How to fix your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 that has a black screen, won’t turn on & not booting up [Troubleshooting Guide]

The black screen of death (#BSoD) with the Samsung #Galaxy Note 5 (#Note5) as reported by some of our readers is a sign that the device may be suffering from a serious firmware or hardware issue. It may also be a sign of a drained battery or a broken display. It is imperative you troubleshoot your device so that you would know if the problem can still be fixed without any help from a tech or not.


To understand each problem I addressed here, continue reading. There are three sections in this post and each section tackles one problem. I have also provided troubleshooting procedures you can follow to try to fix the problem by yourself. While these procedures are safe, things might happen due to human error, so please proceed at your own risk.

For those who have other issues or concerns, you can always contact us but in order for us to help you better, we need information about your phone and the problem. So, fill up our Android issues questionnaire and tell us accurately what the problem with your device is. You may also visit our Note 5 troubleshooting page for we have already addressed hundreds of problems with this device.

Troubleshoot Galaxy Note 5 that has a black and unresponsive screen

Problem: For some reason, my Galaxy Note 5 seemed to have turned itself off and refused to come back on. I already tried turning it on using the usual procedure but to no avail. I also tried charging it but it won’t respond either. I’m not really sure what the problem with is let alone know how to fix it and bring it back to life so I need your help guys. Please guide me on how to troubleshoot my phone.

Troubleshooting: There are minor firmware issues and/or hardware glitches that may result to this kind of behavior. We will have to thoroughly troubleshoot your Note 5 to be able to determine whether it’s just a minor problem or a more complex one. As to the latter, there’s nothing much we can do about the device because a technician is needed to conduct some tests just to know what the problem really is but let’s just hope the problem is minor. That being said, try to follow these steps to troubleshoot your phone:

Step 1: Plug in the charger and connect your phone

Let’s try to rule out the possibility that it’s just a drained battery issue by charging the phone. Had the battery been completely drained, it may take a few minutes before the phone will display the usual charging signs such as the LED indicator and the charging icon on the screen. Leave the device plugged in for, at least, ten minutes and then attempt to turn it on. If it doesn’t power up, then try doing the next step.
Step 2: Perform the Forced Restart procedure

Firmware crashes happen all the time and more often than not, they will leave the phone unresponsive with blank display. When it happens, your handset won’t respond to anything you do; it won’t power on no matter how many times you hit the Power key and it won’t charge no matter how long you leave it plugged in. There is one thing you can do to bring it back to life–Forced Restart.

  1. Press and hold the Volume Down button.
  2. While holding the Vol Down button, press and hold the Power key.
  3. Keep both keys held down for 10 seconds until the phone reboots.
  4. Your Note 5 will undergo the usual boot up sequence provided it’s just a minor firmware issue.

Step 3: Attempt to boot up the device in safe mode

This won’t fix the problem if there’s any but it will give you an idea whether or not the phone is capable of powering up when all third-party apps are temporarily disabled. There’s a possibility that one or a group of your downloaded apps is causing the phone to become unresponsive and you need to rule it out by trying to boot in safe mode.

  1. Turn off your Galaxy S6.
  2. Press and hold the Power key.
  3. When ‘Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge’ appears, immediately release the Power key and then press and hold the Volume Down button.
  4. Continue holding the Volume Down button until the phone finishes the restart.
  5. When you see Safe Mode on the lower left corner of the screen, release the button.

Step 4: Try to power up your phone in Recovery Mode

If booting up in safe mode temporarily disables all third-party apps, booting up in recovery mode will sort of disable Android’s interface and run the device in its barebones. So, if the problem is with the firmware, the phone may still run in this mode. If it fails, however, then there’s nothing much we can do about it except send it in or bring it back to the store and have a tech take a look at it.

  1. Turn off your Galaxy Note 5.
  2. Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, and Power key.
  3. When the phone vibrates, release 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.

Fix Galaxy Note 5 that turned off by itself and won’t turn back on

Problem: I am positive that before my Note 5 turned off, there was an update that I tried downloading. There was this notification about an update and I did download it and left my phone while I was making breakfast for my children. When I’m about to leave for work, I noticed my phone was off so I tried turning it on but it didn’t respond. I left it beside my bed as I was running late for work. When I came home that night, the phone was still off and still won’t respond. I can no longer use my phone, can you help? I am positive it just turned off by itself because it was just downloading the update when I left it.

Troubleshooting: Hi! We can’t directly jump into a conclusion that a software update is causing the problem, though we received a lot of related issues from our readers about their devices that won’t turn on after an update. There are other possibilities to consider that might have triggered this kind of issue or it can be just a minor system glitch.

Don’t worry we will recommend troubleshooting steps to guide you and help you fix this issue. Instead of further explanation about what causes it, below are the recommended steps to determine the culprit and it might help fix the issue.

Step 1: Charge the device

Since you are aware that you were downloading an update to your device, try to check if the device has enough battery. We have to make sure that device will respond when you plug in the charger into it’s charging port and the LED indicator is blinking or the default charging logo appears on the screen. If so, then the device is totally fine and just leave it plugged in for about 20-30 minutes to charge then turn the device on. However, if the device is not responding when you plug in the charger cable to it’s port nor the default charging logo does not appear, then it might be a hardware issue but still allow the device to charge for several minutes.

Step 2: Run in Safe Mode

If the device is still unresponsive you can try running it in diagnostic setting or Safe mode. This mode will disable all other apps and run only in manufacturer’s default applications. There are times that the culprit is a third party app especially if it is not compatible with your device. It can be fixed easily if your device successfully run into Safe mode because you could easily uninstall it.

When your device successfully boots in Safe mode, we recommend uninstalling the suspected app to avoid the issue from recurring but since it is difficult to know the app that’s causing the problem, start your search from the most recent installations.

Step 3: Boot up into Recovery Mode

If you are unsuccessful to resolve the issue after following the steps above then try to run your Galaxy Note 5 in Recovery mode. There are options in Recovery mode that you can choose like wipe cache partition and hard reset that might just fix the problem. We need to make sure that your device is not experiencing a hardware issue and still responsive that’s why we need to try to boot it up in this mode.

Step 5: Bring it to the technician

Now, if all the steps mentioned above were not able to resolve the issue, visit the nearest Samsung service center and bring the device with you. The device’s software might have been corrupted during the download process or the installation failed. The tech has a solution for that.

Troubleshoot your Galaxy Note 5 that can no longer boot up successfully

Problem: There was an update but I wasn’t sure if it was for the operating system or apps but I downloaded it. It took a long time to download the update and then my Note 5 rebooted on its own and since then it can no longer power up to the home screen. Sometimes it gets stuck on the logo but more often it just shows the black screen and won’t proceed with the usual process. Not sure what happened so if you could enlighten me and fix the problem, that would be great. Thanks.

Troubleshooting: The main reason that your Galaxy Note 5 cannot boot up successfully is because the caches and data might have been corrupted after the update. Fortunately, there are troubleshooting procedures that you can perform to try to bring your phone back to life.

Step 1: Force Reboot your Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Since the battery of the Galaxy Note 5 is not removable, Samsung engineers develop a procedure that is equivalent to the battery pull procedure from the previous Galaxy models. To do this, just press and hold the Volume Down button and Power key together for 10 to 15 seconds. Assuming the problem is minor and that there’s enough battery to power up the phone, it should boot up normally. However, if the device won’t boot up, proceed to the next procedure.

Step 2: Charge your phone because the battery might have been drained

There is always a possibility that the battery is drained and that’s the reason the phone cannot power up. So plug in your phone to the charger and observe if it is charging or not. If it is, leave it for about 10-15 minutes and perform the force reboot procedure again and wait if the device will boot successfully.

If the indicators are not lighting up while charging,then there’s a chance that the phone has a hardware issue and you must bring it to the tech as soon as possible to be fixed.

Step 3: Try booting your phone in Safe mode

Just like what I said above, booting the phone in safe mode, temporarily disables all third-party apps. But in order to rule out the possibility that one of the downloaded applications is causing the problem, you need to do this procedure and see if the phone can boot up successfully. I understand your Note 5 is powering up but gets stuck somewhere during the boot up process. It seems like some apps or services are preventing it from reaching the home screen.

However, if the phone is still stuck while trying to boot in safe mode, then the next step might help.

Step 4: Boot your phone in Recovery mode

In this procedure, all the components will be powered up but the services and apps will be temporarily disabled. If your phone doesn’t have any hardware issue it will boot up normally. Follow these steps to boot in this mode:

  1. Turn off your Galaxy Note 5.
  2. Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, and Power key.
  3. When the phone vibrates, release 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.

If your device cannot boot up in this mode and if you’re savvy enough, try reflashing the firmware but to be safe, we suggest you let a tech handle it for you.

Step 5: Try wiping the cache partition or do the master reset (optional)

As indicated, this step is optional because it depends if the phone can boot up in recovery mode or not. But assuming it can, then the first thing you should try is wiping the cache partition. It will delete all system caches and forces the phone to create new ones. It’s almost the same as the reset but your files and data won’t be deleted so you don’t have to back them up.

  1. Turn off your Galaxy Note 5.
  2. Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, and Power key.
  3. When the phone vibrates, release 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.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Should the problem persist after wiping the cache partition, then you have no other option but to do the master reset. This time, you need to backup all your data and files as they will be deleted especially ones that are saved in your phone’s internal storage.

  1. Remove your Google account and disengage the screen locks to make sure you won’t trip the Factory Reset Protection (FRP).
  2. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy Note 5.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power keys together.
  4. When the device powers on and displays ‘Power on logo’, release all keys and the Android icon will appear on the screen.
  5. Wait until the Android Recovery Screen appears after about 30 seconds.
  6. Using the Volume Down key, highlight the option, ‘wipe data/factory reset’ and press the Power key to select it.
  7. Press the Vol Down button again until the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted and then press the Power key to select it.
  8. After the reset is complete, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key to restart the phone.


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Harold has been in the tech industry since 2008 when he started out as a tech support for companies like Time Warner, Comcast and Tracfone. He’s been troubleshooting phones when the smartphone industry started booming. During his tenure as a tech support, he’s already been writing for various tech blogs and doing some freelance SEO. In 2012, he joined a small team of bloggers to write for The Droid Guy, and he has been with the company ever since. Today, he doesn’t only write tutorials and troubleshooting pieces but also shoots and edits videos for The Droid Guy channel while trading stocks on the side.

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