Note 5 screen won’t unlock, fingerprint and PIN not working, other OS-related problems

Hello #GalaxyNote5 fans! Today we discuss some Android issues on the Note 5. We hope the solutions mentioned here will be of help.

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 Note 5 default app when downloading pictures

I was able to save pictures from Messages and Facebook to my phone and they would go into my Gallery. Now they go to some file called pictures and I can not find this file or save the picture. How can I change it back to go into my gallery. — Chris Martin RN

Solution: Hi Chris. Sometimes, a user may have more than one app that perform the same job. This is recognized by Android so if you’ll do a specific action for the first time, the system will ask you to choose which app you’ll want to use. Android will then ask you if you’ll use the same app as the default app to do the same action in the future. If your phone no longer asks which app to use when saving or downloading a photo, you may have unknowingly set a different app to do the job. We suggest that you return all app settings to defaults so you will then be able to pick your preferred app when downloading a photo. Here’s how:

  1. From a Home screen, tap Apps icon (located in the lower right).
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Applications.
  4. Tap Application manager.
  5. Tap Menu icon (located in the upper right).
  6. Tap Reset app preferences.
  7. Tap Reset.

Once you’ve reset all your app preferences, try to download a photo again and make sure to nominate Gallery app as the default app.

Problem 2: Can Galaxy Note 5 file transfer when screen is damaged?

I dropped my Samsung Note 5 the other day and since then the screen has become blacked out over time. I can’t see anything at all on the screen now. My question is, “Is there a way to transfer my pictures, music, etc. to my new S8 without having to spend a ton of money getting the screen repaired?”

I’ve tried restoring it from my Google account but the only thing I can get back is my contacts. My phone plan was through Straight Talk but it was a Verizon phone. Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks. — Jacob Lundquist

Solution: Hi Jacob. The straight answer is no. For security reasons, the internal storage device can only be accessed if a user gave an explicit permission, which is done by tapping an option in the screen. In other words, you need a working screen in order to make files accessible. You can’t just connect your phone to a computer and move files. If you badly need those files from your Note 5, you’ll need to have the screen repaired first.

Problem 3: Galaxy Note 5 email server changes on its own, can’t receive emails

On my Galaxy Note 5. Work email has recently upgraded to Office 365. About once every 1-2 weeks my phone will reset the exchange server. For example: My exchange server is, it will reset itself (usually overnight) to read Obviously, this results in me no longer receiving emails. It is not difficult to reset, but why is it doing this, and how can I get it to stop? Interestingly I am the only person (out of 80 employees) having this issue. To my knowledge I am the only one with a Note 5. Thanks. — Timothy VanZant

Solution: Hi Tim. We haven’t heard of any similar instance from other Note 5 users so this may be an isolated case. The cause of the problem can range from a simple email app bug, third party app bug, or a firmware glitch. To try and fix the problem, you must do the things below.

Wipe the cache and data of email app. The problem may only be isolated to the email app so the first step for you is wiping the cache and data. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings menu either through your notification shade (drop-down) or through the Settings app in your app drawer.
  2. Navigate down to “Apps”. This may be renamed to something like Applications or Application Manager in OEM skinned versions of Android 6 or 7.
  3. Once in there, click on an application.
  4. You’ll now see a list of stuff that gives you information about the app, including Storage, Permissions, Memory Use, and more.
  5. These are all clickable items. You’ll want to click on Storage.
  6. You should now clearly see the Clear Cache and Clear Data buttons for the application. Try wiping the app cache first, then observe what happens. After that, do the Clear Data option.

Try to use another email app. Should the issue continue to happen, you can then try another email app. We assume you’re having an issue with the native Samsung email app so consider using third party ones like Google’s Gmail.

Factory reset. The last step that you can do is factory reset. This is a more drastic solution but is required to determine if the cause resides on the phone. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home buttons first, and then press and hold the Power key.
  3. Keep the three buttons pressed and when ‘Samsung Galaxy Note5’ shows, release the Power key but continue holding the other two.
  4. Once the Android logo shows, release both the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  5. The notice ‘Installing system update’ will show on the screen for 30 to 60 seconds before the Android system recovery screen is shown with its options.
  6. Use the Volume Down key to highlight the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ and press the Power key to select it.
  7. When the process is complete, use the Volume Down key to highlight the option ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key to restart the phone.
  8. The reboot may take a little longer to complete but don’t worry and wait for the device to become active.

Work with your IT guys. If the issue continues after doing all the device troubleshooting, you must tell your IT department about it. There may be a misconfiguration in their system that automatically triggers the change in servers in your device.

Problem 4: Galaxy Note 5 how to bypass Factory Reset Protection (FRP)

I’m trying to bypass the Factory Reset Protection (FRP) on my Samsung Galaxy Note 5. I was able to follow the first few steps without any problems…up to downloading the apk file onto a flash drive. However, when I plug the flash drive into my Note 5 via the OTG, file explorer does NOT automatically open. Is there another way to get to and run the apk file? Or do I need an entirely different approach to bypass the FRP. Signed, lost and confused and quite weary        . — Aida Cloutier

Solution: Hi Aida. The only official way to bypass FRP is by using the correct Google account credentials. Keep in mind that FRP is added to prevent unauthorized factory reset for Samsung devices regardless the surrounding circumstances. If you forgot your Google account username and password, you’re out of luck. Although there are official means to reset your Samsung and Google account passwords, there’s just no way to do so with Factory Reset Protection. Samsung and Google assume a responsible user takes note of his or her Google account so if you’re the opposite type, FRP just turned your phone into an expensive paperweight.

Initially, a few months after FRP was released, there were a number of known working means to trick FRP locked phones to open up. However, Samsung and Google eventually got wind of such workarounds and has so far been successful in making FRP a much harder security feature to crack. As of this writing, there’s no known way to deal with FRP when a user don’t have the correct set of credentials. We know this is not what you want to hear but you may just want to continue looking for alternate means to handle the issue in the near future. Android community is an ever-evolving group and with so many geniuses out there, a new way to bypass FRP may be on the way.

Problem 5: Note 5 screen won’t unlock, fingerprint and PIN not working

Hello. This is Janine. My phone had lost its power. In order for me to sign into my phone, I need to get passed my security code or PIN. However, I forgot the backup PIN for my fingerprints that I made. When I tried to put in PINs that I know it always wrong and it keeps making me wait for a hour for another chance. It been 3 days and since I used my phone. Can you please help me! — Ladyboo84

Solution: Hi Ladyboo84. There are a number of ways to unlock your phone but each of these methods must meet some requirements in order to work. Let’s discuss each of these ways that can help you.

Unlock your Note 5 using Android Device Manager

This should be the first step that you must try, especially if you are signed in to your Google account in the phone. This method only works if you already registered your device with Android Device Manager. If it’s registered, you can then use ADM’s lock feature to reset the Google password using a computer. Below are the requirements in order for you to use ADM to unlock your Note 5:

  • phone must be turned on
  • phone must be signed in to your Google account
  • phone must be connected to wifi or mobile data
  • phone must be visible in Google Play
  • phone’s GPS or location must be turned on
  • phone’s Find My Device feature must be turned on
  • phone’s Allow remote lock and erase feature must be enabled

If any of these requirements is not met, there’s a chance that you won’t be able to use ADM to unlock your Note 5.

However, if everything is set, you can proceed to unlocking the device by doing the following:

  1. Go to the Android Device Manager from a computer.
  2. Find your Galaxy Note 5 on the screen.
  3. Enable “Lock & Erase” feature.
  4. Follow the given steps on the page to lock your phone.
  5. Set a temporary password.
  6. Enter the temporary password on your Note 5.
  7. Create a new password.

Unlock your Note 5 using Samsung Find My Mobile

Samsung’s Find My Mobile is a remote service similar to Google’s ADM. In order for it to work, you must have registered your device in Find My Mobile website or service. And like ADM, it also requires some things. Below are the necessary things that must be met in order for you to use it:

  • phone’s Remote Controls feature must be on
  • Google location service must be on
  • phone must be connected to wifi or mobile data

If you’ve already registered your device to Samsung’s Find My Mobile service before and the rest of the requirements are met, you can then do the following to unlock your phone:

  1. In your computer, go to Samsung Find My Mobile website and sign in.
  2. If you have multiple devices registered, make sure to select the correct one in the upper left hand side of the screen.
  3. Click on the arrow icon to begin searching for your device.
  4. Once the service has located the device, scroll down the options on the right until you see Unlock My Device option.
  5. Click Unlock My Device.
  6. Enter your Samsung password.
  7. Click Unlock.

Unlock the device by performing a factory reset

You only want to do this option if the first two won’t work. Keep in mind though that Factory Reset Protection will be in place so wiping the phone will only work if you can provide the Google username and password registered on the device.

Refer to the steps above on how to factory reset your Note 5.


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Harvey Hisona

Harvey is keen with mobile technology and loves writing about all things mobile. He is passionate in helping technology-challenged people by finding resolution to their issues. Contact me at Email

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