Galaxy S5 keeps going to “Emergency Only” state, other issues

Hello dear Readers! Let’s continue our discussion of some issues about the #GalaxyS5 series. In this post, we give you 6 more issues that were reported by some users during the past few days.


These are the specific topics in this article:

  1. Galaxy S5 intermittent charging problem
  2. Galaxy S5 does not have LTE/WCDMA/GSM option under Network settings
  3. Galaxy S5 screen won’t turn back on
  4. Galaxy S5 keeps going to “Emergency Only” state
  5. Galaxy S5 Bluetooth keeps on turning on and off
  6. Unlocked AT&T Galaxy S5 Active won’t accept MetroPCS APN settings

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 S5 intermittent charging problem

Hello. I am having a charging problem. Both my husband and I have the Galaxy S5. Mine is about a year and a half old and his is about a year old. We both started having this problem randomly about a month ago. Our phones will be charging fine and then all of a sudden a message saying that this charger is incompatible with the phone and to use the original charger. Well, we are using the original charger. We’ve purchased 4 OEM Samsung chargers for the S5 and they will work for a while and then we will get this message. We’ve also purchased 3 off brand chargers. We get the same result. It will charge for a few days and then pop up with that message. I am not sure what to do.

If a charger gives me the message I’ll pass it to hubby. He will use it for a day or two and then he’ll get the same message. I haven’t taken it in because as I said above all chargers work for a few days before getting this message. We have both made sure we are fully updated, I’ve done a factory reset, I’ve started it in safe mode, I’ve tried in ultra power saving mode, turning it off while charging, wiggling the cord to see if in a certain position if it’ll charge and everything doesn’t work. I do have a crack in my screen up by the camera. But that happened 6 months ago and the problem with both our phones started within the last month. Hubbies phone is perfectly fine condition wise. So it doesn’t make any sense. Please help I’m running out of chargers lol. — Stephanie

Solution: Hi Stephanie. The next logical step for you is to have the hardware checked, particularly the condition of the charging port. That the issue happens after doing a factory reset (assuming that you observe the phone for a few days without installing any app) is a clear indicator that you’re not dealing with a software issue.

Problem #2: Galaxy S5 does not have LTE/WCDMA/GSM option under Network settings

Hello. First of all thank you that you did possible to contact you guys when we have problems.

1.) I have a Samsung S5 G900F. The problem with this device is that I can’t connect with 4G network, and it doesn’t show the last option LTE/WCDMA/GSM like in the photo: ( The strange thing is that when I insert other SIM card carrier like T-Mobile, up in the top near to the battery and clock, it shows 4G. But still I don’t have the LTE/WCDMA/GSM like in the photo. So I don’t understand what’s going on.

2.) In the box when I bought the phone it was said that it does have 4G and in the back of the phone does too. I have the 4.4.2 KitKat version of Android. Do I have to update it? That’s what some people told me to do. (That’s another topic, that my phone didn’t pop up the Lollipop update or Marshmallows. If it’s possible to help me with this too. ^.^ )

I haven’t tried with unofficial update, cause I was afraid that I will have problems with my phone. If you guys can give me some tips, I will be very thankful. ūüôā Thanks, best regards. — Arbi

Solution: Hi Arbi. First of all, let us emphasize the point that carriers modify vanilla versions of Android to add or remove features that may or may not help in personalizing their products. Thus, it is expected that T-Mobile Galaxy S5s look different than a Verizon S5 in terms of software options and features. Since your phone’s model is G900F (which is an international version) it may not have the same exact set of options with any other Galaxy S5 models out there. The software appearance of devices are determined by carriers so if you can’t find LTE/WCDMA/GSM option, stop looking for it since there’s nothing that you can do about it. If it bothers you that said option is missing, there’s nothing that we can do to help. You must simply take it or leave it. The important thing is that your phone is capable of connecting to LTE or 4G LTE. If the current SIM card you’re using does not allow you to do that, make sure to contact your carrier and ask them what their 4G LTE frequency band is. Once you have that information, check your phone manual and see the phone’s own 4G LTE frequency band. You have to make sure that your carrier’s frequency is compatible with your phone’s operating frequency for LTE. As far as we know, Samsung Galaxy S5 SM-G900F operates 4G in the following frequencies:

LTE 800 / 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 / 2600. Again, please refer to the documentation of your phone to get accurate information about this topic.

Also, keep in mind that frequency band of a phone is determined by a certain chip designed to handle specific bands only. This means that you won’t be able make your phone connect to a carrier’s network operating only on 1700 or any other frequency band not supported by your phone.

For your second issue, the answer is most likely in the negative. Carriers only release Android updates to phones running their own version of Android. Because you have an international version, it’s operating system is most likely not fully compatible with your carrier’s Android version. In other words, if you’re not receiving any notification of a pending system update when you insert a SIM card, then there’s no way you can install an over-the-air (OTA) update. Your only option would be manual flashing of a stock firmware for this particular model. If you want to know how to do that, use Google to look for a good guide.

Problem #3: Galaxy S5 screen won’t turn back on

When I use my camera to take pictures, view pictures, share pictures, delete pictures, all is well… same for videos. Then I set my phone down afterwards and the screen shuts down from inactivity (as it should), it’s still ‘seems’ normal. BUT when I hit my home button or power button to wake my phone up it does NOTHING! It’s as if I powered it off. I hold my power button to turn it on and still nothing. The only thing I’ve found that works to turn it back on is to remove my battery and put it right back in (1/2 a second is long enough but I have even left it out a full minute before with no difference) and power it on. Once it boots, all is well like nothing ever happened!

Just the other day I had taken a screen shot, then texted it to my mom and set my phone down to work on my laptop and my phone started ringing. I could not see the display, I tried hitting every button on the phone and it just kept ringing. I eventually got my protective cover off and removed the battery and it stopped ringing. I had a feeling it may have been my husband so I called him and he said he did call. He said it rang 4 times and went to my voice mail. But on my end it rang forever!!

I have memory issues (mine, not my phone) so I don’t recall when this started in relation to my last update… but I’m pretty sure it was not right after or I would hope I would have made that connection. — Donna

Solution: Hi Donna. There’s only one thing that we can say about the issue — it’s either a software glitch or hardware malfunction that we haven’t heard of. To check, do a factory reset and observe the phone without installing any apps. Do the observation as long as you can so you’ll know if there’s a difference once you’ve restored the software setup to default. If nothing changes during the observation period, find a way to have the phone replaced.

For reference, below are the steps on how to factory reset your phone:

  • Create a backup of your important files.
  • Power down the Galaxy S5.
  • Press and hold the Volume up button, the Home button, and the Power button together until you see the Android on screen.
  • Use Volume down to highlight the wipe data/factory reset option and press the Power button to select it.
  • Use Volume down again to highlight Yes ‚Äď delete all user data and press Power to select it.
  • Use the Power button to select Reboot system now.
  • When the S5 restarts it should be completely wiped and ready to set up again.

Problem #4: Galaxy S5 keeps going to “Emergency Only” state

Hello. My wife and I are have been having the same issues on our Galaxy S5s. Throughout the day they will randomly go into “Searching” or “Emergency Only” with no warning. We only discover this when we go to use our phones and have no service. To fix this, we either have to restart the phone or put it in and out of airplane mode. It seems to happen most often when we leave an area where we are connected to the Wi-Fi. Rather than re-establishing a 4G connection, the phone just switches to “Searching” or “Emergency Only”. It does this regardless of whether or not Smart Network Switch is checked in the Wi-Fi settings. This has been a nonstop issue since around January 2016 and I have been unable to find any information online specific to this problem. It isn’t specific to our phones either, as I have replaced my wife’s phone due to a cracked screen and the refurbished replacement has the same issue. This has been a serious frustration as it renders our phones essentially useless to contact us unless we constantly check to make sure they haven’t lost service. Any help from the experts here would be amazing. — Josh

Solution: Hi Josh. There are a number of factors (or even a combination of factors, which is very rare) that can cause your problem. Among the common factors though are the following (they are relatively easy to isolate):

  • Software/app glitch
  • bad hardware (like a malfunctioning radio chip)
  • network issue
  • wireless account issue

If the problem is due to a bad app or even an operating system glitch that may have developed after some time, you may be able to fix it by doing software troubleshooting. In fact, our blog can only provide you these software solutions and nothing else. You and Samsung (or your carrier) must do the heavy lifting if these software solutions won’t isolate or fix the issue.

The first software troubleshooting that you want to do booting the phones in safe mode for as long as you can allow. There’s a chance that both devices may have a common app installed causing network function interference. Booting a phone in safe mode will prevent third party apps from running so if the issue won’t occur while in this mode, you can bet one of your apps is the culprit. To boot in safe mode, follow these steps:

  • Turn the device off.
  • Press and hold the Power key.
  • When ‘Samsung Galaxy S5‚Ä≤ appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  • Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  • Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  • Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.

If you can’t isolate the issue to an app/s, the next logical step is to do a factory reset and observe the phone (for several days if possible). Refer to our suggestion to Donna above. If the issue remains after a factory reset procedure, you should extend the troubleshooting beyond the phone. “Emergency only” situation usually shows after a phone loses a connection to a cellular network. Make sure to let your carrier know about this problem so they can check if other users in the area are experiencing the same problem. You also want to check with them if there’s no account-specific issues that may be causing this situation. If they’ll say that everything is clear on their end, then you should consider having the phone replaced (although we doubt this is hardware-related issue).

Problem #5: Galaxy S5 Bluetooth keeps on turning on and off

First off I have tried all of the online troubleshooting and solutions but none seem to try to fix my Bluetooth issue on my Samsung S5. Here it is. So I

upgraded to Marshmallow a few months back. I’ve noticed a lot of changes with my phone. Some I have grown to look over but my main issue is my Bluetooth keeping switching on and off and it won’t allow me to turn it off or on. And to top it off, I went to application manager to see if I can do it there but my Bluetooth isn’t in application manager. It’s not there which is strange. needless to say my bluetooth isn’t working. I can’t connect because it won’t say on or off so now I keep having the bluetooth sign flashing on and off and I can’t seems to fix it.

Also, I keep getting the message flash on the bottom of my screen unable to download at this time. I try all of the cached clearing and stuff and it’s still there. please please help me thanks. — Sherifa

Solution: Hi Sherifa. If you’ve already tried factory reset but Bluetooth function remained greyed out, that’s an indication of hardware malfunction. Bluetooth function is handled by a separate hardware chip in order to work in a device. The same is true with other networking functions like Wi-Fi, mobile data, and even the normal FM app (in some older phone models). That said, you either have to simply contend that you don’t have Bluetooth functionality on this phone, or you can seek for a replacement phone.

For your second issue, kindly send us a more detailed information about it. We don’t have extraordinary powers to look into your phone history and take a look at your system remotely. Needless to say, we don’t know what you’re saying. Is this happening when using a particular app or when you’re doing anything? The more information you can give us about the issue, the closer we become to identifying the cause. There’s really nothing much that we can tell on what to do about it other than doing a factory reset.

Problem #6: Unlocked AT&T Galaxy S5 Active won’t accept MetroPCS APN settings

I recently bought a locked Galaxy S5 Active into ATT off eBay. Once I received the phone, I gave the IMEI # to ATT and got the unlock code. I entered it into the phone, and it worked great. I immediately began using the new phone with my SIM card from MetroPCS, and was getting text messages and had LTE data. After a while, around 20 minutes, I started getting the error message. I now can no longer send or receive texts, make calls, or connect to data (though Wi-Fi still works). I have watched tutorials on changing the APN and have read several forum posts which indicate what to change the APN to and when I do it either doesn’t save the MetroPCS APN or it just does nothing. I have also attempted to manually change the mobile network and Metro was not an option so I¬†changed it back to automatic. I’m kind of at a loss here. Help. I have used both the Metro and T-Mobile MMSC website and several MCC and MNC 310/260. — Ashley

Solution: Hi Ashley. If you can’t save the APN of MetroPCS, then the issue may be firmware-related. Try to do a factory reset to see if that will clear the glitch. Once you’ve done that, re-enter the APN settings. Make sure that you enter the correct information by getting the APN settings from MetroPCS. These are the only things that you can do on your end. If the issue (of being unable to enter the APN settings) persists, try to manually flash a stock firmware on the device or look for third party apps (which require root) that can help you edit the network settings of your device. We are not familiar with AT&T software so may have to dig a little deeper for specific instructions.


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