How to fix Samsung Galaxy S4 Camera that freezes when taking pictures

This post will address one of the problems sent by our reader. It will tackle the most common issue with Galaxy S4 Camera app. According to our reader Greg, the phone can take a picture just fine but when he takes two or more pictures, the app itself freezes. I never actually encountered a problem like this before. I mean, I encountered camera issues with different phones but not something like this.


Among the most common errors Android users get when the camera is concerned is “Unfortunately, Camera has stopped” but as Greg said, the phone just freezes without any error message. The only prompt he gets is the notice that Burst Shots will be saved in the memory card.

It’s difficult to determine what the problem really is but if it was also happening with his previous S4, then there must be a common denominator why it happens. Once we can find that, it would be easier to fix this problem. Before anything else, here’s Greg’s actual email…

I go on my standard camera app on my Samsung galaxy S4. I take a photo and it shows in the little preview window in the default camera app on my Samsung Galaxy S4. Then when I take a second or third pic my camera freezes. After a min or two I’ll see all black in the mini preview window in the camera app. I click on the preview window which brings me to my default gallery, and it doesn’t show my pictures. Or it will show one picture and the rest of them are black, the whole picture is just a black box. So I started to take only one photo. Once I turn off my phone, then turn my phone back on. My picture is gone.

Now I must say that this is my second S4 (because I lost my first one) and this S4 is doing the same thing. I then went into “My Files” and noticed I have multiple files saying camera pictures or pictures not sure. But multiple of them. So I transferred all my pics into my 64gig sd card. So I could start the cameras picture file over. I got a message saying burst shots will be saved to my sd card.

This didn’t fix my problem. I’ve had this phone since April 2014 and have lost precious photos that I’ve taken and will never get them back. I’ve also taken out my battery for more that a min. That didn’t work. The only thing I haven’t done is factory reset my phone. But this is my second S4 and its doing what my first one did. I have even changed the name of my previous picture files so it didn’t clash with my current picture file.

the only way i can take a pic and have it saved and not het deleted is if i go into my messages. Go to send a message and on the left. I tap the attachment icon. And tap the “take a picture” icon then my phone will save the picture. But that too freezes. I can only take one photo. If I don’t like that pic and choose to discard the pic, and take another one, it freezes.

Hopefully that was detailed enough for you to help me. I am a father with a 4 year old boy, and I’m losing precious memories of my boy. I wish I would have thought about googling my problems with my S4 long ago.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.


P.S. my girlfriend has the same S4 and her S4 doesn’t have the problems mine does. And this is second one. And yes i put my 64gig sd card from my first s4 into my second one (that’s why i thought maybe it was my picture files) i don’t have a computer to transfer the pic to either.

P.S.S. I just went into application manager and reset gallery settings back to default and its still freezing

If you have other problems with your phone, visit our Samsung Galaxy S4 Troubleshooting page as we’ve addressed hundreds of problems already. Find problems related to yours and try the solutions we provided. If they didn’t work for you, then feel free to contact us and tell us about your problem by filling up this form accurately. Please make sure you include all necessary details so that it would be easier for us to determine what the problem is and provide appropriate solutions and/or troubleshooting procedures.


Apparently, the camera app works just fine and the problem occurs only by the time the phone needs to save the pictures somewhere. There are, of course, two options where the device can save the photos; either in its internal storage or in the microSD card.

But the question here is why can’t it save the pictures?

The most common cause of this problem is insufficient storage space. The camera app can take photos and show the preview because Android always reserves a space for app caches. The preview of the image is saved somewhere inside the cache partition until the Gallery app will save it in the directory that the owner specified. If the latter detects there’s insufficient storage space, that’s when the problem enters. More often, it will notify the owner about it but there are also times when it would just freeze. That is the reason why this happens: “Once I turn off my phone, then turn my phone back on. My picture is gone.

But let’s assume that there’s enough storage space left. In Greg’s case, his phone was set to save pictures directly to the microSD card. That’s why he gets the prompt about Burst Shots and where they will be saved. My second theory why this problem happens even if there’s enough storage space is that the microSD card might be acting up. There may be times when the phone cannot detect it and instead of prompting the owner, the phone will retry to access the directory until it freezes. If possible, make a backup of your data and files somewhere and try to reformat the microSD card just to make sure it’s working properly.

Basing on these assumptions, though, the best thing to do at this point is to clear the camera app’s cache and data just to bring it back to default settings. I am not sure how the camera is set up but it’s important that everything is in factory defaults while troubleshooting.

  1. From the Home screen, tap Menu key
  2. Simply tap the More tab
  3. Tap the Application Manager, swipe to display All section
  4. Scroll and find Camera.
  5. Tap Clear cache.
  6. Tap Clear data, OK.

After this procedure, it is recommended that the cache and the data of the Gallery app will be cleared, too, but as what the reader said, he has already done it to no avail. After the procedure, the app is set to save pictures into its internal storage, so make sure there’s enough space left and then try to take a few pictures if possible. Verify if those pictures are saved properly by rebooting the phone. If they remained in the Gallery then the problem is solved, otherwise, continue troubleshooting.

For further troubleshooting, it would be wise to uninstall third-party camera and gallery apps if you installed some. This is to rule out the possibility that the problem may be caused by an app you downloaded.

If you’re thinking that it’s an issue with the camera sensor or the hardware, I really doubt that. More often than not, hardware issues will always be represented by error messages. For instance, if the sensor is damaged, you will either receive the typical “Camera has stopped” error or the “Camera failed” warning. Greg didn’t mention any of these so it’s safe to assume it’s either a storage insufficiency issue or a firmware-related problem.

Therefore, if all else fails, it’s wise to backup everything in your phone and perform the master reset. I understand the hassle of resetting the device but if that’s what it takes to fix the problem, then it’s worth it. This is the more effective way to reset your phone…

  1. Switch your phone off.
  2. Hold down the Power, Volume Up and Home buttons at the same time for about 10 seconds. Release them when the Android logo appears on the screen. This will bring up the unlock/reset menu.
  3. To navigate through this menu, use the volume up/down buttons to scroll up and down and the power button to confirm selections.
  4. Scroll down and select Wipe Data/Factory Reset.
  5. Scroll down and select Yes – Delete All User Data.
  6. When prompted, scroll to and select Reboot System Now. The phone will then reboot to its factory settings.

I hope this helps.

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5 Replies to “How to fix Samsung Galaxy S4 Camera that freezes when taking pictures”

  1. I tried the hold the up volume, power button and home button and it vibrated but never went to the next screen. Now, it won’t start up at all. Was working fine before except the camera. Any suggestions?

  2. i am also experiencing the same issue,.. same with greg’s problem..
    ill try the troubleshooting u provided and hope it will work

  3. I have not been able to take more than one photo at at time. Defaults back to gallery with each photo. Tried everything except restore to default. Then I decided to try every setting on the camera. Under the selfie side REVIEW PICS VIDEO. somehow it was turned on. Once I turn it off everything is back to normal.

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