Welcome to another round of Samsung Galaxy S4 troubleshooting.
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Unable to access photos on Samsung Galaxy S4
Problem: Hey there. I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Global Unlocked phone that has been working great until two days ago. The phone died while in the middle of loading a bunch of pictures to a shared photo album in one of the apps I have called Line. When I turned the phone on the next day and tried to unlock it with the pattern I have the phone froze after only accepting 2 dots. If I turn the screen off and back on it does the exact same thing every time. I have tried resetting the phone multiple times, and I have also tried rebooting into safe mode. Even in safe mode I get the same results. This wouldn’t be super alarming except when I tried to plug the phone into my computer to be able to pull all of the photos off of it so I wouldn’t lose them all when I did a factory reset, the computer recognized the device, but when I opened the folder to view the device it was empty. No system folders or files of any kind… I am at a loss here. No idea what I can do, and I really really don’t want to lose all of the pictures that I have on the device that weren’t saved to the memory card. There are thousands of them. Any ideas? And if all else fails, is there any way to get the hard drive out of the phone and plugged into a computer without corrupting all of the data on it? It has to still have stuff on it cause I am able to see some of the apps start up when the phone comes on. Attached is a picture of the phone freezing as I try to unlock it. Thanks. — Zach
Troubleshooting: Hi Zach. This type of problem is best handled by professionals who can physically access the phone. First of all, if you can go to a Samsung repair shop, this should be your best course of action. If a Samsung shop is out of question, having third party technicians check the phone is good alternative. What we want to achieve here is to ensure that no additional problem is done on your phone, especially on the software side. We have a recommended solution below but this should only be done by S4 owners who have exhausted all means to have a professional check the phone first. If you don’t feel confident doing the steps yourself, simply stop what you are doing and think again how to access professional help.
Before you proceed with the troubleshooting steps, make sure that you have these five things taken cared of:
- USB drivers for your Galaxy S4 in your pc by downloading and installing them.
- USB debugging option enabled by going to Menu > Settings > Applications > Developer Options > USB Debugging.
- At least 70% battery charge remaining.
- Odin3 tool by downloading it from this link then unzipping it on your desktop.
- Stock firmware and PIT file must be extracted on your desktop as well.
Below are the steps on how to proceed with unbricking your phone:
- Power off the phone.
- Boot the phone into Download/Odin Mode by pressing and holding down the Volume Down, Home, and Power buttons at the same time for a few seconds. After you see the warning screen, press the Volume Up button to enter Download Mode.
- Go to the extracted Odin folder on your desktop and launch the .exe file.
- Connect your Samsung Galaxy S4 phone to your computer through the USB cable and wait until ID:COM port changes to blue and the corresponding Added!! message appears.
- Look for the PDA button in Odin and select the .tar.md5 file.
- Click on the relevant PIT button so you can select the file with .pit extension.
- Select checkboxes for Re-Partition and F Reset Time in Odin. Ensure that Auto Reboot options are NOT checked.
- Click on the Start button in Odin to begin the installation process which will take a few minutes.
- Once the installation is completed, a PASS! message will appear to indicate that the installation has been successful.
- Disconnect the phone from the PC.
- Pull out the battery from the phone for about 30 seconds to do a soft reset.
- Put the battery back in and press and hold Volume Up, Home, and Power buttons to boot the phone into Android System Recovery mode. Release the Power button but keep holding the other two buttons until you see the recovery mode screen.
- Use the Volume keys to scroll to recovery mode and Power button to select it.
- Select Wipe data/factory reset.
- Select wipe cache partition option.
- Select Reboot system now option to restart the phone.
- Wait for a few minutes to fully reboot the phone.
Keep note that steps 12-15 are meant to ensure that the phone is as clean as it should be as far as the software aspect is concerned by erasing all user added files and customizations including all your photos. You can opt to skip these steps if you want to continue to look for ways of recovering your pictures. The above steps are only meant to help you unbrick your phone because right now, the software is dead.
Again, if you are uncomfortable doing this solution, try to bring your phone to a local shop or a Samsung dealership for professinal help. You may also want to consider a phone replacement.
Samsung Galaxy S4 does not show a permanent phone number
Problem: I have a Galaxy S4 telephone. I transferred from another provider in December and was given a temporary number for 48 hours at which time the phone started to answer to the number I have had for many years and transferred from my previous provider.
When checking the status of my phone under Settings>More>About device>Status, my phone number shows my temporary number and not the one the telephone answers to.
Is there a way to change “My phone number” to my permanent number. — Maarten
Troubleshooting: Hi Maarten. This type of issue is best resolved by your service provider as phone numbers is tied to the SIM card that you have. Please call your existing service provider to see how they can go about changing the current phone number to a more permanent one.
Samsung Galaxy S4 malware issue telling user to update Android (southpop.com/t)
Problem: My phone gives me random pop up messages saying I need to update my Android software. So I click on update now and it says I have to be connected to Wi-Fi to do so and takes me to the Wi-Fi selection screen (I am already connected to Wi-Fi before I select to update the software). So I tried to unconnect from my Wi-Fi to reconnect but when I do that the update goes away so I cannot update it. After a few months of this, I started getting random messages again but it took me to internet browser to a website that says i need to update my software. However, I did not click on anything because I am afraid it could be a virus. I still get the browser messages at random times throughout the day.
I have a Samsung Galaxy S4. My phone gives me random pop up messages saying i need to update my Android software. So I click on update now and it says I have to be connected to Wi-Fi to do so and takes me to the Wi-Fi selection screen (I am already connected to Wi-Fi before I select to update the software). So I tried to unconnect from my Wi-Fi to reconnect but when I do that the update goes away so i cannot update it. After a few months of this, I started getting random messages again but it took me to internet browser to a website that says i need to update my software. However, I did not click on anything because I am afraid it could be a virus. I still get the browser messages at random times throughout the day. — Jessica
Troubleshooting: Hi Jessica. We have seen the picture you sent together with your email and we have seen the URL (southpop.com/t). We suspect that this is either a phishing site or something that hosts malware that can be passed on to Android phones.
We recommend that you do a factory reset on your Samsung Galaxy S4 to ensure that no malware continues to run without your knowledge. If have not done a factory reset before, just follow these steps:
- Turn off the phone.
- Hold Power, Volume Up, and Home buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
- Release the buttons once the Android logo appears on the screen. Doing so will bring up the unlock/reset menu.
- Use the Volume Up/Down arrows to select Wipe Data/Factory Reset option.
- Scroll down and select Yes – Delete All User Data.
- Select Reboot System Now and wait for the phone to reboot.
Remember, doing a factory reset wipes everything off your phone so make sure to back-up your personal files before doing so.
Also, since you have attempted to follow the instructions of the possible malware on your phone, try to change the passwords of all the accounts you accessed on your phone using a different device so make sure that none of your personal information are compromised.
Samsung Galaxy S4 battery drain issue
Problem: Why does my Galaxy S4 keep turning off? For the past few days now, my Samsung Galaxy S4 keeps on randomly turning off! Literally just now, my battery was at about 75% and it turned off. It then tries to reboot but turns off and loops like that until I put it on charge. Previously, my battery was again at about 60%, it turned off, rebooted and charged from 0% instead! Because of this, my battery probably lasts me about 4 hours at the very most.
I read somewhere if I recently downloaded any apps, I should try uninstalling them to see if that makes a difference but it’s still doing this. I’ve had this phone for about 2 months now. The last thing I want to do is a factory reset but will that even make a difference?
Also. I tried replacing my battery with a new one but still the same… my phone keeps on rebooting until i connect to a charger. Please help me out. — Azba
Troubleshooting: Hi Azba. Good job trying to identify the problem by testing another battery. Based on your problem description, it appears that the phone itself is causing the battery drain either because of faulty hardware or software. A good way to identify which of the two is causing trouble is by performing Safe mode on your S4. This forces the phone to run first party apps only so it’s a good indicator if an installed third party app is the culprit. If you have not done a Safe mode on your phone before, just follow the steps below:
- Turn off the phone.
- Press and hold the Power button to turn the phone back on once the phone is off and the lights are blinking.
- Once the Samsung S4 logo appears, press and hold the Volume Down button. Continue holding down the Volume Down button until a full reboot is attained. You’ll know if the phone is already in Safe Mode because the words “Safe Mode” appear in the lower left corner of the screen.
Again, only first party apps, usually the ones that originally came with the device when you first unboxed it, will be allowed to run while in this mode. Please observe how the phone behaves while in Safe mode. If a third party app is causing the battery drain, the problem will not be present while in Safe mode. However, if the issue persists, there’s a chance that the glitch may be caused by the operating system itself so you can proceed with a full factory reset. Make sure that you make a copy of your personal files before doing so.
If, after a factory reset the problem still remains, your best bet is to have the phone replaced.
Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy S4 voice mail settings needed
Problem: Ok DroidGuy. When trying to set up voice mail my phone will not allow it because in the voice mail settings the carrier number has not been set up yet. I need the Straight Talk voice mail carrier number for my brand new Samsung Galaxy S4 phone through Straight Talk. If you could help me please it would be greatly appreciated! I called Straight Talk and their techs could not help me and hung up on me! *86 does not work nor does my phone number. Please help. Sincerely.– Lenny
Troubleshooting: Hi Lenny. As much as we would like to help you, there’s just no way for us to know what is the correct configuration of your Straight Talk voice mail is. If you don’t want to contact Straight Talk voice customer support, please send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can also talk to their customer support representatives via social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter .
How to change notification settings of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to follow Samsung Galaxy S4 notification profiles
Problem: Hi. I’ve posted and searched a lot online but see no real answer to this issue – could you help? (S4 i9505 BTU firmware 5.0.1)
I use both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp a lot all day, and I’m constantly switching notification profiles on my phone, too, from silent to ringer, ringer to vibrate, vibrate to ringer, etc. and most – all other – apps seem to respect this. That is, Gmail will ping in ringer mode, vibrate only in vibrate mode, and be silent in silent. Whatsapp and FB Messenger, however, seem to expect users to go into each app separately, go into settings, notifications, and toggle vibrate on or off, every time we want to turn on or off vibrate – they do not pick up on the face that my phone is in ringer or silent mode, they stick to their internal settings. To me this seems crazy, as I either have to change each app every time, or put up with each vibrating for every single message and disturbing those around me, or miss notifications.
Any ideas why this is and what I can do about it?
Thanks in advance, what a great site and service you run! — Fred
Troubleshooting: Hi Fred. Thanks you for appreciating our effort in helping Android users through this site.
Regarding your issue, we noticed this behavior with other apps too and not just in Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. What you want right now is to change the notification design of each app, which, unfortunately is impossible unless you are the developer itself. We have no suggestion in this matter because there are no settings that we can change on the phone to accommodate what you want. If you think that many users will benefit from your idea, we recommend that you contact Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp developers directly via their contact information from Google Play site.
Samsung Galaxy S4 showing “unauthorized actions have been detected” error
Problem: Hi. I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 sgh-i337 (American version of i9505). I have bought it with the Glass broken at a service that changed the display.
My problem is that the S4 give me some error: “unauthorized actions have been detected.” If i push cancel, nothing happens and if i push restart the phone restarts and the message appear again.
Sometimes the phone blacks. It restarts and stops at AT&T logo and I have to restart it manually. Sometimes the sounds stops and the phone don’t ring and i can’t hear the person i’m talking to.
I have made the factory reset from the phone, factory and catch deset by holding the power, home and up volume buttons, and nothing. What should i try? — Mariusptc
Troubleshooting: Hi Mariusptc. If the phone continues to fail after a successful factory reset, please call your service provider (AT&T) and have your device replaced. There’s a big possibility that the real reason for your phone’s behavior is hardware in nature, which, unfortunately, we are not equipped to handle here.
Samsung Galaxy S4 running out of storage space
Problem: Hey. I have a Galaxy S4 and I recently deleted a very large app (asphalt 8) to try and free storage but then I tried downloading it again because there was a new update. The app size is 1.55GB and I freed up 1.63gb to download it. When I tried to download it said that there is insufficient space. I just gave up on getting it but when I checked my storage I only had around 94MB and now it keeps changing up to 245MB. I now can’t download any apps, access my pictures or use the camera because it says not enough memory. I don’t use an SD card and I have a notification at the top of my phone saying storage space running low: some system functions may not work. Please help, I can’t find a solution on google.– Ethan
Troubleshooting: Hi Ethan. 94MB or even 245MB is not enough to handle normal tasks demanded from your storage, especially in taking pictures, simply because it’s too small. Even low resolution pictures taken by today’s smartphone cameras can get bigger than 245MB filesize so if you want to continue using your phone normally, please invest in an SD card. Alternatively, you can erase some unnecessary apps from internal memory to free up some space. Installed apps can also sometimes grow bigger over time because of updates and patches so you must have at least another 1GB free space to accommodate them. We are certain that once you have enough storage space, this problem that you have will disappear.