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How to troubleshoot Galaxy S9 that has become unresponsive and won’t charge

Today’s topic is definitely one of the most common issues on any smartphone. It can occur on cheap or high end phones and Samsung’s #GalaxyS9 is not an exception. In fact, a lot of S9 users are actually contacting us for help because their device had become unresponsive, won’t turn on, or has stopped charging for good. If you encounter this issue on your S9, then this post should help.

Before we proceed, we want to remind you that 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: How to troubleshoot Galaxy S9 that has become unresponsive and won’t charge

Brand new Samsung S9 galaxy 1 month old. Phone ran down & switched off automatically as it should. Last time it did this it would not charge up with the proper factory charger. Did the reboot thing several times and finally got it to start charging again. 2 days later ran out of battery and switched off. Now cannot get it to charge no matter how many times I try the reboot with volume down & power button even with charger connected. Any answers?

Solution: Common reasons for this issue includes:

  • a bad app
  • unknown software bug
  • broken charging accessories
  • damaged charging port
  • dead battery
  • general hardware motherboard malfunction

To know if the problem can be fixed on your level, these are the things that you can try.

Force reboot

If your Galaxy S9 shows signs that it’s charging (LED light still flashes, phone vibrates or makes a sound), you may still be able to get it to work again by doing a forced reboot. To do this, just press and hold the Power and Volume Down keys together for 10 seconds and wait until it reboots. After the procedure, observe the device if it still reboots. If so, move on to the next step.

Verify if phone has screen issue

Some users may mistakenly identify a bad screen issue for No Power issue. The latter means the phone no longer charges, has become completely unresponsive, and not showing any signs that it still powers on (such as LED light when charging or receiving notifications, no sounds, no longer vibrates). If your phone has a bad screen assembly, your S9 should still show any of the signs though the screen itself would remain black. In this case, the best thing that you can do is to have the phone repaired. Make sure to send the device to Samsung so a qualified technician can fix it.

Use another set of charging cable and adapter

One of the common reasons why smartphones fail to turn back on can be bad charging accessories. Make sure that your device charges normally using known working cable and adapter. If you don’t have another set  at the ready, you can borrow one from a friend or go to a Samsung store to try one. Basically, your aim would be to know whether or not the current charging accessories you have are working, which empty the battery totally.

Check the charging port

This one does not mean fixing the charging port (you won’t be unless you risk opening the phone up and doing the actual repair yourself). By checking the charging port, we mean that you simply see if there are obvious signs that it may have stopped working properly due to presence of dirt or lint. By using a magnifying tool, you can inspect in a limited manner if there’s something amiss inside such a bent or damaged connector. This is often the main reason why a phone fails to charge, or charges erratically. If you see that the port is dirty or has some dirt in it, try cleaning it using a can of compressed air. Avoid sticking anything inside to prevent damaging a connector or compromising water resistance. If there’s a bent pin or connector, do not fix it on your own. Instead, you want Samsung to do it for you via their repair program. Make sure to contact them on what you need to do exactly.

Boot to safe mode

If the phone is not totally unresponsive and shows LED lights when charging or makes sounds during a restart, there’s a chance that a third party app may be interfering with Android. To see if that’s the case, try to boot it to safe mode. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Be sure to turn the device off. You won’t be able to boot it to safe mode if it’s on. If you can’t turn it off the usual way, let the battery drain to 0% first.
  2. Once you’re certain that the phone has been powered off, charge it for at least 30 minutes before doing the rest of the steps below.
  3. Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen.
  4. When “SAMSUNG” appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  5. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  6. Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  7. Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  8. Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.

If your phone boots to safe mode successfully, it means that you have a third party app issue. One of the apps you added is probably blocking the screen or preventing it from working normally for a reason. To identify which of your apps is causing the trouble, you should boot the phone back to safe mode and follow these steps:

  1. Boot to safe mode.
  2. Check for the problem.
  3. Once you’ve confirmed that a third party app is to blame, you can start uninstalling apps individually. We suggest that you begin with the most recent ones you added.
  4. After you uninstall an app, restart the phone to normal mode and check for the problem.
  5. If your S9 is still problematic, repeat steps 1-4.

Boot to other modes

In case the issue lies on the operating system itself, you can try to boot the device to other boot modes to check. There are two other modes that can help you. One is called Recovery Mode and the other is Odin or Download Mode. These modes are independent of Android, which means that you should be able load them even if Android has become problematic or corrupted. They don’t depend on Android working normally in order to load. So, if you are able to boot your phone to Recovery or Odin Mode but not on normal mode, you can bet there’s an Android operating system issue causing the trouble.

Before attempting to restart your phone to any of these two modes, it must be powered off first, just like in safe mode.

To boot your S9 to Recovery Mode:

  1. Turn off the device. This is important. If you can’t turn it off, you’ll never be able to boot to Recovery Mode. If you are not able to shut the device off regularly via the Power button, wait until the phone’s battery is drained. Then, charge the phone for 30 minutes before booting to Recovery Mode.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).

In Recovery Mode, you can wipe the cache partition and factory reset the device. If your phone boots to Recovery, be sure to do these potential solutions.

To boot your S9 to Odin/Download Mode:

  1. Turn off the device. This is important. If you can’t turn it off, you’ll never be able to boot to Odin Mode. If you are not able to shut the device off regularly via the Power button, wait until the phone’s battery is drained. Then, charge the phone for 30 minutes before booting to Odin Mode.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Down key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. Wait for a few moments for Download Mode to come up. If nothing shows or if your phone remains unresponsive, it’s probably unable to load this mode.

In Odin mode, you can restore the firmware to its stock version. If your S9 boots to Download  or Odin Mode only, then you can either send it in to Samsung to be repaired, or you can attempt to flash the firmware yourself. Flashing is risky and can potentially brick your device. Be sure to do enough research so you’ll know the things that might go wrong and avoid them.

Get professional help from Samsung

In majority of cases similar to yours, repair is almost always the answer. If the suggestions above won’t help, visit your local Samsung store or Service Center so someone who does phone repair for a living can help you.

Problem #2: Galaxy S9 screen becomes unresponsive when passcode is entered

Had the latest update installed and now the screen is unresponsive when I try to swipe to unlock. i am able to reboot in regular and safe mode, and the home screen appears, however when i swipe to put in my passcode the screen goes blank. i can swipe to access the camera and sound settings, anything that does not require log in. tried volume down, power and got a green warning screen ‘custom os can cause critical problems…’ . vol down to cancel and the phone will boot up. the phone is functioning bc i can see the preview messages and hear the notification sounds, but wont respond for login swipe on or get to the shut down screen to fully turn the device off. this happens in safe mode as well.  can you help me with this? thanks.

Solution: The update may have messed the operating system configurations up. Try wiping the cache partition first and see what happens. Your phone uses a special cache called system cache to load apps quickly but sometimes, updates may corrupt it. To ensure that your phone has good system cache, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Android logo displays, release all three keys.
  4. An ‘Installing system update’ message will show for 30 – 60 seconds before the Android system recovery menu options appear.
  5. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight wipe cache partition.
  6. Press Power key to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key to highlight yes, them 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.

Should a cache partition wipe won’t change anything, do a factory reset to return all software information back to their defaults. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Samsung account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Samsung credentials to finish the master reset.
  2. Turn off the device.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the green 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 to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’.
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  8. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  9. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  10. Press the Power key to restart the device.

 


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If you are one of the users who encounters a problem with your device, let us know. We offer solutions for Android-related problems for free so if you have an issue with your Android device, simply fill in the short questionnaire in this link and we will try to publish our answers in the next posts. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem.

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