Galaxy S6 won’t install system updates, won’t boot up, stuck in Recovery Mode, other issues

Today’s #GalaxyS6 troubleshooting article addresses one common issue for a lot of users being unable to install updates on their device. We also provide suggestions on what you can do for some power and boot up problems. Like we usually do, cases mentioned here are taken from reports we receive from members of our community. If you did send us a request for assistance and are yet to see your issue published, kindly watch out for more troubleshooting articles in the coming days.

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.

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 in Korea won’t install system updates

We are overseas in Korea for work. When we moved here we had to switch out our SIM cards or our US phones to a Korean network. Our phones Samsung Galaxy S6 have been stuck on the the version 6.0.1 for system updates. When we follow the prompts to open, and check for updates we just get an error message that says the software update is temporarily unavailable. This has been the same message for a year and a half now. We would like to update our systems without having to buy new phones yet. — Tylene

Solution: Hi Tylene. Carrier-branded smartphones or devices specifically made by Samsung for a particular network runs a carrier-specific firmware version so you won’t be able to update them normally. Usually, if your phone is connected to its home network, it should regularly receive over-the-air updates or what we call OTA updates. OTA updates are efficient and convenient means of updating devices but they only work when the phone is in its original network. If you’re using another SIM card, hence putting the phone outside the home network, OTA update will not work. This is the reason why there’s no system update available for your phone in Korea.

Carrier-specific firmware can’t be delivered by another network as they don’t have access to your home network servers. As you can see, Android operating system, which is originally developed by Google, is fragmented. It’s not released in one universal form for all Android devices. Google initially develops an Android version but then carriers can modify the vanilla version to allow their products and services to work in their devices. T-Mobile’s Android 8 version is slightly different from AT&T’s and other networks in the US. in other words, you can’t put an AT&T Android version to a T-Mobile Galaxy S6. A T-Mobile device can only be updated with a T-Mobile Android version. If you plan on installing an update in your S6 (and assuming there’s indeed an available update for it), you need to be connected to your home network in the United States first. We know that seems such a hassle but it actually is.

If you really want to update your phone badly, you can manually do it. The procedure is called flashing a firmware. We would like to remind you though that flashing is basically a modification of your phone’s system files. If you’re not careful when flashing, you can potentially brick the phone for good. If you’re interested how to flash your phone via Odin, try to visit websites and forums that provide good tutorials on how to do it. Remember, flashing guides are model specific and some steps can vary slightly. You also need to use the correct firmware version for your phone. If you’re not familiar with flashing, Odin, firmware, etc., we suggest that you do more research first.

Problem 2: Galaxy S6 stuck in Samsung logo screen, won’t turn on

Hi. I dropped my phone on the top right corner yesterday and it turned off. When I tried to turn it on it didn’t work, so I tried to charge it. It went straight to 99%, even though it was around 30% when I dropped it. It turned on, but now it keeps displaying the

Samsung Galaxy S6 screen and the Samsung logo, and doesn’t turn on normally. Yesterday, right after it fell and I plugged it in it showed my homescreen for a moment, before turning off again and going back into that cycle of showing the samsung logo, homescreen for a few seconds, black screen. Today it doesn’t show my homescreen anymore. It also doesn’t work at all when I try to unplug it from the charger. —   Rebecca

Solution: Hi Rebecca. Has the phone become totally unresponsive and not showing any signs of life — no LED light, no sound, does not ring, or not making vibrations? If yes, the battery or motherboard may be damaged by the unnecessary shock from the drop. To fix the problem, you need to contact Samsung or bring the phone to a good independent service center for repair.

Problem 3: Galaxy S6 loses battery fast and only powers back on after hitting the back part

Hey. I love Android and even though I’m having problems with my phone I’ll never change. Okay at first had the problem where my battery was draining fast. Now I’m having a problem that when I take my phone off the charger it turns off. Sometimes it acts like my phone died. Sometimes I got to hit the back and it comes on. What could be wrong?

Then I have a problem where it get a circle at the top and it say out of service area and turn off and once it come back on its like my phone died. Can yall please help me please? — Tabatha

Solution: Hi Tabatha. If your phone only turns back sometimes after hitting the back, that may be a sign of battery problem. Lithium-ion batteries like the one in your S6 usually starts losing significant capacity after some time. If your S6 is already over a year from its original unboxing, now may be the time to replace the battery. If you want, you can watch videos on how to replace an S6 battery. It’s relatively easy even for the uninitiated. The procedure requires a special set of tools as well as a new compatible battery. If you don’t feel confident in doing it though, you can let a professional replace the battery for you.

Problem 4: Galaxy S6 edge won’t boot up, stuck in Recovery Mode

Hello. I bought a Samsung Galaxy S6 edge off of Kijiji. It doesn’t turn on and when it does turn on the Android symbol comes up. It tries to load the update and then goes to no command chosen. I tried to do a hard reset on the phone and it will not let me select any of the options with the power button. It does let me move the highlighted section up and down low through the list. I’m not sure what to do to get it working again and I cannot take the battery out of the phone for a soft reset. What should I do? — Jeff

Solution: HI Jeff. If your phone allows you to load Recovery Mode (by pressing the Power, Home, and Volume Up buttons) but not choose any of the options in that mode at all, then something’s definitely wrong with it’s bootloader. Consider flashing your phone’s bootloader and see how it goes. Below are the general steps on how to flash a Samsung bootloader. Exact steps may be slightly different for your particular phone model so make sure to consult other guides to avoid bricking your phone. In order to flash a Samsung device, you need to use a computer with an Odin program installed. If you’ve already taken care of that, follow the steps below.

  1. Look for the correct firmware for your phone model and download it. Make sure that you select the right one. It should be the same exact firmware that ran previously on your device. We assume that you list down the firmware version somewhere. If you did not take note of it before, there’s a chance that you may pick the wrong one. As you may know now, using an incorrect firmware can cause complications so good luck with that.
  2. Let’s now say that you have identified the correct firmware. You then want to download it to your computer. The firmware file should have a bunch of files in it like AP_, BL_, CSC_, etc.
  3. Look for the file that starts with a label BL; this should be the corresponding bootloader file for this firmware. Once you’ve identified the bootloader file, copy it to your computer’s desktop or to any other folder that you can easily access.
  4. Proceed with the rest of the flashing procedure using the Odin program.
  5. In Odin, click on the BL tab and make sure to use the bootloader file you’ve identified earlier.
  6. Now, make sure that the “Device Added” status and its “ID:COM box” has turned blue before hitting the START button. This will initiate the flashing of your phone’s bootloader.
  7. Restart the phone once the procedure is finished.