Welcome to another iteration of our Samsung Galaxy S5 troubleshooter series!
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Samsung Galaxy S5 fails to power on after being thrown away
Problem: Yes, my name is Aaron and I have a Samsung Galaxy S5 and I threw it and cracked the screen. Now, the screen won’t turn on at all. Do I just need the replacement screen or do I need to replace the lid screen as well? — Aaron
Troubleshooting: Hi Aaron. Your Samsung Galaxy S5 is not shockproof or even shock-resistant so there’s no telling right now what components have failed. The best solution that we can suggest is to allow a technician check the hardware of your phone. This can only be accomplished by having them check the phone physically so please go to your nearest electronics shop or Samsung shop and have them diagnose what is wrong with your S5.
Samsung Galaxy S5 keeps on crashing after updating to Lollipop
Problem: Hi. I have just had a software update on my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone. And now my games keep crashing after only being on them for a few seconds. They were fine before the update. I’ve only had my phone for about 10 months and it was fine before the software update. Have you any ideas on how to correct this. Regards. — Barbara
Troubleshooting: Hi Barbara. System updates are designed to improve existing Android ecosystem for better user experience but a few snags can be expected from time to time. Unfortunately, it looks like you were hit with one of such rare “snags”. Although you did not mention it, we assume that you are having this trouble right after you updated your phone’s operating system to Android 5.0, also known as Lollipop. To give you a bit of a background why getting Lollipop may cause some problems, we want to discuss some of the changes it brings.
ART vs DALVIK
One of the major changes Lollipop brings is making ART the default runtime environment. ART, which stands for Android RunTime, has become the preferred runtime environment by Android developers as it improves phone’s performance better and battery life better over its predecessor, Dalvik.
But what is runtime environment? To put it in lay man’s terms, runtime is composed of sets of instructions that runs upon activating a program. Runtime’s main purpose is to translate a software’s code or an app’s code into something that a computer or mobile can recognize and, thus, run.
Android makes use of a virtual machine as its runtime environment to translate the APK files, or the set of untranslated instruction that are the basis of an Android app. Dalvik Virtual Machine is an example of virtual machine-based runtime environment that deciphers app’s instructions. We don’t want to delve deeper into the nature of both ART and Dalvik in this post but to give an overview, ART is a significant improvement over the latter in terms of the speed in running an app. As many Lollipop users claimed since the update was rolled out, they noticed their phone loading apps faster than before. This is primarily because ART differs in its approach in translating app instructions. Dalvik compiles or translates instructions when the apps are launched, putting all the necessary files to the RAM. While this approach has been working effectively with most devices, it becomes problematic after a while if a user keeps on opening more apps as the RAM has to unload apps to give way to another if it’s reached its capacity. ART is the answer to this problem.
Android RunTime works by initiating the translation even before an app is launched, making a device appear snappy when loading. This approach is also gentler on the battery giving it more staying power. However, it comes with a price–more internal storage space.
How does that relate to your existing system update issue? Because ART requires more internal memory space, upgrading to Lollipop while you were running out of space can complicate a few things a bit. Although Samsung and Google have already anticipated this scenario, anything can happen on your S5 which may have some apps that will find the update not compatible. Because this is a newly-released update, there’s always a chance that a number of app developers are yet to rollout their own patches to fix anticipated bugs or incompatibility issues. Software incompatibility issues can manifest themselves in many ways including but not limited to boot loops, random restarts, high battery usage, screen lagging, overheating, etc. Any or all of these things can occur simply because all your installed app’s data are not completely integrated because of lack of space.
Clear the Cache Partition. This is the first logical step to do to ensure that the leftovers from the previous firmware are all taken cared of. Just follow this link from our tutorial page to delete the Cache Partition.
Perform Safe Mode. Just like the Safe mode function in a PC, this troubleshooting step forces your phone to run only the stable, trusted, first party apps from Samsung and Google. This will let you know if installed apps on your phone are causing the problem simply because the phone will act normally while in Safe Mode. If the problem continues, that means that you need to dig deeper.
Clear App Cache. If you suspect that a particular app is causing this trouble because the issue happened right after it was installed, simply clearing that app’s cache or reinstalling it may fix it. Here are the steps on who to clear cache and data:
Go to Home screen
Open the Apps list
Go to Settings
Go to Applications
Touch Application manager
Look for the app in question
Tap Clear data
Tap Clear cache
Reset to factory defaults. This is a tedious process and requires you to back up your files before proceeding. By resetting the phone to its defaults, you are literally deleting everything on it so make sure that you are decided to do it before actually doing it. You need to re-download and re-install all your apps again after this procedure. The good thing is, this process almost always works if the real cause of the problem is software-related in nature.
Solution for some issues after updating a Samsung Galaxy S5 to Lollipop
Problem: Hi. I spent two days struggling with my S5 after Lollipop was made available. I was so disappointed because the battery had to be charged three times a day, Wi-Fi became unstable, and the phone was overheating. Then I found the solution and my phone is now okay and have no more problems. I think it was a simple fix. I just turned off Smart Network Switch and everything was back to normal.
That’s it! Battery now lasts for a day, the Wi-Fi is stable again, and the phone no longer overheats.
Not bad for a 70 year old grandma?– Ann
Troubleshooting: Hi Ann. We are glad to know that you were able to resolve your issue by turning off that feature. We also appreciate you sharing this knowledge with us so we can, in turn, share it to other readers. Keep up the good work!
Smart Network Switch not working properly on Samsung Galaxy S5
Problem: Just wanted to add to the note I saw about Wi-Fi dropping after updating to 4.4.4. I am an AT&T customer and my Samsung Galaxy S5 Active keeps connecting and disconnecting from Wi-Fi, which drains the crap out of my battery. The problem only started recently after the 4.4.4 update. Problem goes away if I turn off Smart Network Switch but that’s not exactly a great fix. — Tom
Troubleshooting: Hi Tom. Smart Network Switch is supposed to help a user save time and energy looking for the best internet connection available by forcing the phone to automatically select the most stable one. In reality, however, this never almost happen. The feature even causes more issues like the one reported by one of our readers, Ann, above. Because every attempt of your device to establish a link to a network demands more power, the phone eventually gets hot, loses battery power quickly, and gives the impression that a network is not working properly.
The older versions of this feature had noticeable issues after it was rolled out with Android 4.3 and we are yet to receive official statement from Samsung whether or not an effective patch is coming out soon.
To save you from any hassle, just turn this feature off for now until a fix will be provided by Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy S5 unable to connect to 4G LTE after an update
Problem: Aloha! I recently updated my Galaxy S5 to the latest KitKat OS and I’ve noticed ever since that update that I’m unable to connect to my 4G network. I’ve gone into my settings and have already ensured that my Mobile Data was enabled and checked, pulled out the SIM card and re-inserted it and still no connection. It got to the point to where I called AT&T Technical support and was told by the rep that this was a known issue and they haven’t figured it out yet. My Wi-Fi network works great and so far no other mishaps. Anything you can suggest will be greatly appreciated. Have a great day! — Albert
Troubleshooting: Aloha Albert! This problem can best be resolved by your carrier, AT&T, as this involves either a compatibility issue within their own network, or the KitKat operating system running on your phone. We are not aware of any hardware cause for this problem at this time so we can assume that any of the two causes is the culprit.
You can still try to do the traditional troubleshooting steps to try to fix a software problem by resetting the phone to its factory defaults but we doubt its effectiveness in this case.
The only thing that we can suggest for you right now is to try to force your phone to run in 4G by installing an app. However, this possible solution requires that the phone be rooted so try to consider if doing so is worth it. Remember, rooting your S5 can potentially brick it, not to mention the risk of losing the warranty. If you want to know how tell your phone to run only in 4G, just follow this link from Wonderhowto.
We are not sure if the rooting instruction provided in that article still works because major updates appears to have patched the earlier OS weaknesses. Give it a try and let us know through your email if it does not so we can update this post accordingly. Otherwise, just call AT&T again and press them to fix this problem for you.
Samsung Galaxy S5 apps staying active after you closing them
Problem: Hello. I’ve noticed this problem with more and more apps. It started with the calculator app and the stock email app. I know that if you open an app and then hit the home button, the app stays open. However, in the past, if I opened the calculator app or the default email (not Gmail) app and exited from the app by hitting the back button on the phone, the app would close and not show up on task manager.
Recently I updated my Facebook app and now it behaves in this undesirable way too.
Now if I open Facebook, Calculator, or Email, and then exit them using the back button, they still show up on task manager. I have the active apps widget on my desktop, so I see this happening a lot now.
Is there something I can do to fix this? I have a Verizon Wireless GS5 with Android version 4.4.4
I have force closed Facebook and cleared the application cache but that doesn’t seem to make a difference. I have also tried clearing the system cache through the methods you’ve detailed in earlier postings. Thanks! — David
Troubleshooting: Hi David. As far as we know, devices running Android 4.4.4 and up should allow apps to run in the background concurrently. Frankly, we are at our wit’s end here as well. The only thing that can affect how apps are executed is the runtime environment so for the sake of troubleshooting, we recommend that you check if switching to another runtime. To do this, just go to Settings> Developer Options> Select Runtime.
For more powerful smartphones like your S5, selecting ART over Dalvik should be okay. In fact, once you update the operating system to Android 5.0 Lollipop, ART should be the default runtime. However, if your phone has already selected ART at this time, that means that there’s another factor at play here. If switching to Dalvik won’t help, try to perform a factory reset.
If the problem continues though, try to call Samsung to see if they can give you a more detailed explanation of the problem.
Don’t worry. We will continue to research about this case and will update this post once we have an effective fix.
Samsung Galaxy S5 does not detect SD card
Problem: My Galaxy S5 is no longer reading my SD card. Any suggestions? Thanks. — Jamie
Troubleshooting: Hi Jamie. One of the reasons why a device stops reading an SD card is the card itself. Have you tried inserting your SD card to another device or a computer (with the use of a card reader)? This is the best way to determine if the SD card has become corrupted or unreadable. If a PC or another detects the card, that means that it’s your phone that causing the trouble. This can happen because of either a software or hardware issue. To see if it’s a hardware problem, try to clean the metal contacts first. Before attempting to clean the metal connectors of the phone that touches the memory card, make sure to power off the phone completely. Try checking if there are dust or foreign particles that may cause a loose connection between the phone’s copper connectors and the memory card.
When inserting the memory card, double check if the copper connectors on the memory card are facing down to ensure good contact with the phone’s own metal connectors. If the memory does not fit perfectly, do not force it into the slot. Simply take the memory card out and reposition it properly into the slot.
If that does not fix your issue, perform a factory reset to clear any possible software bug. Doing a factory reset will delete your files so make sure to create a copy of your files first.
Tips on taking card of Samsung Galaxy S5 SD cards
Problem: I recently had a Samsung S5. I put a brand new 64G memory card in it, and at first it worked fine. All of a sudden one day, many (but not all) of my pictures in my albums turned black with an error message. You could sometimes see the pictures in the little scroll bar at the bottom of the photo app, but they would be black once you actually clicked on the photo to bring it back into full view. Eventually all the pictures located on my SD card went black. I also put music on my SD card that was on my old phone which would not work as well, coming up add invalid. I purchased another new Samsung 16GB memory card and put it in the phone, and it did the same thing. I then purchased a new 16GB San Disk memory card for the phone, and that one eventually up ended working just fine. At Christmas time, I purchased a new Samsung Note 4 as well as a San Disk 16GB memory card for it and had the same issues with the pictures and music with that card as well. I again purchased a new Samsung 16GB SD Card and put in it, and so far, that one has worked fine with pictures and music (about a week now). I feel this is a Samsung issue since it happened on two different Samsung devices when I have never had an I issue with any other phone or using any other SD cards. Please help with this issue! I am afraid of this happening again with my newest card. — Kelly
Troubleshooting: Hi Kelly. We understand your concern as storage is an important aspect of owning smartphone device nowadays. Frankly, we can only give tips on how to prevent this issue from happening again because your problem appears isolated. SanDisk memory cards are top of the line and they have a proven track record. Samsung devices also have a generally excellent track record of working together with any third party SD cards including SanDisks so we are at a loss for explanation here. As we have said, it’s better to move forward and do preventive measures at this point. We will continue to look into this matter though and will update you and this post once we have a reliable resolution. In the meantime, here are some tips on how to ensure that the problem you had won’t happen again:
Reformat SD cards (periodically). It is recommended that users format their new SD cards before using it on their device. Reformatting an SD card wipes out potential glitches and bugs. Doing this process using the smartphone where the SD card is inserted into also ensures that both of them minimizes incompatibility issues. We suggest that you regularly reformat your SD card once every 3 months, depending on how you use it. If you are not fond of saving and erasing something off it, you extend the frequency of reformatting it to once every 6 months.
Turn off and Unmount SD card before physically removing it. This is one of the common causes why an SD card gets corrupted or fails after some time. Before removing an SD card from your phone for any reason, make sure that you unmount it first. After unmounting it, make sure that the phone is fully off before taking the SD card from its slot. This general rule also applies when trying to connect the SD card to your computer via a card reader. Always ensure that you unmount or eject the card from your computer properly before unplugging the card reader from it.
Common sense maintenance. Always ensure that your smartphone is not exposed to extremes. Overheating, exposure to humidity, shock, bending, puncture, and electromagnetic exposure are some of the causes for an electronic device failure and your SD card is not immune from them.
Prepare for the worst. We understand that the SD cards mentioned here are new but keep in mind that they can’t last forever. Always keep copies of important files, pictures, or videos in case an SD card fails. Also, try to avoid filling your memory card completely and regularly delete images or videos that are not that important.
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