videos Disappeared On Galaxy Tab S 10.5
- Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Shows Yellow Exclamation Point
- Galaxy Tab S 10.5 Doesn’t Have Kids Mode
- Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Warped Back Cover
- Galaxy Tab S 10.5 Can’t Detect microSD Card
Problem: Hi droid guy. My tablet is new, about 2 weeks old, but it started freezing about a week ago. I already installed a lot of apps on it but I think the number of apps installed is not the issue here, right? The device is powerful enough to run any app available in the Play Store. But it happened, anyway. There are times when the tablet just sits on one screen for more than one minute before responding to my touch commands. This, of course, an unusual behavior considering the fact that last week I was able to play heavy racing games with it without any issues. I’m not really sure what the problem is that’s why I’m contacting you hoping you could help me. By the way, my tablet is a Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and it says it has the latest firmware. Help me, please. — Gener
Troubleshooting: Gener, it seems like one of the apps you installed is causing this problem. But in order to confirm that, try to boot the Tab S in Safe Mode and observe closely how it behaves. If it were a third-party app causing this problem, then the device should not freeze in safe mode, otherwise, it’s an issue with one of the pre-installed app or with the firmware itself.
If one of the downloaded apps is the culprit, find that app and uninstall or disable it. However, if the issue is with the pre-installed app or the firmware, then the best option you have to reset the tablet to its factory defaults. I understand you already have a lot of apps in it but if that’s what it takes to fix the problem, then it’s worth it.
Problem: Hi Harold. I have an issue with my new Galaxy Tab S 8.4″. The tablet is barely a month old and just yesterday, it started shutting down. The occurrences are all random that I can’t find any pattern or what could have triggered it. I’m really stumped because the device is pretty new and I haven’t installed a lot of apps on it yet. Today, in the morning, it already turned itself off 3 times. Yesterday, the shut downs happened more than 5 times. I’m not sure what to do in order to fix it. Can you help? — Asi
Troubleshooting: This problem may boil down to just one app glitching. Before you can fix it, you need to verify if it’s a third-party app causing the problem or one of the pre-installed apps. To do that, boot your tablet in safe mode and observe if it would still shut down randomly.
In safe mode, all third-party apps and services are temporarily disabled. So, you can easily isolate the problem. If the tablet still shuts down, then the culprit is either one of the pre-installed apps or the firmware itself is glitching. However, if the problem won’t occur, then you just need to find the app that was causing it and uninstall or disable it. Of course, it would take time to find the app if you weren’t observant enough as to what app you were using when the problem occurred. But I suggest you start disabling apps you installed when the problem first started.
In case the problem is with firmware or its default apps and services, then backup your data and perform factory reset via settings.
Problem: I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab S, the smaller one, and for some reason the WiFi switch can’t be turned on because it’s greyed out. I noticed this just today when I can’t browse the web. Ever since I got this tablet in October, its WiFi was always on and I can’t even remember an instance that it was off, so I really can’t confirm if this problem started just today or has been happening for weeks or months now. I already rebooted the tablet many times but the switch remained greyed out and it was turned off. It could live with this problem if the WiFi was left turned on but it wasn’t. So, I really need your help to fix this. — Mila
Solution: The cause of this issue is either a hardware or a minor firmware glitch. But of course, there’s always the possibility that an app is causing the modem for freeze or the firmware to act crazy. If you want to know a little deeper what the culprit is, try entering safe mode. If the WiFi switch is still grayed out, then it’s a firmware glitch, otherwise, one of the downloaded apps is the cause.
Whatever the cause is, there is one effective procedure you can follow to fix this. Follow the steps below to wipe the cache partition:
- Make sure the tablet is completely off.
- Press and hold the Volume Up button and the Home button together.
- Now, press and hold the Power button and continue holding all three buttons until Recovery Booting appears in the upper left.
- You may release all buttons now.
- Using the Volume Down button, highlight ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power button to select it.
- After the wipe is complete, choose ‘reboot system now’ and press the Power button to restart the tablet.
Problem: Hello guys, I hope you can help me with my problem. I own a Galaxy Tab S (10.5 inches model). It’s pretty new so I’m still learning everything I can, not to mention it’s my first Android device. I am old and not tech savvy so, I really could use your help on this. I have a lot of pictures and videos saved in this tablet and many of them just disappeared. I can access the device’s storage without problem as well as my 64GB microSD card and I’ve opened every possible folder but they’re not there.
I already had someone take a look at this but he, too, didn’t know where to find my lost pictures and video clips. He said that I may have deleted them but I didn’t… I’m sure I haven’t deleted them.
Just about three days ago, I was able to view them but I noticed a small icon in the left side of pictures that disappeared. I can’t recall what the icon looked like but it was in the left-most side. If you have any idea how to find them, please let me know. Thanks. — Janice
Solution: Perhaps, the reason why you cannot find them is because they’re hidden or was tagged as “private.” I, too, was thinking that may be you have deleted them until you said that you noticed an icon in the left side of the pictures that disappeared. I am 90% certain those pictures or videos were hidden. Don’t ask me how they were hidden or who hid them because I honestly don’t know. But assuming they were just hidden and not deleted, you can find them by turning on Private Mode.
Galaxy Tab S has “Private Mode” that allows the owner to hide pictures, videos or any file. Enable it and you will find all hidden files that were tagged private.
- From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
- Tap Settings and touch the Device tab.
- Under Personalization section, find Private mode and tap the button to enable it.
- You may be prompted with a password or a PIN to continue.
- Once confirmed, Private Mode will be enabled and you can now find your pictures and videos in the Gallery.
Again, I don’t know how they were hidden without your knowledge but if someone else is using your tablet, then he/she must have done it.
Question: Hi droid guy. Last night, my Galaxy Tab S 8.4 was working just fine and I was even playing Real Racing 3 with it. I may have fell asleep while gaming and when I woke up this morning my tablet is already on the floor. It may have fallen while I was asleep. I checked it for cracks but there isn’t even a scratch…our floor has carpet. When I turned it on, the screen showed the yellow triangle with an exclamation point in the center. What does that mean?
When I started playing Real Racing 3, the battery was fully-charged, so I’m not really sure if it’s just a battery problem or something else. The yellow exclamation point won’t go away even if I plug the tablet to charge so I’m really at the end of my wits here. Help me how to fix this problem please. — Katie
Related Problem: It just happened today, the screen of my Galaxy Tab S has an exclamation point inside a yellow triangle. This will show up when I plug the tablet to wall socket. If plugged to a computer, the exclamation point will not appear. What is the problem with my device? I hope you can help me fix it.
Solution: The yellow triangle with exclamation point is actually overlapping the icon of an empty battery. It means that the battery has been totally depleted. There’s no other way to fix this but to plug your tablet in to charge. I understand you already tried plugging the charger in but the icon still appeared. Well, for a depleted battery, it will take several minutes to actually display the normal charging icon. Leave the phone to charge for 30 minutes and come back to turn it on. That will take care of the problem.
Problem: Hi. My Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is about 3 months old. While I don’t have issues with it, there’s one thing it’s missing–Kids mode. My sister’s Tab S has kids mode and I wish to add that very same feature on my tablet but how? Honestly, I don’t know much about technology and my tablet remained as is when I bought it. I need your expertise on this. Thanks.
Solution: When Galaxy Tab S was released, it didn’t have Kids Mode but units that were recently produced already have it. Kids Mode is just a pre-installed app, which means it comes with the firmware. That said, you can’t just download it from the Play Store or any other app stores. However, you can download the most recent firmware for your device that will allow you to install Kids Mode from Samsung servers.
The first thing you need to do is check if there’s any available update for you device. I believe there were, at least, two updates that were rolled out this past 3 months so I’m almost certain there’s an update for you device. To manually search for update, follow these steps:
- Tap the Home key and touch the Apps icon.
- Launch Settings and tap the General tab.
- Touch About tablet and then Software update.
- Tap update and a pop up will appear prompting you confirm your action to look for firmware updates.
- Tap OK.
- Once an update is found, tap Download to begin installation. (It may take several minutes depending on your connection speed.)
Now, if the most recent update has already been installed on your tablet, there must be a new app icon that will appear–it’s the Kids Mode icon. During the first run, you will need to download Kids Mode and install it. Once finished, you can now use the feature on your tablet.
Problem: Hi droid guy. I know you are very busy but I have a quick question for you. What must I do if the back cover of Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is warped? My tablet is new–about 2 months old–but I noticed that it can heat up to the point that it is not comfortable to touch especially in the area where the cover is warped. Does it mean that my device is overheating? I need your advice on this as I’m not sure what to do with it. Thanks. — Jonah
Suggestion: Hey Jonah. Actually Samsung released an official statement about this issue. According to the company, the problem is with the cover and not because the tablet is overheating. Who are we to say otherwise?
The best thing to do is bring the tablet back to the nearest Samsung customer service center. Don’t get excited because it doesn’t mean you’ll get a new tablet. You may be given a new back cover. There’s nothing much we can do about it but for you, if you feel like the device is heating up excessively, give it time to rest and cool down to avoid overheating.
Do you want to know what Samsung said about this specific issue? Read this…
“Contrary to certain media reports, the slight disfiguration that has formed on the rear surface of the Galaxy Tab S has been attributed to a limited number of defective back covers, which has no relation to the overheating of the application processor or the material used for the back cover. We would like to assure our customers that we have already resolved the issue. We ask affected customers to please contact their nearest Samsung Electronics customer service center.”
Problem: Hello. I have a 64GB microSD card where all my photos are saved. I mounted it on my Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and it can’t read it. I’m not really sure what to do now but I just don’t want to lose all my photos. Is there a way to recovery them? How can I make my tablet read from the microSD card? Thanks.
Troubleshooting: Perhaps the microSD was formatted other than the format readable by your tablet. I’m not really sure if the microSD card is damaged or corrupted but one way to recover your data is plug it in to a laptop. If the laptop can read from it then use that opportunity to backup everything in it. Once you’ve made a backup of your data, reformat the SD card using FAT32 format. However, if the laptop can’t read from it, there’s a very slim chance you can recover your photos…unless you know someone who knows how to work around corrupt or damaged storage devices.
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