Galaxy S4 “Downloading…Do not turn off target!” error during boot up, other power charging issues


Welcome to another post that answers some questions posed by #GalaxyS4 users. We want to share you some of the easy potential solutions to your power- and charging-related problems.

These are the specific topics discussed today:

  1. Galaxy S4 “Downloading…Do not turn off target!” error during boot up
  2. “Unfortunately, Phone has stopped.” error on Galaxy S4
  3. Galaxy S4 stuck at Samsung and AT&T logo screen
  4. Galaxy S4 screen flickers
  5. Galaxy S4 won’t power on when not connected to a charger
  6. Galaxy S4 battery drains fast and screen showing a colored line

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.


Problem #1: Galaxy S4 “Downloading…Do not turn off target!” error during boot up

I dropped my phone in water and immediately took out the battery. Being a teenager, I didn’t know I had to take out the SIM and SD card as well. I did, however, put it in rice as soon as I could (within an hour since I was at school and it occurred as I was walking home). I left it in rice for the average amount of time until my dad and I were completely sure it was 100% dry. When I booted it up, it turned on but in an unusual way.

The screen is black but it’s got a blown up Android bot in the middle with the words “Downloading…Do not turn off target!!” In the upper left hand corner, however, is a little square of tiny words. I don’t know what all is important in the wording so, to be on the safe side, I’m gonna type it all out. Better safe than sorry right?

“Factory Mode

Product Name: SCH-R970

Current Binary: Samsung Official

System Status: Official

Reactivation Lock: Off

Knox Kernel Lock: 0x0

Knox Warranty Void: 0x1


Secure Download : Enable

Write Protection: Enable

eMMC Burst Mode enabled”

The first part about it saying Factory Mode is what worries me not only because this phone isn’t on a contract plan but also because that line is in red and the line that says “Secure Download : Enable” is in blue. I’m honestly not sure if any of that is important but I can’t take my phone in right now because my family has hospital bills to pay for and my phone is the least of our concerns money wise. Please help, even if I’m just being paranoid and it’s just a software update (which I checked for last week but it said it had already downloaded the latest update). — Tapanga

Solution: Hi Tapanga. We can see that you flashed a non-Samsung recognized ROM in your phone (because of the Knox Warranty Void: 0x1 flag). This means that your phone’s Knox status (which is Knox-disabled) will no longer allow you to upgrade to official  firmware only possible if Knox status is enabled. It also means that you cannot change Knox status back to Knox-enabled. This is, however, not that important if you no longer plan on installing official Samsung firmware that requires Knox-enabled status.

If your phone boots up fine after the incident but shows a different boot up screen only, we think there’s anything to worry at this time.

Problem #2: “Unfortunately, Phone has stopped.” error on Galaxy S4

Today, 23rd July, I powered off the phone because I was in a meeting. After 2 hours I powered ON the phone (Galaxy S4), the phone booted until the screen prompting PIN code for SIM card, then a permanent message is being displayed, “Unfortunately, Phone has stopped.”

I can input PIN code and Security code to unlock the phone. However I cannot operate the phone as the error message is permanently displayed. I cannot also shutdown the phone using Power Off button. I have to remove the battery to shutdown the phone. Please assist. I purchased the phone in June 2013. — Juma

Solution: Hi Juma. If your S4 is unusable when in normal mode, try to do the basic software troubleshooting and see what happens. These are the specific things that you can do:

Wipe the cache partition

This first task aims to refresh the phone’s system cache. Sometimes, an outdated or corrupted system cache can lead to issues like the one you have. Deleting it to force the phone to create a new one usually works wonders. Here’s how to do it:

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

Perform a factory reset

If deleting the system cache won’t help, the next procedure to do is resetting your S4 firmware and settings to factory defaults. Also known as master reset, this procedure will erase everything that’s stored in the phone’s primary storage device. Make sure to create a backup of your personal data (photos, videos, contacts, etc) before you proceed. Just follow these steps:

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, Power key.
  • When the phone vibrates, release the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
  • When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
  • Press the Volume down key several times key to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  • Press Power button to select.
  • Press the Volume down key until ‘delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  • Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  • When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  • Press the Power key to restart the device.

Problem #3: Galaxy S4 stuck at Samsung and AT&T logo screen

The phone sometimes randomly shuts down, and when I turn it back on it comes up with no signal then shuts back down after about 1 minute.

Then it reboots to the Samsung, then AT&T screen and does move from there.

If I do a battery pull the same thing happens again. I have done countless clear cache partition, factory resets, and also wiping my phone but nothing works.. And also the Wi-Fi was not able to turn on, but that issue was resolved.. What is happening with my phone. — Errol

Solution: Hi Errol. If the phone is stuck at the Samsung logo or AT&T screen, there must be something that prevents the entire boot sequence from being completed. And since you have tried the other basic troubleshooting stuff (wiping the cache, reset, etc), the next thing that you can do at your end is to flash a new or customized ROM. This process is similar to the process of installing a new operating system to a personal computer. You can use Google to search for relevant resources on how to do this.

Problem #4: Galaxy S4 screen flickers

Hey, I was hoping you guys could help me with my distress. recently my phone has just been shutting off randomly. This problem has only occurred a handful of times, but the issue I’m more worried about is that there seems to be a LED problem or problem with screen, or just the phone in general.

It started with some static flickers and LED static on the screen all the way on the right side of the phone. now it’s only been a few hours and the “static” has taken to cover almost half the phone on the right side. What should I do? Will I have to buy a new phone? — Taha

Solution: Hi Taha. An issue like this usually happens if a device was dropped or suffered hardware malfunction (especially on the screen assembly area). This cannot be resolved by the usual tips we provide in our blog. We also do not provide troubleshooting advice for any hardware issue so your best bet here is to bring the device to a shop so it can be checked. Lines or “static” flickers on the screen usually leads to screen replacement so you can expect to invest some bucks to have it fixed.

Problem #5: Galaxy S4 won’t power on when not connected to a charger

Whenever I turn my S4 off and I go to turn it on, it boots up and the Samsung logo appears then a few seconds later it it shuts down and shows a black screen and when I press the power button I then know it’s off. But when I turn it off and plug in my charger into a wall outlet and try to turn it on it boots up and shows the Samsung logo and then it stays on.

Can you please help me to understand why this happens. It works fine when it’s on but then this happens and it has only started a few days ago. — Shaun

Solution: Hi Shaun. A battery malfunction might be the reason behind this problem. If the current battery is failing and is no longer able to hold a charge, the phone won’t stay on for long before it shuts down again. Make sure to try another battery first, then do the basic troubleshooting suggested for others in this post.

Problem #6: Galaxy S4 battery drains fast and screen showing a colored line

I had used Lookout for years with no problems. My phone was at 50%, but it seemed to consume battery more quickly every day. I even use an accelerator. Today I tried a soft reset, a hard reset and all I can get is color across the screen. I have tried every tip I’ve come across. I am desperate! I am disabled, so I don’t have a way to go to a tech and I still owe a year on this phone!  Please help.  With my condition, I can’t be without a phone.  Thanks for all of your help. — Jamie

Solution: Hi Jamie. If you have already tried doing the basic software troubleshooting (wiping the cache partition, factory reset, etc), there might be a hardware issue that needs special attention. As mentioned above, we don’t provide hardware troubleshooting and diagnostic tips so you are really left without much choice in the matter. We know it’s a difficult situation for you but your best option right now is to have the device checked by a professional.



Engage with us

If you are one of the users who encounters a problem with your device, let us know. We offer solutions for Android-related problems for free so if you have an issue with your Android device, simply fill in the short questionnaire in this link and we will try to publish our answers in the next posts. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem. 

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.

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Harvey Hisona

Harvey is keen with mobile technology and loves writing about all things mobile. He is passionate in helping technology-challenged people by finding resolution to their issues. Contact me at Email

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