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Galaxy S4 freezes and becomes unresponsive during calls

Calls-related issues are sparse, especially in #Samsung devices but we noticed a few of them in the past few weeks so we have decided to publish them here today. Below are the specific #GalaxyS4 call problems addressed in this post:

  1. Galaxy S4 phone icon counter not working properly after Lollipop update
  2. Galaxy S4 stops working while in a call
  3. Galaxy S4 contacts are switched to another account
  4. Galaxy S4 freezes and becomes unresponsive during calls
  5. Galaxy S4 freezing and taking a long time to send SMS
  6. Galaxy S4 no longer turns on after updating to Lollipop

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.

Problem #1: Galaxy S4 phone icon counter not working properly after Lollipop update

  1. Since the OS update it to Lollipop 5.0.1 the counter on the phone icon doesn’t show messages when the phone is off. However in my apps I have an addon that was pretty installed voice to text messaging that shows the correct count. If my phone is on and someone calls and I don’t answer it then the counter does appear on the home screen phone icon. Is this part of the problem of the update? It’s more of a nuisance then an actual problem.
  2. What’s in the first hour of using my new Samsung S4, first Samsung device, I accidentally deleted the startup music file. I have Boost as my carrier. When contacting Samsung they suggested that I upload everything to the cloud, do a factory reset, and download everything that I had put on the phone afterwards. This seems like too much of a problem when all I needed was just a music file. I’m probably better off without hearing the little jingle when the phone turns on but I kind of miss it. Those are anyway just to get the file back if I wanted it or on my just fortunate enough to get rid of that little music in the beginning when the phone starts?

Thank you very much. — John

Solution: Hi John. To fix the first issue, make sure that you delete the cache partition, also known as the system cache. An operating system update is supposed to delete the cache partition to make way for a new cache but it doesn’t happen sometimes. This situation can, at times, lead to app issues. Wiping the cache to force the phone to create one is recommended. This is harmless and can be done regularly,¬† especially after an update.

To do that, just follow these steps:

  • 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.‚Äô
  • Press the Power button to select the option.
  • The phone will automatically restart once cache data are wiped out.

For the second issue, the only solution available for you is to do a factory reset. The music file you’re missing is part of the package of the stock ROM and there’s no repository to get that specific file from. Restoring the defaults and initial software state of the phone is the only way to go.

Problem #2: Galaxy S4 stops working while in a call

A few weeks ago I¬† received a call. I tried to answer it and it acted like I wasn’t even touching it. Needless to say I missed the call.¬† It didn’t happen every call but the majority of them it did screw up.¬† After that was going on about a week (I’m horrible with timing by the way, I might be way off) my screen started glitching and freezing.¬† Even if I hit the pet button once or twice I hit the screen to pull up to turn off or restart, then it froze there and I couldn’t get it to do anything. every other time though hitting the power button didn’t do anything. the screen would black and stay black. The only way to make it work at all was top pull the battery. I left the battery out as long as an hour before hoping it help,¬† I started it in hard reset mode and went down to clean cache then restarted it. Nothing helped. I got too tired of it because it got more and more frequent so I factory reset it after I put everything in my cloud.¬† It worked for about a day and New it’s back to acting stupid.¬† It’s not as bad yet but it’s on its way.¬† PLEASE HELP I can’t afford a new phone. I’m at a loss as for what to do — Charley

Solution: Hi Charley. It looks like the problem is caused by a bad app. Boot the phone in safe mode for at least 24 hours to see the difference. While in safe mode, no third party apps can run so it’s a good way to check if our hunch is correct. To boot your S4 in safe mode, just follow these steps:

  • Press and hold the Power button.
  • Once the Samsung Galaxy S4 logo appears on the screen (assuming the phone responds to Power key press), release the Power button.
  • As soon as you release the Power button, press and hold the Volume Down key.
  • Continue holding the Volume Down key until the phone has completed the reboot process.
  • 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 issue fails to occur while in this mode, start uninstalling apps until you have eliminated the source of the problem.

Problem #3: Galaxy S4 contacts are switched to another account

I noticed at Christmas time that my Galaxy S4 switched some contacts in my phone because when I went to text my brother, he was completely gone from my phone. His cell number somehow got linked to the contact info of one of my teachers at the school where I work.  There were a couple other contacts that were mixed up too, but somehow it fixed itself.

Now yesterday, one of our administrators at school suddenly had her name switched to a teacher’s name in my phone.¬† As I started digging deeper, it appears that it is email addresses (and sometimes profile pics) that are getting linked to the wrong person. This happens even though I have my phone set to only show contacts in my phone, and not my google contacts.¬† Since I work at a school, I also have a school provided Android phone and these issues do not happen on that phone, so I am thinking it is Samsung specific???¬† Any ideas?? — Karen

Solution: Hi Karen. The issue may stem from corrupted Contacts cache and data. You can try to delete them to see what happens next. Before you do this procedure though, make sure that you save all your contacts somewhere safe as a backup. To delete the Contacts app’s cache and data, just follow these steps:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Proceed to Applications.
  • Select Manage Applications.
  • Tap the All tab.
  • Look for Contacts app and tap it.
  • From there, you will see the Clear Cache and Clear Data buttons.

Problem #4: Galaxy S4 freezes and becomes unresponsive during calls

When calling, the screen won’t turn on again when moving away from ear, the screen gets unresponsive even when pressing the ON button or HOME, the call is still on (the voice from caller can be still heard) but the phone won’t respond at all, just a blank unresponsive screen, specially in 800 numbers when most of the times the agent won’t hang up and the call is still on despite the conversation ended.

Same issue with the call from WhatsApp the screen is unresponsive, when that happens at least I can call the HOME button, press and hold and brings all the apps that are open and I can close it from there and the call ends, but when ending normal calls, the screen is just black nothing works. — Rick

Solution: Hi Rick. Your phone’s operating system may be corrupted or there might be third party application that messed it up. You can try to resolve this by performing a factory reset. Here’s how:

  • 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 data / factory reset.
  • Press the Power button to select it.
  • Using the Volume Down button again, highlight delete all user data.
  • Press the Power key to select it.
  • Once the reset is complete, choose Reboot system now.
  • Press the Power button to restart the phone.

Now, factory resetting the phone will become useless unless you also eliminate the possible problematic third party app. Make sure that you observe the phone for at least 48 hours without installing anything. This will give you ample time to see how your device behaves when taking calls. If everything looks normal, start installing your apps. If the issue returns sometime after you installed your apps back, boot your S4 in safe mode (steps provided above).

Problem #5: Galaxy S4 freezing and taking a long time to send SMS

Recently phone is not sending texts or taking 4 or 5 minutes to do so.¬† Also, seems like text stops then catches up later as I type. I have taken out battery, sim card, sd card, then rebooted. I have done cache partition. I’m told if it continues that my only option is to factory reset? Is that true or¬† should I maybe get new sim¬† card. Phone is 2.5 yrs old and never a problem, virus, always protected. Lately I have had an issue where phone freezes.¬† I have moved everything I can to sd card I now have over 2 gigs on device free. Please let me know my options. Thanks. ps. I Play Words with friends, never an issue until recently but it will freeze as well. It is not recently installed. — Gary

Solution: Hi Gary. If you haven’t factory reset the phone for over 2 years now, we say it’s a good way to check if it helps to resolve your issues. Slow performance issues can develop over time so making sure that the phone’s operating system is in top shape won’t hurt.

Problem #6: Galaxy S4 no longer turns on after updating to Lollipop

The phone doesn’t even turn on, nor shows any signs of charging like it used to‚Ķ.Last Saturday, it drained off out of battery and turned off and never turned on again so far.. may it be an issue with the internal system card? Is there any hope..? Is it possible if there was like a short circuit between the battery and the phone?

I had to buy another battery because it was vicious already… since I installed Lollipop…battery’s life totally changed to worst and drains a lot quicker‚Ķand only upgraded to Lollipop because the device asked for it‚ĶSo in reality it’s Samsung’s fault because a user can never guess if the updates are already totally tested and functional, so they should assume responsibility for that! Thanks. — INES

Solution: Hi INES. If this phone is already using a newly-bought battery, there might be a hardware issue that causes the S4 not to boot up normally at this time. System updates rarely result to hardware failure so the phone’s boot up issue may have only be a coincidence. Have the phone checked for possible hardware issues. If you have a nearby Samsung store in your area, make sure that you let them check your S4 first.

In case you are not aware, there are two other ways to boot your S4 via recovery and/or download mode. Try to check if you can restart the phone in recovery mode first so you can do a factory reset. If you will only be able to boot your phone in download mode, that means that there’s a firmware-related event that’s causing the phone to fail in its normal boot up process. You may end up flashing a stock or custom ROM.


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