How to fix Galaxy S7 “Unauthorized actions have been detected” error

Today’s troubleshooting article addresses two errors on a #GalaxyS7:

  • “Unauthorized actions have been detected …” error and,
  • “The operating system on your device has been modified in an unauthorized way…” error.

Usually, these errors are the result of tripping the Knox counter in your Samsung device.  Simply put, your phone’s software security has been compromised by actions like rooting or flashing. The solutions we provide in this article are meant for a particular user who contacted us but they can also be done on any device in a similar situation.


Problem: Galaxy S7 stuck on Apple logo screen due to “Unauthorized actions have been detected” error

I have sent my phone to repair shop to factory reset due to my phone was stuck at the samsung logo. I took back my phone and able to switched on. These two actions have been causing me distress a lot; 1) I keep on getting notifications stating that ‘Unauthorised actions have been detected. Restart your phone to undo these actions.’ I did restart once but brought me back to initial problem and i had to go to the repair shop again. I have yet to restart my phone afterwards. 2) I am unable to update my software and received this notification – ‘The operating system on your device has been modified in an unauthorised way. Try downloading software update using Smart Switch on your PC or visit a customer service centre.’ I did Smart Switch but nothing happened. Are these two issues related or not? Please help me!!! — Atiqah

Solution: Hi Atiqah. Yes, the two errors you’re getting are related and most probably caused by a modification to your phone’s software. If you did not do anything to, say, root or flash the software, then a technician in the repair shop must have done it. The technician must have tampered with the software in order to fix the device, or to force it to load the operating system. This is usually a common fix if a Samsung device is unable to run Android properly, causing the phone to get stuck in boot Samsung logo page. We assume the repair shop you brought your device to is not a Samsung service center because otherwise these errors will not be there in the first place. To fix the problem, you need to do the following:

  • Bring the device back to the shop that fixed it
  • Try to fix the issue yourself
  • Ask Samsung to fix the device for you

Bring the device back to the shop that fixed it

Allowing the same technician to fix your device has its merit. He or she e can continue diagnosing the issue from where he/she left it. This can hasten the overall repair process. Hopefully, the issue can be fixed on his/her end and won’t require motherboard replacement.

Secondly, letting the same service center fix the device may save you money since the issue will be treated as unresolved. Service centers usually provides a certain return warranty in order to fix the device again for free. We don’t know how repair with this particular service center works but hopefully you’ll not be charged again for the second repair.

Fix the issue on your end

Usually, the errors you’re getting are indicators that the device is unable to boot normally because Android encounters problems. To see if you can fix it, you can do the following solutions.

Perform a master reset

Android problems can sometimes be fixed by wiping the phone and returning Android to its factory state. The process is called factory reset. Factory reset can be performed either bvia Settings, or by pressing a combination of hardware buttons. Obviously, you need to do the latter here. Here’s how it’s done:

  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.

Reflash the bootloader

Before you try to reflash the firmware (or software), you should try to at least make sure that your device’s bootloader (or Recovery software) working properly. This is an important troubleshooting step especially since the device is unable to boot up properly.

Reflashing a Samsung bootloader can vary between phone models so be sure to consult other flashing guides before trying the steps below. The instructions below are for demonstration purposes only and may vary slightly from a particular flashing guide for your device.

  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.

Reflash the firmware

Like what we said above, reflashing your phone’s software needs a specific set of steps. Keep in mind that flashing is essentially modifying critical system files. This means that you’ll most likely brick the device or cause more problems if you’ll not do it properly. If you haven’t tried doing this before, consider asking someone to help you. Or, you can visit other Android forums like XDA-Developers Android Forums to ask other Android users for a specific flashing guide for your device.

Let Samsung repair the device

This is a long shot since you’ve already let a third party service center fix the device for you. We don’t know the exact circumstances of the repair though. If you’re lucky, Samsung may accept the device for their repair program. Of course, if your phone is no longer in warranty, repair will not be free anymore but at least you’ll have the assurance that a qualified technician will do it for you.


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