Galaxy Note 5 freezes when composing SMS, SMS fails to send due to poor signal, other issues

Hello and welcome to our new #GalaxyNote5 troubleshooting page. We’ve been getting a number of texting issues about this device lately so this post will address some of those.

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.

Below are specific topics we’re bringing for you today:

Problem 1: Galaxy Note 5 SMS fails to send due to poor signal coverage

Hi! Text issues relating to network connection. (Note 5, latest update installed without issue, AT&T for over 9 years, no account problems). I live temporarily in a place with not great AT&T service. On a good day 2 bars is about it, but it always says 4G LTE. Mostly no problems. However I’ll go through phases of text messages saying “failed to send” while my card and 4G are fine. I have to turn airplane mode on/off to “reset” something and then the text goes through fine and I’ll get a sudden influx of received messages. During these phases, it happens ALL DAY LONG for several days. Calls do not come through either during these periods, I will notice suddenly that I have a voicemail but no ring. When I contacted AT&T tech support, they put me through the biggest headache with…. Have you restarted it, call us from a landline, start in safe mode, third party apps yada yada yada…. Zero help. It’s never fixed.

The last time this happened was about 2 months ago and it’s been fine since. Now for 2 days… constant sending issues. Any ideas? I’ve done everything they suggested, I even factory reset the phone and erased everything. It seems to be a network issue but AT&T swears it’s my device.

(Also something interesting… I live about a mile and a half from the biggest nuclear lab in the country, with plutonium storage. A chance that could have something to do with service problems? Weird I know but a legit question). — Stephanie

Solution: Hi Stephanie. An important thing to consider here is the fact that you yourself has acknowledged that you live in an area with poor signal coverage. In almost all cases, having 1 or 2 signal bars is considered poor reception, which means that you all network services can become unreliable most of the time. Unless the signal is amplified or the device gets 3 or 4 signal bars, you really can’t expect good SMS/MMS, voice calling, or mobile data services. Signals transmitted by cellphone towers have a limited range so if you live at the edge of that tower’s radius, the services may become slow, interrupted, or fail most of the time. This can be the reason why all device troubleshooting that you’ve performed so far did not improve the situation at all. There’s no amount of software troubleshooting that you can do on your device to fix the issue. You either have to move to another location with better AT&T  service, or switch carriers with better service in your location.

Secondly, we’re not aware of any plutonium storage interfering with a telecommunication tower’s signals. Besides, if there’s any potential that an infrastructure in an area such as a publicly known nuclear lab can interfere with their signal, AT&T should do something about it. If this was not mentioned by AT&T to you, then it means it doesn’t cause any network problems in your area at all.

You mentioned that you only live in your current location temporarily. We don’t know how long you’re going to stay there though but if you think it’s going to last longer than a month, you should seriously consider asking AT&T if there’s a way that they can boost the signal in your house or building with the help of a signal booster like this one. It sure will cost you more but technologically, it’s the only available option for you to improve the reliability of your network services.

Problem 2: Galaxy Note 5 freezes when composing SMS

Hi. Up until 2 months ago the phone has been ok. The problems I’m having is the screen keeps freezing and when I text or type I press the letters and the text doesn’t appear straight away. There’s about a 5-second delay, then the letters appear one at a time. Then the phone doesn’t work at all. It becomes useless so I can’t use it. I get so frustrated with these problems. Please please can you help me try and solve these problems. Many thanks. — Stephen Smith

Solution: Hi Stephen. If the problem only occurs when you’re texting, there may be a bug with keyboard or messaging app. If the same issue is also happening when using other apps, then it’s possible that the issue is due to an operating system bug.

To see if it’s an app-level issue, make sure that you wipe the cache and data of concerned app. Here’s how:

  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. Once in there, look for the application and tap it.
  4. You’ll now see a list of stuff that gives you information about the app, including Storage, Permissions, Memory Use, and more. These are all clickable items. You’ll want to click on Storage.
  5. You should now clearly see the Clear Cache and Clear Data buttons for the application.

Be sure to wipe the cache and data of both Keyboard app and messaging app.

If you’re using the stock messaging app and keyboard app from Samsung, you can also try to see if a third party app is behind the problem by restarting the phone to safe mode. While in safe mode, all third party apps and services will be prevented from running. If texting works normally only in safe mode, that’s your hint that an app is the reason for the lag. To boot the phone to safe mode, kindly do these steps:

  1. Turn off the phone completely.
  2. Press and hold the Power key.
  3. Once ‘Samsung Galaxy Note5’ shows, release the Power key and immediately press and hold the Volume Down button.
  4. The phone will restart but keep the Vol Down button pressed.
  5. Once the phone has finished restarting, ‘Safe mode’ will be display in the lower-left corner of the screen.
  6. You may now release the Volume Down button.

If nothing changes after doing all the troubleshooting steps above, the problem may lie with the operating system. To fix it, you must do a factory reset. Here’s how:

  1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home buttons first, and then press and hold the Power key.
  3. Keep the three buttons pressed and when ‘Samsung Galaxy Note5’ shows, release the Power key but continue holding the other two.
  4. Once the Android logo shows, release both the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  5. The notice ‘Installing system update’ will show on the screen for 30 to 60 seconds before the Android system recovery screen is shown with its options.
  6. Use the Volume Down key to highlight the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ and press the Power key to select it.
  7. When the process is complete, use the Volume Down key to highlight the option ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key to restart the phone.
  8. The reboot may take a little longer to complete but don’t worry and wait for the device to become active.

Problem 3: Galaxy Note 5 Message+ app requires restart in order to view received MMS

Hello! I have a Galaxy Note 5 through Verizon. Recently there was an update performed (Not 100% sure which one) and ever since the update I have had issues using Message+ to send/receive picture messages only. All other texts come through fine. However, if I try to send a picture message, I get an error that the size limit has been exceeded and it fails. If I restart my phone and immediately hit retry, then the picture will go through. But then the next picture, I have to restart again.

If I get sent a picture message it will come through, but the picture will be a great mountain background image with a red dot on it instead of the actual picture. Again, if I restart my phone & go in to view I can then see them.

Is there any solution to this, without having to completely reset my phone? Can I go back to pre-update status somehow?! Thanks! — Christin

Solution: Hi Christin. If the problem started after you installed a system update, then the first troubleshooting step that you want to do is a cache partition wipe. This will ensure that you refresh the current system cache. Sometimes, updates can corrupt the system cache, which in turn, can result to problems. Wiping the cache partition, where the system cache is kept, will force the phone to build a new system cache over time. Here’s how to wipe the cache partition:

  1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home buttons first, and then press and hold the Power key.
  3. Keep the three buttons pressed and when ‘Samsung Galaxy Note5’ shows, release the Power key but continue holding the other two.
  4. Once the Android logo shows, release both the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  5. The notice ‘Installing system update’ will show on the screen for 30 to 60 seconds before the Android system recovery screen is shown with its options.
  6. Use the Volume Down key to highlight the option ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power key to select it.
  7. When the process is complete, use the Volume Down key to highlight the option ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key to restart the phone.
  8. The reboot may take a little longer to complete but don’t worry and wait for the device to become active.

If wiping the cache partition won’t fix the messaging app problem, your next move is to deal with the app itself — by wiping its cache and data. Refer to the steps above on how to do it. Hopefully, wiping the cache and data of the messaging app will fix the problem but if it won’t, you’ll most likely end up with a factory reset.