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Galaxy Note 4 “Contacts list being updated” error, other app issues

While the Galaxy Note 4 (#GalaxyNote4) is a proven Samsung flagship, many users are reporting to us that they are encountering all sorts of app problems with it. It may not necessarily be a Samsung issue but it still surprises us that even a stable device like a Note 4 suffers from considerable number of app problems.

Below are some of these issues:

  1. Galaxy Note 4 “Contacts list being updated” error
  2. Galaxy Note 4 camera won’t save to SD card
  3. How to prevent OTA popups on Galaxy Note 4
  4. Galaxy Note 4 unable to install and update Google Play Services
  5. Galaxy Note 4 redirected to Google Play Store
  6. Galaxy Note 4 app thumbnails gets hidden randomly

If you are looking for solutions to your own #Android issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page.


Problem #1: Galaxy Note 4 “Contacts list being updated” error 

Dear Sir /Madam. Recently I was prompted by a message on my Note 4 to update the system and reset the phone. However after resetting the phone and waited for an hour for my phone to update all the applications, I realised that all my contacts are not shown, and I can’t even search for my contacts. Neither do I able to see the contact names when they called me or gave  me a missed call. It has been 5 days and I still see the phone book apps  stating the following message: “CONTACT LISTS BEING UPDATED”, with the circular cursor keep revolving non stop.

Please help me by telling me what to do as I am unable to see my family and work contacts.  Looking  forward  to your favourable  reply. Really appreciate  that. Best regards. — George

Solution: Hi George. An issue like this can happen after an update. Make sure to wipe the system cache first to see the difference. Here’s how:

  • Turn off the Galaxy Note 4 completely.
  • Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home keys together, then press and hold the Power key.
  • When the Note 4 vibrates, release both the Home and Power keys but continue holding the Volume Up key.
  • When the Android System Recovery shows on the screen, release the Volume Up key.
  • Using the Volume Down key, highlight the option ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power key to select it.
  • When the wiping of the cache partition is finished, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the power key.

You can also wipe the cache and data of the Contacts app to ensure that it uses a fresh set of information. Just follow these steps:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Proceed to Applications.
  • Select Manage Applications.
  • Tap the All tab.
  • Look for the Contacts app and tap it.
  • From there, you will see the Clear Cache and Clear Data buttons.

Once you have cleared both the system cache and app cache, try to add your contacts again.

Problem #2: Galaxy Note 4 camera won’t save to SD card

Recently I upgrade from my Galaxy Note 3 to Galaxy Note 4. Because I want to bring some files from the old phone (Instagram photos, WhatsApp images etc) and change my micro SD to bigger size, I copy all the content that I want from the internal storage to micro SD,  and then copy it all along with the content of micro SD to my PC, and then copy all the data from my PC to my new micro SD and put it into my new phone.

All the process run smoothly.  However when I start taking pictures in Note 4, I noticed that the phone saved the image to internal memory.  I switch it to memory card and I get error message telling me that the phone cannot save to memory and choose to save to internal memory instead.

At first i think I have a faulty memory card. So I try to move files to memory card from internal memory via File Manager and success.

Can you tell me what’s wrong? Is the micro SD or the photo software in the phone?

Big thanks. — David

Solution: Hi David. By default, once an SD card is inserted into a Note 4, the camera is supposed to set it as the default save location for photos and videos. That’s apparently not happening in your device for some reason. The first thing that you want to do is to check if you can manually set the save location of the camera to SD instead of internal memory. You can do so by doing the following:

  • Start Camera app.
  • Tap Settings
  • Tap More (…).
  • Tap Storage location.

Keep in mind that photos taken with Burst Mode and those intended for S Note will automatically be saved to internal memory.

Reformat SD card using Note 4

If your Note 4’s camera save location has already been set to SD, try to see if reformatting the SD card using the phone will help. This will verify if there’s an issue with the card itself or not.

Lastly, do a factory reset if nothing changes. This will ensure that there’s no firmware-level bug preventing photos from being saved to the SD card.

Problem #3: How to prevent OTA popups on Galaxy Note 4

Hello. I have a refurbished Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and it keeps telling me that an android system update has been downloaded and that I should install it.  I have installed this now 3 times before becoming annoyed and then called my Mobile provider. They instructed me on a factory reset, which I thought had solved the problem. 

I have done one complete factory reset erasing everything on the phone and I wiped the data and cache once. 

The problem is still occurring. My phone says “System update downloaded/ Android system update” then it has the options: “Later” or “Install”

After installing two more times I now always choose “Later”, but I am worried that there is something wrong with my device and I will not receive the proper updates needed to keep my phone functioning properly.

My phone seems to be fine otherwise.

Can you please help?

Thank you. — Rosie

Solution: Hi Rosie. Looks like your carrier is a little bit insistent on their prompts to update your device. If you want to stop these annoying over-the-air (OTA) notifications, you can do so with the use of Debloater app. You need to install it on your computer and follow the directions provided in this site.

The rest of options to prevent OTA popups require rooting your device. If you don’t want to go that route, then simply use Debloater.

Problem #4: Galaxy Note 4 unable to install and update Google Play Services

I have problem for installing apps. when i try to install app it says no enough space. I have 16GB Internal Storage and 4GB SD Card, and still I am having that problem. In the lower part of Storage under the Erase phone storage i see Insert and SD Card for Mounting. and SD Card is already inserted. So what is is the problem? is it the SD card I’m using or the problem is the chip..

When I see the Downloaded Apps section in the setting is says 4GB used 12GB free and phone storage says 201MB used and 3.5 GB is free and i can’t install or even update Google Play Service. so Please I am kindly requesting from you to help me if you can.

Thanks. — Sahardid

Solution: Hi Sahardid. Please try the following steps to fix your issue:

  • Uninstall updates for Google Play Services app by going to Setting > Apps or Application Manager > ALL > Google play services. After uninstalling the updates, you should be prompted that the system will be uninstalled. Afterwards, check to see if the app is now working.
  • If Uninstall Updates is not available as an option, try to tap Disable. You should get a message stating, “If you disable a built-in app, other apps may misbehave Your data will also be deleted.” A second pop up message will come up saying, “Do you want to replace this app with the factory version?” Go ahead and click on “Ok”.

If nothing happens, make sure to do a factory reset. Here’s how:

  • Turn off the Galaxy Note 4 completely.
  • Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home keys together, then press and hold the Power key.
  • When the Note 4 vibrates, release both the Home and Power keys but continue holding the Volume Up key.
  • When the Android System Recovery shows on the screen, release the Vol Up key.
  • Using the Volume Down key, highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’ and press the Power key to select it.
  • Now highlight ‘Yes — delete all user data’ using the Volume Down key and press the Power key to begin the reset.
  • When the master reset is complete, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key.
  • The Note 4 will restart but it will be longer than usual. When it reaches the Home screen, then begin your setup.

A factory reset will most likely fix the issues including the trouble installing other apps.

Problem #5: Galaxy Note 4 redirected to Google Play Store

I will not touch my phone all day while in school or at work. Then I go to check my phone and I have the play store app somehow up and it’s showing dif games to download for free that are pulled up ready to be downloaded and I haven’t touched it,I don’t understand why or how it’s going to that stuff when I’ve not touched it and all my background stuff isn’t running.

Also lately it’s also saying when I go to Google a website I get an error message saying tab has crashed tap to reload or try to open a new tab no clue why it’s doing that either. I go through us celluar also didn’t know if that means anything to you guys but there wasn’t a spot to check for that carrier hope that’s helpful. I appreciate any help or advice you can give me with this.Thanks so much. — Marcella

Solution: Hi Marcella. Your phone is most likely infected with a virus or adware. They are usually brought in to your phone by third party apps. If you are not careful with apps you install, or website you visit via your mobile browser, viruses or malware can easily penetrate your phone’s defenses. Please do a factory reset and leave apps that you don’t trust. Stick to mainstream apps to avoid getting the same viruses after a factory reset.

Problem #6: Galaxy Note 4 app thumbnails gets hidden randomly

Hello. I own a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 about a year ago. It was running perfectly and smoothly but recently i got an issue with it. Problem is that the application thumbnails gets hidden and sometime blue box covers the thumbnails and sometime widget gets transparent or hidden and sometime font blinks with effects. As it is already a year old i don’t have warranty left. At first when i got the problem i tried formatting it. later again problem arises and then i download the latest firmware from and flashed through odin and after a week later still got the same problem again.

Now i don’t what is happening and what to do. I have the video of the problems recorded if you want them i can send it to you. I hope you will read this thread and help me with the solution. Waiting for your response, please  help me. Thank you.​ — Milan

Solution: Hi Milan. One of your isntalled apps may be to blame. You can either do a factory reset and observe the phone for sometime without installing any third party application, or boot the phone in safe mode. Third party apps will be prevented from running when the phone is in safe mode. Here are the steps to do it:

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

If the issue fails to occur in safe mode, that’s a confirmation that one of your apps is to blame. Uninstall your apps until you have eliminated the culprit.


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If you are one of the users who encounters a problem with your device, let us know. We offer solutions for Android-related problems for free so if you have an issue with your Android device, simply fill in the short questionnaire in this link and we will try to publish our answers in the next posts. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem. 

When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

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