Samsung Galaxy Note 5 won’t boot up after an update, bypass PIN & fingerprint security, other system issues

While the firmware updates are supposed to fix bugs or patch glitches, they sometimes do the opposite. Such is the case of some of our readers who own Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (#Samsung GalaxyNote5) units that stopped working shortly after an update. So, in this post, I will address the most common problem that often occurs after an update–can’t boot up successfully.


Read on to learn more about other problems and how to tackle them in case they occur to you. There’s also one very common procedure you should know that will help you bypass PIN, fingerprint or any other security measures you’ve setup in your phone.

If you are looking for a solution to a different problem, visit our Note 5 troubleshooting page where we list down every problem we address each week. Find issues related to yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they won’t work for you, then fill up this form and hit Submit to contact us directly.

Here is the list of the problems I covered in this article…


User forget the PIN code to unlock Note 5

Problem: I forgot the PIN code to unlock the device (Galaxy Note 5) and now it’s screen-locked. How I can know the PIN code? And also I need you to tell me the steps to remove or clear the pin code. Thanks. — Hesham

Solution: Assuming this is your device and if you’ve really forgotten the PIN, then there’s no working around it. It’s locked and it will remain as is until you remember the code or reset the phone.

To clear the PIN, do the master reset but you should know it’s not just the code that will be cleared but also all of the data saved in your phone including your apps, pictures, videos, messages, etc. and this is how you do the reset:

  1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power keys together.
  3. When the device powers on and displays ‘Power on logo’, release all keys and the Android icon will appear on the screen.
  4. Wait until the Android Recovery Screen appears after about 30 seconds.
  5. Using the Volume Down key, highlight the option, ‘wipe data/factory reset’ and press the Power key to select it.
  6. Press the Vol Down button again until the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted and then press the Power key to select it.
  7. After the reset is complete, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key to restart the phone.

Note 5 won’t boot up after a minor update

Problem: When I try to update the phone, it turned off on its own and when I turned it on, it only shows the Samsung logo and then the Android robot that’s dead. Can this be fixed? What should I do?

Solution: When the phone updates the firmware, there’s a point where it would restart itself. That’s the sign that the update was successful and the phone needs to reboot to run the new firmware. In your case, the phone turned off, although we don’t really the reason why. If the update has been completed prior to the shut down, it should be ok. Otherwise, the phone is in big trouble, although it can be fixed.

Now, I need you to attempt to fix this problem by wiping the cache partition:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, and Power key.
  3. When the phone vibrates, release the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
  4. When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
  5. Press the Volume Down key to highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  6. Press the Power key to select.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

If wiping the cache partition won’t work, try doing the master reset by getting in to the recovery mode and choose ‘wipe data/factory reset’ instead of ‘wipe cache partition.’ If the problem remained after the procedure or if the reset wasn’t successful, then you need to reinstall the firmware manually. That means you have to use the flashing tool known as ODIN and download the correct firmware for you device. If you are not comfortable doing this, then find someone who can help you.

Note 5 update process failed, won’t update via Smart Switch

Problem: When I download software updates and install them, the device reboots, then it says INSTALLING, then says ERROR, then the device starts and gives me notification that SOFTWARE UPDATE FAILED, TRY USING SMART SWITCH. I tried using smart switch, it shows me that an update is available, when i press update it gives me instructions, i press Confirm, then nothing happens, updates don’t start.

Suggestion: Try to do the master reset first and then download the update. Try downloading it via Settings and if that won’t work, then try using Smart Switch. If the process fails again, call Samsung or find a technician who may be able to update your phone manually. If you are confident enough, you can use the ODIN flashing tool, download the firmware and manually install the firmware on your phone. There are, however, risks in manually flashing the firmware plus you may void the warranty during the process. But it’s your call.

Note 5 keeps freezing after updating the firmware

Problem: My phone was doing fine before the update but after I downloaded the recent firmware update, the device started to freeze or hang. Sometimes I have to turn it off and on to be able to use it but even so, it will still freeze and hang. How can I fix this problem? I am so disappointed considering I didn’t have a choice but to download the update. Please help me.

Troubleshooting: Probably just some corrupt caches or data. The first thing to do is wipe the cache partition to get rid of the old caches used by the previous version of Android. If the phone still hangs or freezes after that, then you have no choice but to perform the master reset. Step by step instructions of these procedures can be found in the second and first problems, respectively.

Note 5 stop recognizing fingerprint

Problem: Yesterday, I was able to log into my phone using my thumbprint but today, it just recognizing it. I used by other fingers to no avail. The backup password won’t work and is the other method because the phone isn’t connected to the internet. How can I get past the security and regain access to my phone? Thanks.

Suggestion: Master reset. That’s all you need to do to get past the security and regain access to your phone. However, the downside is that you will lose all your data in your phone and you have to build it up from scratch again as it will be reset back to default settings. You are really out of options right now.

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