What to do if Galaxy Note8 can’t open photos in Gallery app after an update

There’s a lot of things that can go wrong in Android so today’s troubleshooting guide will try to answer one of them. A #GalaxyNote8 owner has contacted us that the recent Android update has messed up his phone and now the device won’t open the photos in the Gallery app. If you encounter this bug as well, make sure to skip directly to the third issue for solutions.

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: Galaxy Note8 won’t recognize SD card after using third party SD card adapter

My Samsung Galaxy Note8 will no longer recognize my microSD card. I have a 256gb that has always worked fine in the phone. Yesterday I tried to install a ‘Magicsim’ adapter that allows for two SIM cards and a memory card to be put into the Galaxy Note8 SIM slot.  I could not seem to get this working so I went to reinstall my current sim and memory card in the holder without the magicsim adapter. Now I cannot seem to get the micro sd memory card to be recognized again. I’ve tried rebooting, reformatting msd card and it still will not recognize the memory card.  Any ideas on what to do? — peter hogenson

Solution: Hi Peter. We’re not familiar with MagicSIM adapter and how it works exactly to achieve what it advertises but if connecting it was the only different thing you did before the issue started happening, there must be something wrong with the firmware of the SIM card slot, or with the operating system. External adapters usually only modifies temporary aspects of the software so the bug may be fixed by doing any of the solutions below.

Solution #1: Wipe the cache partition

Android uses a system cache to load apps efficiently, or when trying to use them in the background. There’s a chance that the external card adapter may have attempted to change the cache or the operating system so it makes sense that you want to clear the cache partition to solve the issue. Here’s how it’s done:

  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 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).
  4. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’.
  5. Press Power button to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key until ‘yes’ is highlighted and press the Power button.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.
  9. Check for the problem.

Solution #2: Reset all settings

In order for external adapters to work, they need to change some default settings for apps and services. If the problem is not fixed by wiping the cache partition, you can then try to reset your phone’s settings so every aspect of the software will be returned to their previous, working state. Here’s how to do that:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap General Management > Reset > Reset settings.
  3. Tap Reset settings.
  4. If you have set up a PIN, enter it.
  5. Tap Reset settings. Once complete a confirmation window will appear.

Solution #3: Factory reset

Should nothing change after wiping the cache partition and reset of all settings, don’t hesitate to wipe the phone thru factory reset. Unless the adapter damaged the SIM and SD card slot physically, this solution should resolve the problem relatively easily. Factory reset will wipe apps and personal data so be sure to back them up before doing it.

To factory reset your Note8:

  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 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).
  4. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’.
  5. Press Power button to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key until ‘yes’ is highlighted and press the Power button.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Problem #2: What to do if Galaxy Note8 has damaged SD card slot

I bought an SD card for my Note8 which was basically in brand new condition when I got it. Tried all the usual stuff — reset , other working SD cards, no apps — and nothing worked. Took it to a service guy who basically says it’s hard wired to the board and would cost min 200 to replace the slot and no guarantees that my phone would survive the surgery. Could use the extra mem but stuck with backing up all the time to PC so I don’t run out of mem. Cheers. — Rory Rory.raymond

Solution: Hi Rory. There’s always a risk involved when buying pre-owned electronics as there’s no way to know if the previous owner took care of it or not. Unfortunately, any hardware malfunction or failure in a Galaxy Note8 can only be addressed permanently either by repair or replacement. The SIM card slot rarely becomes damaged but if it does, the only way to fix it is by replacing it entirely. And yes, since this component is tied to the motherboard directly, it involves a more complicated repair process to replace it. Even a tiny mistake from a technician can potentially cause other hardware issues.

We don’t know what exactly is going on with your phone so we defer to the service guy who was able to examine your phone physically. There’s no better way to check for the problem than to examine it in person. What we can say is, there’s no software trick that you can do to fix a physically damaged part.

Problem #3: Galaxy Note8 can’t open photos in Gallery app after an update

I have a Sprint Note8, I just did a system update on 5/23/2018 in error because I new it would mess up my phone, and of course it did. now my phone does not charge past 80% despite how many hours I leave it charging. But worst of all, a lot of my pictures in my Gallery are showing white thumbnail and when opened it goes black. I can see the picture on edit mode! I already cleared the system cache, and that it did not help. What else can I do to recover my pictures. Please help. — Sukie2

Solution: Hi Sukie2. Android, just like any operating system, has millions of moving parts that can potentially cause problems. While developers like Google have made great strides in minimizing bugs during updates, there still is a significant chance that something may not go as planned. Google, Samsung, or your carrier don’t intentionally release buggy updates but because of sheer enormity of variables, some devices may work fine while some may encounter errors. This is the main reason why Android users are constantly reminded to always create backups of their stuff, especially those that they can’t afford to lose. If your photos got corrupted following an update, there’s very little that you can do about it. The good thing though is that you can view them in Edit Mode (we presume when you’re using the Gallery app) so that’s good news. That means those files are not totally corrupted any may only be hidden or partly damaged. To see if you can fix them, follow our suggestions below.

Copy files to a computer

If you can still access and view your photos using Gallery app, there’s a big chance that you can also copy them to a computer. So, that’s exactly what you need to do at this point. While we usually recommend that you use Samsung Smart Switch to back your stuff up, in this case, we want you to skip it. Instead, try to use your computer’s file explorer function to simply browse the Gallery app and copy all your photos to your computer’s hard drive.  

Try to see if your computer can read the files

Once you’ve copied your files, the next thing that you want to do is to see if they can be opened by your computer. Make sure that you browse through the files you copied and not the ones that’s originally stored on your Note8. If your computer can read and open those photos normally, then that means they’re intact and should be working properly when copied back to your phone.

Clear cache and data of Gallery app

Now that you’ve backed those files up, it’s time to check whether the bug is app-related or not. To do that, first you want to address a possible Gallery app issue by clearing its cache, then it’s data.

To clear an app cache on your Note8:

  1. Open the Settings menu either through your notification shade (drop-down) or through the Settings app in your app drawer.
  2. Navigate down to “Apps”. This may be renamed to something like Applications or Application Manager in OEM skinned versions of Android 6 or 7.
  3. Tap More at the upper-right hand (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Show system apps.
  5. Once in there, look for the messaging application you’re using and tap it.
  6. You’ll now see a list of stuff that gives you information about the app, including Storage, Permissions, Memory Use, and more.
  7. These are all clickable items. You’ll want to click on Storage.
  8. You should now clearly see the CLEAR CACHE button. Tap it.
  9. Restart your Note8 and check for the problem.

To clear app data on your Note8:

  1. Open the Settings menu either through your notification shade (drop-down) or through the Settings app in your app drawer.
  2. Navigate down to “Apps”. This may be renamed to something like Applications or Application Manager in OEM skinned versions of Android 6 or 7.
  3. Tap More at the upper-right hand (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Show system apps.
  5. Once in there, look for the messaging application you’re using and tap it.
  6. You’ll now see a list of stuff that gives you information about the app, including Storage, Permissions, Memory Use, and more.
  7. These are all clickable items. You’ll want to click on Storage.
  8. You should now clearly see the CLEAR DATA button. Tap it.

Copy your photos back to your Note8

Now that you’ve cleared Gallery app’s data, you can copy your photos back to your phone to see what happens. Clearing an app’s data is the virtual equivalent of an app reinstall so your Gallery app at this time should be running normally. If your photos can now be viewed normally, then you’re good to go.

Reset app preferences

If the problem remains though, the next good thing that you can do is to reset all app preferences. This is a good way to ensuring that all default apps and services needed by the operating system are not disabled. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Tap Reset app preferences.
  5. Restart your device and check for the bug.

Factory reset

Finally, if all else fail, don’t hesitate to return all software settings back to their defaults. You can do that by doing a factory reset on your phone. Refer to the steps above on how to do it.

 

 


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