Galaxy S6 Back and Recent apps buttons not working, can’t make calls and SMS, other issues

Hello Android community! Welcome to another #GalaxyS6 post that brings you some of the issues submitted by some members of our community. We hope that our suggestions will be helpful for those mentioned here and others who may be experiencing similar issues.

Below are the specific topics we discuss in this material:

  1. Galaxy S6 Back and Recent apps buttons not working
  2. Galaxy S6 screen won’t turn back on using power, volume, or home buttons
  3. Galaxy S6 stuck in boot loop after installing custom software
  4. Galaxy S6 can’t make calls and SMS
  5. Galaxy S6 stuck in Samsung logo screen and won’t charge
  6. Galaxy S6 has multiple charging issues
  7. Galaxy S6 stops detecting network | Galaxy S6 keeps saying “no service” after inserting a SIM card

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 S6 Back and Recent apps buttons not working

So I was using my device and it started to rapidly blink both the back and the menu buttons. So I checked to see if there was an update for my phone. So I found out there was and I updated my phone. But it still didn’t get rid of the problem of the blinking soft lights. I’m not talking just for a couple of seconds blinking, I mean will blink every second. So I tried backing up data and factory resetting it. But it has been several hours and the problem has not gone away. What do I do about this? — Nicholas

Solution: Hi Nicholas. If factory reset didn’t change anything, the problem must be faulty hardware. Try to access the service menu by dialing “*#0*#” (without the quotes) on the phone dialer app. Once you’re in the service menu, tap the “Sub key” box. This box will allow you to check if the three buttons — back, home, and recent apps– are responding to your input or not. You will know if each of them is working because the screen will light up in a different color if you touch one of them. If the screen never changes color, that’s an indication that the button is not working, which also means you have a hardware problem.

If you dropped the phone by accident or exposed it to liquid before, stop looking for software solutions. No software hack can fix a hardware issue. Consider calling Samsung so they can examine the phone. If you have no access to Samsung service center, just consider having the phone replaced.

Problem #2: Galaxy S6 screen won’t turn back on using power, volume, or home buttons

I’m having two major and probably unrelated problems. The most important one is that once my phone screen turns off, it won’t turn back on by any normal methods (power key, pressing the volume keys or the home key). At that point I take it out of the case and try again. If it still doesn’t work I have to hold the power button and down key to reboot. This is happening more and more frequently.

Second problem is the apps on the edge menu will not open. I have to open them from the apps menu. — Diana

Solution: Hi Diana. The first and only thing that we will suggest is factory reset. It should address both issues if the cause is on the software side. Factory reset will restore all software settings to their known, factory working state so if a software glitch has developed over time, this process should take care of the problem. Here’s how it’s done:

  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 #3: Galaxy S6 stuck in boot loop after installing custom software

Hi. I rooted my phone by Odin which was successful. I then installed Xposed installer 3.1 APL downloaded from After that my phone went into a boot loop. Now all I get is a blank screen with LED on after the initial splash screen of Samsung and my model no. I can go into Odin mode and recovery mode. I have tried master reset, formatting, clearing cache. but the booting is not taking place. I tried reflashing the phone again but I get error in odin 1.85 as well as 3.10 – Pease advise how to revive my phone.  — Ben

Solution: Hi Ben. Our blog does not support rooting- or flashing-related so it’s hardly the ideal site to look for answers. We suggest you engage the community that developed the custom software you’re using as they may have encountered the same issue before. Most of Android modding communities are more than willing to help users who may encounter a problem with their products.

Problem #4: Galaxy S6 can’t make calls and SMS

Hello. I happened to find a blog of sorts about phone problems. Specifically with Galaxy phones. I have a Galaxy S6 and it won’t let me make calls, text, but I can still connect to the wifi. This phone is almost new and we called AT&T and we went through the whole thing with them. They had me call them, and they connected with my phone and tried so many things on their end, but nothing worked. We restarted and turned off my phone so many times in developer mode. I just don’t know what to do. At the top of my phone is a circle let with a line through it, and when I make calls or text it says no mobile connectivity.  Any ideas, or new ones that I haven’t tried? Please help!  Thanks so much. — Tabitha

Solution: Hi Tabitha. If your wireless carrier can’t help you, we doubt if there’s anything else that we can do. First of all, issues with calls and SMS should be within your carrier’s scope of support. If they can’t make these services work in your phone, the technical support representative who helped is either clueless about the issue, or that your phone needs replacement.

Secondly, the troubleshooting steps that we can suggest for you are the typical dose of suggestions that you can easily find online. These steps include wiping the cache partition, observing the phone in safe mode, and factory reset. For reference, below are the steps on how to wipe the cache partition and how to restart the phone to safe mode.

Wiping the cache partition of a Galaxy S6

  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.

Booting a Galaxy S6 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.

Remember, if both of these processes won’t work, try factory reset. This will erase all user data so make sure that you create a backup of your files before proceeding.

Problem #5: Galaxy S6 stuck in Samsung logo screen and won’t charge

Hello. Last Friday my Samsung Galaxy S6 got stuck on the Samsung Logo and then showed the not-charging grey battery symbol.

In the meantime I found your website with troubleshooting topics where my problem was described perfectly.  Today with the fully charged battery I tried to wipe the cache partition, but instead of vibrating, etc. with entry into the Android Recovery screen, the screen instead just went white.  I am now assuming that there is a problem with the software and all data has been lost. Please can you possibly shed any light on what has happened to my phone?

I have not been able to get any sense from Samsung about this.  One computer shop said that they should be able to re-install the software, but I am not sure if this is possible and do not want to start spending money on a phone which is not viable. None of the computer shops said that they could recover any data.  Unfortunately, I was not aware that the phone could take a micro SD card (the phone was a cast-off from my husband) so I am worried that all is now lost.  I tried plugging the phone into the computer with the white screen on, but the computer does not even acknowledge that a device is plugged in.

I am sorry, but I am not on Facebook, so am contacting you via e-mail and would be very grateful for any advice that you can give.  As I am stuck without a phone I will have to take it to one of the repair shops tomorrow afternoon.

I appreciate that you said it may take some time to respond, but if you see this e-mail tonight or tomorrow morning, I would be very grateful to hear from you.

Kind regards. — Cindy

Solution: Hi Cindy. Before you start worrying for your files, the first thing that you want to know is if your phone can still power back on normally or not. You can do that by doing a soft reset. Since the Galaxy S6 has a non-removal battery pack, you want to simulate a “battery pull” to try to revive it. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press and hold the Power (located on the right edge) and Volume down buttons (located on the left edge) for 12 seconds.
  2. Use the Volume down button to scroll to the Power Down option.
  3. Press the Home key to select.

If the phone remains unresponsive, you’re out of luck. You now need to check if you can resolve the problem by booting to different modes. Each of these modes gives you a different approach towards a solution. For example, if you will be able to boot the phone to download mode only at this time, you’re only way out may be to flash stock firmware. On the other hand, if your phone will only allow you to boot to recovery mode, you may be able to fix the issue via factory reset. Either way, it means that all user data on the device will be deleted.

For reference, below are the steps on how to boot your S6 to different modes:

Boot in Recovery mode:

  • Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  • Press and then hold the Home and Volume UP keys, then press and hold the Power key.
  • When the Samsung Galaxy S7 shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume Up keys.
  • When the Android logo shows, you may release both keys and leave the phone be for about 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Using the Volume Down key, navigate through the options and highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  • You can either wipe the cache partition or do a factory reset when in this mode.

Boot in Download Mode:

  • Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  • Press and then hold the Home and Volume DOWN keys, then press and hold the Power key.
  • When the Samsung Galaxy S7 shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume DOWN keys.
  • Wait until the Download screen appears.
  • If you can boot the phone in download mode but not in other modes, that means that your only way out may be to flash a stock or custom firmware.
  • Use Google to look for a guide on how to do it.

Boot in safe mode:

  • Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  • Press and hold the Power button.
  • Once the ‘Samsung Galaxy S7’ logo appears, release the Power key and immediately press and hold the Volume Down button.
  • Continue holding the button until the phone finishes rebooting.
  • Once you see the text “Safe mode” at the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume Down button.
  • The only difference of safe mode from normal mode is that the former prevents third party apps from running. If you can boot the phone in safe mode but not in normal mode, uninstall all apps until the issue (that prevents you from booting normally) is eliminated.

Should the issue remains and you won’t be able to boot the phone to any of these alternate modes, you can assume that there’s a problem with hardware. Make sure that you have the phone checked.

Problem #6: Galaxy S6 has multiple charging issues

My husband really likes his S6, but it has so many charging issues that we’re going to have to replace it if we can’t find a solution. All the chargers work on all our other Samsung phones, so it’s not them. Usually, the only way to get it to charge is to turn the phone off completely and then plug it in. At that point, you don’t get the usual icon of a battery with the percent number and bubbles, etc. But the phone vibrates every 5 seconds or so. (Very annoying. I make him charge it in another room.) Sometimes that doesn’t work either though.

Today, I plugged it in and, voila, it started charging and the little icon was there and it said 35%. I came back a couple minutes later, though, and it said 32%. The same thing happened when I tried charging with the phone turned on; all indicators showed it was charging, yet the percentage was quickly dropping.  This is when it’s most frustrating, because the phone will not charge at all, whether on or off.

He’s managed to “jump start” the battery at this point a few times off of my old S3. Any suggestions? It’s definitely an issue within the phone. I’m going to go do a soft reset again and see if that helps. But, we’d like to resolve this for good. Neither of us are apprehensive about doing the repairs ourselves. He’s better with hardware issues, and I’m OK with the software side.

Thanks for any help you might provide! — Cheryl

Solution: Hi Cheryl. An issue like this can either have a software or hardware cause so if you’ve already tried all software troubleshooting before, the most likely cause is bad hardware. In many cases, charging problems are caused by a damaged micro USB charging port. Wear and tear (from plugging and unplugging, mishandling, exposure to elements, etc) can damage or bend the pins inside the port, resulting to erratic charging behavior. If your husband can manage to replace the charging port himself, that should be a good way to start. Our blog does not provide hardware diagnostics and solutions so try to find other sources of guides on how to do the procedure.

Otherwise, simply let a professional do the repair.

Problem #7: Galaxy S6 stops detecting network | Galaxy S6 keeps saying “no service” after inserting a SIM card

Hi, I recently was able to unlock my T-Mobile phone. When I put in my mom’s SIM, AT&T SIM card, I am able to make a call. BUT when I turned off phone and inserted my MetroPCS SIM, it said 4G LTE for about 2 minutes and I was able to call out and then it went away and said “no service”. This happened previously before I unlocked my phone. Now it seems to not like my MetroPCS SIM. When it had an AT&T SIM, I went to APN settings and it said “Cingular 410”. So I entered in “” APN and selected it then re-inserted MetroPCS sim and still no service. I cannot even access “mobile networks” and APN settings with Metropcs SIM. Not sure if it’s because APN doesn’t have filled in such information as the server, APN type, username and password, etc… My imei is valid. It is shown when I go to ‘about phone’. Can you please help me find signal? I’ve tried many things. SIM fits fine in slot. It works in my other phone. At&t SIM works on my S3. Please help? Thank you. — Mrs. Green

Solution: Hi Mrs. Green. In general, Samsung GSM phones are designed to automatically change the APN settings once it detects an active SIM card. This means that you don’t actually need to manually change the APN settings everytime you insert an active SIM card to your phone. If this automatic behavior is not happening on your phone, try to factory reset it inserting another SIM card. If the problem remains, contact your wireless carrier so they can double check the status of your account and suggest a SIM card replacement.

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