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Solutions for unresponsive Galaxy Note 5, how to bypass Factory Reset Protection

Today’s #GalaxyNote5 troubleshooting article answers two common issues: unresponsive Note 5 and how to fix an FRP-locked device. If you encounter any of these issues in your own Note 5, continue reading below.

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.

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: Solutions for unresponsive Galaxy Note 5, won’t boot to normal mode

Hi. So, while using VR on my Samsung Note 5, it froze. I managed a re-start, and it shows the Galaxy Note screen, then the AT&T logo, then the bottom keys on either side of the home key light up and that’s it. If I press the power key to get it to show the front screen, only those bottom two buttons light up and nothing else. I can hold the power + vol down and it’ll cycle through the opening and end up at the same spot. I can connect it to my computer and have backed up the files through that. All the suggestions I see online tell me to turn it off before trying other things (like a factory restart), but I don’t know how to turn it off completely, only reboot it with power + vol down.  I’m now waiting for the battery to drain to try the factory reset again, but any ideas/suggestions would be most welcome. And sorry, I don’t know it’s current OS. Thank you! — Beth Wallan

Solution: Hi Beth. If you find yourself with an unresponsive Note 5, which was what happened initially, the very first thing that you’re supposed to do is to attempt to restart it normally. If it refuses to do so, then that’s the time that you want to do a soft reset.

Fix #1: Attempt a soft reset

Soft reset is a mechanism that’s common for phones with non-removable battery packs. It’s obviously very difficult to turn the phone off by removing the battery, a process that once was a no-brainer with older Samsung phones. In Samsung devices with non-removable batteries, the equivalent of a “battery pull” is by pressing and holding the Volume Down buttons for at least 10 seconds. You’re actually doing the right thing in waiting for the battery to just empty itself. In this case, this is the only way to turn the device off.

Fix #2: Boot the device to alternate modes

The other troubleshooting step that you can try in this situation is to booting the device to other modes. If you can manage to do that, there’s a chance you may be able to fix the problem by doing the follow up troubleshooting steps. Below are the two ways to boot your Note 5 to other software environments and the respective steps that you can do for each afterwards.

Boot in Recovery mode

  1. Turn off your Note 5. If you can’t power down your Note 5 normally, wait for it to empty its battery.
  2. Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Press and then hold the Home and Volume UP keys, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the Samsung Galaxy logo shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume Up keys.
  5. When the Android logo shows, you may release both keys and leave the phone be for about 30 to 60 seconds.
  6. You can either wipe the cache partition or do a full factory wipe when in this mode.

Boot in Download Mode

  1. Turn off your Note 5. If you can’t power down your Note 5 normally, wait for it to empty its battery.
  2. Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Press and then hold the Home and Volume DOWN keys, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the Samsung Galaxy logo shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume DOWN keys.
  5. Wait until the Download screen appears.
  6. 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.
  7. Use Google to look for a guide on how to do it.

Fix #3 [optional]: Flash the bootloader

In some cases, failure to load Android is often due to a corrupted bootloader. In order to fix the problem, you can try re-installing the bootloader by flashing the original or stock version. Flashing is a risky procedure though and can potentially lead to more serious problems if not done properly. If you haven’t tried it before, make sure that you do more research about it first. Flashing is generally easy but one misstep can brick the phone. If you plan on doing this step, you should find a good guide first. The procedure is very similar to flashing the firmware. Below are the general steps on how to flash a bootloader of a Samsung device. Exact steps may be a bit different for your particular phone model so make sure to see other guides as well for additional reference.

Before you proceed with flashing your device’s bootloader, make sure that you have a good computer that’s connected to the internet, and an Odin program (Samsung flashing tool). If everything is set, here are the steps:

  1. Look for the correct firmware for your phone model and download it. Make sure that you select the right one. It should be the same exact firmware that ran previously on your device. We assume that you list down the firmware version somewhere. If you did not take note of it before, there’s a chance that you may pick the wrong one. As you may know now, using an incorrect firmware can cause complications so good luck with that. If you are following a good flashing guide, it should give you a link where to get the right firmware for your particular model.
  2. Let’s now say that you have identified the correct firmware. You then want to download it to your computer. The firmware file should have a bunch of files in it like AP_, BL_, CSC_, etc.
  3. Look for the file that starts with a label BL; this should be the corresponding bootloader file for this firmware. Once you’ve identified the bootloader file, copy it to your computer’s desktop or to any other folder that you can easily access.
  4. Proceed with the rest of the flashing procedure using the Odin program.
  5. In Odin, click on the BL tab and make sure to use the bootloader file you’ve identified earlier.
  6. Now, make sure that the “Device Added” status and its “ID:COM box” has turned blue before hitting the START button. This will initiate the flashing of your phone’s bootloader.
  7. Restart the phone once the procedure is finished.

Fix #4: Contact Samsung or send the phone in

Most advanced Android users hate sending their phones in, especially if they know that a software glitch is to blame. Since we can’t tell you if you have a software problem or a hardware malfunction given the very limited history you gave us, you should let a professional check the device in person. We strongly recommend that you let Samsung do the job. Even if the phone is no longer covered by a warranty, it’s a good idea to let a Samsung technician handle the repair. If you don’t want to do that, then you can send the device to an independent service center.

Problem 2: How to unlock Factory Reset Protection in a Galaxy Note 5

My daughter put a password on our spare Note 5 that she’d use to play on that is no longer in service. She forgot it and so I ended up pushing the Volume, Power and Middle button to factory reset it. Well that backfires because now I can’t figure out what Google account we flipping used for this. I tried mine but it won’t let me in:expressionless: I just need to know if there is some kind of loop hole around to this. — Ktml1986

Solution: Hi Ktml1986. Starting with Android Lollipop (Androi 5.0 and up), Samsung began fortifying their devices with Factory Reset Protection (FRP) feature which locks the phone when an unauthorized factory reset is performed on it. This is meant to deter thieves from using the device after wiping it via factory reset. Factory Reset Protection is automatically activated when you sign in to your Google account.

Before FRP was introduced, anyone (especially bad elements) can easily use the phone again since all settings and data of the previous owner will be deleted, making the phone “new” again. With the FRP though, a stolen phone can no longer be used.

If you signed in to a Google Account in this Note 5 before giving it to your child, then you only have two ways to unlock the device:

  1. enter the Google Account credentials in your phone
  2. let Samsung unlock the device for you

Obviously, the first option must be your first choice in this matter. If you are positive about the Google username but can’t remember the password, you can first reset the password on the device by following the instructions in this link.

If you have multiple Google accounts and you can’t remember what account you used in said device, you can visit https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager. Just log in with your Google username and password and check the list of devices under that account. If you can’t see the Note 5 under that account, check the rest of your other Google accounts. Once you’ve identified the correct account, use the username and password for that same account to unlock your Note 5

If signing in to a Google account won’t help at all, bring your Note 5 to Samsung together with the proof of purchase so they can unlock it for you.

 


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