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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.

54 Comments

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. Since I’m not very savvy, i lost all my pics when I reset the phone. I know that it CLEARLY says that you can’t get things back when you restart but is this absolutely true? Is there a way to get my pics back. Thank you

  8. my s4 mini duos gt-i9192 suddently shutdowned.after that it won’t turned on for three for days
    after 4 days i connected the phone to charger.its turned on and stuck on the welcome screen and looped on there.i can’t get the recover mode but i can enter download mode. when trying to enter recovery mode top left corner showing ” Recovery Booting….. ” and restart in to the loop
    pls give any solution asap
    thanx
    rayan

  9. My Samsung Galaxy note edge keeps restarting automatically over and over again,I tried all of the following above but it still happen.My battery is swollen,Is that the problem do I have to buy a new one?

  10. my samsung galaxy s4 mini is stuck in the boot loong and i skipped to step 3 but its not downloading so i can clear the cache, any suggestions ?

  11. I had this problem with my phone keep rebooting and it felt and looked like the power button was sticking. It turned out it was just that it had dirt and bad contact inside. I took the phone apart and sprayed some of this cleaner in the button itself. Press the button a bunch of times to work it in. Phone works good as new and saved me $50 getting it fixed. Best stuff for button contacts. It is my new WD-40 for electronics. D5S6 Deoxit Contact Cleaner Spray I’m sold on it,

  12. I had the same problem. If you have a boot loop problem and it does not go beyond the white charging logo(while charging) or the Samsung Galaxy S4 logo and restarts. Here it the solution. Your phone has developed a hardware problem at the pin connector. Its some metallic dirt in the pin connector of your phone. What you should do it remove the battery and take a needle and slowly run the pins of the connector. Make sure you don’t bend or damage anything. Once you are through. You may blow some air through it. No need for hot air. A simple dry blow will be just fine. If all looks good, put the battery back in and power on the phone. It should work now. Make sure you use a suitable charger pin so that the problem does not repeat again.

  13. i have done the step 1, and success turn on my phone. and i touch the notification of safe mode and then i follow the instruction to restar my phone. and then phone restar, and then my phone turned on again. but the power button is is not response. and i tried to fix it by realease the battery.but the problem my phone is bootloop again. and i trrie to do the step 1 again, but is not working. how about it?

  14. I have galaxy grand 2 and i had same problem…I have done everything on this page but nothing happened…do i have a hardware issue or just a software issue>

  15. Went down the options and eventually had to restore the factory settings. It was still a much better option than getting a new phone. Thanks for posting this!

  16. Had to do the dreaded “Step 4” and lost most of my data (couldn’t back it up because I couldn’t get to the back-up screen in the short run time between rebooting), but it WORKED and saved me a couple hundred dollars.
    THANK YOU!

  17. Had to do a hard reset to fix my endless reboot. Thank you for having the correct instructions on how to do so.

  18. Stay clear from Samsung phones, they’re slow and constantly reboot. Stupid battery and kernel panic issues.

  19. As soon as you put battery in, the phone continuously vibrates with blank screen. I tried har reset and nothing, the phone doesn’t start up, could the power button be stuck and it is trying to boot up?

  20. I had the same issue. The phone rebooting every 10 seconds. I tried to boot into download mode, but as soon as the menu showed up, it again rebooted, even before I could select the wipe cache option. I selected the default menu item ‘reboot’ very quickly within fraction of a second, the phone rebooted and I am all set now. Even removing battery did not work for me. But reboot from menu worked.

  21. After trying a lot of different things, this solved it for me too!!!! Thanks, Matthew!
    But I have a question about the SD card itself. Obviously it has gone bad. What will happen when I insert it into my ultrabook to see if I can save any data? Will the laptop (also Samsung) crash too when it tries to read it?

  22. I found a really easy solution to the battery drain, shut off at 30-70% problem. At least it worked for me. Just simply turn ON your battery saving mode under settings. Since I’ve done this, there hasn’t been this problem on my s4.

  23. I have a Samsung galaxy s4,my phones keeps getting start by itself but its not starting completely it show the SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 and then switches off itself.I am unable restore it also.And its happening in loop.What should I do,its irritating.

  24. hi my S4 after doing a hard reset and wipe it gone blank now nothing is working even it is not showing the charging symbols or anything

  25. Thank you for this! I tried Safe Mode, which worked thankfully, then I noticed I had 21 apps waiting for update so after updating all of those it hasn’t shut off again yet. Appreciate your assistance.

  26. hi, I am from india, i have Samsung Galaxy 4 (19506), I got pop up to install Lollipop and i did. Now my phone is not rebooting. Putting device PIN which i have set but its not taking. tried doing the same in safe mode but not phone is not accepting PIN…I dont want to wipe off….can you please help ?

  27. I am brasilian!!! I have a S4 too… my problem is: I put the batery… the celular is on a samsung screen e then, the screen become black! nothing happens then!

  28. Omg i had same problem just that i istall app twr and we i was gonna factory resset only that app stay stuck now can used my cell pluss i rebboot it and just logo comes out pls hepl.

  29. Same here. Also dont have an SD Card and am trying to fix this.

    Please let me know if you come up with a solution .

  30. I don’t have an SD card and Im still having the same problem. Tried all the steps above but it still turns itself off and the loop begins again. Any suggestions?

  31. Nope… I took the phone to a repair shop… they ran diagnostics and concluded that the bootloader is ruined, which means the phone can’t be fixed. If your phone is covered by warranty, then you may be lucky and be able to get it fixed. Otherwise, you probably need a new phone, which is my case.

  32. Did you get a solution for your problem?? i am also stuck with the same problem…! as soon as i put my battery in, it tries to restart and goes in an endless loop…

  33. I have a samsung gs4 and it will not let me past the start up screen even with doing the “volume up, home and power button” it will then turn on with the blue recovery booting text on the top left hand corner but will still stay frozen. using the volume down key takes me to a custom option. At a loss here.

  34. Okay.. i need help .My galaxy s 4 constantly reboots. The Galaxy s 4 title will pop up and then screen will go black blue light in corner will come on and it repeats this process. This has happened to me about 3 or 4 times in the last 2 days. I dont know what i have done but i did something this morning when this happened and it started and has worked until now. (10 p.m.) It has been stuck in this process for almost a hour and everything i have tried will not help. About 2 months ago i did factory reset because of viruses and it has worked fine until 2 days ago. Anyone have the same issue or know whats going on? All steps do not work. Honestly i dont want to factory reset again i already have. Battery is good. SD card is good. Took it out and checked on boh. My phone will try to start like after the Galaxy s 4 title you can see a split second of the blue and purple halo thing afterwards and then it will shut off and repeat again. Sometimes you see the glimpse and sometimes you dont.

  35. Hello, I have a Samsung S4 and it is stuck under a boot loop. I tried to do the steps above but I can’t. The phone would shut itself down in about three seconds. As a result, I do not have enough time to do any of the steps. Can you please help me?

  36. My samsung galaxy s4 boots and when it reaches home screen, it just keeps on blinking. i can go to settings and modify settings but when i try to acces any applications, i get an error that says xxxxxxx.android.process stopped working or something to that effect

  37. I just had this issue and the above mentioned fixes did not help. Come to find out that the SD card had gone bad and when the phone tried to look at the data on the card it would crash and restart. Took the card out and the issue has not recurred.

  38. I have exactly the same problem – S4 is three months old, bought in Feb 2014. Battery is not flat, and gets into an endless reboot cycle. I can only escape this by rebooting when connected to charger.
    This crash happens when using camera modes that require processing (e.g. HDR mode or Panorama mode), that I guess are quite hungry on compute power and therefore cause a high drain on the battery.

  39. Hey everyone, I had the same problem for a few weeks, My S4 GT-I9505 after 6 months would experience significant battery drain, and then I’d constantly go into a boot restart as I attempted to use my phone for at least 5 – 10 minutes. The only way I could stop my phone from constantly rebooting is by plugging it into the charger.

    When I plug it in initially, I get a battery icon that says that my better is completely dead, and then a few seconds later, it shows the correct battery level. Any way, I checked my battery, and the battery was swollen. The serial number for my battery was BD1D520JS/2-B.

    I had my battery replaced, and so far the discharge of my battery appears normal, and I haven’t had to recharge my phone as yet after at least 6 hours. Previously I was connected to a charged at least every 45 minutes to an hour. S, check your battery first, and if swollen, or it bears a similar serial number, do a battery change wit ha different serial number.

  40. Swollen battery, same here. Helps to take it out and keep it out for a while, but eventually the reset loop starts again. Replacing the battery is the solution.

    In my case, it also seems to be related to cold weather. I live abroad in a very hot climate and it always works fine, but twice this winter I’ve gone on holiday to cold countries with snow, and that’s when the problem occurs.

  41. Shane has hit the problem on the head.
    I have a Galaxy S4 which suddenly cut out and started trying to reboot, but wouldn’t go past the Samsung S4 logo before cutting out and starting again, and wouldn’t respond to the Power on/off button. I tried removing the battery and reinstalling, but no change – same loop once the power switch had been pressed. I tried removing the battery and leaving it out for over 5 minutes, and then booted up in safe mode. This worked, and I deleted the cache on the e-mail app that I had been using when the S4 first cut out, and a few other recent apps’ caches (though none of the apps had been causing a problem over several weeks). I rebooted normally (not in safe mode) and all was OK for a minute or so, then blank screen and the cycle started again. The longer I left the battery out, the further I got. Then I read the comment by Shane that he ‘was able to confirm the problem primarily arises to due to a swollen battery.’ I took the battery out and felt it – it didn’t seem quite flat. I put in on a flat surface and, sure enough, it rocked. Fortunately I have a spare battery, so took it out – sides are flat (doesn’t rock). I installed it and, hey presto, the phone boots up and works just fine. Now all I need to do is find out how to get Samsung to replace my 3 month old battery . . .
    So before you go deleting apps or hitting the factory reset, check whether your battery has swollen. If it has, just get a new battery and all will be well.

  42. I have a Samsung Galaxy 4, it has started to run data or something, starts in top right hand corner and runs down the right side. I can not stop it. I was told to make sure I had downloaded all the updates, Done. Still won’t stop…

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