How To Fix Samsung Galaxy S4 That Won’t Turn On [Troubleshooting Guide]

We receive hundreds of emails each day from Samsung Galaxy S4 owners and the most common problem is that the phone won’t turn on. There’s no easy way to determine what the cause really is nor is there an ultimate solution to fix it immediately. That is why for this specific issue, we provide troubleshooting guides depending on a situation or the user’s description of the problem.

If the phone refuses to turn back on, it is most likely an accessory or hardware issue. That’s why we always begin our troubleshooting in determining whether it’s a battery or charger issue. And then we proceed by trying to boot the phone in “other modes” such as Safe Mode and Recovery Mode just to know if the device can still power itself up. The following steps will guide on what to do to attempt to fix this problem.

Now, back to our troubleshooting, please follow these steps.

Step 1: Perform Soft Reset On Galaxy S4

When you hit the power button and the phone doesn’t respond, take the back cover off and pull the battery out. Press and hold the button for 1 minute to drain off electricity that is stored in capacitors and other electronic components inside. Now place the battery back in and attempt to turn Galaxy S4 on.

This is a very effective troubleshooting procedure. If your phone just turned off for no apparent reason and refused to turn back on, try this. We’ve a lot of received emails saying thanks for having them informed about this procedure.

Don’t worry, all your data, files, apps and contacts will remain untouched when you do this.

Step 2: Let Galaxy S4 Charge For 10 Minutes

In case the phone didn’t turn on after you did the sort reset procedure or it didn’t respond when you hit the power button, there is a chance the battery is all drained out and there’s no power left to fire up even the screen. Plug the connector in to the phone and the charger to the wall socket. I would assume that you’re using the original Samsung charger for the device. If not, then at least, you’re using a charger that works.

The phone should display the usual charging icon or the LED notification glows red. If not, just leave the phone be for, at least, ten minutes. There are times when the battery is all depleted that the charging icon or the LED will respond after a few minutes.

After, at least, ten minutes of charging, touch the phone to know if it heated up during the process. If so, we are now looking at a possible battery or USB charging port issue and I suggest you immediately bring the phone to a tech because it’s dangerous to continue charging the phone that heats up like crazy when plugged in.

Of course, if the phone didn’t heat up or it did minimally, hit the power button to see if the phone would boot up. If it won’t respond, try several times then proceed to the next procedure.

Step 3: Boot Galaxy S4 In Safe Mode

You may have already known that booting the device in safe mode will temporarily disable all third-party apps. That’s not we’re trying to accomplish here. Instead, we simply want to know if the phone could successfully boot up in “other” modes. This will rule out the possibility that it is a battery and/or hardware issue. Here’s how you boot S4 in safe mode:

To boot the Galaxy S4 to safe mode, follow this:

  1. Press and hold the Power button.
  2. Once the Samsung Galaxy S4 logo appears on the screen (assuming the phone responds to Power key press), release the Power button.
  3. As soon as you release the Power button, press and hold the Volume Down key.
  4. Continue holding the Volume Down key until the phone has completed the reboot process.
  5. If you can read ‘Safe Mode’ at the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume Down key. Otherwise, repeat the process until you can boot the phone to Safe Mode.

If the phone would boot up successfully in safe mode, there is a big chance the problem can be fixed. Start by restarting the phone to see if it would boot up normally.

In case the phone couldn’t boot up in safe mode or stuck on boot logo when you restarted it, proceed to the next procedure.

Step 4: Boot Galaxy S4 In Recovery Mode

This is one of those “other” modes you can try to see if the phone can boot into. If it can, then there are two things you can try. The first one is wiping the cache partition, which deletes all data inside the cache folder, and the second is full factory reset.

To boot in recovery and wipe cache partition, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons.
  2. Release the Power button when the phone vibrates but continue holding on to the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  3. When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release both the Home and Volume Up buttons.
  4. Using the Volume Down key, highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  5. Press the Power button to select the option.
  6. The phone will automatically restart once cache data are wiped out.

If the phone booted in recovery mode successfully but refused to restart after wiping the cache partition, then try to perform factory reset by following these steps:

  1. Turn the phone off completely. (Remove the battery and place it back in)
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons.
  3. Release the Power button when the phone vibrates but continue holding on to the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  4. When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release both the Home and Volume Up buttons.
  5. Using the Volume Down key, highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  6. Press the Power button to select it.
  7. Using the Volume Down button again, highlight ‘delete all user data.’
  8. Press the Power key to select it.
  9. Once the reset is complete, choose ‘Reboot system now.’
  10. Press the Power button to restart the phone.

Of course, the two procedures above can only be followed if the phone booted in recovery mode successfully. However, if it refused to get into recovery, then we are now looking at a probably hardware issue. Time to do what the final step suggests.

Final Step: Let The Technician Check The Phone

You must understand that the first three steps are ways to determine whether the phone can still boot up in other modes successfully. And since it can’t, there’s nothing else left for you to do but seek help from someone who knows your phone inside and out.

The technician will try using a different battery to rule out the possibility that it’s a battery issue. After doing so and the phone still refused to come on, that’s the time he will check on the hardware.

If you’re under contract with your provider, you might want to call them first to know if they can provide a replacement unit.

I hope this simple troubleshooting guide can help you, somehow.

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Harold Hisona

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. Contact me at Email

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