What to do to recover files from a Galaxy Note 8 that won’t turn on

A lot of Android users ask us what they need to do to get their data from a device that refuses to power back on. In this short troubleshooting article for the #GalaxyNote8, we discuss the steps on what you can do on your level to turn the phone on. Yes, that’s right. You need a working device in order to allow data recovery. So, if you’ve already exhausted all steps to turn your own device back on without any positive result, you’re out of luck. This article won’t help you nurse your phone back to health or reverse the action that caused it to become dead in the first place. Instead, don’t bother reading on and simply send it in for repair.

Today’s problem: How to recover files from a dead Galaxy Note 8

My Note 8 won’t turn on but I need to transfer my photos & videos to my replacement phone. How can I do this without the old phone turning on? Unfortunately I didn’t back up my content front that phone to the Samsung cloud or my Google account. The new phone is also a Note 8. Please Help, as that phone contains ALL of my photos & videos of my 4 month old daughter. I’m going to be heartbroken if I have lost all of those. — Becky Rhodes

Solution: Hi Becky. First, let’s clarify some things. If by “Note 8 won’t turn on” you mean that the device is totally unresponsive — screen stays black, not charging, not making any sound or vibrate notifications, and does not power on at all — you should focus your troubleshooting mainly on how to revive it. There are basic steps that you can try to see if you can do it on your level. If you fail to power your Note 8 back on, there’s no way you’ll be able to access your data. The flash storage device needs power and a generally working operating system in order to be accessed. A dead Note 8 obviously won’t be able to provide such basic requirements so your personal data are good as gone.

Secondly, if your Note 8 appears to still power back on (it still makes sounds, charges, shows LED notifications, vibrates) but the screen stays black, the problem is only isolated to the screen assembly. This type of problem usually occurs after a device is physically damaged or exposed to water or elements. In this case, your personal data may still be intact and may be recovered using third party recovery software.

Lastly, your case will most likely end up with repair. A bad screen assembly can’t be fixed by tweaking some software, or running some applications in a computer hooked up to your device. For instance, if the screen has been physically damaged after accidentally dropping the device, the only way to permanently fix it is by replacing the bad part. The same is true for whatever damaged or malfunctioning component that causes the device not to turn on at all.

How to troubleshoot a Galaxy Note 8 that won’t turn on

If you’re certain that your Note 8 is dead due to the absence of indicators that would suggest otherwise, follow the steps below to troubleshoot it.

Force restart

The first thing that you need to know in this situation is to see if the phone has become unresponsive or frozen. In older Samsung Galaxy models, an effective way to reboot a frozen device is to simply take out the battery. This is obviously not possible with the Note 8 as the battery is integrated with the logic board. In order to simulate the effect of a “battery pull” though, Samsung designed a deliberate combination of hardware button presses. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Let the phone charge for several minutes.
  2. Then, press and hold the Power and Volume Down buttons for at least 10 seconds.
  3. Once the phone vibrates and turns off, release the buttons to allow it to restart.
  4. If your Note 8 won’t vibrate or turn off at all, then it’s not frozen at all.

Use another charging cable and adapter

To eliminate the chance of a bad charging cable and adapter in the equation, be sure to use another known working USB cord and charger. Try using the charging cable and adapter of your new Note 8 and see if that will allow the device to charge. Remember to let your Note 8 charge for 30 minutes before turning it on.

Inspect the charging port

We don’t have the entire history of your device but one other thing that you can do is to physically check the charging port. Sometimes, dirt, debris, or pocket lint may enter the charging port area and prevent the charging cable from being inserted properly. To check the port, try using a magnifier or similar tool so you’ll be able to see inside. If you think that there’s debris or foreign object in the port, do not stick anything inside to remove it. Instead, try using a can of compressed air to dislodge it.

Charge using another outlet

If you want to charge in the same outlet all the time, make sure that it’s not busted by plugging another device to it. Otherwise, move to another part in your house and use a different outlet when charging your dead Note 8.

Use a wireless charger

This option is obviously available only for devices with wireless charging capability. Charging your Note 8 wirelessly should remove the possibility that the charging port may be broken, causing the phone to lose battery power and being unable to charge again.

Data recovery is only possible when device powers on

As mentioned above, and we want to make it clear, the chance of getting those photos and videos back from your Note 8 is very slim to none if it remains dead or unresponsive. With a normally working phone, you can plug it in a computer and use a program to be able to extract your data. The same general procedure is necessary for a broken device although a specialized software may be necessary to bypass some security features. Such recovery procedure still requires that the device has power in its circuits. If the motherboard can’t provide the required power to the storage device, there’s no chance data recovery can be performed. If the basic troubleshooting steps above won’t revive your Note 8 at all, consider bringing it to Samsung to see if they can find a way to turn the motherboard on.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *