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“Don’t turn off the target” screen

Galaxy Note 4 won’t install system update, has “unsupported SD card” error, other issues

Here’s another collection of #GalaxyNote4 issues and solutions for you. In this article, we give you 7 more reported issues and the things that Android users can do about them. We hope that the solutions we bring here today can help not only the users mentioned but also others that may have similar experiences. If you want to check other Note 4 issues, please visit our main Note 4 troubleshooting page.

Below are the specific topics that we cover for you today:

  1. Galaxy Note 4 not booting up | Galaxy Note 4 won’t charge
  2. Galaxy Note 4 keeps showing “Don’t turn off the target” screen | Galaxy Note 4 stuck in Download mode | Galaxy Note 4 won’t boot normally
  3. Galaxy Note 4 won’t install system update
  4. Galaxy Note 4 keeps rebooting by itself
  5. Galaxy Note 5 Snapchat app takes black pictures when using front camera
  6. Galaxy Note 4 has “unsupported SD card” error
  7. Galaxy Note 4 screen flickers during reboot

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, or you can install our free app from Google Play Store.

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.

Problem #1: Galaxy Note 4 not booting up | Galaxy Note 4 won’t charge

I have tried all of you spoke of. I have taken the battery or for a long period of time. I have held the power button for 30 seconds while the battery was out. I have held down all the buttons; home, up volume, and power. The held down Down Volume and power. The only thing that comes up is the Galaxy Note 4 picture then it just goes out. Never makes it to the Samsung loading screen. When I try and charge the phone the symbol of the battery comes up…the gray battery with a lightning bolt, but then goes out. Doesn’t make it to the actual charging symbol…the one where the percentage is shown and the battery is green. I have kept it on the charger all night even though no LED light or anything shows up. Nothing. I am out of ideas. I am also not sure of the Android version down at the bottom so I just picked one. I really hope you can help me. I haven’t even had this phone a year. — Angelica

Solution: Hi Angelica. Boot up problems like the one you’re experiencing may or may not be fixed by doing standard software troubleshooting. The outcome obviously depends on the cause, which can either be software or hardware. In most cases, software-caused boot up problems can be fixed relatively easily. If your phone remained unresponsive after attempting different boot modes, the only other potential solution, flashing stock firmware, is out of the question.

In order to manually install or flash official Samsung firmware, you must first ensure that you can restart the phone to Odin or Download mode. If your phone does not even respond to anything, there’s no way you can do a software solution at your level.

The main reason why the phone is not booting up must be bad hardware, which can range from a damaged button, bad battery, to a some unknown motherboard trouble. The only other thing that you can try in this case is to see if a new battery will make any difference. Try getting a new Samsung battery and use it. If that won’t improve the situation at all, send the phone to Samsung service center, or better still, have it replaced.

Problem #2: Galaxy Note 4 keeps showing “Don’t turn off the target” screen | Galaxy Note 4 stuck in Download mode | Galaxy Note 4 won’t boot normally

Hello. My name in Sindhu. I have a Samsung Note 4. It’s been 2 years since I bought it. Recently in December my phone started to download automatically with an Android symbol and saying Don’t turn off the target. Since it is taking too long, I, most of times, removed the battery when download is in progress. And later when I turn on the mobile, it used to work normally but only few minutes. Now my phone is switched off and how much ever I try it’s not turning on. The battery is fine. I can feel the tingling when I put it on my touch. I tried holding Volume Up along with Home and Power button. It didn’t work. I also pressed the power button for a minute without the battery and after 10 minutes kept it for charging for 20 minutes, it dint get switched on at all. Please tell me why is this happening. What it could be and what to do now. I feel so happy for coming across this site. — Sindhu

Solution: Hi Sindhu. Your problem may be similar to Angelica above so kindly refer to our suggestions for her. Since you did not indicate that you have tried flashing stock firmware, you can also try to boot your phone to Odin mode so you can manually install stock firmware. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Press and then hold the Home and Volume DOWN 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 DOWN keys.
  4. Wait until the Download screen appears.
  5. If you can boot the phone in download mode but not in other modes, that means that your only way out may be to flash a stock or custom firmware.

The important thing to remember when flashing is to always use the right firmware. Make sure that you use the correct firmware for your phone’s model. You may accidentally brick your phone if you’ll use a Verizon firmware on an AT&T Note 4. Try to do some research on how to do the process before actually doing it.

If the phone remains unresponsive and won’t even allow you to boot to Odin mode, consider repair or replacement.

Problem #3: Galaxy Note 4 won’t install system update

Hi. My Note 4 keeps asking for software update. I pressed the update button and it did download half way then turned off automatically then never turned on again. Then after few weeks i try to turn it on and it did turn on. Everything was normal so i thought i should update the software and press the software update button. I noticed it downloading software as normal for about 15 minutes to half then suddenly it went off. Now, it doesn’t  even turn on again, completely dead now. Tried with brand new battery, still no success. Even tried with pressing power button, volume up and home button still no success, before when it was on it was ok but soon as i try to update software, it cause problem but after trying many times manage to turn on but this time it is not turning on at all. Any solution please kindly help me to turn back it on. Handset like brand new only a year old. Thanks. — Arworld1

Solution: Hi Arworld1. There can be a number of reasons why a phone won’t install a system update. These reasons can include the following:

  1. lack of storage space
  2. corrupted system cache
  3. critical system apps missing or disabled such as Google Services Framework (or other carrier and Samsung apps)
  4. server error (on carrier/Samsung side)

Any of these items may be responsible for the initial problem but since there’s no way to check them now as the phone no longer boots up, your main task is to try to see if you can turn the phone back on first. Please refer to our suggestions for Angelica and Sindhu above.

If you’re lucky and you’ll be able to power the phone back on, makes sure to factory reset the phone before attempting another system update. For reference, below are the steps on how to factory/master reset your phone:

  1. Turn off the Galaxy Note 4 completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home keys together, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Note 4 vibrates, release both the Home and Power keys but continue holding the Volume Up key.
  4. When the Android System Recovery shows on the screen, release the Volume Up key.
  5. Using the Volume Down key, highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’ and press the Power key to select it.
  6. Now highlight ‘Yes — delete all user data’ using the Volume Down key and press the Power key to begin the reset.
  7. When the master reset is complete, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key.
  8. The Note 4 will restart but it will be longer than usual. When it reaches the Home screen, then begin your setup.

Problem #4: Galaxy Note 4 keeps rebooting by itself

Hi TDG. I just got a Note 4 from a distant relative, who hasn’t used it in over a year. When i first booted it up, the phone was running slow and turns off whenever i lock it. I had to take the battery out to start the phone again. I updated it from 5.1.1 to 6.0.1 Marshmallow and the issue has since been solved. However after updating it to 6.0.1 the phone tends to freeze and reboot for no reason. It can freeze while I am using an app, sometimes rebooting the phone. Other times it just freezes and goes to the lock screen. Otherwise it just freezes for several seconds before going back to normal, but the phone will freeze more frequently and result in a reboot. There is no pattern or any clear cause. It happens even after factory reset, wiping cache partition and even in safe mode. Removing SIM card and SD card does not help either. The phone does this 3 or 4 times a day.

Also, the battery seems to drain relatively quickly, 1% per few minutes with light internet browsing or even meddling with the phone settings. It charges very fast after installing a program called wakelock and setting it to partial wakelock, it hasn’t randomly rebooted or froze since. Relying on a single app to make my phone usable isn’t very satisfactory of a fix. I was wondering if this was a software issue or hardware issue as the phone had issues before updating as well. Could it be a battery issue too? I don’t want to buy a new battery and end up not solving the issue. Many thanks and I hope to hear from you guys soon. — Vincent

Solution: Hi Vincent. If the phone was left unused for a year, the battery may have lost significant capacity to hold a charge, causing the phone to regularly shut down on its own. A lithium-ion battery must have more 50% battery level before leaving it unused for a long time because it constantly loses power. Once it reaches a point where there’s no more power while still in storage, chemistry can cause the battery to become incapable of holding a charge for long again. Try getting a new battery to see the difference. To be honest, there’s no way for us to know what the real problem is given how scant details about the system are.

That you need an app to keep the phone from draining battery power (with the help of Wake Lock app) shows 2 things:

  1. that the battery itself cannot hold enough power long enough to let you use the phone for hours at a stretch, and
  2. that apps on the phone may be causing an abnormally fast battery drain issue.

If you don’t want to buy a new battery right away, try doing another round of factory reset and observe the phone for a few days when no apps are installed. The only thing that you want to install are system updates and updates for pre-installed apps. If the phone continues to reboot on its own during the observation period, that’s a clear indicator that bad battery is to blame.

Problem #5: Galaxy Note 5 Snapchat app takes black pictures when using front camera

The app Snapchat, when I take a front facing picture is saving to my memories as a black screen. You can write on it and that shows but not the picture itself. However, if I take a pic with the rear facing camera it saves to my memories no problem. I have restarted my phone, i have uninstalled and reinstalled the app.. nothing is working. What do you think is causing this? Now, it was working fine until the other day when Snapchat had an update. I can assume it’s from that but none of my friends are having that issue. thanks for your time. — Rachel

Solution: Hi Rachel. If you think the problem started after an update, there are two things that you can try — wipe the cache partition and factory reset. To wipe the phone’s cache partition, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the Galaxy Note 4 completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home keys together, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Note 4 vibrates, release both the Home and Power keys but continue holding the Volume Up key.
  4. When the Android System Recovery shows on the screen, release the Volume Up key.
  5. Using the Volume Down key, highlight the option ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power key to select it.
  6. When the wiping of the cache partition is finished, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the power key.

For steps on how to factory reset your device, follow the steps above.

If the problem remains after you do these two processes, this may be an app-specific issue, which means that only Snapchat developers can help you fix it. Make sure to contact them for direct assistance, or visit their support page.

Problem #6: Galaxy Note 4 has “unsupported SD card” error

I have a Galaxy Note 4 and am having problems with the SD card. It specifically says “Unsupported SD card.” I have tried to reformat the card. I have also removed the card and battery, held the power button for 1 minute then reinstall the card and battery. All to no avail. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am frustrated and the local Verizon store is of no help. I am leery about doing a factory reset as a fear of losing all my data. The phone is set to automatically backup. What else can I do to be sure my phone is backed up and when reset will re-install everything? — Mark

Solution: Hi Mark. The error message being displayed by your phone can also be an indication that the device is unable to read ANY SD card so you must check if that’s the case. There are two ways in order to check if that is what is happening.  The first one involves inserting the current SD card to another Note 4 or any Android device, while the second way, which is what we prefer that you do, is to use another SD and insert it in your Note 4. either way should confirm whether or not your Note 4’s SD card reading ability is fine.

If the SD card won’t work in another device, that means that your Note 4 is fine. Simply use another SD card and you should be okay.

On the other hand, if you think that the Note 4 is the problem, that’s the time that you want to do a factory reset. Should the Note 4 fails to read any SD card after a factory reset, a hardware issue may be causing the trouble.

Problem #7: Galaxy Note 4 screen flickers during reboot

Hello. There is a certain problem with my tablet which started to appear from time to time and now it is permanently.

I used to use my device with about 30% of brightness and it was perfect for every day use with quality picture which Amoled display deliver.

Some day after switching SIM cards and restarting my tablet it did not start as usually but differently. Display stayed dark but after touching home button or power button it showed login screen but kind of reddish, restarting helped and all went to normal. Unfortunately restarting does not help any longer.

Normally startup looks like this:

After pressing power button appears bright white “Galaxy Note” on deep black background. After few seconds brightness goes little down and after couple of seconds starts “SAMSUNG” animated logo and after that tablet goes to login screen.

Now startup looks like this: after power button is pressed the bright white “Galaxy Note” on deep black background appears as usual but after few second it only shortly blinks with lower brightness and continue with the same high brightness as at beginning. (At this moment I know it will not start normally and there will be problem with display), then screen goes dark, there is no animation, tablet start up but screen stays dark. When power or home button is pressed then login screen appears but contrast and saturation are messed up. Beside that tablet is functioning normal.

When brightness is changed to higher level about 50% or more picture looks quite normal, but I used to use it at about 30% and it was perfect. Now if brightness is less than 50% you can see that there is something wrong.

I tried display adjusting apps, have reset tablet to factory settings, reinstalled whole android OS. None of these operations have helped. Tried also disconnect battery and display and reconnect them.

I wonder if you have met such problem and if you will be able to help me with some useful clues.

If there is software problem then why reinstalling the Android does not help?

If there is hardware problem then why system starts with this strange way? (described above)

I attempted also to try with IKernel but it always said that it requires root so I quit.

Please let me if you are able to help with above mentioned problem. Kind regards. — Boguslaw

Solution: Hi Boguslaw. Your issue is a documented problem for years now and it happens on all sorts of Android device. If you do a quick search about this problem, Google will tell you that a lot of Android forums and help sites encountered this issue as well. There seems to be no particular pattern that we can use to nail the cause of the issue so frankly speaking, this is still an open issue that still awaits resolution. We’ve already contacted Samsung about this issue before but we are yet to hear from them.

Some users in third party forums have reported that flickering issue only happens when screen brightness is set to low and battery level is low. Try to see if that’s true in your case by comparing how the screen behaves if you restart the phone in varying battery levels. If you can confirm that this solution works, please let us know so we can publish it as a confirmed solution.


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