How to fix Samsung Galaxy Note 4 that won’t turn on [Troubleshooting Guide]

Your Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is one of the most powerful and most elegant pieces of technology available in the market today but it becomes totally useless if it won’t turn on or power up. Electricity is literally the lifeline of every electronic device and if the accessory that holds that power isn’t functioning the way it should, then you just wasted several hundred dollars.


In this post, I will guide you through troubleshooting a Galaxy Note 4 that won’t turn on. The purpose of troubleshooting is to find out what the problem really is and develop a strategy how to fix it once discovered. Considering the fact we’re dealing with an expensive device, we will take the safest route to troubleshoot it. It means that we won’t guide you through doing something risky that might even make things worse than they are now.

The troubleshooting procedure I use in this post is the guide that we technicians follow to make sure the problem won’t get worse in case we need intervention from the manufacturer’s engineers. Just remember, this post doesn’t guarantee your problem will be fixed but give you an idea what the real issue is so that you can explain to a tech what happens. Information is needed for issues to be fixed especially hardware-related problems.

If, however, you have other concerns with your phone, visit our Galaxy Note 4 Troubleshooting page as it contains a lot of problems we already addressed before. Try the solutions we provided first and if they didn’t work for you, then email us at mailbag@thedroidguy.com. This service is for free so you won’t be charged. However, we ask you to provide all necessary details about your problem and your phone so we know where to start our search for solution.

So now, let’s proceed to troubleshoot your Galaxy Note 4 that won’t turn on. Here are the steps…

  1. Perform the soft reset
  2. Plug the phone to charge
  3. Plug the phone to a computer (optional)
  4. Try a different USB cable
  5. Try booting the phone in safe mode
  6. Boot the phone in recovery mode

Step 1: Perform the soft reset

This procedure is effective for minor firmware- and hardware-related glitches and it’s safe. None of your data will be deleted if you did this. The procedure is actually very basic as it is mainly a reboot with a twist. Here’s how you do it…

  1. Remove the battery from your Galaxy Note 4.
  2. Press and hold the Power key for a minute once the battery is out.
  3. Place the battery back in once the time elapsed.
  4. Attempt to turn the phone on.

Again, if the problem was caused by a minor firmware or hardware glitch, the device should power up now. Otherwise, there’s something more serious going on with your phone.

The soft reset actually just drains stored electricity from components especially capacitors and that refreshes the phone’s memory. But as I said earlier, it’s safe and none of your data will be touched.

Step 2: Plug the phone to charge

Before proceeding, let us rule out the possibility that it’s just a drained battery problem by plugging the phone in to charge. Of course, use the original charger and USB cable when charging the phone normally.

This procedure can actually tell right on if there’s a problem with the device’s hardware. If the usual charging indicators like the LED or the charging icon on the screen won’t show up, then we can almost assume it’s a hardware issue. If they show up, then there’s still hope you can fix this problem without visiting a tech.

Whether those charging signs show or not, let the phone charge for at least 10 minutes and then attempt to turn the phone on. If it still refused to power back up, then proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Plug the phone to a computer (optional)

This procedure is optional because you only do this if the phone refused to charge or didn’t display the usual charging signs when you plugged it in to the wall outlet. It rules out the possibility that there’s a problem with the outlet preventing the phone to charge.

While computers don’t give out as much current as the charger, it would still be enough to make the phone respond. If it didn’t, then proceed to the next step.

Step 4: Try a different USB cable

Assuming you tried charging the phone through the outlet and computer and it refused to charge, it’s time you rule out the possibility that it’s a damaged USB cable that’s preventing the charge and that the problem might be just a drained battery issue.

Try a different USB cable to know if the device is still capable of charging because if not, then at this point in time, you should already consider having the phone checked by a technician.

Step 5: Try booting the phone in safe mode

Remember, the main issue here is that the phone won’t turn on. It means it won’t respond if you pressed the Power key; the screen won’t light up and the device remains dead and unusable. So, our main focus here is to bring the phone back to life.

Assuming some of the apps you downloaded caused the problem, booting in safe mode will actually make the phone respond. So try this procedure to find out if the phone could power up.

  1. Turn off the phone completely.
  2. Press and hold the Power key and the Volume Down key.
  3. When the phone starts to boot, release the Power key but continue holding the Vol Down key until the phone finished restarting.
  4. Safe mode will be displayed at the lower left corner; you may release the Volume Down key now.

If the phone still refused to power on, then, proceed to the last step.

Final Step: Boot the phone in recovery mode

This procedure will attempt to boot the phone up to its barebones. It means that the device will be booted up without loading the usual Android GUI. This is the final step so if it failed, then there’s nothing much you can do about the device but to let the technician sort things out for you.

You don’t need to do anything if the phone booted up in recovery mode successfully. All we wanted to know if it still capable of powering all its components up. Here’s how you boot in recovery…

  1. Turn off the Galaxy Note 4 completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home keys together, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Note 4 vibrates, release both the Home and Power keys but continue holding the Volume Up key.
  4. When the Android System Recovery shows on the screen, release the Vol Up key.

At this point, you’ve done all the basic troubleshooting procedures. If your phone powered back up, then that’s good news. Otherwise, send the phone in for repair.

Having problems with your phone that won’t turn on?

We can help you troubleshoot. We already published troubleshooting guides for the following devices:

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  1. My Samsung Galaxy Note 4 I updated it last night and when I woke up it wouldn’t turn on so I took the battery out twice then it turned on but it stayed at the powering on screen and it never got farther than that kept on restarting at the powering on screen and so I took out the battery a few times I did the restart thing where you take out the battery hold it for a minute and put it back in and turn all the way on to the home screen and then froze and then turned off and then we turned on again it like scream at us and a green bar went through the whole middle part of the phone now it’s off again can you help me

  2. I appreciate all of your work on this sight and you actually caring about people being able to use the phones. I was looking when they , first came out for an unlocked one cuz I was living in both Cali & Costa Rica , Samsung told my friend in the states to have service like in the states or just a Note 4 I was wanting to use it as my journal and my notebook & camera and then as my phone… well they told my friend 11 hundred for the phone and to have service in both countries I would have to pay 11 hundred a month too… but I did end up paying in November 800 for a unlocked phone… now after this upgrade that I think decided to clog my phone up I can not get my contacts even off of it 3 second is as long as it stays on … so I tried the partition cache wipping , and it would not stay on long enough for me to reboot after it had 77% battery and now it just goes black moments after trying to get it to do the recovery mode and will not do a safe start at all
    thank you much for even a good tech within a 50 mile radius of Long Beach CA
    Thank You Again
    Sincerely Kurt

  3. I tried wipimg the cache partition, but it died just prior to reboot and that damned droid comes on, saying it needs to update,
    prior the the O.S. So Called Upgrade, my SM N910T UD So I charged the battery again and from 77% battery and 3 more tries at wiping the Cache , it was back to Zero battery… safe mode and recovery mode well recovery mode, it vibrates, and holding the volume up button , the droid comes out and then fades away and screen turns Black….
    Trust I would appreciate any kind of help heck even a good tech in the areas of Anaheim or Long Beach, CA…
    Sincerely Kurt

  4. My phone just died on me. There was no light blinking at all. All my treasured photos n videos are still inside it. Same message as Youcef.
    I will try what Youcef did as a last resort before i send it to the technician.

  5. mine was :
    Could not do normal boot
    Ddi : mmc_read filed
    after that + Completely dead phone , Not charging NOTHING worked so if anything of this steps did not worked for you : TRY put the PHONE in the FRIDGE About 10 min then put the battery back in and press On bouton . if the phone boot on Downloed mode try to flash a stock roms , with odin 3.10.7 . and that is caused generally after Android 6 update, and it caused by Hardware !! mine still do rebooting . try to wipe data factory reset again and Contact samsung !!

  6. I followed the volume-home key-power thing and it didn’t work. Did the thing where you pull battery, hold power button down one minute, return battery and try and turn on – still doesn’t work. Didn’t work with the two minute version, didn’t work with the three minute version. Tried six times, doesn’t work. Have to send the Galaxy Note 4 back as lease is up (and I have switched to a new carrier), and I need to wipe the info off the phone. Any suggestions?

  7. I am having an issue with my note 4 to the point that even though I plug it in even to my computer and have a good battery there is still not a charge light. I can’t seem to turn on the phone or access it from the PC to wipe what ever memory that I have on the current internal memory before I sent it into the manufacturer for my insurance claim. Any suggestions?

  8. Thank you for posting this, as it was very helpful in helping me reboot my phone. I had no idea how to get it turned back on. You saved me a lot of stress

  9. Thank you much! Step 5 did it. I got some bum scoop from another site, and started to get a little anxious. We are all good now.


  10. thanks Step 1 worked for me. I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and ever since the Marshmallow update it has been acting extra glitchy…

  11. Thanks for the tip about holding the power button for a minute. I was taking battery out and letting it sit for a few minutes to drain but 1 minute button press is faster!
    Also, yeah, it allows it to power up, but the same damn thing keeps happening over and over again. I can run it all day long without it powering off if I leave the charger cable plugged in but soon after unplugging charger it might go back to powered off. The battery can be 100% and it’ll still do this. Also I have three different batteries to use so it ain’t the battery unless all Ankor batteries are doing this. (the original Sansung battery just got flakey and unreliable).
    Also I know all us Androiders hate to hear this, but I finally bought a iPhone 6s Plus. No I am not happy with it, but after Note 2 died … and now Note 4 is flakey and Note 5 does not allow battery removal … I just gave up on my beloved Notes.

  12. One think I’ve discovered… you should have charged battery to do any of your 5 steps. Mine was totally dead and even not excepting charge in any way. I was working on that solution for about 3 days and was even ready to garbage the phone… The last think I did put in my wife battery and finally it helps!

  13. Thank you! Was able to fix at step one! Your site is so helpful to those of us that are technologically challenged!

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