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How to fix Samsung Galaxy S7 with unresponsive buttons, black screen and won’t turn on (easy steps)

Unresponsive buttons and black screen are two of the most common signs of a firmware crash or the Black Screen of Death issue that may occur from time to time. However, aside from that, it could also be a sign of a more serious hardware problem like when your phone suffered physical or liquid damage. The firmware crash can easily be fixed and you actually don’t need a technician to bring the phone back to life, the latter however, is more serious and may require you to visit the service center to have the problem fixed depending on the weight of the problem.

In this post, I will walk you through in fixing this problem provided that it only occurred due to firmware or other software issues. As the owner, you should be the first one to know what happened to your phone why it’s acting like this but then again. We have readers who have the Samsung Galaxy S7 and have encountered this issue. Some of them reported that the problem started after a firmware update. Regardless whether it’s a minor system update or a big one, we can always assume it’s a firmware-related issue and such can be fixed easily. I hope that the problem with your phone is similar to it. Read on as this post may help you.

Now, before anything else, if you have other issues with your phone, make sure you drop by our Galaxy S7 troubleshooting page for we have already provided solutions to hundreds of problems reported by our readers. Odds are that we may have already provided a solution to the problem you currently have so try to find issues that are similar with yours on that page and feel free to use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work or if you need further assistance, fill up our Android issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

Solution to unresponsive Galaxy S7 buttons and black screen

We have already addressed this kind of problem several times in the past but since we still have a lot of our readers complaining about similar issues, then we need to publish similar posts. But the thing is, some problems may manifest same signs and symptoms but they might have been caused by different factors that’s why it’s still necessary to address them from time to time. With that said, before we actually jump into our solution, here’s the problem sent by one of our readers where our solution in this post will be based on…

Problem: My S7 updated this morning. Ever since, my background is black I have lost the top of my screen with battery life, etc. I have no ability to change the volume or use my home or menu keys, It is no longer locked with my fingerprint (even though security screen says it is), all of my apps are updated and seem to be working.

Solution: First, we will try to address the problem based on how our reader described it. Basically, the phone is turned on and she can actually use her apps. The problem is that the hardware and touch buttons don’t work and the background or the wallpaper turned to black with missing notification or status bar. The update however, was successful so we can assume her phone is now running the latest version of Android for Galaxy S7 units.

With all that being said, could it be a case of a bad update? Maybe. But it could also be just a result of some corrupt system caches. This is the first thing that we have to assume here after all the phone was working fine prior to the update because if not, the update shouldn’t have pushed through. And with this in mind, here’s the best thing to do about it:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the device logo screen displays, release only the Power key.
  4. When the Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times key to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’.
  6. Press the Power key to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key to highlight ‘yes’ and press the Power key to select.
  8. When the wipe cache partition is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  9. Press the Power key to restart the device.

After wiping the cache partition and the phone already booted up, try to see if everything is back to normal. If there’s still some issues, then a factory reset will take care of them. I am certain of this because if it’s a serious firmware issue like when there are some files missing, then your phone should not boot up successfully and you will have to bring the phone to the service center so that the technician can flash the firmware manually. So, try your best to make a backup of your important files and data and follow these steps to reset your phone:

  1. Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Google account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Google credentials to finish the Master reset.
  2. From any Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap Cloud and accounts.
  5. Tap Backup and reset.
  6. If desired, tap Back up my data to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  7. If desired, tap Restore to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  8. Tap the back key twice to return to the Settings menu, then tap General Management.
  9. Tap Reset.
  10. Tap Factory data reset.
  11. Tap Reset device.
  12. If you have screen lock turned on, enter your PIN or password.
  13. Tap Continue.
  14. Tap Delete all.

I hope this solution works for you.

Now, let’s go to the black screen of death (BSoD) that may also occur after an update. The most common signs of BSoD are black screen, unresponsive buttons, LED notification light flashes and the phone may seem turned on as it sounds off when messages and calls are received. This problem is a clear sign that the system crashed shortly after the firmware update and to bring your phone back to life, you have to do this:

  • Press and hold the Volume Down button and the Power key simultaneously for 10 seconds.

Provided that there’s enough battery and the hardware is not damaged in any way, your phone will boot up normally after doing such very simple procedure. If not, then try this…

  1. Press and hold the Volume Down button and don’t let go of it.
  2. Now, press and hold the Power key while holding down the Vol Down button.
  3. Keep both keys held down together for 10 seconds.

If the problem is as simple as a system crash, the phone should be booting up right now but if it’s more than that, then you would really have to troubleshoot your device. I prepared a troubleshooting guide for you below. So, continue reading to try and fix this problem on your own.

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Troubleshooting Galaxy S7 with unresponsive keys and black screen

Problems that occur after a firmware update are usually due to some issues in the system but in this troubleshooting guide, I will walk you through on how to check your phone for possible physical and/or liquid damage.

Checking for possible physical and / or liquid damage

For possible physical damage to your S7, all you need to look for are scratches, dents and cracks because an impact that could render your phone useless will surely leave a mark. If the phone is still flawless on the outside, then all components inside should still be in their proper places unless of course you can hear rattling when you shake the phone.

As to liquid damage, you have to check the USB / charger port because it often harbors liquid or water. You may clean the area using a cotton swab or you can insert a small piece of tissue paper to absorb the moist if any.

You also have to check the Liquid Damage Indicator (LDI) which can be found in the SIM slot. Of course, you have to remove the SIM card try and look into the slot. If the LDI is still white, then there’s no liquid damage but if it turned red or purple, then it’s positive that water found its way into your phone.

If there’s a sign of either physical or liquid damage, the best thing to do is bring the phone to the service center so the technician can take care of the problem for you. But if your phone doesn’t show any signs of physical and/or liquid damage, then feel free to continue troubleshooting it.

Charge your Galaxy S7 and see how it responds

We simply want to know how your S7 responds when it’s connected to its charger that’s why we have to make you do this. So, plug the charger to a working wall outlet and connect your phone to it using the original USB cable.

  • If the phone shows the usual charging symbol on the screen, it means that it’s responding well to the charger. Allow it to charge for 10 minutes and try to turn it on. If it doesn’t respond to that, press and hold the Volume Down button and the Power keys together for 10 seconds while it’s still connected to the charger.
  • If the S7 doesn’t respond to its charger, leave it connected to its charger for ten minutes and then do the Forced Restart procedure to see if it would turn on.
  • However, if the phone overheats while it’s connected to its charger, immediately disconnect it and bring it to the service center as it’s clear there’s something wrong with the hardware. It’s risky to troubleshoot a phone when it overheats while charging.

If the phone continues to be unresponsive though, move on to the next step.

Try to run your Galaxy S7 in Safe mode

We need to know if your phone is still capable of running in its barebones without any interference from third-party apps because it’s possible that one or some of them is causing this problem. Follow these steps to boot your device in this mode:

  1. Press and hold the Power key.
  2. If Samsung Galaxy logo appears, release the Power key and simply hold the Volume Down key.
  3. Continue holding the Volume Down key until the device finishes rebooting.
  4. If you can see “Safe Mode” in the bottom left corner of the screen then, you may release the Volume Down key.

Assuming the phone actually turns on and boots in this mode, then the next thing you should do is find the app that causes the problem and uninstall it. Try to uninstall apps you recently installed…

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Applications.
  4. Tap the desired application in the default list or tap Menu icon > Show system apps to display pre-installed apps.
  5. Tap Uninstall.
  6. Tap Uninstall again to confirm.

If it still refuses to boot up in this mode however, then try the next step.

Try to boot your device in Recovery mode

The Android system recovery or commonly referred to as the Recovery mode basically serves as the fail-safe for almost all Android devices. So even if your Galaxy S7 has some serious firmware issues, it should still be able to boot up into this mode provided its hardware components are all working fine without a hitch. This is your last resort so if the phone failed to boot into this environment, then you would really have to bring it to the service center. But assuming the phone boots up successfully, you can then proceed with the master reset. Take note that a reset will erase all your personal files and data including your contacts, apps, pictures, videos, etc. I understand you haven’t make a backup but this is all you need to do to bring your phone back to life, then it’s worth the compromise. Here’s how you boot your phone up in recovery mode and do the Master Reset…

  1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy S7.
  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 data / factory reset.’
  6. Once highlighted, you may press the Power key to select it.
  7. Now highlight the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ using the Volume Down key and press the Power button to select it.
  8. Wait until your phone is finished doing the Master Reset. Once completed, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and press the Power key.
  9. The phone will now reboot longer than usual.

I hope that you’d be able to fix the problem with your phone using this troubleshooting guide. If you still have other concerns, feel free to contact us any time.

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