Galaxy S5 screen becomes black, remained black after installing an update, other issues

Even after over 2 years since its initial release, the Galaxy S5 remains one of the most popular smartphones in the world today. It’s no wonder that we continue to receive reports and requests for assistance from million of users around the world. This post will show you 6 of these issues.

Below are the specific issues that we cover in this material:

  1. Galaxy S5 turned off and won’t turn back on again
  2. How to recover files from a Galaxy S5 that won’t turn on
  3. Galaxy S5 Gallery app can’t be opened
  4. How to create Whatsapp backup in a Galaxy S5
  5. Galaxy S5 screen becomes black but functional
  6. Galaxy S5 screen remained black after installing an update

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 turned off and won’t turn back on again

Please help me. My S5 won’t turn on at all!! Here’s what happened. Earlier last night, my phone screen naturally turned off after its 30 seconds of inactivity (i’m not too sure, but it went darker) and next thing you know, i try to turn it back on and it’s not responding at all. I go straight to the charger and no luck as well. took out the battery, still no luck. So basically this phone isn’t responding at all. Trying many different methods, the phone also gets hot on the charger even though no LED light shows it’s charging or even vibrates at all. Almost as if the thing was completely fried. Please help. Information you should know:

-Yes i tried many different chargers, but only third party chargers, as i don’t have the phone’s original charger.

-The Download/Boot Mode method didn’t work, so it’s most likely a hardware issue, not software.

-This phone has been around since ’14 so it may be the battery.

-Desperately doing all that i could, i plugged in the phone to the (Third Party) charger without the battery, and to my surprise, it still warms up. — Dylan

Solution: Hi Dylan. We don’t know what else you’re still expecting from us at this point but if you figured out that the phone won’t boot to other modes as well, hardware is most definitely to blame. That means that there’s nothing more that we can do to help you. You must have the phone checked by a professional so it can be determined if repair can help revive it.

And yes, before you do that, we recommend that you try another USB charging cable and charger to see if the ones you tried are not working.

You also want to try using another battery as having a 3 year-old lithium-ion battery is already stretching it’s life expectancy too much.

Again, only hardware checkup can identify what the problem is, and whether or not your phone can still be fixed at this time. There are no software hacks that you can do on your end to try and turn the phone back on.

Problem #2: How to recover files from a Galaxy S5 that won’t turn on

Hey, I have a Samsung S5 19506 and recently I was using it. However it had fully discharged to 0% and turned off. I plugged it in and let it charge for a bit then turned it on and used the camera function etc. So I drained the battery to 0% once again. I then plugged the phone into a charger not manufactured by Samsung that usually charges at a lower rate. After a delay I once again tried turning on my phone but when it turned on it displayed the Samsung S5 screen but is just doing a constant loop on the Samsung animation with blue particle effects screen.

My phone was also very low on storage but that seems to be the only other thing I can think that would affect the device. My device is 100% vanilla and will not start up in safe mode after a soft reset. I can access the Android system recovery screen however. What is my best option to recover my data if it is stored on the phones memory and not an external memory card? Should I send my phone to Samsung technicians or will it not be covered? — Brook

Solution: Hi Brook. We’re afraid there’s no “best” option for you in this case. File recovery in a situation like this depends whether or not your S5 can start up again. If you can’t power it back on to normal mode or safe mode, you should try to wipe its cache partition first and do a factory reset next to try and fix the issue. We understand you want to recover some files from the phone and factory reset will certainly wipe them out but if the phone refuses to boot normally, there’s very limited steps that you can do.

As a security measure, a Samsung device needs to have user approval to allow another device like a computer to access its user data. Since your phone only loads to recovery mode, which is a separate software environment from Android operating system, you won’t be able to grant such approval for another device to read and move files from the phone’s internal storage device.

An issue like this is most likely caused by bad hardware so if wiping the cache partition or doing a factory reset won’t change anything, your only option is to have the phone repaired or replaced.

Now, Samsung does not do file recovery so sending your broken phone to them won’t help. As standard repair procedure, Samsung will wipe the phone’s memory first (if that’s possible), before doing any repair. Coverage of repair fees depends on the warranty status of your device. The standard warranty only covers the first year so if your phone is already out of warranty at this time, you will have to invest in repair fee. And again, Samsung does not do file recovery.

If the files in the phone are worth hundreds of dollars to you, you can try to make use of third party services that offer file recovery jobs. Google can help you find companies that offer such services but keep in mind that file recovery is tricky and does not always succeed. There’s no guarantee that someone can recover all your files in a broken phone like the one you have so make sure to talk to them what you’ll get in return if their job won’t yield anything.

To prevent losing files in the future, make it a habit of regularly creating a backup.

Problem #3: Galaxy S5 Gallery app can’t be opened

I get an error message when I try to open my Gallery. The message says the Gallery can’t be opened. Go to settings and allow contacts, Gallery, Location. When I try to change no to yes, it will not change. I have a Samsung Galaxy S5. Your clue of removing the battery and then returning it might work, but a picture of where to go to remove the battery would be helpful. There is no battery door release on the back of my phone that I can see.

Also, if I do a factory reset, will it remove all my prior info. I have no more storage in my Verizon cloud. Thank you for your help. I am going on a trip soon and need to be able to see my gallery! — Dmcc46

Solution: Hi Dmcc46. We don’t think removing the battery will help in this situation but if you are interested how to do it, kindly go to Youtube and simply type the search words: “samsung galaxy s5 remove battery.” You will then be provided with a number of videos that will guide you in removing and reseating the battery.

To fix your problem though, we suggest that you try to wipe the Gallery app’s cache and data. This will force the system to return all Gallery app settings to their default state. Here’s how to do it:

  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 6.0.
  3. Once in there, click on an application.
  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 Data and Clear Cache buttons for the application.

If the above troubleshooting won’t solve the problem, you can wipe the phone back to a clean slate via factory reset. As its name suggests, factory reset will revert all software settings to their defaults, effectively transforming the software environment to its original state. This is a good solution to try if a user is not sure where the problem may lie. Keep in mind though that factory reset will erase photos, videos, documents, customizations, etc. stored in the phone’s internal storage device. Apps can be reinstalled without problems so there’s no need to worry about them. Just make sure to create a backup of your important files such as videos, photos, contacts, and other documents stored in the phone’s memory. We suggest that you use Samsung Smart Switch app to create a backup.

For reference on how to factory reset your phone, follow these steps:

  • Turn off your Samsung Galaxy S5.
  • Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power keys together.
  • When the device powers on and displays ‘Power on logo’, release all keys and the Android icon will appear on the screen.
  • Wait until the Android Recovery Screen appears after about 30 seconds.
  • Using the Volume Down key, highlight the option, ‘wipe data/factory reset’ and press the Power key to select it.
  • Press the Volume Down button again until the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted and then press the Power key to select it.
  • After the reset is complete, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key to restart the phone.

Problem #4: How to create Whatsapp backup in a Galaxy S5

Good day, The Droid Guy. Thank you for your insight. I have two questions that seem to not be answered fully anywhere.

1) Whatsapp Backup on Samsung: How may I backup my Whatsapp messages using SMS Backup +? I used to be able to do so until two years ago when it appears Samsung encrypted something. I wish to have my Whatsapp messages accessible in my Gmail just like my SMS. Can you help?

2) Whatsapp Switch: In part due to the problem above, I am now switching to a newer phone – from Galaxy S4 to Galaxy S5. However, I do not want to lose my SMS or Whatsapp history in my switch from old to new phone. Can you help? Thank you in advance. Talk to you soon. — Camilo

Solution: Hi Camilo. We use Google Drive to create a backup of our own WhatsApp messages so we aren’t sure if it can be done by another app like SMS Backup +. You should talk to the developer of the said app although it’s been stated clearly in their website that they have already stopped supporting Whatsapp backup. We don’t know if they have an alternate option for a user like you who wished to use their product to backup WhatsApp messages.

For your second question, we recommend that you use Google Drive to create a copy of your Whatsapp chat transcripts. Once you’ve linked your Whatsapp account to your Google account, you can then start creating a backup to Google Drive. Here’s how:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Tap the Menu Button.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap Chats.
  5. Tap Chat backup.
  6. Here you can tap Back Up to create an immediate backup, and you can also tap on Back up to Google Drive to set up a backup frequency.
  7. If you do not have a Google account already set up, tap Add account when prompted.
  8. Tap on Back up over to choose the network you wish to use for backing up. Please note that backing up over cellular may result in additional data charges.

After creating a backup, you can now start moving or restoring a backup to your new phone. Whatsapp will then ask you if you want to restore chats and media from a backup when you verify your number. You can then tap Restore button when it appears.

If Whatsapp won’t detect a backup, it could be due to one of the following:

  • You are not logged into the same Google account.
  • You are not using the same phone number that was used to create the backup.
  • Your SD card and/or chat history is corrupted.
  • A backup file does not exist on the Google Drive account or locally on your phone.

Problem #5: Galaxy S5 screen becomes black but functional

I started to have an issue with my S5 a couple months ago. It is a screen issue that seems to mainly happen after it has been charging. I hit a button and the lights on the buttons on bottom light up and the notification led blinking and the phone seems to function other than a blank screen. I should also note that I can tell it is responsive to touch. However, if I am on the phone for a while, it seems to “warm up,” and works fine. However, if I don’t, the problem persists. All I can do is remove the battery and reboot. I have tried starting in safe mode, clearing the cache on the reboot screen. And, it once decided to seemingly wipe itself on its own. The screen is not cracked, and I don’t remember any serious drops before it happened and only time it has gotten wet is just some rain drops and condensation from sweat while in my pocket. Bought new and about 1.5 years old. Any help would be great. Thanks. — Bryce

Solution: Hi Bryce. This issue may be due to a screen malfunction so we recommend that you try all the basic software troubleshooting like wiping the cache partition, observing in safe mode, and factory reset. If all these three procedures won’t help you get somewhere, consider sending the phone to Samsung so it can be fixed.

Here are the steps on how to do each of the software troubleshooting mentioned.

  1. Wipe the cache partition
    1. Turn off the device.
    2. Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, and Power key.
    3. When the phone vibrates, release the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
    4. When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
    5. Press the Volume Down key to highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
    6. Press the Power key to select.
    7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
    8. Press the Power key to restart the device.
  2. Observe the phone to safe mode
    1. Press and hold the Volume Down and Power keys for 20 to 30 seconds.
    2. Once you see the Samsung logo, release the Power key immediately but continue pressing the Volume Down key.
    3. Your phone should continue booting up and you will be prompted to unlock your phone as usual.
    4. You will know if the phone successfully booted in safe mode if the text “Safe mode” is displayed at the lower-left corner of the screen.
    5. Observe how the phone works while it’s running in safe mode for one full day. Safe mode prevents third party apps from loading so if the issue won’t occur, that’s proof that one of the apps is to blame. Otherwise, proceed to the next solution to factory reset the phone.
  3. Wipe the phone clean with factory reset
    1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.
    2. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power keys together.
    3. When the device powers on and displays ‘Power on logo’, release all keys and the Android icon will appear on the screen.
    4. Wait until the Android Recovery Screen appears after about 30 seconds.
    5. Using the Volume Down key, highlight the option, ‘wipe data/factory reset’ and press the Power key to select it.
    6. Press the Volume Down button again until the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted and then press the Power key to select it.
    7. After the reset is complete, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key to restart the phone.

Problem #6: Galaxy S5 screen remained black after installing an update

My Galaxy S5 has worked faultlessly until yesterday. After installing the latest software update i restarted the phone to find the screen staying black. The lights either side of the home button will illuminate but the screen is blank. I am receiving the tones confirming messages are being received but cannot obviously read or access them.

Have taken battery out, etc but without success. Have also tried to reset using home, power and volume up button but seems to be unsuccessful. Screen appears responsive as it will respond (vibrate) when touch by a finger. This only happened immediately after the restart following the update. During the update the screen was active and i could see the progress of the update installation, etc. What has caused this? — Hitchs3

Solution: Hi Hitchs3. Your issue is similar to Bryce in a sense that the screen remains black even after restarting the phone. If the phone remains unresponsive when you try to restart it to different boot modes, there’s nothing more that you can do on your end but to send it in for repair. The problem is most probably hardware related so fixing it via software tweaks is useless.


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