What to do if Galaxy S9 has “Warning: Camera failed” bug and camera app keeps crashing after an update

Hello and welcome to one of our #GalaxyS9 troubleshooting post of the day. This material answers two common camera-related issues for the S9 device. If you have some camera ills on your S9, be sure to check this out.

Problem #1: Galaxy S9 has “Warning: Camera failed” bug, camera app keeps crashing

I’ve had Samsung Galaxy S9 for a little over a month now, and I’ve encountered the “Warning: Camera failed” message, and the camera app will no longer function. When I open it, I see the record and take buttons, but then it crashes. I’ve looked up fixes, and I’ve tried clearing caches for camera, gallery, and everything, I’ve wiped cache partition, I’ve turned off Smartstay, and I’ve checked for updates (which there are none). I’ve done pretty much everything I’ve seen possible online except for factory reset, which I would like to avoid doing, but everything I’ve read online seems certain it’s strictly a software issue. I’m hoping Android can give me any ideas before I resort to that. — Stephen Thompson

Solution: Hi Stephen. We’ve already written a number of articles about Camera failed bug for several Samsung Galaxy devices so we assume you’ve already checked them before writing us. The camera function on your has two aspects: software and hardware. That means that the problem you’re having right now may be caused by either a software bug, bad app, or hardware malfunction. To identify which of these three is causing it, you must try all relevant software solutions. Having tried almost all of them beforehand, what’s left for you to do includes the following:

  • observe the phone on safe mode,
  • reset all app preferences, and
  • factory reset.

If they won’t fix your issue at all, that means you have a hardware problem at hand. Because it’s not practical to run diagnostics for the entire set of components, Samsung will usually recommend a unit replacement for this type of issue so be sure to do that.

Going back to software solutions, below are the specific steps on how to do each one.

Observe the phone on Safe Mode

Safe Mode, also known as diagnostic mode, is useful if you suspect that a third party app may be interfering with Android. If you haven’t tried it yet, here’s how it’s done:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen appearing on the screen.
  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. When Safe mode appears in the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume down key.
  7. Let your phone run, pull up camera app, and check for the problem.

If camera app works normally on safe mode, that means you have an app problem. Restart the phone back to normal mode to confirm.

To identify which of your apps is causing the trouble, you should boot the phone back to safe mode and follow these steps:

  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 S9 still refuses to boot up normally, repeat steps 1-4.

Reset all app preferences

Should nothing change even when your phone is on safe mode, the next logical thing to do is to see what happens if you reset all app preferences. This step enables all default apps that Android needs. This usually works if there are some apps or services needed by your camera app to work properly.

To reset app preferences:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Tap Reset app preferences.
  5. Restart your device and check for the bug.

Factory reset

Whether you like it or not, factory reset is most likely the only effective way to fix your issue, if it’s being caused by a software bug at all. Be sure to do it. If your camera app still fails even after a factory reset (make sure you don’t install anything), that should tell you to send the phone in.

To factory reset your S9:

  1. Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Google account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Google credentials to finish the Master reset.
    From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings > Cloud and accounts.
  3. Tap Backup and restore.
  4. If desired, tap Back up my data to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  5. If desired, tap Restore to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  6. Tap the back button to the Settings menu and tap General Management > Reset > Factory data reset.
  7. Tap Reset device.
  8. If you have screen lock turned on, enter your credentials.
  9. Tap Continue.
  10. Tap Delete all.

Problem #2: Galaxy S9 camera app has “Warning: Camera Failed” error after an update

Hi. Please help me with my phone, S9. I got it from my friend in Canada. The camera started to have an error after I have downloaded the update yesterday. The error says warning camera failed. I have tried booting on safe mode and factory resetting my phone, still having the same issue. The flashlight icon is always activated even though it’s not actually turned on and it says cant turn on flashlight, another app is using it the camera light. Can u help me solve this issue? If this might be a hardware problem would there be any warranty that may apply. The device is from Canada and I’m now in Philippines. Do u have an idea if warranty still applies since I’m in another country? — Regina Caraan

Solution: Hi Regina. Was the camera app working when you first received the phone? If the issue only started you updated the device, then whatever firmware you’re using may be the reason behind it. If this S9 device originally came from Canada, there’s no way you’ll be able to update it via OTA (over-the-air) update so we’re thinking you either flashed a different stock firmware on it, or used a custom ROM. whatever or however you update it, that must be the reason for the camera to stop working properly. We suggest that you roll the update back to its previous version, or install the original stock firmware to fix the issue.

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