How to fix a frozen or unresponsive Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

The new Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is an excellent tablet in its class but it’s not perfect. From time to time, even great phones and tablets can encounter bugs that can freeze the system. If you have an unresponsive Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, this article should help.

What can cause Galaxy Tab S4 to freeze or become unresponsive

Some of the common causes why an Android device may freeze are the following:

  • temporary system slow down
  • Incompatible or poorly-coded app
  • overheating
  • slow performance
  • hardware malfunction

How to fix a frozen or unresponsive Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Like most Android problems, there’s no direct way to know what causes Galaxy Tab S4 to freeze or becomes unresponsive. You’ll need to do a series of troubleshooting steps in order to both narrow down the factors and work out a solution.

Forced reboot

One of the common reasons why an Android device is unresponsive is a temporary bug. Such a bug can occur for any reason. If you find your Galaxy Tab S4 suddenly becoming frozen, forcing it to reboot must be the first troubleshooting step that you want to try. In older Samsung Galaxy devices with removable battery packs, disconnecting the battery is usually enough to fix a frozen system. Since the Galaxy Tab S4 has a non-removable battery, all you can do is to simulate the effects of having disconnected the battery by pressing and holding the Power button and the Volume button down at the same time for more than 7 seconds. This will force the device to restart it as if you’ve removed the battery and reinserted it.

Clear cache partition

Sometimes, Samsung Galaxy devices may encounter lag or freezing issues when its system cache is corrupted. To keep the system cache on your Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 in top shape, make sure to regularly clear the cache partition. Doing it once every few months should be fine. Wiping the cache partition after a system update is also recommended to lessen the chances of this cache from getting outdated. To do it:

  1. Power off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Power key, Home key and Up Volume key at the same time.
  3. Release all of the keys when the Android image appears.
  4. Press the Down Volume key to select Wipe cache partition.
  5. Press the Power key.
  6. Once Cache wipe complete appears, press the Power key to select Reboot system now.
  7. The device restarts once the wipe is finished.

Check for bad third party app

Not all apps are created equal. While majority of Android apps are fine, some may not be so. A few may cause problems with other apps or with Android. To see if an app is interfering with Android Operating System, put the phone on Safe Mode and observe it for some time.

To restart to safe mode:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key.
  3. When Samsung appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  4. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  5. Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  6. Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode on the device.

Once the phone has booted to safe mode successfully, all downloaded apps will be suspended. This means that only apps that came with the operating system will be allowed to run. So, if your Galaxy Tab S4 works fine on safe mode (make sure that you use it for a few hours) but becomes problematic again once you return it to normal mode, that’s a clear sign of a bad app issue. Use the method of elimination to identify which one is problematic. This is what you must do:

  1. Boot to safe mode.
  2. Check for the problem.
  3. Once you’ve confirmed that a third party app is to blame, you can start uninstalling apps individually. We suggest that you begin with the most recent ones you added.
  4. After you uninstall an app, restart the phone to normal mode and check for the problem.
  5. If your Galaxy Tab S4 is still problematic, repeat steps 1-4.

Reset app preferences

Apps can become a problem for a number of reasons but one of the most common cause is due to a disabled default app or service. In order to do a certain task, most apps depend on default Samsung or Android apps. If, for some reason, a necessary default app has been disabled, third party apps that might need it may not work properly. Such a situation can lead to problems. To ensure that all default apps are enabled, try to reset your app preferences with these steps:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap More settings (three-dot) icon at the upper right.
  4. Tap Reset app preferences.

Reset all settings

Another good thing to do in this case is to return software settings of the device to their defaults without doing a factory reset. This is usually effective when dealing with issues due to some misconfiguration. Here’s how:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings > General Management > Reset > Reset settings.
  4. If you have set up a PIN, enter it.
  6. The device will restart to perform the reset of settings.

Install updates

An often forgotten way to minimize bugs and, at times, fix known problems directly, is installing updates. Be sure to keep the system updated by installing updates for both Android and apps.

Factory reset

A drastic way to fix most software-related problems is factory reset. You only want to do this solution if none of the suggestions won’t help.

  1. Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Samsung account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Samsung credentials to finish the master reset.
  2. Turn off the device.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’.
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  8. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  9. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  10. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Get Samsung support

In some rare cases, constant freezing or lag can be attributed to hardware malfunction or damage. If your Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 was dropped or exposed to elements prior to noticing the problem, there’s a good chance that bad hardware is the culprit. Let Samsung check the device if it continues to freeze after a factory reset.

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