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How To Fix Samsung Galaxy S4 That Keeps Rebooting or Stuck in Boot Loop

galaxy-s4-restarting-boot-loopIf you recently updated your Galaxy S4 to Android 5 Lollipop and it keeps rebooting randomly or stuck in boot loop, this is the article you should read: How to fix Samsung Galaxy S4 that is stuck in boot loop after lollipop update.

A Samsung Galaxy S4 that is stuck in boot loop or keeps shutting down and restarting over and over again could either have corrupt data in its memory or has problems with its hardware. The former can easily be fixed while the latter would require help from a repairman…and a lot of patience.

The thing about boot loop problems is that they are so annoying and frustrating. Every time your phone boots you fear it might not come on and you’re afraid to turn it off for the same reason. But as far as the software and corrupt data are concerned, we can do something for them.

Here is an email from one of our readers who recently experienced this problem:

Dear Harold,

I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 that yesterday suddenly switched itself off (battery power of over 70%) it then constantly tried to start itself, shut itself down again, in a never ending loop. I took out the battery and then it worked for a short time and the it all started again. Do you have any suggestions on what is causing this to occur? I have installed no new apps.

Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

Kind regards

Sofia

To add to the conversation, here’s a comment from one of our readers via the mailbag. Shane wrote:

Just to add further debate to your article, after contacting Samsung Support Australia, and having read several forums concerning the issue, I was able to confirm the problem primarily arises to due to a swollen battery. Samsung have confirmed an issue relating to certain batches of the stock battery, and to date have replaced tens of thousands of batteries for customers using a Galaxy S4.

Troubleshooting Guide

Basically, we don’t know what the problem really is that is why the first thing we should do is to determine what caused the Samsung Galaxy S4 to be stuck in boot loop. But then again, we have already narrowed it down so we will have to set our focus on the software side.

Step 1: Boot to Safe Mode

Booting the Samsung Galaxy S4 to safe mode will disable all third-party applications the owner installed on the phone leaving only the apps and services necessary for the phone to function well.

If you were able to boot to safe mode and the phone didn’t restart, there is a possibility that a third party app is causing the boot loop. However, to confirm this, you need to let the device run in safe mode for at least an hour and observe closely its functions or if it would reboot all by itself.

  1. To boot the Galaxy S4 to safe mode, follow this:
  2. Turn the device off completely.
  3. Press and hold the Power button.
  4. Once the Samsung Galaxy S4 logo appears on the screen, release the Power button.
  5. As soon as you release the Power button, press and hold the Volume Down key.
  6. Continue holding the Volume Down key until the phone has completed the reboot process.
  7. 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 you were able to boot into Safe Mode and haven’t experienced the problem while in it, proceed to step 2. However, if the device still reboots even when in Safe Mode or if it fails to enter safe mode even if you did the steps right, proceed to steps 3 and 4 directly.

Step 2: Disable Third Party Application

If you were able to boot the phone to Safe Mode and the problem didn’t happen again, there is a big possibility that a third-party app has gone rogue and is causing all the troubles. But the first thing you should do is to determine which app it is. There is no easy way to do it but recall which app you downloaded and installed recently. However, if you cannot recall which one, you need to disable every third-party app you have one-by-one starting with the ones you often use.

Disabling an app won’t delete your data, you’re simply preventing it from running on your system but it is as good as uninstalling it. The difference is you can enable it back and retain all your data and settings.

To disable an app on a Samsung Galaxy S4, follow this:

  1. Go back to the Home screen, then tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap Settings, then More tab.
  3. Tap Application Manager.
  4. Swipe to right once to choose All tab. (Other tabs are Downloaded and Running.)
  5. Scroll up or down to look for the app you suspected of causing the boot loop.
  6. Tap the Disable button.

If you were able to find the app that’s causing the boot loop, don’t uninstall it just yet but instead clear its cache and data and see if that solves the problem. If it doesn’t, then uninstall it.

In case the problem is not with the third-party apps, start looking into stock Samsung and Google apps. But to make things easier for you in this case, proceed to steps 3 and 4.

Step 3: Wipe Cache Partition 

After you’ve installed and uninstalled a lot of apps on your phone, lots of cached data may have already been stored in the cache partition and there is always a possibility of corruption. Once that happens, the phone may start acting weird and the only way to solve it is to wipe cache partition.

While this step may not have been so familiar as compared to the one that follows, it is very helpful in resolving Android problems that couldn’t be solved by simply doing the hard reset, although it’s not as hassling as the latter because personal data will be kept intact and the owner won’t have to set the phone up again.

Wiping cache partition will delete data stored by apps but don’t get me wrong, a new set of data will be cached once you start using an app. So, basically, you do this to replace the data cached on your phone. And to do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Turn the phone off completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons.
  3. Release the Power button when the phone vibrates but continue holding on to the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  4. When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release both the Home and Volume Up buttons.
  5. Using the Volume Down key, highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  6. Press the Power button to select the option.
  7. The phone will automatically restart once cache data are wiped out.

If this step can’t resolve the problem, proceed to the last step.

Step 4: Master / Hard Reset 

This is the last resort simply because it will require more effort to do. What I mean is that you will need to backup all data you don’t want to lose along the process. Factory reset or hard reset will delete your personal settings, app data, contacts, messages, etc. In short, it will bring your phone back to its default settings. Here’s how you do a master reset using hardware keys:

  1. Turn the phone off completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons.
  3. Release the Power button when the phone vibrates but continue holding on to the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  4. When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release both the Home and Volume Up buttons.
  5. Using the Volume Down key, highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  6. Press the Power button to select it.
  7. Using the Volume Down button again, highlight ‘delete all user data.’
  8. Press the Power key to select it.
  9. Once the reset is complete, choose ‘Reboot system now.’
  10. Press the Power button to restart the phone.

If you find these steps a little complicated for you to follow, please seek guidance from those who know or from a technician. You can also bring the phone where you bought it and have the store’s technical support help you.

My colleague here at The Droid Guy also wrote an article about this problem before: Samsung Galaxy S4 Stuck in Boot Loop.

Tell us your problems

The solutions we provided here are based on reports and testimonies from owners who have encountered these problems. I also ask my XDA developer friends regarding some of the problems. Now if you have other problems or questions with your smartphone that you want answered, don’t hesitate to send us email at mailbag@thedroidguy.com.

We don’t guarantee a reply to all emails because we receive hundreds of them daily, but rest assured your email messages will be read by me. But I urge you to provide as much details as possible so I could easily find references and compare your problems with reports from other owners. If your problem is as common as others, there could already be solutions that exist and I would surely point you to them. Screenshots often help so attach one if you can.

19 Comments

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  1. Phone is stuck on recovery mode..no matter what I do it doesn’t get off that screen.?I’ve even tried taking out battery all day and sim card, holding the power button doesn’t even work.

  2. hi my problem is mostly solved the only problem now is that the app that i was deleted doesnt delete. i tried the way i always delete app throught aplication manager but when i hit delete the loading screen comes on and it stays like that for the whole time. then i tried to delete it with play store but the same thing happens. how can i delete the app?

  3. My Problem is the same as mentioned above,but the reboot process is so fast,that is not leaving me for anything to do,it is stucked and continuously rebooting,dont know what to do…..

  4. my Samsung galaxy S4 min won’t factor reset. show errors format message. what can I do?

  5. I just restart my samsung s4 but the problem is i cant use data connection it keep asking to use WIFI only and i cant even make a call

  6. I’m having some serious issues…searched on google! found no one having the same problem…

    My device is Samsung galaxy grand neo

    I had the bootloop (samsung logo stuck) issue….but u fixed it up by flashing with stock rom….first 2 days was fine the phone was working nicely…but then the real problem comes out….

    The phone automaticly restarts and goes back to it’s previous stats….I know this kind of wierd!! i had installed some apps…now if i uninstall them…they come back after restart….nothing is saving i click photos make progress in game ..but every thing goes back where it was!!

    Please help me out…thanks for reading

  7. Hi.

    I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 mini and it’s stuck in a reboot loop. I’ve tried all of the above, the only thing that moves past the reboot issues the following:
    “Warning!!! A custom OS……
    Volume up: Continue
    Volume down: Cancel (restart phone)”

    I’ve tried both options, volume up (which gives me a “downloading, please do not turn off target” message) and volume down (which returns into the reboot loop).

    Really not sure what else I can do? Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks

  8. I wiped partitions, didoes not restart following. I keep trying to boot in safe mode, and it falls in a boot loop resorts, logo appears for 2 seconds shuts off. I continue holding the menus buttons through the restart. Continues I regularly restart and it takes 3-4 min to boot, and I can use its functions for about 45 seconds then it starts to lag extremely, and shows error messages for any apps I was using (standard system and installed apps) until late eventually I have to shut it down manually….

  9. I have tried many time but I can’t finished loop in j3 20H this Is giving me warning that #A costom os can cause critical problems in phone and installed application

  10. i have a Lenovo A5000 , yesterday i updated my phone , while its updating i ejected the sdcard and the update stopped and it says ( error ) . now my phone wont open . it appears lenovo logo and stuck . when i press the volume down it keeps restarting and stuck on the logo . when i press volume up key it appears :
    select boot mode volume up to select volume down is ok
    recovery mood
    fastboot mood
    norml boot
    and i cant choose anything .

  11. I have Samsung S4 + T-Mobile service and the reboot problem. In early March, T-Mobile pushed a software update (surprising, given the age of the phone and OS). This was not an upgrade to Lollipop, the T-Mobile helpdesk said it was a security update from Samsung. They walked me through clearing cache and factory reset, but the problem persists. Thanks Samsung, you broke my phone!

    It seems like the problem is in the battery/power logic. When I plug in, battery icon = 0%, then 30 sec later it shows 91%. But, if I reboot when plugged in, it comes up. I think the phone shuts down because it thinks it has 0% battery, but being plugged in bypasses that logic. The phone is still flakey (reboots 1/week), but this may give you a chance to save your pics and data.

  12. My Samsung galaxy s4 power button wouldn’t work yesterday at all when the phone was on. So I powered it down by pulling the battery out to get it to reboot. After I did that I could not get it to power on at all. After some research I found that pulling the battery and putting it back in would get the Samsung logo to pop up for about 3 seconds, then just a black screen. One step further I tried the recovery mode which it starts to do then goes black. I also tried the volume down hold as I put the battery in which gives me the custom OS message then it goes black after the same three seconds. Also tried slipping in the battery while holding power, up volume, and the home key with the same results after 3 seconds. I’m lost as to what I should try next. Has anyone had this problem before? Also if I try plugging it in like normal with battery in it it will do nothing. No charge light indicator or battery level charge popular on the screen. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  13. That’s not how you boot to safe mode your way completely bricked my phone, doesn’t even respond tot he charger any more

  14. Hello I use an s4 and it suddenly became restarting by itself. . I uninstaled Facebook because most of the times the page crashed while I’m using it. The problem stopped after a week I re installed the Facebook app and the problem started but in a constant way.. and the pictures in my memory crashed and deleted by their own .. probably I will have to format the device.

  15. My phone stopped working after being charged. Would not go beyond Samsung intro screen even with new battery. Could not get the phone into safe mode so did step 4 hard reset. Was able to select factory reset and then select reboot. Now phone will not turn on or vibrate at all. Completely dead. So much for resetting!

  16. I had the same issue with the shutting down, reboot loop – tried hard reset several times – nothing worked – ordered a new battery – slapped it in – problem solved – 7 months later – same issue – happened 4 days ago – ordered new battery – this time, problem not solved – nothing is working now, wiped the cache and every other solution given on all websites – such crap! even did a hard reset b/c I can’t access the phone anyway – didn’t help – gonna buy an iphone!

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