Galaxy Note 4 only boots up when connected to a charger, other issues

Welcome to another post about #GalaxyNote4 issues and solutions! In this article, we publish 6 more cases reported by some users during the past few days. We hope this will be a good source of solutions for other users as well.

Below are the specific topics discussed in this post:

  1. Galaxy Note 4 randomly rebooting by itself
  2. Galaxy Note 4 only boots up when connected to a charger
  3. Galaxy Note 4 shuts down by itself
  4. How to recover files if Note 4 won’t start
  5. Galaxy Note 4 keeps freezing and vibrating every 2 seconds
  6. Galaxy Note 4 won’t send SMS or make voice call when in 4G network

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, or you can install our free app from Google Play Store.

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 Note 4 randomly rebooting by itself

I’ve had my Note 4 for a little less than a year and a half. Just recently my phone has started to reboot out of nowhere. I’ve read in this site before to boot in safe mode and monitor, that didn’t work. I deleted recently installed apps to see if it may have been poor coding, that didn’t work. I went to my service provider and they performed a diagnostic. The provider’s conclusion was that I had too many anti-virus apps and they competed against each other. I decided to use lookout and deleted the other two, this still didn’t work. I did drop my phone in shallow water about 8-9 months ago but I can’t see how that would be the problem if it happened that long ago. I have a new battery since the original got damaged by the water I dropped it in. I’m not too sure what the problem could be at this point, any ideas?        — Sam

Solution: Hi Sam. The general rule in Android troubleshooting is by narrowing possible software causes first. If you’ve already tried all of relevant software troubleshooting but nothing happened, that’s the time that you can assume a possible hardware issue. To troubleshoot possible software problem, you should do the following:

  • wipe the cache partition
  • observe the phone in safe mode (can be skipped since you’ve already done it)
  • install all system and app updates
  • factory reset
  • flashing stock firmware (if device is rooted and running custom software)

In some rare cases, recalibrating the battery may help, but we don’t think it’s of any use in this case.

If you’ve already tried all troubleshooting steps above, you should consider sending the phone in so the hardware can be checked. Water damage can have both short- and long-term effects. In some cases, the damage is immediately apparent while in some others, corrosion can set in a gradual pace, causing little to no damage at once. Damaged motherboard or corroded metallic contacts can however manifest much later. For this reason, you should have a technician, either from Samsung or third party, to examine the hardware.

Random reboot issue due to a bad app or software can be determined by doing a factory reset and observing the phone for a couple of days without installing any app or update. If needed, try doing another round of factory reset so you can observe how the phone works. Again, if the issue persists during the observation period, have the phone repaired, or better still, replaced.

Problem #2: Galaxy Note 4 only boots up when connected to a charger

My Note 4 is 1.8 years old. last month, it started rebooting when charge dropped to under 90%. I got another battery. It worked OK for a couple of days, then same thing. I couldn’t keep it on, and sometimes on reboot it would freeze on boot screen with some text that said, do not turn off device, but would stay there forever until the battery was removed. This battery was supposedly OEM, but I sent it back because it appeared to be a battery issue. Then I got another battery. Same problem. I took it to a repair shop and they let me put in an OEM battery and it only booted to the text screen and froze again. Now I think it is the phone. So I hooked up an old Galaxy phone to my service. I put the original battery in the Note 4 and took the battery in and out until it booted. I found through trial and error if I plugged it in after it started to boot, I could occasionally get it to boot fully and work normally. I did this and left it plugged in and it has worked flawlessly plugged in for a week now. I am just plain confused. Any help would be welcome. —  Carl

Solution: Hi Carl. Like what we told Sam above, the progression of troubleshooting should start from the software side. An issue like yours can be due to a software glitch or a bad hardware component so make sure you do all software troubleshooting first. Below are the exact steps on how to do each one of them.

How to wipe the cache partition

The cache partition is a directory where Android save files used for apps to run smoother and faster. If you’ve noticed, apps usually load slower during the first time you run it since installation. But the next time you open it, it would be faster and even smoother. Of course, not everybody can notice that.

Wiping the cache partition is one way to get the phone out of Safe Mode or from being stuck on the logo during boot up. This procedure will all files stored in the cache partition, and how it’s done on the Note 4:

  • Turn off the Galaxy Note 4 completely.
  • Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home keys together, then press and hold the Power key.
  • When the Note 4 vibrates, release both the Home and Power keys but continue holding the Volume Up key.
  • When the Android System Recovery shows on the screen, release the Vol Up key.
  • Using the Volume Down key, highlight the option ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power key to select it.
  • When the wiping of the cache partition is finished, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the power key.

Observe the phone while booted in safe mode

We’re not ruling out the possibility of a third party causing this problem so restarting your phone to safe mode is a must-do. While in safe mode, all third party services and apps won’t run, preventing interruptions while the phone is trying to boot up. Safe mode is not a solution in itself but just a way to determine if an app is problematic. If the phone works normally while it’s in this mode, you can bet one of the apps is causing the trouble. Here’s how to do it:

  • Turn off the phone completely.
  • Press and hold the Power key and the Volume Down key.
  • When the phone starts to boot, release the Power key but continue holding the Vol Down key until the phone finished restarting.
  • Safe mode will be display at the lower left corner; you may release the Volume Down key now.

Install app and system updates

This is self-explanatory but in case you don’t know it, some updates can contain fixes to known bugs. If your phone is not set to automatically download and install updates, make sure that you manually allow it to.

Check if some apps are incompatible

It’s your responsibility to make sure that the apps installed on your phone are updated and compatible. If you recently installed an Android update, there’s a chance that an app may be causing instability problem due to incompatibility. Check the download page of all your apps in the Play Store so see if other users are reporting trouble  similar to yours. You can also try to contact the developer of a particular app if you aren’t sure their product is compatible with your phone’s operating system.

Perform a factory reset

A more drastic solution that you can try is factory reset. As its name suggests, factory reset will return all software settings to their defaults. This means that the operating system will be reverted to its known, working condition. After doing a factory reset, try to observe the phone for a day to see any difference. If nothing changes and the issue continues, the problem must be hardware in nature.

To factory reset your Note 4, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the Galaxy Note 4 completely.
  • Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home keys together, then press and hold the Power key.
  • When the Note 4 vibrates, release both the Home and Power keys but continue holding the Volume Up key.
  • When the Android System Recovery shows on the screen, release the Volume Up key.
  • Using the Volume Down key, highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’ and press the Power key to select it.
  • Now highlight ‘Yes — delete all user data’ using the Volume Down key and press the Power key to begin the reset.
  • When the master reset is complete, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key.
  • The Note 4 will restart but it will be longer than usual. When it reaches the Home screen, then begin your setup

Flash stock firmware

For users who rooted their phone and installed custom firmware on it, flashing an official firmware can sometimes help. If your phone is rooted or running unofficial software, consider doing this step.

Have the phone repaired or replaced

If all else fails, send the phone to Samsung or to an independent service center. Our blog does not provide hardware troubleshooting and solutions. If you think you can handle hardware troubleshooting and has the tools to do it, find other websites that can give you guides how to do it.

Problem #3: Galaxy Note 4 shuts down by itself

I will try to be as precise as possible, but sorry If I couldn’t, English is not my first language. I have a Samsung Note 4 and In the 29th of January my problem begun, and the cause was me not downloading the update. I postponed it for as long as possible until the system started glitching and my phone turned on and off multiple times. i didn’t know what was wrong. at first, the first few days my phone couldn’t be turned on at all, and afterwards when i would try to turn it on, it would automatically send me to a coding gibberish where the screen is black and there is a lot of commands such as reboot system reboot to bootlaader and many others. I tried to click on everything there to make it work, sometimes it would make my phone turn on with everything on my phone wiped as if it was new, but that wont last for long, it will again glitch and turn off and then on by itself and send me directly to the gibberish coding, i would really like to fix it but i don’t know how and since I’m in a small town where my college is, there is no place i can go so it can be fixed. I really need help. — Samya

Solution: Hi Samya. If you’re having a problem booting up your phone to regular mode, kindly refer to our suggestions above. There’s only so much that you can do when it comes to a boot up problem.

Also, in many cases, replacing the battery fix power-related problems. Don’t hesitate to try a new battery if all software troubleshooting fail.

Problem #4: How to recover files if Note 4 won’t start

Hi. Just this past Thursday (2 days ago) my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 restarted on me while using it. After restarting back up, my phone again restarted on its own about 10 minutes later. And after restarting again, I turned it off myself the proper way. After turning it on again, it wouldn’t boot up past the start screen. I pulled the battery out after that, and the same thing happened. Either if would just freeze or it would keep rebooting. Tried turning it on with it on the charger tried it with 2 new batteries and nothing will get my phone to turn on. It will occasionally turn on but will shutdown after at most a minute. I took it to the store to see if they could fix it but they said it was probably hardware related and not fixable so I had to buy a new phone (Galaxy S7).

So my question is if there is any way to get any of my pictures or anything else that was saved onto the internal memory of my Note 4? When it does turn on it doesn’t stay on long enough to move thing to my SD card or pull anything of onto a laptop. What can I do? There are things on my phone I really do need. Thanks. — Michael

Solution: Hi Michael. The possibility of recovering your files depends whether or not the phone boots up properly. If you can’t restart the phone to safe mode or normal mode, you’re in luck. If it remains stuck in its current state and won’t start to other boot modes, there’s no way to recover your files. Below are the steps on how to restart your phone to other modes.

Boot in Recovery mode:

  • Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  • Press and then hold the Home and Volume UP keys, then press and hold the Power key.
  • When the Samsung Galaxy S7 shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume Up keys.
  • When the Android logo shows, you may release both keys and leave the phone be for about 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Using the Volume Down key, navigate through the options and highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  • You can either wipe the cache partition or do a factory reset when in this mode.

Boot in Download Mode:

  • Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  • Press and then hold the Home and Volume DOWN keys, then press and hold the Power key.
  • When the Samsung Galaxy S7 shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume DOWN keys.
  • Wait until the Download screen appears.
  • If you can boot the phone in download mode but not in other modes, that means that your only way out may be to flash a stock or custom firmware.
  • Use Google to look for a guide on how to do it.

Boot in safe mode:

  • Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  • Press and hold the Power button.
  • Once the ‘Samsung Galaxy S7’ logo appears, release the Power key and immediately press and hold the Volume Down button.
  • Continue holding the button until the phone finishes rebooting.
  • Once you see the text “Safe mode” at the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume Down button.
  • The only difference of safe mode from normal mode is that the former prevents third party apps from running. If you can boot the phone in safe mode but not in normal mode, uninstall all apps until the issue (that prevents you from booting normally) is eliminated.

Problem #5: Galaxy Note 4 keeps freezing and vibrating every 2 seconds

Hello. I’ve reached my point with troubleshooting and would be grateful for any advice/suggestions. Here’s the Readers Digest version resurrected from a bad install and about 2 years in the desk drawer. Had it up and running after a fresh 4.4.2 install and root follow-up. Forward 2 weeks and began to experience random re-boots as well as splash screen (T-Mobile) freeze and intermittent 2 second vibration cycles. Today, after finally getting it back on-line, I installed a battery maintenance app due to battery age, etc. Preventative maintenance …HA! Battery stopped charging at some point thru the night as well as laptop not recognizing phone. Now I’ve got nada. Black screen, no response – vibration or otherwise. Pulled the battery, pealed the back and checked the power button, etc. Only thing I noticed was that the cellophane coating at the water damage indicator (inside back cover) appeared as if it may have sustained minimal heat damage (slight wrinkles in film). Otherwise, no visible damage. In advance, thank you for your time and any assistance you might be able to offer. — James

Solution: Hi James. We don’t know the full history of the device but since you mentioned that it’s rooted, we highly recommend that you bring all software settings back to defaults first. That means you need to unroot (and probably have to flash stock firmware if it’s running custom software) it first, perform a factory reset, then observe how the phone behaves. If the problem continues after you revert everything to stock, there must be an unknown hardware issue behind the trouble. Have the phone checked so you’ll know if it can be repaired.

Problem #6: Galaxy Note 4 won’t send SMS or make voice call when in 4G network

Hello there Droid Guy. I know this is an old post, but I need some assistance. My Galaxy Note 4 is a prior Verizon phone that I’m now using on Straight Talk ATT. It is 100% working when using the ATT towers (H+) but when the towers switch to Verizon’s towers (4G) i cant send text messages or make outgoing phone calls. Incoming texts, phone calls, and data works normally all the time (non rooted). I have done factory resets, changed APN settings, soft resets, safe modes, the #**#* tricks (several different combos), manually tried all network modes (currently in global-ATT). All of which with no success. This is something i have been working on for a few months. When i am home and at work i have the H+, so the most important times i have a working phone. Any other times, i have to communicate via Facebook Messenger (less than ideal, but functional). That’s pretty much it. Any advice would be GREATLY APPRECIATED. This is a headache that I am tired of dealing with. Hope to hear from you soon and get this resolved. — Curtis

Solution: Hi Curtiss. As far as phone troubleshooting is concerned, you’ve already done all the basics so the only remaining step that you need to perform is to talk to your wireless carrier. There may be an issue with how your account is configured so it’s good if you can talk to them about this problem.


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