Galaxy S7 fingerprint scanner not working due to water damage, won’t turn on, other issues

Our #GalaxyS7 post for the day covers 4 more issues that were reported to us recently. These issues include the perennial black screen and water damage problems. We hope that you’ll find the solutions in this helpful.

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.

Below are specific topics we’re bringing for you today:

Problem 1: Galaxy S7 Active screen turns black at random

I have a Samsung Galaxy S7 Active. So I’ve had this phone for close to 9 months and it has had its fair amount of drops. Last week It drops roughly 4 ft onto tile, and it was fine for a few minutes, and then the screen shut off. The phone was still on, I could feel it vibrating and the little blinker on the upper left was lighting up from notifications. But no matter what I did, the screen wasn’t turning on.

I then did a type of reset by holding the volume down button and the power button at the same time for at least 15 seconds and the screen worked! However, today I was using my phone, and it happened again from no cause, the screen shut off, but the phone was still on (I could feel vibrations from notifications). I did hold down the volume down button and power button again and that turned it on. I’m just worried that this will lead to a bigger problem and how I can fix this or remove all my data and images from my phone before it’s too late and my phone’s screen permanently blacks out. — Diana Abouchacra

Solution: Hi Diana. Since the phone had started glitching out following a bad accidental fall, you can safely assume it can fail at any moment. To prevent losing important data such as documents, photos, videos, contacts, etc., be sure to allow your phone to regularly create a backup by enabling sync, or by letting it sync automatically to the cloud. If you don’t have any active third party cloud accounts like Dropbox, it’s good if you let the phone create a copy of your photos and videos either via Samsung cloud or Google cloud. You can do that by doing the following steps:

For Samsung cloud

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Cloud and accounts.
  3. Tap Samsung cloud.

Under Backup settings, you can select some options to allow you customize what items to back up all the time.

For Google cloud

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Cloud and accounts.
  3. Tap Accounts.
  4. Tap Google.
  5. Tap your desired Google account. Then, pick what items you wish to back up.

If you want to fix the random screen timeout issue, consider sending the phone to Samsung so they can run a thorough diagnostics on the hardware. Be sure to tell them that the problem happens intermittently. That will prevent Samsung technicians from declaring your phone as defect free if they’ll not encounter the problem during repair.

Problem 2: Galaxy S7 fingerprint scanner not working due to water damage

Hi! My phone got wet because I used it to take pictures when I was in a pool. I have it checked already into a phone technician because my phone doesn’t open even when charging. After the technician fixed it, yes the home button is functioning but its finger print scanner doesn’t. And I can’t put up a password/lock on my phone even though I tried it many times. a message pops out saying that I need to restart my phone so the finger print scanner can function and I did it several times already. How can I fix this? Please help me. Thank you! — Ajcarangan

Solution: Hi Ajcarangan. Unless you swim or dive with your Galaxy S7, it should be safe from occasional splashes. Your phone is water-resistant so it should be able to resist damage from non-pressurised exposure to moisture. If it still got water damaged though, the very first thing that you must do is to take out the battery. This means taking the phone in order to disconnect the battery from the logic board. Leaving the battery connected to a wet board is a death sentence. We understand you can’t readily remove the battery in an S7 as you need to take the phone apart. This is one of the reasons why we always recommend to S7 users to simply bring their device to a shop that fixes wet electronics.

Removing the battery from the system should be followed by dismantling the parts and drying them accordingly. This second step is critical in minimizing further damage to other parts. Leaving the motherboard wet can lead to corrosion, which in turn, can lead to permanent hardware damage. In some cases, corrosion can start developing after a few hours, especially if the phone is exposed to salty water. There’s a very specific way to properly dry electronic components so if you want to know how to do it, try to do some quick Google search.

For your current issue regarding the malfunctioning fingerprint scanner, it’s possible that this component has already suffered permanent damage after its initial contact with water. If you want to know if that’s accurate, you must let a technician from Samsung check the device.

As we’ve always emphasized in our previous posts that address water damage, there’s no amount of software fix that you can do to repair a physically broken component. If the fingerprint scanned no longer detects your finger at this time, it must be damaged permanently. Unless you have the knowledge, tools, and replacement part to fix it, leave it to the experts.

If you rely on the fingerprint scanner to unlock the screen, and the  backup password/PIN is not being recognized, you should attempt a master reset as the last option. Before you do so, be sure to know the registered Google account in your device. If you can’t provide the correct username and password for your Google account after a master reset, the phone will lock itself due to Factory Reset Protection.

To master reset your S7, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy S7.
  2. Press and then hold the Home and Volume UP keys, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Samsung Galaxy S7 shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume Up keys.
  4. When the Android logo shows, you may release both keys and leave the phone be for about 30 to 60 seconds.
  5. Using the Volume Down key, navigate through the options and highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  6. Once highlighted, you may press the Power key to select it.
  7. Now highlight the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ using the Volume Down key and press the Power button to select it.
  8. Wait until your phone is finished doing the Master Reset. Once completed, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and press the Power key.
  9. The phone will now reboot longer than usual.

Problem 3: Galaxy S7 edge black screen issue, won’t turn on

Hi. I have a Samsung S7 edge and back in May/June I dropped it, cracking the screen. It work fine for a while with no issues, except the cracked screen. I sent it for repair under my insurance and since it was restarting and freezing up to 10 times per day and would do a final freeze then switch off and be unresponsive for 24hrs, but would come on when the battery had eventually drained and I recharged it. It did this the other day and now my phone will not turn on at all. I don’t know why or what to do. Hope you can help.  — Eleanordixon89

Solution: Hi Eleanordixon89. We’ve published an article about two days ago for a similar case so kindly visit it and follow our suggestions. The case mentioned in the article was meant for an S8 user but our suggestions can still apply to any Android device.

Problem 4: Creating Galaxy S7 backup for contacts

I have a Galaxy S7. I need a process to backup my phone’s rather large contact list ~ NOT google email contacts ~ in fact, without using google in ANY way. i can’t tell you how many times i have had to correct the complete chaos that has happened in the past. one single contact can have as many as 9 – 10 different people w/ their own phone numbers & em addresses. i need all of that info to STAY AS IS. i can’t really tell by the descriptions i’m reading for the apps in the google playstore, if any of them will do what i need. i hope someone can help me??? thank you. —  Rhonda

Solution: Hi Rhonda. If you’re trying to create a backup of your contacts, try to use either Samsung cloud or Smart Switch.

To access Samsung cloud, just do the following steps:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Cloud and accounts.
  3. Tap Samsung cloud.
  4. Once you’re in the Samsung cloud menu, be sure to move the slider of Contacts (Samsung account) to the right to enable the phone to automatically sync your Samsung contacts to the cloud.

Keep in mind that Samsung cloud will only back contacts that’s listed as your Samsung account contacts. If you have lots of contacts that are not part of your Samsung account, then we suggest that you use Samsung Smart Switch instead.


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