How to fix an unresponsive, slow Galaxy S7 [troubleshooting guide]

A slow Android is bad enough, but another worse trouble that you can encounter is an unresponsive device. Today, we cover these two #GalaxyS7 issues that a lot of Android users also experience from time to time. We hope that you’ll find this troubleshooting article helpful.

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 an unresponsive Galaxy S7

Hi. I own a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. Since last 3 days my phone got hanged 3 times and needs factory resetting. First time when it got stuck and could not reboot after trying for 1 hr, I did factory reset using Power button, Volume and home key button (Recovery Booting) after factory reset. when I open Phone contact the phone again got hanged and started making sound. It tried so many times and tried to restart my phone. Again no success. So i again did factory reset and installed only a few application. After 2 days while charging my phone, it started making loud sound. Since then I tried to do factory reset again but I am not able to reach that point through recovery booting where I get that option. I am getting Android update option and phone is not going anywhere. Even if I get the option to do factory reset, I feel there is something wrong and can not be resolved with Factory reset and more over. This seems not a very good option to do factory reset almost every day. I think purchasing Samsung Galaxy series is my biggest mistake, T-Mobile is saying I have completed my warranty and they could not do anything beyond this. — Vishal Varshney

Solution: Hi Vishal. Factory reset should only be done sparingly, and only when the usual basic set of software solutions are not effective. To do it every day is a sign that it only fixes the issue temporarily. This means that you may not be addressing the real issue at all, or simply re-introducing the issue after every factory reset session. For example, it’s possible that the reason why the phone keeps freezing or unresponsive is due to a bad third party app you installed. While factory reset can remove it (and its other associated services), reinstalling the same app will bring the same issue again afterwards. In other words, if the cause of the problem is a poorly coded-  or malicious third party app, re-installing it after a factory reset is not exactly a permanent solution.

Freezing issue or becoming unresponsive randomly are symptoms, and not the issues themselves. Instead, they should help you point to the right direction when fixing your issue.

Your Galaxy S7 can show symptoms like the ones you’re experiencing right now due to a number of reasons including the following:

  • corrupted system cache
  • poorly coded third party app
  • unknown system glitch
  • Malware
  • unknown hardware malfunction

Clear the system cache

Android uses a set of temporary files called system cache to load apps quicker. This cache is built over time. The more you use apps, the more Android learns your usage habits, helping it prepare often used files and services to load your apps faster. This system works majority of the time however some external factors can mess with it. If a system cache gets corrupted or unusable, it can lead to problems. To address a possible corruption of the system cache, every user must clear the cache partition, where the system cache is located, regularly. Wiping your phone’s cache once every few months should do.

For troubleshooting purposes, we suggest that you do it before doing any other steps in this case. Here’ how to do it:

  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 cache partition.
  6. Once highlighted, you may press the Power key to select it.
  7. Now highlight the option ‘Yes’ 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.

Force restart your S7

Another good troubleshooting step when an S7 becomes unresponsive is by performing a virtual “battery pull.” In older phones, removing the physical battery from the device was a good way to restart it once the system stopped responding. Not so with the S7. Because the battery has been integrated with the motherboard and opening the phone voids the warranty, your phone can become useless if you can’t restart it using the normal means. Samsung has to find a way to simulate the effect of physically removing the battery. Let us show you how:

  1. Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes. This will ensure that you won’t drain the battery completely.
  2. Press and hold the Power and Volume Down buttons until the Maintenance Boot Mode screen appears (approx. 10 seconds).
  3. From the Maintenance Boot Mode screen, select Power down. You can use the volume buttons to cycle through the available options and the Home button (located below the display) to select.

Power up to safe mode

We suspect that your problem is being caused by a bad third party app. This is the reason why the phone seem to work fine initially after a factory reset, but then revert to its problematic state afterwards. As mentioned above, you may simply be re-installing the problematic app after a factory reset making it appear that the issue only goes away temporarily.

To see if our suspicion is on target, kindly do the following steps:

  1. Turn your Galaxy S7 off.
  2. Press and hold the Power button.
  3. Once the ‘Samsung Galaxy S7’ logo appears, release the Power key and immediately press and hold the Volume Down button.
  4. Continue holding the button until the phone finishes rebooting.
  5. Once you see the text “Safe mode” at the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume Down button.
  6. Let the phone run for 24 hours in safe mode to see any difference. If your S7 works normally and won’t freeze at all, you can bet a bad app is behind all this.

Uninstall apps

Whether you have problems in your phone or not, it’s ideal to never leave unused apps in your phone. Not only do they take up space but they can also potentially be security risks. If you are the type who tends to install apps without reviewing whether or not they come from a reputable developer, you’ll most likely end up with problems.

If your phone works normally when in safe mode but not in normal mode, you should uninstall apps to fix the problem. Remember, safe mode is not a solution but a means that you can use to know if one of the installed apps is causing trouble. To identify the bad app, you must uninstall apps until the issue is gone. Be sure to observe how your phone works after every uninstallation.

Too much of factory reset is not good

A factory reset may be necessary only up to a point. In your case, since the issue appears to go away only after doing a factory reset but returns shortly afterwards, there’s a very high chance that it’s due to a bad app. Doing a factory reset repeatedly may eventually wear out the storage device causing memory problems. This can lead to boot problems like the one you’re experiencing right now. To see if the problem in your storage device can be fixed, proceed to the next suggestion.

Flash the bootloader back to stock

Flashing is an Android term that refers to the process of changing the software. This process must only be done by experienced Android users or qualified Samsung technicians. If you haven’t heard of the term before, or if it’s your first time to perform it, you should do extra research to know more about it.

The reason why we think you may need to flash the bootloader of your S7 back to stock is due to the fact that you’re saying the phone no longer goes to Recovery Mode to allow factory or master reset. That’s probably because the bootloader or Recovery software has become corrupted after you’ve repeatedly factory reset the phone.

To flash a bootloader, below are the general steps. Remember, flashing procedures can sometimes vary depending on the phone model. Our guide below may be the exact steps. Be sure to consult other guides that can provide more accurate 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.
  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.

Contact Samsung

Should the issue continue after doing all the procedures above, that means the cause of the problem is bad hardware. You should let Samsung check the hardware so a diagnosis can be done.

Problem 2: Galaxy S7 slow performance issue, keeps lagging

Phone lags doing EVERYTHING. lags going from screen off to lock screen lags opening most apps if any game is open, and a phone call comes in, the phone rings, but phone won’t show answer screen until moments before call is missed. 75% of outgoing calls are NOT heard by the other caller… as though my phone is on mute. if a phone call lasts more than 10ish minutes, the call itself starts lagging. The callers voice comes in slower, until eventually it sounds computerized… with a MASSIVE lag. apps randomly crash… chrome crashes at LEAST 10x per DAY. Touchwiz and phone also crash. I have tried refreshes, cache clears, partition wipes, full hard resets… fully updated. It’s been happening since about 4 weeks after purchase. I am a disabled mom, with a disabled husband and a special needs son, and another son in the Army. I CANNOT be without my phone, and don’t have another I can use… if my phone doesn’t connect if there’s any emergency, it could be life or death. If you can offer ANY help, I’d be SO grateful!! Sprint and Samsung are useless! — Marianne Sandling

Solution: Hi Marianne. Either your phone has a software problem, or its hardware is messed up from the start. To know if you have a software problem, which is relatively easier to fix, you must do all the items we suggest for Vishal above. Most importantly, you’ll want to do a factory reset to return all software settings back to stock. Because a factory software state is generally bug free, your phone is expected to be fine after a factory reset. Unless the problem is being caused by a bad app or a software glitch, your phone should work normally again after a factory reset.

If your phone remains problematic after a factory reset, make sure to check that it’s not due to a third party app by loading the phone to safe mode. Refer to our suggestions above.

There are two ways to factory reset a Galaxy S7:

Factory reset via Settings

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Find and tap Settings and then touch Backup and reset.
  3. Tap Factory data reset and touch Reset device.
  4. If you have screen lock feature turned on, enter your password or PIN.
  5. Touch Continue.
  6. Tap Delete all to confirm your action.

Factory reset via Recovery Mode:

  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.

Remember, factory reset will erase all your data including photos, videos, etc. Be sure to back them up before you proceed.

 


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One Reply to “How to fix an unresponsive, slow Galaxy S7 [troubleshooting guide]”

  1. Galaxy S7 has an unresponsive to touch screen, in addition, there is a blue outline that scrolls through encircling everything on the screen accompanied by a beep each time it moves. I have tried hard rebooting, but it will not turn completely off and allow you to turn back on; rather, goes through the quick restart process and immediately goes back to the same issue. Only the volume keys and power key are responsive. No calls or messages can be sent, although notification have come through but you can do nothing with them. Please help!

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