Solutions to Samsung Galaxy S4 Problems and Error Messages [Part 13]

We already published thirteen parts of our Samsung Galaxy S4 Problems and Solutions series and have addressed more than a hundred problems reported by our readers but we still have thousands of emails left unanswered. For those who sent us their questions and concerns, don’t worry we will never stop as long as there are Android users out there who need our help. So, expect to be reading posts like this.

If you own a Samsung Galaxy S4 and currently bugged by a problem or two, please try go over this post and see if I already addressed your concern. In case you can’t find anything here, try to browse through the first 12 parts of this series, links are provided after the break.

Samsung Galaxy S4: Problems, Questions, Solutions, Workarounds [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6] [Part 7] [Part 8] [Part 9] [Part 10] [Part 11] [Part 12]

Now, if you think your problem wasn’t addressed yet, email us at I cannot guarantee a response to every email, but I assure you I will read everything that comes in. Since I’m one of the people who answer questions, I want to ask you guys to be as detailed as possible. Make sure you include your phone’s Brand, Model/Alias, and your problem. You can also reach via Facebook and Google+.

#1. Galaxy S4 camera error

Problem: Hello, my Samsung Galaxy S4 front camera works only when I clear cache and reboot my phone, then it starts saying the same thing ‘camera error’. The front camera does not work either when I click on it my screen goes black and my phones crashes so reboots. I’ve tried factory reset and all the rest but nothing is working! Please help me as I haven’t got a warranty. — Nathan

Solution: You don’t have to take my word for it but I think the issue could be in the firmware. If there’s an available update for your phone, try to download and install it. If you get a chance to have it checked at the store where you bought it, you might want to do that in case it’s a hardware problem. I understand you don’t have warranty but for a possible hardware issue, there’s no other option than to have it checked by an authorized technician while the problem is minor.

#2. Internet browser hangs when launched

Problem: Dear sir, my [Galaxy] S4 nowadays get hanged whenever I open internet browser. There seem to be freeze for 10 seconds. And then it automatically close and reopen again. But same problem occurs. 3-4 applications used to get hang while others work normal. I don’t know since 4-5 days, I’m unable to open internet browser (now I’m using Google Chrome). Is there any possible way to treat the phone without factory reset? Hope you will get me out of this. Thank you. — Teena

Solution: First of all, Teena, please take note of apps that are acting up. Then, boot to Safe Mode and try to launch every problematic app. If they still freeze upon initialization, try clearing their cache and data and then try again. Since you don’t want to perform factory reset, which I understand the reason why, then reboot your phone to recovery mode and wipe cache partition instead in case the problem persists.

#3. Screen stays off after the call

Problem: Since the last update (AT&T) Samsung S4, whenever I take my phone down from my ear to hang up, the screen remains off. I have to click the home button to light the screen to make sure I hang up or perform other actions. Any suggestions? Thanks, Dave.

Solution: It’s a proximity sensor but it’s not really an ‘issue’ per se. Being a technician myself, I’ve encountered a lot of problems like this and on rough estimate, 3 out of 4 this issue was caused by dust corroding the hole where the proximity sensor is. That said, the best way to deal with this problem is to find a can of compressed air to blow the dust out of the hole. If this, however, is an issue with the service that drives the proximity sensor, wiping the cache partition via recovery mode should solve the problem.

#4. Bluetooth not working after update

Problem: Hi! My friend has the Galaxy S4 on Verizon and two days ago received the update for KitKat. Since then her Bluetooth in her car isn’t working any more. We can’t hear her when she talks or anything, just silence. Any ideas? — Ryan

Solution: It could be that the data that drives Bluetooth was messed up during the update especially if the new firmware brought along enhancements for the BT service. Ryan, please tell your friend or help her wipe the cache partition, delete previous pairing data from both the phone and her car and then try re-pairing. If wiping of cache partition fails, back up all her data and perform factory reset.

#5. Problems when making/receiving calls

Problem: I have had AT&T send me 5 phones under warranty as after upgrade my phone intermittent misses calling coming to me and similarly when I make calls outside it does not connect. The problem lies that when someone call me, I hear the rings pick up but other party talks and I cannot hear them, the same story when I call out.

It is becoming so frustrating using this phone as my callers are getting upset of repeated calls. I have been in computer industry for 45 years and have done everything with the phones, reload, flash, loading one application loaded at a time. I called Samsung support and they do not own that its is software problem.

AT&T states that I can get another phone but will have to start a new plan while I have time left on my contract. Please suggest what I can do. Thanks and regards, Naresh.

Solution: I am sorry you have to go through all that hassle, sir. How I wish I could help you with it but apparently, I can’t. As what I understand, your carrier already sent you 5 phones and you’re still having the same problem. And with your experience, I know you’re way too technical than me and as what you’ve said, you’ve already done everything just to fix the problem. I am pretty sure it is no coincidence that you’re having the same problem with at least 5 different phones. So, if you were to ask for my opinion, I think the problem is not with the phone or its firmware and apps, I think it’s more of a network issue than anything else but I’m not saying it’s AT&T’s fault as well because the people you’re calling may be under different carrier. The point is, we don’t know for sure what the problem really is but I’m positive it’s not with the phone.

Now, you said AT&T recommended you start a new plan even if you still have time left on your contract, I think the problem could also be with your current plan. And sir, I’m not trying to drive you away but I’m sure AT&T has more answers than what I can provide in this case. I hope you get my point. Thanks for contacting us. I hope your problems will soon be fixed.

#6. Can’t update applications

Problem: Hello, I cannot update my applications. Every time I try I get an error message that says “error retrieving information from server”. Please let me know if you can help. — Sarah

Solution: Sarah, it could be just a temporary issue with the Google Play Store. I know a couple of procedures that fix this specific issue. First, try clearing both cache and data of the Play Store app. Reboot the phone, make sure you have an active internet connection and then try updating one of your apps. If you’re still getting the same error message, follow the second procedure.

Go to Settings > scroll to Accounts section > Google > tap on the account attached to the Play Store > Remove Account. Now, reboot your phone and re-setup your account with the Play Store and attempt to update your apps. In case this procedure doesn’t work, uninstall all updates from the Play Store. I hope this helps.

#7. Galaxy S4 charging problem

Problem: Hi, been using my S4 for about a year now. While charging it just now, I noticed that although there is the lightning bolt sign on the battery, the battery percentage seems to decrease. Tried multiple wires and wall sockets, but they don’t seem to the problem. Hence, I am wondering if it could the battery pack problem or perhaps the charge port ? Would be great to get a reply ASAP. Regards, Nicky.

Solution: I am hoping you are using the original charger and cable because if not, then there is a possibility that it’s an accessory problem. But if the problem happens even if you’re using the standard Samsung charger for the S4, then you need to troubleshoot to know which causes the problem. Try connecting the phone to your computer or laptop just to know if it would charge faster. If so, then it’s a charger problem and you should buy a new one to fix this problem.

If the phone still shows the charging icon but charges slower than usual, try booting to safe mode and attempt to charge the phone. If it charges faster in safe mode, it means some of your apps are draining the battery faster than the charge it receives and there’s no problem with your phone nor its accessories. You can either charge in safe mode or turn the phone off while it’s plugged in to make it faster. Or, you can disable apps that are causing the problem.

However, if the phone still charges slower even in safe mode, there is a possibility that it is a battery problem. You can but a new battery pack but that’s not a guarantee to fix this problem. I hope you get my point.

#8. Phone won’t turn on

Problem: Hello I am having problems with my Galaxy S4 it’s been fine I have had it for 3 weeks and 4 days and only this morning I tried to turn it on and it’s just black I have it on charge it’s just not working. — Miah

Solution: Well, I don’t think it’s a phone problem. I don’t even think there’s a problem at all, perhaps the battery was just completely drained. But try pulling the battery out and press and hold the power button for a minute while the battery is out. Place the battery back and plug in the charger. Make sure the cable was properly inserted into the charger and into the port on the phone. Leave it be for ten minutes, and then attempt to turn the phone on. If this doesn’t solve the problem, bring the phone back to the store where you bought it and have it replaced.

#9. Phone screen stays on during calls

Problem: Hello I just got this phone about a week ago. While I’m on the phone I started hearing bubble sounds and I look and it seems like there’s alarm that’s been set. How do I remove it? Also when I put the phone to my ear the screen stays on and my cheeks keep pushing numbers how do I get the screen to sleep while I’m talking and open when I look at to locate a contact while I’m on the phone? Can I only get Wi-Fi where its available a lot if things require Wi-Fi and it won’t let me continue. So then why is this phone a 4G but it never shows as 4g. How can I do a factory reset?

Solution: The bubble sounds is probably a custom notification sound. You can change it via Settings. About the screen staying on during calls, you can change it by going to Settings > My Device > Call Settings > enable “Turn off screen during calls.” By default, a phone with 4G capability is set to detect 4G signal but you can also change the settings under mobile networks, so check if it is set to receive 4G signal. If so and the phone is still getting 3G, then it could be that there is no 4G coverage in your area. Since you asked how to do factory reset, here’s an effective way:

  1. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home, and Power buttons.
  2. When the phone vibrates, release the Power button but continue holding the other two until Android System Recovery screen appears.
  3. Use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’ and press the Power button to select it.
  4. Still use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘delete all user data’ and press the Power button to select the option.
  5. Once the master reset is finished, highlight ‘reboot system now’ and hit the Power button one more time.

#10. Camera still failing

Problem: Hi, my problem seems to be a common one judging by all the forums out there, namely, my S4 camera keeps failing. I have cleared the cache & Data for the camera. I have cleared the cache partition (several times). I have done 2 factory resets. I have started the phone in safe mode too. I fear that I have exhausted all the possible ways of resolving this issue. Is there anything else you suggest I try. I am at a dead end here. Regards, Rod.

Suggestion: Rod, I think it’s time you had the phone checked by an authorized technician. You’ve done everything to fix this problem but it still persists. I believe it’s a hardware issue more than anything else and we can only do so much about that. I am sorry that our troubleshooting procedures didn’t work but I know they served their purpose, at least, we now know that your phone’s issue isn’t one of the software-related problems.

#11. Using two messaging apps

Problem: Since upgrading to Kit Kat, I am only able to use one messenger app at a time; before that I was able to use the native messenger app and Handcent because Handcent offsets a pop-up message feature that you can answer from (without having to open the app); there are some things about the native app that I prefer, too.

I added the second app because the native app didn’t work well when I got the phone, but improved over time. I like the second app because it shows messages as they come in and you can operate on the message from the pop-up screen.

Have you heard about having to choose only ONE messaging app in KitKat? I liked having two apps working so that I could choose according to what I want to do. I could do that in 4.3. — Oliver

Solution: Yes, you can actually use two messaging apps in 4.3, even more. If Handcent stopped working after the update, try to see if the app has available updates from the Play Store and update it. If there’s non, then try clearing its cache and data, uninstall it and re-install after reboot. Let us know if that doesn’t work and make this post a reference so you don’t have to explain everything again.

#12. Can’t hear anything from the phone

Problem: Hello, I just bought my galaxy in March. It worked fine until yesterday. I can’t hear incoming or outgoing calls. In other words, no one can hear me or can I hear them. As a matter of fact, I can’t hear anything, not even static. I’ve turned it off and on several times and also restored factory settings. I read the response to the other guy you posted, I’m hoping my is a different issue, please help if possible. Thanks, Tina.

Solution: Tina, please have the phone checked by an authorized technician or you can bring it back to the store where you bought it and have it thoroughly checked. It is not a minor problem and I’m afraid it’s more of a hardware problem than software. It’s pretty new so you can claim your warranty.

#13. Internet response is slow

Problem: Hi, facing issues with Wi-Fi (Galaxy S4).. error, “unable to connect as internet response is slow.” All was well, till this issue suddenly started. let me know if you can help. Thanks!

Solution: Please check the Wi-Fi access point you’re connecting to if it has a stable connection. If this is your own network, it wouldn’t hurt if you refresh your connection by turning your equipment off for a minute. If that doesn’t help, at least, we now know the problem is not with your network. Try booting to Safe Mode and see if the problem still happens, if it does, backup your data and perform factory reset.

#14. Display goes blank randomly

Problem: Sir, I was using my phone and it was working normal but as I opened an app, phone’s display suddenly gone black and after 5 minutes it came back not normal display but display like easy mode then I quickly uninstalled 2 apps which I installed today but after 3,4 minutes display again gone. I update to KitKat just 6 days ago. Kindly help me out will be your thankful as I don’t have even any insurance or warranty claim. I tried almost all solutions which you mentioned on thedroidguy website but nothing helpful.

Solution: Please boot to safe mode to see if the phone regains original display or resolution. If so, then uninstall apps that you suspected to have caused this issue. If the display remains the same, however, boot to recovery mode and wipe cache partition. If that doesn’t help, perform factory reset.

#15. Phone randomly turns off, drains battery

Problem: Hi there, I have bought my Samsung Galaxy S4 a few months ago. I had no issuse but now for a week or two, it is suddenly turning it self off when I am on the phone even though there is enough of battery life and when I go turn it back on it just does not turn on until I put on charge. Please help. Thanks in advance, Jo.

Solution: Jo, apparently it is a battery problem. While the phone may show it has enough power, the battery might not be able to hold a charge like it used to. But try to soft-reset the phone first: while it’s on, remove the battery and then press and hold the power button for a minute. After that, charge the phone to the full and observe how many hours it would take before it turns off. But I urge you to invest in a new battery.

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One Comment

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  1. Frequently my s4 shows the error: “sim card not recognized….restart.” This
    message appears out of the blue without any changes to the phone or sim.

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