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How to fix Samsung Galaxy Note 7 that keeps freezing, rebooting or hanging [Troubleshooting Guide]

Among the most common performance-related issues many #Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (#Note7) users encountered are freezing, hanging and random reboots. Assuming you have one of these and you are one of the people who got the first batch of the Note 7, I strongly suggest you don’t try to troubleshoot your phone. Instead, bring it back to the store and have it replaced. If you’re in the U.S., your provider should have already notified you that Samsung recalled the batch of the device that were first shipped due to battery issues and replacement is for free.

galaxy-note-7-rebooting

Now that we’ve established that, it’s time to set our focus on your “new” unit that’s either freezing, hanging or keeps rebooting. Actually, these issues are among the issues you may encounter sooner or later because the more the device is used, the more data and caches accumulate and these files often get corrupted for some reason. Let’s try to look into these issues and see if the situations I cite here are same as yours.

But before anything else though, if you have other concerns with your new phone, make sure you visit our Note 7 troubleshooting page for we have already answered some of the questions are readers sent us and addressed some of the most common issues with this device. There’s a chance there’s already a solution for your problem. If you can’t find anything that’s related to your issue and you need more help, then you may contact us by completing our Android issues questionnaire. Make sure you provide us with sufficient information about the problem so we can give you accurate solutions.

Fixing Galaxy Note 7 that keeps freezing

When a phone freezes, it may take a few seconds to respond again or not at all. The problem may range from a simple app issue to a more complicated firmware problem wherein the device just won’t respond whatever you do. So, in this category, you can also include a device with black screen and won’t respond. The simple troubleshooting steps below are easy and safe to follow but please proceed at your own risk…

Step 1: Do the forced reboot procedure

For a phone that’s frozen and unresponsive, you need to force it to restart and since the device doesn’t have a removable battery, you need to do a very simple procedure: press and hold the Volume Down button and the Power key for 10 seconds. Assuming there’s enough battery to power the phone up, it should boot up and when it does, that’s the end of the problem.

Step 2: Charge the phone

Should the device remain unresponsive after doing the aforementioned step, then maybe the battery is just too weak to power it up. Therefore, plug the charger in and see if it responds. You’re not actually just trying to charge your phone here but you’re also trying to find out how it reacts when current flows through the circuit. If you can see the usual charging icon on the screen and if the LED notification is lit (regardless whether it’s red or green), then most likely your phone’s hardware is fine and you can just turn it back on after a few minutes. But if that’s not the case, then the next step is necessary.

Step 3: Boot your Note 7 in safe mode

You need to put your device in diagnostic mode so that only pre-installed apps and default services are running. More often, the cause of freezing are third-party apps. While the device is one of the most powerful smartphones in the market today, it is still prone to app crashes, which may also result in firmware crashing.

Booting your device in safe mode will disable everything third-party so if one of them is causing the problem then the phone should be able to boot up without any issues:

  1. Turn your Galaxy Note 7 off.
  2. Press the Power key and hold it past the screen that shows the model name of the device.
  3. When Samsung logo appears, release the Power key and immediately press and hold the Volume down button.
  4. Continue holding the Volume Down button until the device successfully booted up.
  5. Once you see “Safe mode” on the bottom left corner of the display, release the Volume Down button.

What if the phone still freezes in safe mode despite the successfully boot up process? Well, the next step will take care of it…

Step 3: Perform the factory reset on your Note 7

Yes, a reset is necessary at this point. Your device may be new but it seems the firmware is pretty much messed up, so you need to bring it back to the default settings and that’s something a reset is best at. A reset through the Settings menu is enough to fix this problem:

  1. Backup your data and files saved in the phone’s internal storage.
  2. Remove your Google account to deactivate the anti-theft function of the phone.
  3. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  4. Find and touch Settings.
  5. Go to Cloud and accounts.
  6. Touch Backup and reset.
  7. Tap Factory data reset, then Reset device.
  8. If you have turned on the screen lock, enter your PIN or password.
  9. Touch Continue.
  10. Touch Delete All.

I hope this helps.

Fixing Note 7 that keeps hanging

When you say your phone is “hanging” it means it actually freezes momentarily but you can regain control after a few seconds. For instance you’re watching a video and the playback stutters but not because of the internet connection but due to a performance problem that affects the playback.

Basically, it’s less serious than freezing and more often than not, it’s third-party apps that cause it unlike the freezing problem that might be caused by a problem issue. So, for this, this is what you’re going to do:

Step 1: Reboot your phone in safe mode

It’s more of a confirmation than discovery because we already know that most of the time the cause of hanging is apps and we’re just trying to isolate whether it’s a pre-installed app that’s causing it or third-party.

  1. Turn your Galaxy Note 7 off.
  2. Press the Power key and hold it past the screen that shows the model name of the device.
  3. When Samsung logo appears, release the Power key and immediately press and hold the Volume down button.
  4. Continue holding the Volume Down button until the device successfully booted up.
  5. Once you see “Safe mode” on the bottom left corner of the display, release the Volume Down button.

While in this state, observe the phone closely to see if there are still instances wherein it hangs or momentarily freezes and if so, then it could be the pre-installed apps that have issues or it could be the firmware. Continue using your phone but be mindful of the apps you use. There must be an app that triggers it and if you can find that app, clear it’s cache and data and that usually fixes this kind of problem. Otherwise, you need to do the next step:

Step 2: Do the factory reset

If the problem occurs in safe mode, then you have no other choice but to reset your phone to eliminate the hanging and momentary stutters. Just make sure you backup your files and data that you don’t want to lose before you follow the steps below:

  1. Backup your data and files saved in the phone’s internal storage.
  2. Remove your Google account to deactivate the anti-theft function of the phone.
  3. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  4. Find and touch Settings.
  5. Go to Cloud and accounts.
  6. Touch Backup and reset.
  7. Tap Factory data reset, then Reset device.
  8. If you have turned on the screen lock, enter your PIN or password.
  9. Touch Continue.
  10. Touch Delete All.

Fixing Note 7 that random reboots

Random reboots and restarts are often a sign of a more serious firmware issue, although for minor cases, it’s often that caches that need to be cleared. If the problem is more serious, then you need to reformat both the cache and data partitions and this will delete everything in your device and makes it like brand new although basically, it’s just like a reset.

There are still things you need to do to further probe what the problem is and here are the things needed to be done:

Step 1: Restart in safe mode

As always, it would be helpful to know if you’re dealing with third-party or pre-installed apps but it would like a confirmation that it really is an app that’s causing it because if the phone still randomly restarts even in safe mode, then it’s more of a firmware issue.

But if the problem is fixed in safe mode, just find the app that’s causing it and uninstall it. Begin your search from the the most recent installation then move on to the next until you can find it.

Step 2: Wipe the cache partition

Assuming the problem occurs in safe mode, the next thing you got to do is try to clear the system cache by wiping the cache partition. You don’t have to worry about losing your data because you won’t. System caches are files created by the system and therefore dispensable. You can delete them with adverse effects to the performance. The irony is it’s even better that you delete the system cache from time to time to make sure those caches are new and compatible with the system. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
  2. Press and then hold the Home and Volume UP keys, then press and hold the Power key. NOTE: It doesn’t matter how long you press and hold the Home and Volume Up keys, it won’t affect the phone but by the time you press and hold the Power key, that’s when the phone starts to respond.
  3. When the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume Up keys.
  4. When the Android logo shows, you may release both keys and leave the phone be for about 30 to 60 seconds. NOTE: The “Installing system update” message may show on the screen for several seconds before displaying the Android system recovery menu. This is just the first phase of the entire process.
  5. Using the Volume Down button, highlight the option ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power key to select it.
  6. Use the Volume Down button again to highlight ‘yes’ and press the Power key to select.
  7. It may take a few seconds to completely wipe the cache partition so wait a little.
  8. Once completed, the option ‘Reboot system now’ must be highlighted, so press the Power button to restart your phone.
  9. The Note 7 will then boot up normally.

Step 3: Do the master reset

If the wiping of the cache partition didn’t fix the problem, then it’s time you did something that will bring the phone back to its original settings and reformat the data partition–master reset. Just like the normal reset, you will lose everything that is stored in your phone’s internal storage so make sure you back them up before following these steps:

  1. Backup your data and files saved in the phone’s internal storage.
  2. Remove your Google account to deactivate the anti-theft function of the phone.
  3. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
  4. Press and then hold the Home and Volume UP keys, then press and hold the Power key. NOTE: It doesn’t matter how long you press and hold the Home and Volume Up keys, it won’t affect the phone but by the time you press and hold the Power key, that’s when the phone starts to respond.
  5. When the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume Up keys.
  6. When the Android logo shows, you may release both keys and leave the phone be for about 30 to 60 seconds. NOTE: The “Installing system update” message may show on the screen for several seconds before displaying the Android system recovery menu. This is just the first phase of the entire process.
  7. Using the Volume Down button, highlight the option ‘wipe data / factory reset’’ and press the Power key to select it.
  8. Press the Volume Down button a few times to highlight ‘Yes — delete all user data’ and press the Power key to select it.
  9. It may take a few seconds to complete the reset so just wait.
  10. Once completed, the option ‘Reboot system now’ must be highlighted, so press the Power button to restart your phone.
  11. The Note 7 will then boot up normally.

I hope this helps.

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