What you can do if Galaxy S9 won’t boot up or stuck on Samsung logo screen [troubleshooting guide]

Today’s troubleshooting guide for the #GalaxyS9 device addresses the issue if your phone fails to boot up normally, or if it can’t go past the Samsung logo screen. This situation usually occurs if Android encounters an error, or if it’s been corrupted. At other times, it can also happen following an update, or an failed flashing procedure. As usual, we include a sample case to give our readers a context of where our suggestions are coming from.

Today’s problem: Galaxy S9 stuck on Samsung logo screen

So I have a galaxy S9, that I had to turn off to enter a place, and when I attempted to turn on… well it got stuck on the first screen, and never got passed that ever again. It’s the normal title screen, and it reads like so: “Samsung Galaxy S9 Secured by knox POWERED BY  android” In white letters, black background. I have no idea what the actual operating version is on, I assume the latest because I allow the phone to update regularly. I have also bought the damn thing unlocked, meaning that Verizon is not responsible for dealing with it. And if you guys got nothing I’m just gonna return it.  I actually took it to Verizon store, the dude tried something that I haven’t been able to recreate since. He actually managed to open the console looking screen by holding the down volume button or somehow, and he asked my permission to reset the damn thing, to which I said fine. He attempted it twice, and the phone still never gets passed the first screen. So before you say you have note on this, yeah I have read it, and it doesn’t work they way you have described it. It’s stuck on this screen. When I force it to restart, I do hold down the lower volume button, but it does not go to a new screen.  Pure shot in the dark, the latest app I installed on this phone was NJtransit. I don’t suppose that could be it, but I just figured I’d share that information, maybe you guys have heard that happen before. So yeah… would absolutely appreciate it if you could help in any way. I can’t even turn the damn thing off. — Faez Dabestani

Solution: Hi Faez. The first important troubleshooting step that you need to do in this situation is to try a force restart. It goes this way:

  1. Press and hold the Power + Volume Down buttons for approximately 10 seconds or until the device power cycles. Note: Allow several seconds for the Maintenance Boot Mode screen to appear.
  2. From the Maintenance Boot Mode screen, select Normal Boot. You can use the volume buttons to cycle through the available options and the lower left button (below the volume buttons) to select. Also, allow up to 90 seconds for the reset to complete.

Force restarting a device is often an effective way to restart an unresponsive or frozen Galaxy device. If you’ve already tried this trick before contacting, continue with the rest of the possible solutions below.

Turn off the phone

Should you be unable to restart your S9 with the steps above, the next good thing that you can do is to see what happens if you turn it off. We understand you’re having difficulty pulling this one off at the moment. In this case, the only thing that you can do is wait until the phone drains its battery and turns itself off. Then, charge the device again for at least 30 minutes before attempting to power it back on. This way to reboot the system may take some time, especially if the battery is full. Depending on how fast your phone loses battery power, this can mean waiting for a few hours to several days. There’s no way to hasten the phone’s battery drain rate so all you have to do is wait. Turning off the device is a requirement to perform the rest of the suggestions below.

Restart to Safe Mode

Once you’ve phone has turned off, the next logical troubleshooting step is to verify if there’s a third party app that interferes with the operating system. You can do that by restarting your phone to safe mode. Safe Mode blocks all third party apps and services so it’s if one of them is the cause of your problem, you should know it.

To restart your S9 to safe mode:

  1. Turn off your S9. If you can’t turn it off normally, let the phone drain its battery until it turns itself off.
  2. With your S9 off, press and hold the Power key past the model name 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. Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  7. Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.

If your phone boots to safe mode successfully, let it run for up to minute and see if you can use the basic functions like SMS, voice calling and internet. If everything works, that’s a clear indication that you have a bad app issue. Safe mode won’t pinpoint the exact app though so you have to do the steps below to know which app is problematic:

  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.

Cache partition wipe or Factory reset via Recovery Mode

If the phone won’t boot to safe mode at all, you can then try to run it to Recovery Mode so you can attempt a cache partition wipe or factory reset. Recovery Mode is a separate software environment, which means it does not need Android to be working. It’s a good tool to use to determine if Android has a problem and oftentimes, it also provides the ways to fix the problem itself. There are two things that you can do on Recovery mode — cache partition wipe and factory reset. You should try them if you are able to boot your S9 to Recovery Mode successfully. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Turn off your S8. If you can’t turn it off normally, let the phone drain its battery until it turns itself off.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. 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).
  4. Use the Volume buttons to highlight an item, then press Power button to select it. So, for example, if you want to factory reset your S9, just press the Volume Down button until the factory reset option is highlighted, then press the Power button to confirm the action.

Remember, just like in safe mode, you won’t be able to boot your phone to Recovery Mode unless it’s powered down. Don’t waste your time bothering to press the hardware button combination if the device is still on.

Flash the firmware via Download

A more drastic solution that you can try, if all the suggestions above won’t help, is to manually change the operating system version via flashing. Flashing is an Android term to, say, update the current firmware version with the most recent one without waiting for carrier update to become available. The same method can be used to downgrade the firmware version, or in your case, replace the current one with the stock firmware version that came with the device when you first unboxed it.

Flashing is basically modifying your device’s software environment so it’s risky. It’s not recommended for newbies so if this is your first time to hear about the term, try not to do this. Using an incorrect firmware version (yes you need to know the right one for your phone model) or doing an incorrect step can seriously damage the software on your device. At worst, you can have a permanently damaged phone. We won’t be discussing how to flash your phone in this guide so make sure to find a good guide that will walk you through the steps. Again, flashing can potentially brick your device so do it at your own risk.

Get professional help

Should nothing works at this point, the problem is most probably unfixable at your level. And if you can’t flash the device on your own, we suggest that you contact Samsung for help, especially if your carrier operator can’t fix it for you.

Your S9 should still be covered by Samsung warranty at this time as well so they should be able to help you fix the problem. Warranty has conditions though so there’s a chance that you may have to shell out for the repair. Go to your nearest Samsung Service Center for assistance. If there’s no nearby Samsung Service Center or store, contact them by email, chat, or phone so you can send your phone to them.

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