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Troubleshooting guide for Galaxy Note 4 battery drain issue, won’t turn on, other issues

Like any other smartphone in the market today, the #GalaxyNote4 is not immune to battery drain issue. In fact, we’ve been receiving an increasing number of similar issues over the past few weeks. In this post, we again address battery drain problem as well as 5 other unrelated issues. We hope that this troubleshooting guide will be of help.

Here are the specific topics we’re covering for you today:

  1. Galaxy Note 4 stuck in download mode | Galaxy Note 4 can’t complete setup after factory reset
  2. Galaxy Note 4 with broken screen won’t turn on
  3. Galaxy Note 4 slow performance issue | Galaxy Note 4 keeps rebooting
  4. Troubleshooting guide for Galaxy Note 4 battery drain issue | Galaxy Note 4 fast charging not working
  5. Galaxy Note 4 can’t send/receive SMS
  6. Galaxy Note 4 keeps showing of an available system update

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 Note 4 stuck in download mode | Galaxy Note 4 can’t complete setup after factory reset

I am having the issue of the “downloading… do not turn off target” error. I have had my phone for 20 months now. It started slowing down and shutting off with this error about 2 months ago. I did everything you suggested, to no avail. I cleared the cache, didn’t work. I factory reset the phone and restarted it. I saw the setup screen but was busy and could not set up right away. When I grabbed the phone to do the setup after about 15 minutes, the phone shut off. I had to take the battery out and wait 10-20 minutes before I could put the battery back in and turn it on. When I did turn it on I got the “downloading…do not turn off target” error again. Mind you, there is nothing in the phone. This is crazy. What could possibly be wrong with my phone? It worked fine up until 2-3 months ago. — J Wilkinson

Solution: Hi J Wilkinson. The fact that the phone keeps getting stuck in download mode is definitely a sign that there’s a problem with your phone. It’s also not normal for a functioning phone to not go through with the set up after a factory reset. There may be an unknown hardware malfunction causing the problem. You should have the phone’s hardware checked by a professional. Some boot-related problems can be caused by a damaged power button so you should tell the technician to check it as well.

In other cases, a bad battery can lead to incomplete boot sequence so make sure that you try to recalibrate it before trying another battery. For reference, here are the steps on how to recalibrate the battery:

  1. Use the phone by playing games or doing tasks to hasten power discharge, until the phone turns itself off.
  2. Turn the phone on again and let it turn itself off.
  3. Charge the phone without turning it back on.
  4. Wait until the battery says it fully charged to 100%
  5. Unplug the charger and turn the phone on.
  6. If the phone says it’s not 100% anymore, turn it off, plug the charger back in and wait until 100% charge is reached.
  7. Unplug the charger the turn the phone on again.
  8. Use the phone until you drain the battery down to 0.
  9. Repeat the cycle once.

If battery calibration won’t help in fixing the problem at all, consider sending the phone to Samsung or a third party service center.

Problem #2: Galaxy Note 4 with broken screen won’t turn on

I am using Samsung Galaxy Note 4 for the past one year. A few days back I changed the screen, because my old screen is broken. For one week it was good. today in the afternoon I was using twitter. suddenly the phone hanged and none of the hardware buttons were working. I removed my battery and tried to switch it on, it didn’t turn up. Then I saw your website, I tried some of your steps. I removed my battery and memory card and pressed the power button for 2 minutes and inserted the battery and tried to switch on. No result!!! I repeated this step many times, nothing came. Please tell me how to troubleshoot. Just now I spent 110$ for screen replacement. It’s annoying now. Please Help me. — Jack

Solution: Hi Jack. Our blog only provides software troubleshooting tips so if your phone has now become totally unresponsive, or won’t turn on at all, there’s nothing that we can do to help. You must seek the help of a professional so the hardware can be examined thoroughly. The problem may no longer  be isolated to the screen alone, but has spread to other components in the motherboard. To know which component is not working requires a technician to physically check the device. We can’t obviously do that so you need someone to do that for you. The only software troubleshooting that we can tell you to do is to see if you can boot the phone to other modes. If your phone remains powered off and won’t respond at all, that’s a clear indicator of hardware failure. For reference, here are the steps on how to boot the phone to different modes:

Boot in Recovery mode:

  1. Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Press and then hold the Home and Volume UP keys, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Samsung Galaxy S7 shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume Up keys.
  4. When the Android logo shows, you may release both keys and leave the phone be for about 30 to 60 seconds.
  5. Using the Volume Down key, navigate through the options and highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  6. You can either wipe the cache partition or do a factory reset when in this mode.

Boot in Download Mode:

  1. Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Press and then hold the Home and Volume DOWN keys, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Samsung Galaxy S7 shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume DOWN keys.
  4. Wait until the Download screen appears.
  5. If you can boot the phone in download mode but not in other modes, that means that your only way out may be to flash a stock or custom firmware.
  6. Use Google to look for a guide on how to do it.

Boot in safe mode:

  1. Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Press and hold the Power button.
  3. Once the ‘Samsung Galaxy S7’ logo appears, release the Power key and immediately press and hold the Volume Down button.
  4. Continue holding the button until the phone finishes rebooting.
  5. Once you see the text “Safe mode” at the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume Down button.
  6. The only difference of safe mode from normal mode is that the former prevents third party apps from running. If you can boot the phone in safe mode but not in normal mode, uninstall all apps until the issue (that prevents you from booting normally) is eliminated.

Problem #3: Galaxy Note 4 slow performance issue | Galaxy Note 4 keeps rebooting

Hi guys. My Note 4 is barely 2 years old and all of a sudden it started to lag, freeze and turn itself off. It’s like as if a processor has died and it can’t handle simple commands like it used to. Just scrolling can make it freeze for several seconds until it catches up and its right again or it decides to turn off. Not unusual for me to have to restart it 20-25 times a day. One day, I think Google did a factory reset for me because of the amount of times I restarted, it just started the factory reset by itself. When I restart it I can get various screen, sometimes it goes into the download screen or it gets stuck on the Samsung logo screen, which it then cooks itself and if I’m lucky it will actually start normally. But then sometimes it can’t handle the start up and turns off again. By the way, the battery is fully charged when it does this.

I’ve tried all of the solutions that you have suggested on previous posts from the easiest to a factory reset with no change. I’ve started it in safe mode without the SD card or SIM card and it still freezes and turns itself off. I’ve cleared the cache partition but nothing seems to improve it. I installed a RAM cleaner which made a small difference, it just prolonged the time before it crashed. I’ve run out of ideas what else I can do. Really disappointed that this has happened considering the price and brand of the phone, my S3 is still going well and expected the same. Any suggestions would be much appreciated Thanks. — Scott

Solution: Hi Scott. Sometimes, a bad battery can lead to sorts of problems you’re experiencing right now so make sure that you try a brand new Samsung battery first. If a new battery won’t make a difference, such symptoms may be signs of other unknown hardware malfunction. Two years is not that old for a flagship phone such an the Note 4 but there are other unpredictable variables that can cause an electronic device to fail even if it’s properly taken care of. Unfortunately, hardware diagnostics requires that the device is physically examined so we suggest that you send it to a Samsung service center, or to any good third party electronics shop.

Problem #4: Troubleshooting guide for Galaxy Note 4 battery drain issue | Galaxy Note 4 fast charging not working

Hello. I have a Samsung Note 4 which is almost 2 years old. After I experienced battery draining issues, I changed my battery 4 months ago. For the last 2 months or so, the phone shuts down even when there is 50% battery life. For the last one week, the fast charger is not charging fast and charges very slow. After I remove my charger, it only takes one hour to come back to 50% and shuts off. Literally, I have to keep my phone charging all day for it to work. Sometimes, even when charging the battery continues to drain. This is so frustrating. I am not sure what else do to. I have purchased 2 chargers and changed batteries once but nothing seems to work. I am hoping you have some solutions to fix my phone problems. Thanks. — Ashvin

Solution: Hi Ashvin. There are a number of troubleshooting steps that you need to do to fix both of your problems. They may or may not be related so you also want to identify if they have a common cause. Unfortunately, knowing the real reason for issues like these can be tricky as the cause is not always obvious.

Battery drain issue

The first thing that you want to do is to recalibrate the battery. At times, boot problems are caused by the operating system not detecting the actual battery level so battery recalibration should fix it.

Secondly, battery drain issues may not necessarily be caused by a bad battery. In fact, there are many other factors that can lead to battery drain. Such factors include:

  • the total number of installed apps
  • quality of installed apps
  • screen brightness settings
  • screen or display settings
  • less than ideal environment

Too many apps. Having too many apps is the foremost reason why thousands of users complain why their phone’s battery loses energy fast. Keep in mind that most apps, even when they are closed, are not necessarily turned off or hibernating at all. Their background services remain in action even if the main app is not actively being used so technically, they are still consuming precious battery life. The more app you install, the higher the chance that you’re adding another power-sucking entity in the system. The obvious fix is to limit the number of total apps (both first party and third party) in the phone, especially that you’re experiencing a nasty problem. For some users, battery drain may not be a problem, or they choose to simply ignore it. Since this is not the case for you, you must drastically reduce the number of your apps first to see it will make some difference. If you haven’t used an app for the last two weeks, chances are, you don’t need it. Start by removing apps you don’t really need to get through with your day. Apps that doesn’t work when you’re phone is offline are usually battery suckers so get rid of them first.

Uninstall bad quality apps. Apps are not created equal. Some may be optimized properly but others may not be so because they were built in a hurry by resource-strapped, inexperienced developers. Some apps are simply not updated to work with the latest Android version so they may drain battery quickly. There’s no scientific method to curate apps properly but it doesn’t mean common sense doesn’t work in this aspect. Go over your list of apps and try to do some research on those you’re not very familiar about. If other users report or post a bad review about it, such app may not be worth installing in your device. If mainstream apps from well-funded developers can cause problems, imagine what happens to your phone if you install a lot of rotten apps from inexperienced developers.

Screen brightness. We understand almost everybody wants to enjoy the bright, rich colored display of their Samsung flagship phone but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with a price. The brighter the screen is, the faster your battery bleeds power so the rule is, lower screen brightness to its lowest comfortable setting. If you don’t want to lower screen brightness, then stop complaining about battery drain issue.

Choose display settings that use less battery. There are other display settings that you can manipulate under Settings menu to help extend the battery of your phone every day. Such settings include a way to let your screen turn off sooner (screen time-out), or to allow the screen to change brightness automatically (adaptive display feature) depending on the surrounding light.

Avoid hot places. Regularly leaving or exposing the phone in a hot environment can cause unwanted chemistry changes in the battery that can cause battery drain. The battery can drain faster in a hot environment even if you’re not using the device. Of course, direct exposure to heat can result to permanent battery damage so always make it sure that you leave the phone in a cool place.

Also a charging session can make the device produce heat more than normal so avoid charging it longer than usual. Try not to use your phone when it’s charging to minimize heat, which can only hasten battery drain. Other reasons why your phone heats up more than usual includes:

  • playing videos, games, or other media apps
  • tethering your device or using it as a Wi-Fi hotspot
  • using the device while it’s charging
  • downloading or uploading a lot of data over 3G or Wi-Fi connection

To avoid overheating in your device, try to do the following:

  • pause resource-intensive features or apps until your device cools down.
  • keep your device away from direct heat or excessive sunlight.
  • avoid keeping your device in enclosed or poorly ventilated areas where heat can easily build up.
  • reduce your device’s display brightness by going to Settings and then Display and adjusting your brightness options.
  • Don’t use a case or cover that isn’t made for your device.

Fast charging not working

Most fast charging issues are caused by a bad charging port. Try doing a factory reset and observe how fast charging works immediately afterwards. Make sure you don’t install any apps or updates and observe the phone. If fast charging doesn’t work still (of course we are assuming you’re using an original Samsung charger at this point), you can assume you have a hardware issue. In this case, you want to have the phone repaired or replaced.

Problem #5: Galaxy Note 4 can’t send/receive SMS

I can’t send or receive SMS! I’ve installed a Tracfone BYOP SIM card on the AT&T network. Everything works perfect — voice, data — except SMS. I can’t send or receive text messages. (Actually, I can send/receive texts from my own number, but I’m not sure if these actually go out to the cell network). There’s no error message, when a “send” a text, it seems to go out, but just disappears.

Background: For about a year, I had a Tracfone BYOP AT&T SIM in the phone, and everything (voice, data, SMS) worked flawlessly. Then I traveled overseas for 6 months; I took out the Tracfone SIM (no service outside of the US borders anyway), and used local SIMs for my travels in Asia. Every SIM I put in, in several countries worked flawlessly — voice, data, SMS. But I lost my original Tracfone BYOP SIM ! It’s probably under a palm tree somewhere in the south Pacific. When I returned to the US, I purchased a new Tracfone BYOP SIM kit (AT&T network, again), installed it and activated it. As I said, voice and data have worked flawlessly. But not SMS service. I’ve checked and triple-checked the APN settings, the SMS settings (SMSC is set to +13123149810 , which is the AT&T SMSC number). I’ve rebooted, powered off with battery out, I’ve cleared data and cache on the (built-in) Messaging app. I’ve spent hours with Tracfone technical support, mainly waiting in queue, but they can’t help — except to say that I need to do a factory reset on my phone. This is too drastic for me, at this point. Since my phone worked flawlessly with up to 6 other SIMS in the past year, I have to assume that some setting conflicts with the AT&T network. I can’t get AT&T technical support because I’m not an AT&T “customer” — my provider is Tracfone. What else should I check? What to do? Help!!! (And thanks!) — Mark

Solution: Hi Mark. A GSM phone will usually reinstall the APN and other network settings automatically once an active SIM card is inserted. This means that your phone is supposed to work right away after inserting a working SIM card. If that didn’t happen, there are only two possible solutions that we can suggest, wiping the cache partition and factory reset. Below are the steps on how to do them:

How to wipe the cache partition of Galaxy Note 4

  • 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.

How to factory reset a Galaxy Note 4

  • 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 ‘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.

Problem #6: Galaxy Note 4 keeps showing of an available system update

I just bought a 32GB Galaxy Note 4 from a lady offline. There’s a few problems but my main one is that it keeps showing that there’s another software update and makes me go through it before I can get it off my screen. I just bought it today and have already done 3 software updates, what’s the problem? Also I see now that the keyboard is burned into the back of the screen and it’s easy to see on a white background.

And also when I first got the phone a few hours ago it wouldn’t turn on and kept rebooting itself and I couldn’t set it up. I finally got it to work and it’s been working fine for like 5 hours and I have it all set up. Just wanted to throw that part in there in case it’s related. Thanks. — Alashahildebrand

Solution: Hi Alashahildebrand. Some Galaxy Note 4 models have an option to turn off notifications for any available system update under Settings>About device.  Try to check About device section if there’s an option that says “Download updates automatically.” If you’re lucky, you can turn off the annoying software update notifications this way. If you can’t see “Download updates automatically,” then that means that you’ll have to install all updates if you want to stop the notifications from constantly popping up.

Also I see now that the keyboard is burned into the back of the screen and it’s easy to see on a white background. We don’t understand what you mean by this. Please get back to us with more details so we can help you.


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