Samsung Galaxy S4 Camera Crashes When Taking Photos

One of the most common problems with Samsung’s 2012 flagship was the frequent crashes of the camera and it seems like the issue is starting to plague Galaxy S4 owners, too. One of our readers emailed us describing this problem. According to him, every time he takes a photo, the stock camera app crashes / force closes without apparent reason. So we decided to look into the matter closely as we have already received emails of the same nature.

Here is the actual email from our reader:

Hey TDG,

I recently have a problem with my Galaxy S4. I don’t know what triggered it but starting yesterday every time I snap a picture, the camera app just crashes on me.

There is no problem when I launch the app it’s just that when started taking photos it will automatically close itself down and brings me to the Home screen. My hobby is taking photos and I often use my phone so I can share them immediately (thanks to Instagram). This problem is actually bugging me beyond my limits so I need your help.

Any suggestion that’s coming from you I would do. I hate sending my phone back to my provider because it would take weeks before I can have it back. I hope it’s not really that serious.

As of now, I have already backed up everything in it. Just tell me what to do and I will do it. Thanks.


Clearly, it’s a camera app issue and while it seems easy to solve, there could be some complications with the software or even the hardware. The following are our recommended procedures to help troubleshoot problems related to the camera app of the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Temporary Device Problem

There are times when technology is just messed with no apparent reason. Because of this, the very first thing you need to do when problems start to show up in your phone is to reboot it. If they persist, try soft-resetting your phone: turn the device off, take the battery out for a minute, reinsert it, and power up your phone. For minor software and hardware issues, this procedure works.

Too Many Apps Running, RAM Insufficiency

While the Samsung Galaxy S4 has a lot of RAM in it, there are times when applications and services eat up more than what they need. One thing an Android user should know is that apps oftentimes run in the background to make user experience more pleasant and they too eat up your phone’s memory. When there’s not enough memory left to use, apps start to force close. So, you need to close those apps that are running in the background, and clear the memory.

Closing Apps 

  1. From the Home screen, press and hold the Home button.
  2. The Recent Apps screen appears.
  3. Swipe each app left or right to close them.

Clearing Memory 

  1. After you’ve closed recently-used apps, touch Task Manager.
  2. From there, you can see a tab that says “RAM,” tap on it.
  3. RAM usage will then be displayed.
  4. Touch Clear Memory button below.

It is recommended you reboot your phone after doing this. When the phone is up and ready, try snapping some photos to see if the problem still persists.

Clear Camera Cache & Data

If you were not able to resolve the problem with the first two procedures, you should go a little app-specific in your troubleshooting: clear camera app’s cache and data.

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap Settings, then More.
  3. Tap Application Manager.
  4. Swipe left to choose All tab.
  5. Tap Camera.
  6. Touch the Clear Cache button, then the Clear Data button. (Please note that you will lose data, including some personalized settings in your camera, after your tap the Clear Data button.)
  7. Go back to the list of apps.
  8. Scroll to and tap Gallery.
  9. Tap both Clear Data and Clear Cache buttons.
  10. Check if the problem still persists.

Clearing Gallery’s data and cache is also necessary in solving this issue. You should know that the camera app works hand-in-hand with the gallery app when taking pictures. The latter is in charge of organizing and managing multimedia files including photos. So, after the camera takes them, they will be passed to the gallery for cropping thumbnails, syncing cloud storage, previewing and viewing.

Defective microSD Card

When the phone is set to save all photos to an external storage device like the microSD card, both the camera and gallery would have to take an extra step in saving the pictures. When the external storage malfunctions, both apps will spend longer amount of time detecting the card. When this happens, Android automatically force close them.

For this, check to see if the card is mounted properly and is detected by the phone. You could insert the card to your computer check if it can be detected. If there’s a problem with the card, the computer would prompt the user if he wants to reformat it. In this case, all the user could do is to salvage whatever data he can access and reformat it. However, there is no guarantee the phone could detect the card that can be detected by the computer.

Factory Reset

This must be the last resort. If all else fail, back up everything in your phone and wipe it clean. This way, the phone would be brought back to its optimal settings. Or, you could have an appointment with a technician to have the device checked. If it’s a hardware issue and is beyond economical repair, a replacement might be issued.

Having problems with your phone?

Tell us about them by emailing us at [email protected] Make sure to include as much details as possible so that we could understand the problem well and find the best solutions for you. If you can share a screenshot or two, that would be better.

We may not be able to respond to every email we receive but rest assured we do read them… yes, all of them even if some do look like spams.

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