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How to fix Samsung Galaxy S4 screen flickering, blank display & unresponsive screen

I encountered a lot of screen flickering issues, not just with Galaxy S4 but with other devices as well, and while they appear in various ways, they can actually be grouped into two general categories; software issue or a hardware problem. As a technician, I immediately isolate the problem to determine whether it’s an app that’s causing the display and touchscreen issues or a firmware glitch that is connected to the general performance of the phone or a hardware problem that has the capability to make the issue worse than it already is.

Galaxy-S4-Screen-Flickering-Problems

In this post, I will walk you through determining where the problem lies. As long as the issue is with the apps or the firmware, it is easy to fix it even if you are just an average user. But I cannot say the same for hardware issues. Further troubleshooting procedures will be done in this case to determine what module is problematic and whether or not it can be economically repaired or needs replacement. I don’t discourage you if you want to explore but please do it at your own risk. Even we technicians can mess up some things when we’re dealing with the hardware. For those who are still covered by warranty, don’t even think of removing the screws, it will automatically void it.

For other Galaxy S4 owners who have different issues, click here to visit our S4 Troubleshooting page, which contains hundreds of problems we already addressed in the past. Find a problem that’s the same or related to yours, try out our solutions or troubleshooting procedures and if they don’t work for you, email us at [email protected]. Don’t worry, this service is totally free but please provide all necessary information like the brand and model your phone, the version of Android it’s running and how it currently behaves. Be descriptive of the problem. Remember, the more information you provide, the easier for us to assess the problem and the more accurate our solutions and/or troubleshooting procedures are.

Here are the problems I addressed in this post:

  1. Samsung Galaxy S4 screen flickering after an update
  2. Galaxy S4 display goes blank without apparent cause
  3. Galaxy S4 screen becomes unresponsive

Samsung Galaxy S4 screen flickering after an update

Problem: Hi. I recently updated my Samsung Galaxy S4 to lollipop and was disappointed after seeing its screen flickering like crazy. It’s like something is moving the brightness slider from the maximum level to the mid level and then back to the maximum level again. I tried putting the screen to dynamic mode then back to the normal mode but it’s still the same. I’m not really sure if this has been happening prior to the update. Is there anyone in your team who knows how to fix this problem?

Related Problem: Hello, I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 which I have had for just on a year. about 4 months ago I did an update that had popped up on my screen, ever since doing that update my screen flickers.

So the flickering, to me is quite bad and eventually after a minute or so, the screen turns black and nothing. It will do absolutely nothing. You have to shut the phone off and back on where everything will be fine until you are either surfing the net, playing a game, taking a photo, talking on the phone and it will start flickering and you get the black screen.

I called Samsung and they suggest I do a system reset of which I did but its still flickering. I took it to Vodafone where I got the phone and the person who served me told me the phone had been dropped in a major way and there was a problem with the LED. I have not dropped my phone. This problem all started when I did the update. I was so upset and angry I walked out. I though you would be able to determine a problem with the LED and a problem with the hardware of the phone?

The flickering is not constant in the sense that I can have my phone on all day and not touch it, text back and forth and nothing happens.

I am at a loss to what to do now. I am so angry, upset and disappointed any help will be appreciated. So the flickering starts:

  • Looking through your photo album
  • Taking photo’s
  • Looking on the internet
  • When on a call

The flickering will keep going until the screen goes black and you end up having to turn the phone off.

I am not much of a gizmo gal not tech minded when it comes to these things. I did manage to find out I’m have the 4.4.2 update which according to my phone is the latest update. Arrrghhhh please help. — Celeste

Troubleshooting: A screen flickering issue maybe caused by an app that has gone haywire, a firmware problem or a more serious hardware issue. Taking the safest route to properly troubleshooting this problem, you need to boot your phone in safe mode first.

  1. Turn the device off completely.
  2. Press and hold the Power button.
  3. Once the Samsung Galaxy S4 logo appears on the screen, release the Power button.
  4. As soon as you release the Power button, press and hold the Volume Down key.
  5. Continue holding the Volume Down key until the phone has completed the reboot process.
  6. If you can read ‘Safe Mode‘ at the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume Down key. Otherwise, repeat the process until you can boot the phone to Safe Mode.

With all third-party apps temporarily disabled, observe closely if the screen still flickers. If so, then at least we have ruled out one possibility. Now, it’s between the firmware and the hardware.

You have two options to go about it; either you backup your data and perform master reset, or you will try to record your screen to see if it flickers in a video. The master reset will delete all data in your phone including your settings and will bring the phone back to its factory defaults. If the cause of the problem was corrupt firmware data, this procedure will surely fix the issue. Here’s how you reset your phone effectively…

  1. Switch your phone off.
  2. Hold down the Power, Volume Up and Home buttons at the same time for about 10 seconds. Release them when the Android logo appears on the screen. This will bring up the unlock/reset menu.
  3. To navigate through this menu, use the volume up/down buttons to scroll up and down and the power button to confirm selections.
  4. Scroll down and select Wipe Data/Factory Reset.
  5. Scroll down and select Yes – Delete All User Data.
  6. When prompted, scroll to and select Reboot System Now. The phone will then reboot to its factory settings.

If you prefer to find out what the problem is using the other method, download apps from the Play Store that is capable of recording your screen into a video. If the screen flickers in the video, then the problem is in one of the components inside the phone. It could be the GPU or one of the chips inside. However, if the flicker won’t appear in the video, then it’s more of a screen problem than anything else. It could be as minor as loose connection or the screen might need replacement.

Galaxy S4 display goes blank without apparent cause

Problem: Let me begin by narrating what really happened or what I was doing before my Galaxy S4 entered the blank screen and seemed not to respond to whatever I command it to do. I was multitasking between Twitter and Facebook, just the normal stuff, when there was a notification saying there’s an update. I tried to ignore it but it keeps popping back up so I downloaded it. The download took about 20 to 25 minutes and after that, my phone rebooted and took so long to come back up. When it finally reached the Home screen, I tried opening Twitter but it seemed like the phone lagged and froze. I had to reboot it and when it was ready, I tried opening Twitter again and the phone froze and the screen went blank. I tried rebooting it but the display was still black but I can hear the bootup tune so I think the phone powers up just fine and only the display is having some tantrums. What’s the best thing to do to fix this problem? — Phillip

Related Problem: Hi, my son was playing with my Samsung S4 phone and brought it to me saying the battery finished. I plugged it to charge and after 4 hrs when I tried to power it up all I could see is the blue LED at the top left corner coming on and the phone vibrates.

I got my friend to ring me and send me messages on Whatsapp and the phone rings and vibrates every time but the screen is still blank. I tried, as was suggested on many youtube videos:

  1. Draining the power by removing the battery and holding the power button for 1 minute. Tried this many times.
  2. Smack the power button by removing the battery.
  3. I can’t go into safe mode or recovery mode or it could be that the phone is going into those modes by still stays blank.

Could you please advice if there is anything I can do to revive the display of my S4? I just want to make sure that I am not buying the replacement screen without any real issues. Appreciate your kind help. Regards, Imad.

Troubleshooting: Based on reports from S4 owners who have encountered this issue in the past, a blank screen may be caused by either an app or service has gone rogue or crashed, or a physical damage affecting the display and its features. Since we don’t know what the culprit really is, we need to troubleshoot and isolate possible issues. However, the main goal of our troubleshooting is to make the display fire up again with all its colors and functions. Both of our readers specifically mentioned they were using third-party apps when this issue happened, so try to disable all apps first by booting into safe mode.

  1. Turn the device off completely.
  2. Press and hold the Power button.
  3. Once the Samsung Galaxy S4 logo appears on the screen, release the Power button.
  4. As soon as you release the Power button, press and hold the Volume Down key.
  5. Continue holding the Volume Down key until the phone has completed the reboot process.
  6. If you can read ‘Safe Mode‘ at the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume Down key. Otherwise, repeat the process until you can boot the phone to Safe Mode.

If the phone booted up in safe mode successfully with its display lighted up, then it could have been just an app that was causing the problem. Try disabling the app you last used prior to the problem and boot normally. Such procedure usually takes care of problems like this. However, if the safe mode remedy failed or if the display remained black, try booting the phone in recovery mode. You really don’t have to do anything while in recovery mode, you just have to see if the phone is still capable of doing so. If that failed, too, you have to send the phone in for repair as it could be a hardware problem.

Galaxy S4 screen becomes unresponsive

Problem: Hi! I own a Galaxy S4, which is two years old by the way, and I have a problem with it. Starting a few months ago, I already noticed the screen is unresponsive sometimes but I let it go thinking it was just a minor glitch. Then came an update that I thought would fix the issue but it didn’t. The problem continued and about a week ago, the unresponsiveness of the screen became worse as there are times when the screen freezes for a couple of minutes. I verified if it was an unresponsive screen or my device was freezing by pressing the Power or Home button, which the phone responded correctly. In my case, if the screen freezes, the phone will still respond when I hit the Home button or the Power key. My phone was properly taken care of; no drops, no water damage, hasn’t been abused, and only a few apps installed. Can you help me figure out what its problem? And please help me fix it. — Astrid

Related Problem: I have a Galaxy S4 and it’s almost 2 years old. The other day, I notice that the screen is not responding on my touch. I try to press some home screen apps, but it doesn’t even open. Sometimes it works, but most of the time it doesn’t. I also notice that, when it works, when I press an app icon (Facebook) it doesn’t highlight and open what I pressed, but other apps are opening…not the one I press.

Another thing I notice is the notification slide from the top screen is randomly shows and hides. Sometimes it will automatically goes down and when I try to swipe it up, the screen doesn’t work. Please suggest any possible workaround before I send it for repair. Thanks a lot!

Related Problem 2: Hi there. Came across this website and found it quite informative while trying to find a solution to a problem I recently just started to have with my phone. Attached is a picture using S Memo to highlight an area of the touchscreen that has no response to touch. It has been dropped but that was not recent to the S4 developing this issue. Any help or solution will be greatly helpful and appreciated in fixing this problem. Cheers.

Troubleshooting: Hello Astrid! I will address your problem first as it is the entire screen that becomes unresponsive in your phone. I am tempted to believe that it is a hardware problem but it’s absurd to just jump into that conclusion without even performing some troubleshooting procedures to rule out the possibility that one of the apps or services in your phone is crashing affecting the touch screen function of your phone. That said, like any other hardware problem, I want you to boot your Galaxy S4 in safe mode.

  1. Turn the device off completely.
  2. Press and hold the Power button.
  3. Once the Samsung Galaxy S4 logo appears on the screen, release the Power button.
  4. As soon as you release the Power button, press and hold the Volume Down key.
  5. Continue holding the Volume Down key until the phone has completed the reboot process.
  6. If you can read ‘Safe Mode‘ at the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume Down key. Otherwise, repeat the process until you can boot the phone to Safe Mode.

Now that all third-party apps are temporarily disabled, continue using your phone just to observe if there are still unresponsive sessions. If there are, then at least at this point we know it’s not your apps that’s causing the trouble. I have a feeling, however, that you haven’t tried perform factory reset yet. But even if you already did, I want you to do it again just to rule out the possibility that some corrupt data and/or caches are causing this. Of course, backup all important data you have in your phone first.

  1. Switch your phone off.
  2. Hold down the Power, Volume Up and Home buttons at the same time for about 10 seconds. Release them when the Android logo appears on the screen. This will bring up the unlock/reset menu.
  3. To navigate through this menu, use the volume up/down buttons to scroll up and down and the power button to confirm selections.
  4. Scroll down and select Wipe Data/Factory Reset.
  5. Scroll down and select Yes – Delete All User Data.
  6. When prompted, scroll to and select Reboot System Now. The phone will then reboot to its factory settings.

Now, after this procedure and your phone still has unresponsive sessions, it’s time you brought it to a technician and have it checked.

For the other two issues I included here, it looks like there’s a section on the digitizer that’s damaged physically or by liquid. Still, it is recommended you perform factory reset before you send the phone in for repair.

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