Galaxy S7 screen won’t wake up after an update when it’s not in use

Hello Android community! Today’s troubleshooting article will try to fix a #GalaxyS7 issue after installing an update. Basically, the S7 screen turns black and won’t turn back on when it’s left unattended to for some time. If you’re one of the unlucky ones to experience this issue, this article is for you.

Today’s problem: Galaxy S7 screen won’t wake up after an update when it’s not in use

Hello! Thanks for reading. I’ve tried your steps for factory reset and it briefly fixed my problem, but now my problem is back. My problem: When I press the “Home” button, the white indicator lights on either side light up (the arrow and the boxes), but the screen stays black. When I do a forced power cycle (by holding down the power button and the volume down button for 10 seconds), the screen is suddenly bright with vibrant rainbow “snow.” Like multicolor tiny zig-zags across the screen. That image goes on and off (vibrant to black screen to vibrant to black screen) for several minutes. Then the Samsung logo pops on, and the phone powers on normally, but slowly.  Once the phone is on, it generally works for as long as I keep it “awake.” The apps work, email works, calls work, I can even play games normally. However, as soon as it “snoozes” and goes black, waking it back up is nearly impossible. When I press the home button, the two white lights on the side light up, but the screen stays black. Every so often, after waiting a moment, it will wake up. But very rarely. Most of the time, once it goes black it just stays black and the only way to get anything from it is to force it to turn off and on again by pressing the power and volume down button. Then when it boots back up I have a brief window to interact with it again (as long as I don’t let it snooze and go black).

I have factory reset it a few times. It seemed to help at first, but a few days later the same weird glitch was back: as soon as it went black it was hard to wake back up. I also reset it and chose not to import old contacts and apps to see if that helped. But after a little interaction, once I left it alone for an hour I couldn’t get it to wake back up.  Battery does not seem to be an issue. But all the booting and resetting does drain the battery a bit. At first, plugging it in helped a little, but now it doesn’t make a difference. Once it goes to sleep, I can’t wake it back up without forcing a reboot. I believe this started happening after a recent update of my OS. It started a couple days after. Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks!! While looking in “about phone” I saw this info if it helps: Android version 7.0 model number: SM-G935U Security Software Version: MDF v3.0 Release 1 WLAN v1.0 Release 1 VPN v1.4 Release 8.2 ASKS v1.4 Release 161228 SMR Jan-2018 Release MS Android Security Patch level: January 1, 2018. — Meredith

Solution: Hello Meredith. The observations you’ve mentioned might help shed light on the issue. Just like in any Android troubleshooting scenario, taking note of symptoms are just as important as figuring the solution. In order to get to the bottom of the issue, let’s discuss several important points relating to your case.

Know when the issue started

We know you think the issue may have coincidentally occured after you’ve installed updates but you should try to consider possible other issues beyond that point. Android updates, while not all the time perfect, generally brings improvements and fixes rather than problems. In cases where Android update did bring problems, they usually also affect a number of users, which means that the internet will usually be awashed with complaints and reports of same or similar issues. In your case, there seems to be no such occurrence. We tried scanning the internet for similarities to your case at about this time and we can’t find any. You’re also the first one to mention this to us so it’s probably an isolated case. This means that there may be a unique factor or variable that cause this issue to only occur on your device.

Check for third party apps

One important observation you mentioned is the fact that the issue seems to disappear after a factory reset, but then returns later on. This actually is a classic symptom of a possible third party app problem. That’s because factory state software is usually free of any major bug. We also know for a fact that a factory state Android 7.0 version won’t cause the problem you’re experiencing. That tells us that the issue is caused by something that you add to the software environment later on. This addition can be an update or an app.  We don’t know if you happen to immediately install Android updates right after a factory reset but based on experience, this seldom occurs. The most likely addition to your device though is apps. So, to check if the screen issue you’ve having is being caused by a bad third party app, make sure that you let your S7 work in safe mode for at least 24 hours.

In safe mode, all apps and services won’t be running, thus, allowing your S7 to only work with native apps that came with the operating system. If the screen works normally while your device is on safe mode, that’s a clear confirmation of our hunch.

To boot your S7 to safe mode, follow these steps:

  1. Turn your Galaxy S7 off.
  2. Press and hold the Power button.
  3. Once the ‘Samsung Galaxy S7’ logo appears, release the Power key and immediately press and hold the Volume Down button.
  4. Continue holding the button until the phone finishes rebooting.
  5. Once you see the text “Safe mode” at the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume Down button.

Consider downgrading to previous firmware version

If your problem remains through safe mode troubleshooting, there’s a big probability that there’s either a coding issue involved, or your phone’s hardware is not working properly.

By coding issue, we mean to say that the operating system version installed on your device may be seriously flawed. Since there’s no way to directly test this theory, you have to check if downgrading to the previous version of Android will help. In your case, this means installing an older, known working version of Android Marshmallow (Android 6) to your device.

This potential solution is not ideal of course. For one, there’s no easy way to downgrade Android version. You have to manually flash the firmware for that.

Secondly, flashing is generally reserved for advanced Android users, meaning those who can deal with possible problems should flashing procedure goes bad. While flashing is as easy as following step-by-step instructions, potential problems from it are not always easy to fix. In many cases, inexperienced users attempting to flash stock firmware or custom ROM end up with a paperweight. We don’t want you to be one of them.

Finally flashing stock firmware to your S7 is not a guaranteed solution. We don’t know exactly what’s causing the problem you’re having so it may or may not fix the issue. There will also be no way for you to know if the problem that persists is due to the same cause, or if it’s due to a flashing mistake.  If you want to give flashing a try though, we suggest that you do more research about the subject first. Flashing steps can vary from model to model. You also need to ensure that you’re using the right firmware for the job. We won’t cover discussing the steps how to flash a firmware to your device so kindly visit other sites for that. Google is a huge help in this aspect.

Ask Samsung’s help

Should you not want to try flashing the device, or if flashing it won’t help fix the issue at all, the best thing that you can do is to seek Samsung’s help. You’ll most likely end up with repair but phone replacement may also be possible. Any of these options are not ideal either but Samsung can’t really hurry up diagnostics for this one. Just be patient and be ready to lose your phone for days temporarily. Samsung repair or replacement usually takes time so consider getting another phone while your S7 is with Samsung.


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