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Samsung Galaxy S4 Problems, Errors, Glitches, Solutions and Troubleshooting [Part 61]

Welcome to the 61st part in our series of troubleshooting articles dedicated to the Samsung Galaxy S4. If you have been following this series then you will notice that the S4 is one of the devices that has the most number of posts due to the fact that it is quite a popular device.

galaxy s4

Most of the emails we receive from our readers concern this particular model. This is however not an indication that the phone suffers from several issues as  most of the concerns sent our way are quite similar to those we have already answered.

If you own a Galaxy S4 or any other Android device for that matter then feel free to send us an email at [email protected]. We will be more than happy to assist you with any concern that you may have with your device. This is a free service we are offering with no strings attached. We however ask that when you do send us an email ty to be as detailed as possible so that an accurate assessment can be made and the correct solution can be given.

If you would like to browse the previous parts in this series then check out this link.

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S4 Does Not Turn On

Problem: Hi, My Samsung Galaxy S4, one year old is not switching ON at all. Although the battery is charged. Before switching OFF, the device was just showing the I9500 Logo flicking on a black background. Kindly suggest something.

Solution: There are various factors to consider as to why your phone will not switch on. Basically, the reason boils down to either a software or hardware related problem. Follow the troubleshooting steps listed below to resolve this issue. Move to the next step if the issue still persists.

Reboot Phone

  • Turn off your phone
  • Take out the battery
  • Take out the microSD (if you have installed one)
  • Press and hold the power button for at least 3 minutes
  • Reinsert the battery (leave the microSD out)
  • Turn on phone

Wipe cache partition

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, Power key
  • When the phone vibrates, let go of the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
  • When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
  • Press the Volume Down key to highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  • Press the Power key to select. The phone will automatically restart after the cache is wiped.

If the issue still persists then try performing an emergency firmware recovery using Kies. Download and install the latest Kies version from the Samsung website into your computer. Connect your phone using a USB cord to your computer and perform the recovery. Make sure that you have a backup copy of your data before proceeding.

S4 Invalid Email

Problem: My galaxy s4 won’t let me log into anything using an email address.  It always say invalid email. But I can log into everything on my computer. So it’s not my email address. It has to be the phone. Any suggestions?

Solution: Have you tried to double check if the correct email and password combination is being typed? You should try typing in the email and password in the memo pad then copy paste this to the email and password field.

If you are still getting an invalid email error then this issue may be caused by a glitch in the software. Try wiping the cache partition of your phone to resolve this issue. You can check on the instructions above on how to do this.

S4 Back/Volume Button Acts On Its Own

Problem: Hi, So very recently my phone would repeatedly go back as if I were pressing the back button. I wouldn’t even be touching my phone and I would go from watching a video on YouTube to my home screen.  Also the volume on the phone will also randomly lower by itself when I’m listening to music. I can’t imagine how many emails you get a day but I would be more than grateful of you have an answer to my problems.

Solution:  Since this issue occurred just recently were there any apps that you installed on your phone prior to this happening? Sometimes certain apps can cause issues on a phone. To check if this is an app related issue you should try starting your phone in Safe mode and see if it still occurs.

  • Turn the device off.
  • Press and hold the Power key.
  • When ‘Samsung Galaxy S4’ appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  • Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  • Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  • Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.

If the issue does not occur then find out what app is causing the problem and uninstall it.

If the issue occurs even in Safe mode then your next step is to do a factory reset. Make sure to back up your data first before proceeding.

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, Power key.
  • When the phone vibrates, release the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
  • When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
  • Press the Volume down key several times key to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  • Press Power button to select.
  • Press the Volume down key until ‘delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  • Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  • When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  • Press the Power key to restart the device.

If the problem is software related then it should be gone by now. If it still occurs then this may already be a hardware relate problem. You should then bring your phone to an authorized service center for checking.

S4 Grey Wi-Fi Switch

Problem: Dear folks at TheDroidGuy.com, This is gonna be a fun one. Today I got a Samsung Galaxy S4, with VOIP service from a small company called FreedomPop. I turned it on for the first time around 4pm today and since then I have been completely unable to receive any sort of wifi signal whatsoever. When I swipe down, the wifi button is grey as if it’s turned off. When I tap the Wifi tab, it turns a dark green for a brief moment, then goes grey again. I’ve done this countless times to get the same result. When I open the Wifi tab in settings and try to swipe the OFF/ON switch to the right, it immediately goes back to the left with the grey OFF option. I cannot scan for networks. I am working entirely off cell service. I got into the service menu and turned the wifi power save off. Didn’t work. Tried pulling the battery. Didn’t work. Tried resetting it several times. Didn’t work. I sincerely hope I won’t have to fart around with developer settings. Even more sincerely do I hope that I don’t have to ship it back to FreedomPop or anywhere else because the company took more than a month to get a phone to me. To boot, this is my first day as an Android user. For the past couple years I’ve been using an iPhone 3GS. I had high hopes. Please save me.

Solution: Try doing a factory reset to eliminate any possibility of the software causing this issue. Make sure to back up your data first.

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, Power key.
  • When the phone vibrates, release the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
  • When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
  • Press the Volume down key several times key to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  • Press Power button to select.
  • Press the Volume down key until ‘delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  • Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  • When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  • Press the Power key to restart the device.

If the Wi-Fi icon is still greyed out then I’m afraid this may already be a hardware related problem. You will have to contact FreedomPop regarding this matter and have your phone replaced.

S4 Not Detecting SIM Card

Problem: Hey read your post on Samsung S4 not recognizing SIM card. I have a T-Mobile S4 that works fine but won’t see my sim card. Sim card works in two other phones so I tried replacing the SIM/SD Slot on the MB with a new one. Still won’t see the SIM, started in Safe Mode, Still won’t see the SIM card. Not sure what to try next?

Solution: Try reseating the SIM tray connector to the motherboard. You should also try cleaning the SIM contacts using a cotton bud dipped in alcohol.

If the problem persists then check if there are any new software updates for your phone and if there are then install them.

You should also consider doing a factory reset on your phone. Just be sure to back up your data before performing this procedure.

S4 Typing/Wi-Fi Issues

Problem: Hi there. I am having some issues that all crept up together on my Galaxy S4. The first one is regarding typing and choosing a word from the predictive text. It was always the case that when I selected a word the phone would add a space after it, but suddenly today it isn’t doing that anymore. The second issue is with apps telling me that I’m not online even though I am connected to Wi-Fi. I am having the issue with Facebook messenger and it says “waiting for network” and also with the NHL app where it says the app requires Wi-Fi even though my Wi-Fi connection is working fine. This all started randomly today. Please can you help! Thanks.

Solution: For the first issue you should verify if the Auto Spacing setting of your phone has a check mark on it.

  • From the home screen, tap Apps.
  • Scroll to and tap Settings.
  • Tap Language and Input
  • Tap on the Samsung keyboard gear icon
  • Tap on Auto Spacing to place a check mark on it

For the second issue this could be a connectivity related issue. Try connecting to a different Wi-Fi source and see if the issue still persists. If it does then try rebooting your phone and connect again.

S4 Not Charging

Problem: Hey Guys, My galaxy refuses to charge when connected to the charger and it keeps restarting when I switch it off. Can you help? It’s just over one year old.

Solution: You should first check if there is any dirt or lint in the charger contact points of your wall charger and your phone. If there are any then clean it using a cotton bud dipped in alcohol. Make sure to take out your phone battery before you start cleaning.

If the issue persists then try using a different wall charger as well as a different battery.

Regarding the restarting issue of your phone when you switch it off you should definitely try doing a factory reset and see if this resolves the issue. Back up your data before performing this procedure.

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, Power key.
  • When the phone vibrates, release the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
  • When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
  • Press the Volume down key several times key to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  • Press Power button to select.
  • Press the Volume down key until ‘delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  • Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  • When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  • Press the Power key to restart the device.

S4 Running Android 4.4.2 Multiple Issues

Problem: Hello, I apologize in advance if these issues have been mentioned/resolved before, however I am having a few issues with my S4 and am wondering if you may have the answers.

First off, I have an S4 with Android version 4.4.2 and service from Verizon (if that matters). The first problem I noticed quite some time ago is that the keyboard no longer “learns” as it used to when I first received it. I can no longer have it learn words that I want it to remember, nor will it suggest words that I have used after certain other words in the past. For example, if I were to wish someone happy birthday, I would say “Hey happy birthday”. In the past, I would just have to type “H” or whatever else I needed to get “Hey” and it would then show in the suggestion box “happy” and then “birthday”. Now I have to type out the whole thing, which isn’t a big deal, I’m just providing an example. An example for learning words is if I wanted to say “suck” it would correct it to “sock” or something. In the past I would use the arrow in the suggestion box to make the phone learn that I meant “suck” and it wouldn’t question my use of it again. Now, if I tell it to learn “suck”, it will still try to correct it if I try to use it again in the future.

Another issue I am having is that my email will no longer automatically refresh my inbox. I used to get notifications for both the email and gmail applications, but now I no longer get notifications from either. In order to see if I received a new email, I have to open the application and refresh it in order to see any new email messages.

I’m also having an issues with the “air view” in my email. I used to be able to hover my finger over an email and preview it. Now when I try, I just get another little check box and that’s it, no more preview.

The Watch On TV Remote also no longer shows up in my notification panel even though the option is On in the application settings. I don’t recall what happened when I first noticed, but this happened about a month ago.

My phone has sometimes automatically restarted on its own, which I’ve seen is a common issue, but it may be because I only have a little over 2GB left of memory on the device. It only seems to restart if it’s doing something difficult, the last time it happened I was scrolling quickly through my gallery with 1,000+ pictures. I believe those are the only big issues my phone is currently having, I understand it’s a fair amount but I appreciate any help! Please let me know if there’s any more information I can provide. Thank you.

Solution: There seem to be a lot of issues on your phone. The first thing that you should do is to check if there are any available software updates for your phone. If there are then get them and install them.

For your first issue you should first check on the settings the Language and input settings of your phone. If you are using the stock Samsung keyboard of your phone then make sure that Predictive text is on and that there is a check mark on the Personalized data field.

Regarding your email not syncing you should first check if the sync feature of your phone is activated. If it is then try clearing the email app cache. This procedure may also resolve the air view issue that you are having.

  • From the home screen, tap Apps.
  • Scroll to and tap Settings.
  • Tap More.
  • Tap Application manager.
  • Swipe left to view the All tab.
  • Scroll to and tap the email application.
  • Tap Clear cache.
  • You’ve now cleared the application cache.

Regarding he Watch On icon not showing on the notification panel ty the following steps below.

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap More
  • Tap Application Manger
  • Tap Samsung WatchOn
  • Tap to place a check for “Show Notifications”

Regarding your phone restarting on your own this may be caused by a corrupt temporary data. You should try wiping the cache partition of your phone to resolve this issue.

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, Power key
  • When the phone vibrates, let go of the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
  • When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
  • Press the Volume Down key to highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  • Press the Power key to select. The phone will automatically restart after the cache is wiped.

S4 Wi-Fi Does Not Turn On

Problem: Just bought an unlocked galaxy s4 I337 16g LTE at&t phone a few weeks ago off Amazon. After having it a couple of days I allowed the battery to run down and the phone shut off. After recharging and turning back, the phone would not initiate the Wi-Fi connection. When going through settings and toggling the Wi-Fi switch, the phone would show it was turning on Wi-Fi, but would do nothing. When using the pull down menu form the home screen and tapping the Wi-Fi icon, the icon would turn a dark green and would do nothing. I did a factory reset and it started working properly. A few days later after turning the phone on from sleep, it locked up. Got it going again by taking the battery out and putting it back in. When the phone came on, it would not initiate the Wi-Fi connection. After I did another factor reset it began working again. Yesterday while plugging it into the charger, the phone shut down. After getting it back up, again the Wi-Fi connection would not work. Getting tired of doing factory resets. This phone was supposed to have been a new phone and I have not down loaded any unusual apps that should disrupt the operations. Can you help?

Solution: You should try checking first if there are any new software updates available for your phone and install them. These updates contain improvements and bug fixes that may help resolve the issue. If there are no updates available or if the issue persists then you should have your phone replaced as this may already be a hardware related problem.

S4 Not Receiving Text Messages

Problem: Hello, I have a Galaxy S4.  It is a year old.  Been using SMS Pro as a texting app for a year.  Worked fine for a while.  Months ago group messages started being received as single messages.  Then the newest update really was bad.  Lost lots of things I liked about it. Yesterday, every time I went to open a text messsage, the app forced close.  I finally uninstalled it to use the stock messenger app.  I could send texts but not receive any.  All day I have been messing with this.  I realized that my husband had added Hangouts and my received messages were going there.  I do not like Hangouts, so I deleted it, too.  I thought this would force all of the incoming texts to be forced to the stock messaging app.  Nope!!! Now I can send texts and I verified that they are received.  But I cannot receive replies or texts at all.  They are just floating around in cyber space somewhere. Crazy, I know. I have googled all sorts of things and tried them, but nothing worked.  I found you in that search.  Can you help?

Solution: Do you have any other messenger app that may be getting the messages? Try starting your phone in Safe Mode and see if the stock messenger app can receive text messages.

  • Turn the device off.
  • Press and hold the Power key.
  • When ‘Samsung Galaxy S4’ appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  • Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  • Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  • Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.

If the stock messenger app can receive text messages in this mode then the issue may be caused by a certain third party app. Find out what that app is and uninstall it.

If the issue persists then your best option is to do a factory reset. Just make sure to back up your phone data before performing this procedure.

S4 PIN Unlock Code Issue

Problem: Hi, I am the current owner of a Samsung galaxy S4.  Recently my phone just randomly said enter pin for the lock screen.  This is very strange because I have been using a swipe code and I never even set up a pin.  I never made a password for the pin, it just randomly said enter pin one day instead of just a normal swipe code. Now I cannot enter because I do not know what the pin is because I never made one.  Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope to hear back from you.

Solution: Try entering a random PIN several times until until you get the message “Try again in 30 seconds” then click OK. You will then see the “Forgot PIN” option at the bottom of the screen. Click on this then you will be prompted to login to your Google account. This works if your phone has an Internet connection. Once your Google account has been authenticated you will be redirected to Settings -> Security -> Lock Screen -> Screen Security to update the PIN or pattern to unlock your phone.

If the above solution does not work then you will have to perform a factory reset on your device. Take note that any data that you have in your phone will be deleted in this process. If you have recently made a backup of your data then this won’t be a problem however if you have not made a backup then you should only consider this as a last resort.

  • Once you have authenticated with your Google account, Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, Power key.
  • When the phone vibrates, release the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
  • When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
  • Press the Volume down key several times key to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  • Press Power button to select.
  • Press the Volume down key until ‘delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  • Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  • When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  • Press the Power key to restart the device.

S4 Won’t Charge Properly

Problem: Hello, I live in New Zealand and I bought a Galaxy S4 in Malaysia, therefore the wall plugs are different. So instead of relying on using an adapter every time I charge, I decided to use my mum’s Galaxy Tab 2 charger’s which has the NZ plug with the cable that came with the S4. I had been using it for about 5 months and I don’t recall having any issues with it. Then my mum wanted the plug back and suggested I used her old Galaxy S3’s charger instead (which also had the NZ plug). I don’t recall any issues at first but then I started noticing that the phone charged slower and now, several weeks after the swap, it charges very slowly. Sometimes it will discharge although the phone shows that it is charging. Another odd thing is that if I try a different wall plug, it will charge differently. A new wall plug that hasn’t been used to charge the phone before will get a relatively fast charge, but after a few uses with said wall plug, the phone will charge slowly again. I am not sure if the problem is with the charger I am using or that I have ruined the battery as it was used to being charged by a more powerful charger. I do overcharge the battery when I was using the Tab 2’s charger but I don’t think that is the issue as I have overcharged my previous phone (Sony Ericsson Ray) many times but the battery life seems fine. This is my 3rd phone that I have bought overseas to be used in NZ and the previous 2 phones had no issues with charging. Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read my email. Thank you and kind regards.

Solution: In issues like this the most likely culprit is the battery. Try replacing it with a new one and see if the issue persists. You should also try using the original wall charger to charge your phone, just use an adapter.

If the issue persists then consider doing a factory reset as a last resort. Make sure to back up your data before performing this procedure.

S4 Spammed With Ads

Problem: I have no idea what I did to trigger this, but whenever I open an app now ads will pop up, or my internet opens and directs me to ads or to some weird investment websites, or telling me that I have to update my samsung or I will get a virus (I  always check my phone for updates right after this) there are never any actual updates available.My phone also downloads things to my desktop that I have never asked for ( the icons read: App of the Day, Win a Prize, Amazing App and things like that) I delete them immediately and have never opened one. Also whenever I open an app, it doens’t matter What app it is  (this happens with every single app on my phone), there is a bar at the top of the screen that flashes messages (DOWNLOAD NOW!!!, AMAZING NEW APP,  UPDATE NOW!) and on the right side of the screen is a small square with an icon that changes (a shopping bad, a box with a star in it, a question mark etc.). I tried deleting ALL of the apps that I had recently down loaded. I tried  installing the highest rated antivirus for my phone. The ads are still popping up but the app says I do not have any viruses.  It has gotten so bad I have to keep my phone on vibrate or silent so it does not drive me insane because my message tone goes off almost constantly at times. What is Causing this? How can I fix it? and how do I keep it from happening again!? The only suggestion samsung tech help had was to factory reset my phone I am DESPERATE for a different solution!

Solution: If a factory reset is not an option then you will have to manually uninstall the third party apps in your phone until the ads disappear. After each uninstall make sure to wipe the cache partition of your phone.

Make sure to get your apps only from the Google Play Store.

S4 Screen Flickers

Problem: I have a Samsung s4 that the screen flickers constantly. The bottom half of the screen eventually turns white. I have done a factory reset, updated to 4.4.4 software, and the only thing that makes a difference is if I adjust the brightness the white will go away, but the screen still flickers. If I pull up the camera it’s yellow and shakes so badly that all pics are blurry. Looking for any suggestions to fix this, thank you.

Solution: If the factory reset fails to resolve the issue then this may already be a hardware related problem. You should bring your phone to an authorized service center for checking and repair.

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