Samsung Galaxy S4 can’t get out of boot loop or can’t boot up after insufficient storage error

Here’s one problem with the Samsung Galaxy S4 (#Samsung #GalaxyS4) that’s not common but it could happen to anyone who uses #SamsungGalaxy devices. I’ve seen this problem a couple of times already and while it could be a totally different issue from the ones I encountered, rest assured it’s not a big deal of a problem and you can fix it on your own. The key to solving this problem is identifying what caused it.

According to our reader, her phone prompted that there isn’t enough space left to save the photos but she didn’t specify where the camera stores the pictures and videos, although, it can easily be determined as there are only two places where the app can write directly; either in the phone’s internal storage or in the microSD card.

The error message she got may not even be an error message but a notice or a prompt that literally told her the camera could no longer save pictures in the default storage directory. Prompts like this do not cause any trouble at all let alone force the phone to reboot and enter boot loop.

It may appear as though the error or notice caused this problem but it wasn’t. In fact, it was just one of the signs that something is going on with the phone and that’s what we need to find out. I already have a suspect, though–the microSD card. Find my explanation below.

Now, before we dig into this issue deeper, here’s the actual message from our reader…

I was using the camera when I got the message that I am running out of space and that the images would not save correctly. Then it crashed. Since then (24 hours) its stuck in a boot loop or something.

It comes up with the Galaxy logo and then the animate Samsung startup logo and the shuts down and start the process again. I have tried all the start up methods listed like volume up + power + home key; tried power then volume down; tried EVERYTHING. Nothing seems to work. Please help.” — Riaan

If you have other concerns with your phone, visit the troubleshooting page we setup for Samsung Galaxy S4. It contains hundreds of solutions to problems we already addressed in the past. Find issues that are related to yours and try the solutions we provided. If they won’t work, then fill up the questionnaire and hit submit so we can help you better. Please provide as much information as possible in the description field.

Make sure it’s not a stuck Power key issue

If the Power key is stuck, it will force the phone into boot loop. I understand there was an error or a prompt prior to the problem but it is necessary to verify it’s not just a switch problem or something. Follow this…

  1. Remove the back cover and pull the battery out (regardless whether the phone is on or off).
  2. Press the Power key multiple times. If it was stuck, this step may be able to fix it.
  3. Place the battery back in and observe closely if the phone turns on immediately after you mounted the battery without pressing the Power key. If this is the case, it’s the Power key may still be stuck or damaged.
  4. If the phone doesn’t power on all by itself, proceed to the next procedure.

Camera saves pictures in phone’s internal storage

I want to reiterate that in this case, it is necessary to know how the Camera is set. Remember, owners have the options to save the pictures and videos on the phone’s storage or directly into the microSD card. Our reader said the boot loop started while she was using the camera and after the “insufficient storage” notice.

If the Camera app was set to save the pictures in the phone’s internal memory, here’s what you need to do…

  1. Reboot the phone twice or more as it may be just a glitch.
  2. If the phone is still stuck in boot loop, then try booting it in safe mode just to see if it could do that successfully.

Booting in Safe Mode

  1. Turn the device off completely.
  2. Press and hold the Power button.
  3. Once the Samsung Galaxy S4 logo appears on the screen, release the Power button.
  4. As soon as you release the Power button, press and hold the Volume Down key.
  5. Continue holding the Volume Down key until the phone has completed the reboot process.
  6. If you can read ‘Safe Mode‘ at the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume Down key. Otherwise, repeat the process until you can boot the phone to Safe Mode.

Assuming the phone has booted successfully in safe mode, verify how much storage space is left in your phone’s internal storage. If there isn’t enough, then connect your device to a computer and transfer some files, pictures, videos, music, recordings, etc., just to make some room. After you’ve done this, the problem must be fixed already.

Camera saves pictures directly to microSD card

In case the Camera app was set to directly save pictures/videos to the microSD card and the “insufficient storage space” error is popping up, then you should immediately check if it’s true that it’s almost full. If so, try setting the camera to save files in the phone’s internal storage to find out if the issue is all about the storage space almost running out; this is also a temporary solution until you made room for new pictures.

If, however, the error still pops up after setting the phone storage as default directory for the Camera, try to delete some files that you don’t need anymore or transfer your pictures, videos and other large files over to your computer just to make some room, and then try to capture pictures to see if the error still pops up. If so, try clearing the cache and data of the Camera app to reset it to default settings and clear your current preferences.

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap the More tab.
  4. Tap Application manager.
  5. Swipe left or right to go to the All tab.
  6. Scroll to and tap Camera.
  7. Tap Clear cache.
  8. Tap Clear data, then OK.

Basically, after you’ve deleted or cleared some files from your phone’s internal storage and from the microSD card and cleared the cache and the data of the Camera app, the error should already be gone. If it continues to pop up after all doing all these things, then it must be an issue with the firmware already.

At this point, I’m still assuming that the phone has successfully booted up in safe mode.

Phone can’t get out of boot loop & won’t boot up in safe mode

If you’ve reached this far, it’s already a firmware issue. I understand you already did “everything” including the booting up in recovery to no avail. I want you to try to boot your phone in recovery mode again and if successful, the first thing you should do is wipe the cache partition. Here’s how…

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key, the Home key and the Power key (in that order).
  3. When the phone vibrates, let go of the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
  4. When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
  5. Press the Volume Down key to highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  6. Press the Power key to select. The phone will automatically restart after the cache is wiped.

Assuming you’ve successfully wiped the cache partition and the phone still can’t boot up successfully, then proceed with the master reset. But please note that all your data, files, pictures, videos and everything saved in the phone’s internal storage will be deleted.

Master Reset 

  1. Switch your phone off.
  2. Hold down the Power, Volume Up and Home buttons at the same time for about 10 seconds. Release them when the Android logo appears on the screen. This will bring up the unlock/reset menu.
  3. To navigate through this menu, use the volume up/down buttons to scroll up and down and the power button to confirm selections.
  4. Scroll down and select Wipe Data/Factory Reset.
  5. Scroll down and select Yes – Delete All User Data.
  6. When prompted, scroll to and select Reboot System Now. The phone will then reboot to its factory settings.

If the problem remained after the reset, we are not looking at the phone that has a bad firmware. You may bring it to your service provider and let its tech check on it or you can hire a third-party tech to reinstall the firmware for you.

I hope this helps one way or the other. Thanks for reading!

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