Galaxy S5 SMS notification won’t go away in status bar, SD card showing black screens, other issues

As promised, here’s another post that addresses some of the reported issues on the #GalaxyS5. We hope that this post will be useful to the entire Android community. Don’t forget to also visit our main #GalaxyS5 troubleshooting page.

Below are the specific topics we cover today:

  1. Galaxy S5 SMS notification won’t go away in status bar
  2. Straight Talk Galaxy S5 can’t receive SMS when used in Page Plus network
  3. Galaxy S5 doesn’t have network signal in the Philippines
  4. Files on Galaxy S5 SD card showing black screens with exclamation point
  5. Hotmail account keeps saying “checking incoming server settings” when set in Galaxy S5 email app
  6. Galaxy S5 battery drain issue after installing Android Marshmallow

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, or you can install our free app from Google Play Store.

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.

Problem #1: Galaxy S5 SMS notification won’t go away in status bar

Hi there. So glad I found this site. So, I got a text the other day. I tried erasing it and the actual text message deleted. However, the notification is still showing one as if I have a new text. The envelope is also showing on the top of the phone which I have swiped down and hit clear several times. Unfortunately, it clears and then comes back. If I go into the message that it is telling me I have or hit reply to the envelope it takes me to a new “blank” message, it wants me to add a recipient. So, the actual text has been erased, but the number one is showing and the envelope is showing.

I have turned it off, I have taken out the battery, I have cleared the cache, and rebooted the system, thanks to this website 🙂 I am not that tech savvy and so I just wanted to tell you that your directions are awesome! My issue is not causing any use problems, it is just annoying me. Hopefully you understand what is happening and know how to fix it. I really appreciate any help you may give. Thank you in advance.

Oh by the way, I am not 100% sure that my version is Marshmallow as I don’t know how to determine what I have. I did see something about Marshmallow during my searching so that is why I think it is Marshmallow. Thanks again. — Heather

Solution: Hi Heather. We also experience this same exact bug from time to time so it’s definitely not isolated to your device. We can’t seem to find the real cause of this issue though so there’s no clear set of actions that we can provide to prevent it from happening again in the future. As far as troubleshooting is concerned, there are a number of potential solutions that you must try. Below are all of them.

  1. Delete a particular conversation thread. The first thing that you want to do is to see if the bug is only associated with a specific conversation thread the message you previously deleted belongs. Just head over to your messages list and erase the conversation thread by pressing and holding down the message. Once you’ve done that, restart the phone and check. If persistent notification is now gone, that means you’ve found the solution. If nothing changes after a phone restart, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.
  2. Wipe the cache of messaging app you’re using. Each app stores sets of temporary files about itself called cache that Android uses to load its services and other functions faster. Sometimes, an app’s cache becomes corrupt due to a number of reasons, resulting to erratic app behaviors. If an app starts to behave oddly, you can safely wipe its cache to see if you can bring it back to working order. Here’s how it’s done:
    • Open the Settings menu either through your notification shade (drop-down) or through the Settings app in your app drawer.
    • Navigate down to “Apps”. This may be renamed to something like Applications or Application Manager in OEM skinned versions of Android 6.0.
    • Once in there, look for your messaging app and tap it.
    • You’ll now see a list of stuff that gives you information about the app, including Storage, Permissions, Memory Use, and more. These are all clickable items. You’ll want to click on Storage.
    • You should now clearly see the Clear Cache buttons for the application. Tap it.
    • Restart the phone and observe.
  3. Delete the messaging app’s data. The steps for this solution are almost exactly the same with wiping the app’s cache. But instead of tapping on Clear cache button, you want to do the Clear data. Deleting an app’s data is the virtual equivalent of uninstalling and re-installing an app. This means that all your conversation threads will be wiped out. Make sure to create a back up of your important SMS before you proceed. There are many free apps that you can use to backup SMS in Google Play Store so feel free to explore your options. You can start with Helium – App Sync and Backup for example. We highly recommend though that you go through the traditional Samsung way of creating SMS backup by using its free Smart Switch app. You can download and install this app on your computer so you can then link your phone to it via USB.
  4. Restore all software settings to default via factory reset. If all three procedures above won’t help at all, wipe all user data on your phone by doing a factory reset. Here’s how:
    • Create a backup of your important files and contacts by using Smart Switch or any other back up tools.
    • Power down the Galaxy S5.
    • Press and hold the Volume up button, the Home button, and the Power button together until you see the Android on screen.
    • Use Volume down to highlight the wipe data/factory reset option and press the Power button to select it.
    • Use Volume down again to highlight Yes – delete all user data and press Power to select it.
    • Use the Power button to select Reboot system now.
    • When the S5 restarts it should be completely wiped and ready to set up again.

Problem #2: Straight Talk Galaxy S5 can’t receive SMS when used in Page Plus network

I recently had my number ported from a Galaxy S5 (CDMA) from StraightTalk to a different Galaxy S5 (CDMA) to Page Plus. So it is 2 separate Galaxy S5 phones, the old ST phone and the new PP Galaxy S5, which I am having issues with. I am able to make and receive phone calls but was unable to make or receive texts of any type. I went in to the access point on my phone/the new PP phone as the old ST phone is turned off/ and discovered the APN was incorrect. I contacted Page Plus and they claim all is well on their side. I did however get the settings I need, the port numbers, APN name/vzwinternet, MMC/310, MNC/012, APN type/internet + mms, and MMSC/ which is I went in to phone but the only value I could edit was the APN, which was set as Tracfone (i can not remember the rest of the APN that was in the phone, only the words Tracfone.

Anyway, I was able to edit that to vzwinternet as instructed by Page Plus, and now I can send text messages but I still cannot receive texts. The S5 will not let me edit anything except the APN, it will not let me click on port, mmc, mms etc. The words remained grayed out but no pop up appears to let me enter the information and they all say “not set” now and before I changed the APN to the correct one given to me by PagePlus. I thought all of this information automatically went in to the proper fields when they ported my number and activated my phone.

Anyway, as stated above, all I can do is send text messages, I can not receive them. Help would be appreciated.

Perhaps if I can figure out how to edit the other fields with the correct information, all would be solved, and I was able to edit the APN without any difficulty whatsoever. I have done several resets, booted in to safe mode to clean the cache and a few other tricks, lol, that I found online. Thank you. — Laura

Solution: Hi Laura. Having incorrect APN settings will only impact the mobile data functionality of your phone and not the SMS function. Your phone needs the correct APN configuration so it can use your carrier’s cellular network to connect to the internet, as opposed to Wi-Fi.

In general, once you insert a SIM card to a GSM phone, the APN settings will be configured automatically. In a CDMA phone, a user may have to manually add some more specific values if carrier-initiated configuration won’t work properly. If you don’t have problems with mobile data connection though, APN settings must not be the cause why your phone is unable to receive SMS.

If you can send texts but not receive them, there may be other things causing it but definitely not the APN settings. Keep in mind that CDMA phones are more difficult to configure when used in another CDMA network, and some of them won’t even work at all. Some phone features and functions may not also work depending on the situation. You must work closely with Page Plus to ensure to resolve the issue. Below are some of the things that you should do:

  • Restart the phone.
  • Check if Call Barring feature is active or not. Call barring feature should not be active. If you don’t know how to check it, contact your carrier.
  • Disable airplane mode.
  • Make sure that all your sender number format is correct (optional). Refer to your carrier for the correct format if necessary. A dialed number can look like this in the United States: 1-541-754-3010. Though it’s highly unlikely that your carrier is using unique number format style, we still recommend that you ask them for direct assistance regarding this.
  • Check the Spam folder. Your messages may have been forwarded to other folders in the messaging app. Open your messaging app, go to More settings, tap Settings, and look for something that says something about spam or spam filter. If you have messages in the spam folder, this is probably the reason why you’re not receiving SMS.
  • Work with your carrier. There’s only so much that you can do to fix an issue like this. If all the items mentioned above do not work, it’s either a compatibility issue with your carrier, or there’s a misconfiguration somewhere when Page Plus reprogrammed your phone. Either way, you must work with them to resolve this issue.

Problem #3: Galaxy S5 doesn’t have network signal in the Philippines

Hi good day. I have read your blog about the S3 and I’m wondering if you could help me with my S5. My relative is from the US and bought me an S5 and shipped it here in the Philippines. The problem is that it does not have signal in it. So i assumed that it is locked but i noticed that the SIM card setting is there in the device, so meaning it is not. But still i don’t have a signal. i tried changing the preferred network but it was not clickable. i tried factory reset but still nothing happened. please help me. Thank you. — Karina

Solution: Hi Karina. Wireless carriers in the Philippines are using GSM technology so if you have a GSM S5, all you need to do is to have it network unlocked. On the other hand, if your relative sent you a CDMA phone, you may not be able to use all network features of your S5 in the Philippines. CDMA phones do have SIM card slots nowadays but they’re only added to allow the device to use LTE (4G). SMS, MMS, and voice calling requires 2G and 3G services in the Philippines so if you have a CDMA phone, your S5 is incompatible.

In general, GSM phones, as long as they are already network unlocked, can work in almost all GSM networks as long as you have a working SIM card. This is because subscriber information is stored in the SIM card itself (SIM stands for Subscriber Identification Module). Once the phone has been unlocked, any SIM card can be inserted to make it to work. In contrast, CDMA phones do not store subscriber information in a SIM card but deep in the phone’s software itself. The original carrier must first unlock it so that the second carrier can reprogram and register it on their networks. In other words, there’s some heavy lifting to be done at the software-level first, before a CDMA phone can be used in a second network.

The major CDMA networks in the USA includes Sprint, Verizon, and US Cellular. On the GSM side, the major networks include AT&T and T-Mobile. To check if you have a GSM phone, go under Settings>About device and look for the model number. If it says G900A (AT&T) or G900T(T-Mobile), you’re in luck. If it says neither of the two, use Google to search from which carrier your S5 belongs.

Assuming you have a GSM device and it’s an unlocked one, another reason why it’s not being recognized by the network is the possibility that it may be blacklisted. Get the IMEI of the device under Settings and check it’s status by going to If it’s blacklisted, there’s nothing that you can do about that. Otherwise, contact your carrier in the Philippines and ask for direct assistance why their network is not recognizing your phone.

Problem #4: Files on Galaxy S5 SD card showing black screens with exclamation point

Hi. I have a Samsung Galaxy S5 phone with a 64GB microSD card (San Disk brand). I’ve had the card in the phone for over a year and never had any issues with it. I currently have 27GB of data on it, which is almost entirely photos and a few videos. However, now some of my photos are gone, and instead there’s black screens with an exclamation point. I can still save new photos to the card, and those ones display correctly. I’d like to check the microSD card on my computer to see if I can access the photos that way, but I’m not sure if I should format/unmount the SD card before I remove it from my phone. If I format it before pulling out the SD card, will that risk making the problem worse? Or is it more damaging to remove it without formatting/unmounting it? Is there anything else I can do besides checking it on my computer to try to salvage the photos? Thank you! — Sealifelover5

Solution: Hi Sealifelover5. If you haven’t created a backup of your files on the SD card, we strongly suggest that you don’t reformat it. You can unmount it though. Unmounting tells the phone to stop using the SD card so you can safely remove it afterwards. Removing the SD card without unmounting can lead to problems like file corruption and some read issues.

As far as file recovery is concerned, it’s still a tricky business even today. You need a special software that can scan the storage device thoroughly for bits and pieces that may not have been overwritten yet. These special software are not readily available for average users so you must do some research and web-scouring to find companies that offer them. Sometimes, even advanced file recovery software will not yield positive result, especially if the portions of the drive that previously kept the files were already stores different data. This is why it’s important that you stop using an affected storage device, in your case the SD card, to prevent old data from being overwritten. File recovery software will work on whatever remaining data there is and may or may not give you the result you’re looking for. Do some Google research for companies that that help you, if you’re interested in having your files recovered.

Problem #5: Hotmail account keeps saying “checking incoming server settings” when set in Galaxy S5 email app

I have Galaxy S5. My problem began on or about November 28, 2016 while running G900VVRU2DPG2…(not sure what else to give you). Hotmail was not synching on my phone so I removed my Hotmail account and tried to reconnect it via MAIL app (not Outlook app or any other app). I later realized it was a MS issue as my Hotmail was not synching with my desktop Outlook. It took a whole day for my desktop outlook to sync with Hotmail again so once it did I tried to connect it on my phone again (CHECKING INCOMING SERVER SETTINGS over and over and over). No go. Then I got the latest update on 12/6/16 -6.0.1 and thought maybe that would fix the issue. Still a no go. I killed the app, took out my battery, rebooted, tried going through app, tried going through settings>accounts, settings>applications, force stop, cleared cache, tried setting up on WiFi, not on WiFi…I think that’s it. Not sure what else to try. — Laura

Solution: Hi Laura. There are two things that you can try in this case. The first one is to turn off extra security protection in your account like two-step verification or app permissions, etc. Just access your email account on your computer and head to security section to disable them. Once you’ve done that, configure your account in the email app again.

The second thing that you can do is to contact Microsoft and ask for help. There may be some issues on their end that affects your particular account and they’re the only ones who can help.

Problem #6: Galaxy S5 battery drain issue after installing Android Marshmallow

Spent more than a whole day trying different recommended steps to stop excessive battery drain and problems described by others. Keyboard became less responsive, phone would suddenly reboot, etc.

  1. Got new battery. No improvement.
  2. Cleared cache. No improvement.
  3. Installed battery monitoring app. It indicates Android causing over 60% of the battery drain.
  4. Uninstalled many apps. Performance improved… at least keyboard and browser response improved. Battery still drains too fast. From 100% to 38% in two hours.
  5. Suspects: installation of Android Marshmallow operating system which took place a couple of weeks ago. Maybe a hardware problem but have no idea what would have suddenly changed.
  6. My phone is maybe two years old and I’m not due for a new one.
  7. Spoke with Verizon representative at Costco where I bought the phone. He said there is nothing I can do about putting back the original operating system. He said I could buy a new phone.
  8. I have spent too many hours and $42 for a new battery addressing the problems.
  9. When you buy a product and the vendor makes detrimental changes to it by installing different software, I think there is a big problem.
  10. I am seeking a class action attorney to see if there is some legal remedy for a manufacturer or vendor reaching out and ruining a good product by changing its software.

Am I unreasonable in my expectations? — John

Solution: Hi John. There are number of things that can cause battery drain problem so you must invest some time to troubleshoot it if you want to get to the bottom of it. The logical flow of such troubleshooting must start with software solutions and end with hardware. As the causes of batter drain vary per device, you must be as exhaustive in your troubleshooting as possible.

Some of the common causes of this problem includes:

  • incompatible apps
  • huge number of apps and services running in the background all the time
  • screen brightness set to high all the time
  • defective battery

One of the suggested things that you can try of course, assuming that you’ve already tried all software solutions (including factory reset), is battery replacement. If battery drain issue persists even after you’ve tried another battery, there may be some other unknown hardware issues that causes the phone to “leak” power. While there’s a chance that the particular Android version you’ve installed is the cause, there’s really no way to know for sure where the trouble lies. Even Samsung technicians can’t help you with it. That’s the reason why it seems easy for them or the store to simply replace the device. Average users usually perceive the problem to be coming from the updates, especially if symptoms starts to appear right after an installation but to tell you frankly, there are tens, if not hundreds of thousands of variables that can go wrong right after an update. It’s simply not practical to even attempt to go through each of them. Again, if the usual software troubleshooting won’t help, then hardware must be to blame. And since hardware issues are just as hard to diagnose as software ones, you’re left without much choice but to opt for replacement. This is a fact of our digital life today. We know that sounds unfair to users but that’s how technology is today. If you can’t accept that fact and want to go through a legal process, that’s your choice. If you think it’s Samsung’s fault that their software is not up to par, you’re definitely within your rights to seek for legal remedy.


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