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Galaxy Note 4 does not get OTA update notifications, hotspot feature not working, other issues

As promised, we’re bringing you another article that answers some #GalaxyNote4 issues submitted to us by some members of our community. If you sent us a question but are yet to receive an answer, make sure to continue watching for more Note 4-related posts in the coming days.

For now, here are the specific topics we’re discussing for you:

  1. Galaxy Note 4 bought from eBay has boot loop issue
  2. Galaxy Note 4 only works properly when connected to charger | Galaxy Note 4 shuts down on its own when battery level is low
  3. Galaxy Note 4 hotspot feature not working
  4. Galaxy Note 4 keeps sending SMS on its own
  5. Galaxy Note 4 saving downloaded photos to Download folder, not to the SD card
  6. Galaxy Note 4 microphone icon disappears from keyboard
  7. Galaxy Note 4 does not get OTA update notifications

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 bought from eBay has boot loop issue

Hi. I just bought an unlocked AT&T Note 4 on eBay and started using it last Tuesday. And I’ve having a major problem. The phone has restarted itself and gone into a bootloop 3 times already. Each time it seems to be worsening. The 2nd time it got into a bootloop in which it restarted like 3 times and then finally managed to finish booting. That was bad already. But today it got very bad. It shut down, restarted and got stuck in a never ending bootloop. I took the battery out to stop it. I turned it back on and it got into a nonstopping bootloop again. I repeated this process again with the same result. Until I took the battery out again and didn’t turn it on immediately but decided to charge it, since the battery was at about 25% when it all started. I let it charge for a while and then turned it on while charging and it finally booted. This is a serious issue, I was left without a phone for a considerable time :(.

I bought this phone and had it sent to my country through another person, so an exchange would cost me $42 extra. I already did the math with the forwarder. So I am thinking of ways this could be solved before going for the exchange. I am still on Lollipop. I can’t get OTA updates because I’m not on AT&T, but I could update via an SD Card. I just found a decently detailed post on XDA about this. Do you think this could help? Or do you suspect it’s more related to the battery? Or some other hardware problem? Thanks :(.

I just changed my old LG V10 because of some terrible bootloops. it sucks that this is happening again :(. — Stephanie

Solution: Hi Stephanie. Boot loop issue usually occurs after modifying the software in the form of rooting or flashing. If the firmware of this phone remains official and it not rooted, then another cause, most likely a hardware problem, must be to blame.

If the phone is rooted and running a custom firmware, consider flashing a stock firmware. Use Google to look for a guide on how to flash the firmware of this model.

If the phone’s software is still the official one from Samsung, try wiping the phone’s cache and do a factory reset to see if that will make any difference. Factory reset should return the phone’s software environment to that of the original AT&T version so any modifications done to it when it was unlocked will be eliminated. After doing a factory reset, make sure to observe the phone for at least 24 hours without installing any app. If the same problem occurs, consider using a new battery, or simply have the phone replaced as that means there’s a deeper unknown hardware issue.

Problem #2: Galaxy Note 4 only works properly when connected to charger | Galaxy Note 4 shuts down on its own when battery level is low

I updated my Note 4 this morning. No apparent issues updating and it was working as normal until about 2pm (central). It kept freezing when trying to click on apps or when typing a message. it would freeze on the keyboard but wouldn’t allow to type. I powered it down and turned back on. The problem persisted when trying to send a text so I go to power it off and it did not power down like normal. When trying to turn back on, it wouldn’t even act like it was trying to turn on. I had 78% battery before this happened. When I plugged it in the charger it booted up like nothing was wrong, but when it reached 78% it turned off again and wouldn’t turn back on. I did a soft reset by removing the battery for 10 seconds, still is having the issue. I removed the SD card, still having the same issue. I have cleared cache and uninstalled apps no longer used. At this point, I am thinking it is a battery issue. But for peace of mind, I want to get a second opinion before I go buy a new battery. — Brandi

Solution: Hi Brandi. There’s a possibility that there may be an issue with the battery so we recommend that you recalibrate if first. Battery calibration will help train the operating system read the actual battery levels. Sometimes, stability problems can result from a bug that prevents the operating system from detecting the true battery level. If the OS thinks that the remaining battery power is almost up when the actual level is far from it, the phone may shut down on its own. To fix this issue, you should recalibrate the battery by doing the following steps:

  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.

After recalibrating the battery, observe the phone for 24 hours. If nothing changes, proceed to the next step — clearing of the cache partition.

Wiping or deleting the cache partition is a must-do step in this case, especially since the problem occurred after installing a major update. This will help the phone by deleting the old system cache and replacing it with a new one. Here’s how it’s done:

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

Finally, if the two steps above won’t help at all, don’t hesitate to do a factory reset. Here’s how it’s done:

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

Problem #3: Galaxy Note 4 hotspot feature not working

Dear Android guy.  I have a Samsung Note 4 and I cannot make it function as a Hotspot. I thought it was the SIM but have just gone to Vodafone and they confirmed that it is the phone (they connected using their SIM in another phone and put that SIM in my phone and could not make it act as a hotspot!)

When I go to “tethering and mobile hotspot” under Settings, I turn on the hotspot which is fine. I then select Android AP from the laptop and type in the password and press “next.” It then states “unable to connect to this network.” It is definitely the phone but I don’t know what to do. Please help. — Faisalsattar

Solution: Hi Faisalsattar. We don’t know much about your phone and its history so we can’t know where the problem lies. If this phone is rooted and running a custom firmware, consider flashing a stock ROM to it. The details on how to do this procedure is beyond the scope of this post so try to use Google to look for a good guide.

However, if the phone is running an official Samsung or carrier-provided software at this time, the only thing that we can suggest is factory reset.

Keep in mind that some carriers may disable Hotspot feature so you must ensure that  you call your carrier first before attempting a factory reset.

Also, make sure that you create a back up of your important files before proceeding.

Here’s how to factory reset your Note 4:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Launch Settings and scroll to ‘User and Backup’ section.
  3. Tap Backup and reset.
  4. If you want, you can tick the checkboxes next to Automatic restore and Back up my data.
  5. Tap Factory data reset.
  6. Touch Reset device.
  7. You may be asked to enter your PIN or Password.
  8. Tap Continue and then Delete all.

Problem #4: Galaxy Note 4 keeps sending SMS on its own

I am having issues with SMS being delivered to my phone from numbers in my contacts list and some foreign numbers. There was no restriction or blocked numbers on the device when checked. The report was submitted to the operator. The technical team called and said that the phone gives out false positives of SMS text being delivered on the device. The operator said to reset the phone on original settings, so i did. The problems persisted. At first it was working fine, but yesterday a hold was on and the SMS text was delivered later in the evening with hours of delay. I will take my phone to do the diagnostics for SMS delivery. But I have a suspicion it is the operator’s fault that I am having issues with communication and cannot rely on my phone for text delivery. — Tina

Solution: Hi Tina. An issue like this is best handled by your wireless carrier than by third party help groups like us. There are a number of thing that your carrier needs to check and these information are only found in their system. If a factory reset did not fix the issue, that means that the problem is not phone related at all, which also means that the problem is beyond your ability to fix.

If you want to get to the bottom of the problem, you must talk to your carrier.

Problem #5: Galaxy Note 4 saving downloaded photos to Download folder, not to the SD card

Just got this phone about 4 days ago. I have it set up to where my photos that are taken on my camera goes to my SD card. And of course they show up in Gallery also. When setting up my Google account, i also downloaded all my pictures and videos that are in PHOTOS to my SD card as well as all my music had on Amazon music.

Well today I noticed all my pics were no longer on my SD card but are still showing up in Gallery. I also noticed that all the pics in Gallery has this tiny icon on the left hand corner that looks like maybe the Google icon or the Picasa icon. The three pics i took today to test it are showing the SD icon. I tried going into Photos to re download then but they go into Downloads on the device and not the SD card. HELP!!! I need to get these all back on my SD card so I can have then backed on an outside source other than online. Thanks!! — Brian

Solution: Hi Brian. Files don’t move by themselves so something must have transferred them from the SD card to the Download folder. It’s also possible that Photos app may be set to download your files to Download folder instead of to the SD card. If you want to know the true cause, you should check the settings of the apps involved.

Problem #6: Galaxy Note 4 microphone icon disappears from keyboard

I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 with AT&T. It has been a very dependable phone for several years. Suddenly, the default keyboard has lost the microphone input option and icon to the left of the space bar. I can no longer input text messages from voice, nor can I do so with an app for storing grocery lists. The only input is typing. The local AT&T store manager could not fix it. He and I have tried all kinds of things in the system menus to no avail. Nothing I’ve read online addresses this issue. I took your suggestion and did a soft reset, but the problem persists.

BTW, the icon to the left of the space bar, where the microphone used to be now offers a few options: emoticons, small keyboard, system, and clipboard, but no mic. Any ideas? Thanks. — Richard

Solution: Hi Richard. There are only two things that you can try in this case:

  1. wipe the keyboard app’s cache and data
  2. factory reset.

For reference, below are the exact steps on how to do each possible solution.

Wipe the keyboard app’s cache and data

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings and scroll to ‘Applications’ section.
  3. Touch Application Manager.
  4. Swipe left or right to display contents of ‘ALL’ tab.
  5. Scroll to and tap the desired app.
  6. Tap the Clear cache/data button.
  7. Tap OK.

Factory reset your Note 4

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Launch Settings and scroll to ‘User and Backup’ section.
  3. Tap Backup and reset.
  4. If you want, you can tick the checkboxes next to Automatic restore and Back up my data.
  5. Tap Factory data reset.
  6. Touch Reset device.
  7. You may be asked to enter your PIN or Password.
  8. Tap Continue and then Delete all.

Problem #7: Galaxy Note 4 does not get OTA update notifications

Good morning. I have a Samsung Note 4 phone which was O2 unlocked and I now use a different provider (Three mobile). I have not been able to update my OS from the original Android version of 4.4.2 since purchasing the phone.. On the Settings / About Device / Software Update the ‘Update now’ option appears to be disabled (nothing happens when I select/click on it). My software update settings are set to update automatically and to download only when connected to Wifi which is fine as I have WIfi available during work hours and am auto connected to their Wifi network. My question is why would the option to update be disabled? Thanks. — Steve

Solution: Hi Steve. Manufacturers like Samsung usually build phones according to the specifications set by carriers. Such devices run a carrier-modified version of Android so they can add their own services and apps. So, for example, your Note 4 right now is still running the O2 Android version although it’s been network unlocked and now works with Three Mobile network. This means that the core operating system of the device is still the O2 software and not that of Three Mobile. And that’s the main reason why you can no longer receive a notification about an OTA update. Basically, Three Mobile software cannot be installed on top of O2’s software running in the phone.

If you want to update the software, you can do so by doing it manually, as long as you can find a compatible firmware somewhere. The process of manually installing a software update on an Android device is called flashing. This process is relatively easy but also risky if not done properly. The exact steps on how to flash a software on a device is beyond the scope of this article so we recommend that you use Google for a good guide. You also have to make sure that you use the correct firmware for the specific phone model that you have. Again, we want to emphasize that flashing can brick your phone so make sure that you know what you’re doing. Before you proceed with flashing, we suggest that you find some good literature about the topic so you familiarize yourself regarding the steps.

 


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