10 November 2014

Most common problems with Samsung Galaxy S5, and how to solve them

You pay hundreds of dollars for the latest smartphone tech only to find that it’s not working as expected. We feel your pain. But don’t give up on your Samsung Galaxy S5 just yet.

Samsung Galaxy S5 problems

With a little tinkering you can probably find a decent workaround or a solution, in fact, that’s why we’re here. Behold our roundup of common Samsung Galaxy S5 problems and the fixes you need to get past them.

Samsung Galaxy S5 tips and tricks

Samsung Galaxy S5 Problem: Won’t charge or charges slowly

A number of owners have reported problems getting their S5 to charge up properly. It may be refusing to charge at all, or it might be charging extremely slowly.

Potential solutions:
  • The first thing to do is make sure that you are using the Samsung charger and cable that came with the S5. Other chargers may have different voltage ratings and they won’t always work with the S5. Give the phone a good 30 minutes plugged in before you try to turn it on.
  • Try changing the wall socket and using the cable and charger on a different device to make sure there are no faults there. Try a different charger and cable with the same rating.
  • Try plugging the S5 into a USB port on your PC or laptop. Bear in mind that it will charge more slowly from a USB port than from the charger plugged into the wall.
  • Take a look at the charging port, blow into it or use compressed air to make sure there’s nothing blocking it.
  • If it still isn’t working then you may have a dead battery or a broken charging port. Contact your retailer, carrier, or Samsung and find out what your options are.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Glitch: Touchscreen unresponsive or ghost touches

Some people have found that the touchscreen occasionally glitches and becomes unresponsive or registers ghost touches that they haven’t made. It seems to be an intermittent issue with no obvious trigger.

  • Hold down the Power key for a few seconds until it vibrates and turns off and then turn it back on. This might temporarily relieve the problem.
Potential solutions:
  • It may be worth mentioning that the S5 screen is not designed to work underwater, it’s a water resistant phone, but the touchscreen won’t work properly when wet, so if that’s when you encounter the glitch then dry it off first.
  • There’s a chance that your case or screen protector is causing the problem. If you’re using either then try removing them and see if that resolves it.
  • You could check in Settings > Display and see if enabling Increase touch sensitivity
  • It may be caused by an app or widget that’s misbehaving. You could try uninstalling apps and testing to see if the problem is gone, or you could factory reset and selectively install.
  • If you’ve done a factory reset as a last resort and it’s happening without any new apps installed then you might have a hardware fault. It’s time to go to your retailer, carrier, or Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Problem: Wi-Fi won’t connect or is very slow

We see a lot of Wi-Fi issues with smartphones and the Galaxy S5 is no exception. There are loads of possible causes. Make sure that your Wi-Fi is working with another device before you begin to work on a Galaxy S5 related solution.

Potential solutions:
  • Always start by turning your S5 and your router off and on again. Sometimes that does the trick.
  • Make sure that you haven’t set Wi-Fi restrictions related to the power saving mode in Settings > Power saving mode.
  • Head into Settings > Wi-Fi and choose your router, then tap Forget and set up the connection again from scratch.
  • You can also choose your router in Settings > Wi-Fi and scroll down to tap Edit > Show advanced options and try changing IP settings to Static.
  • Take a look in Wi-Fi > Settings > Advanced and make sure Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep is set to Always and that Always allow scanning is checked.
  • Download the free Wifi Analyzer app and take a look at how busy your channels are. Too many devices on one channel can impact on speeds, so switch to a less crowded channel.
  • Check MAC filtering on your router and make sure it’s off or that the S5 is listed (you’ll find the S5 MAC address listed in Wi-Fi > Settings > Advanced).
  • You could also try updating the firmware on your router.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Issue: Bluetooth won’t connect

A lot of people have run into issues trying to get the Galaxy S5 to connect with their cars and sometimes other devices via Bluetooth. The solution is liable to be slightly different for different cars and devices, but there are some obvious starting places.

Potential solutions:
  • Try resetting your Bluetooth car system or device so it forgets all pairings. Do the same thing on the S5 via Settings > Bluetooth. Refer to your car or device manual or look for instructions online, you may have to enter a pairing mode to get it to work, sometimes there’s a button for this. Make sure you read the dialog box that pops up on the Galaxy S5 and check the box to automatically connect in future.
  • If you’re having trouble with it partially working, check the profile for your device in Settings > Bluetooth by tapping on the gear icon next to it and make sure that the boxes next to Call audio and Media audio are ticked.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Bug: Music stutters over Bluetooth

A few people have been complaining that the music stutters when they stream using Bluetooth.

Potential solutions:
  • Make sure you’re up to date first by going to Settings > About device > Software update because some people have suggested this is a bug in Android and it has been fixed in a recent update.
  • If you’re up to date and still suffering then try wiping your cache. Hold down the Power button until you feel a vibration and the S5 turns off. Press and hold Volume up, Home, and the Power key together. When the S5 vibrates, let go of Power. When you see the Android recovery screen, let go of the other two and use Volume down to highlight the wipe cache partition option, then Power to select it.
  • If you’re using the music player then go into the Settings and make sure Adapt Sound is off.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Bug: Screen won’t turn on

Quite a few people have been having issues with the Galaxy S5 screen refusing to turn on. The capacitive buttons light up as expected, but the screen remains black. This seems to occur at different times for different people, but the common issue is that the screen fails to wake up, even though you might be able to hear that the phone is working and feel vibrations. There are lots of things you can try to solve this issue.

  • To begin with, try turning it off by holding down the Power key for at least seven seconds until you feel a vibration, then let go, and press the Power key again to turn it back on.
  • If the screen doesn’t come back, then try removing the back and taking the battery out. Wait for ten seconds, then put the battery back in, and try turning the S5 on again.
  • Some people found that going to Settings > Device > Lock screen > Additional information and turning it off seemed to help.
  • A few people have reported success after disabling the S Health app and/or the Smart remote app.
Potential solutions:
  • Try going to Settings > Accessibility > Vision > Dark screen and make sure this is turned off.
  • This issue might be related to your case or cover. Try removing it and see if the problem still occurs.
  • It could be your microSD card that’s causing the problem. Try removing it for a while and see if that makes a difference.
  • It’s possible an app is causing the problem, so try booting into safe mode. Turn the S5 off, then tap the Power key to turn it back on. When you see the Samsung logo press and hold the Volume down key. The S5 should start up and it will say Safe mode at the bottom right. If you don’t have the problem anymore, then it must be an app that’s causing it, you can try uninstalling apps one by one to identify the culprit, or do a factory reset and be selective about your reinstall. You can turn Safe mode off again via the notification shade.
  • Back up your files and go to Settings > Backup and reset > Factory data reset.
  • If you’re still having issues, then it’s time to contact your retailer, carrier, or Samsung and try to get a replacement handset.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Problem: Can’t hear caller or can’t be heard

Some Galaxy S5 owners have encountered a problem with the audio during calls. They either can’t hear the caller or, more commonly, the caller can’t hear them.

  • Hold down the Power key and tap Restart from the menu that appears. The problem might reoccur.
Potential solutions:
  • Hold down the Power key and select Power off from the menu. Remove the battery and SIM card and replace them, then turn the S5 back on again to see if the problem is gone.
  • If people are struggling to hear you, check the microphone. The microphone is a pin hole on the bottom of the S5. Blow on it or use compressed air to ensure there’s nothing caught in there.
  • This might be related to Bluetooth. If you have a Bluetooth accessory that’s paired within range of the phone then maybe it’s trying to connect. Pull down the notification shade and turn Bluetooth off to check. You might have to go to Settings > Bluetooth and tell it to forget paired devices.
  • Some people found that wiping the cache partition helped. If you want to try it, then turn the S5 off via the Power key and the Power off option. Press and hold Volume up, Home, and the Power key together. When the S5 vibrates, let go of Power. When you see the Android recovery screen, let go of the other two and use Volume down to highlight the wipe cache partition option, then Power to select it.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Problem: Where’s the menu button?

If you’re wondering what happened to the Menu key that used to be bottom left, it has been turned into the Multitasking button now. The problem is that some older apps don’t have a menu option on screen and you need that button to access the settings.

  • All you have to do is press and hold the Multitasking button at the bottom left and it will work just like the old menu key and bring the settings up.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Problem: No Download Booster

In our Galaxy S5 tips article we highlighted the Download Booster feature which allows you to download files really fast by using Wi-Fi and LTE together. A number of new S5 owners are reporting the feature missing in action and that’s because AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have removed it.

  • Switch to T-Mobile or U.S. Cellular and you’ll find that Download Booster is present and correct.
  • Keep an eye on XDA Developers for a rooting solution that gets it working again.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Annoyance: Lag or stutter

A casual scan of forums and article comments reveals that lag is the subject of much debate when it comes to the Galaxy S5. A significant number of owners feel that the Galaxy S5 lags when compared to the competition and the blame is generally leveled at Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface and bloatware. What we’re talking about here is perceived delays when you load up or exit an app, when you unlock the phone, when you tap the Home button, or perhaps when you’re typing.

  • Use a different launcher. There are lots of options out there, Nova Launcher is good, or you could sideload the Google Now launcher.
  • It may be the animations that are giving you the feeling of lag, so why not turn them off? Tap and hold on a blank space on your home screen and select Home screen settings > Transition effect > None. Go to Settings > Lock screen > Unlock effect and set it to None.
  • You can go further in Settings > About device by tapping the Build number seven times to turn Developer mode on. Now go to Settings > Developer options > Windows animation scale and set it to Animation is off. You can do the same thing in Settings > Developer options > Transition animation scale and Animator duration scale.
  • If the delay on the Home button is annoying you, then double tap it to fire up S Voice and choose Settings from the menu at the top right then make sure that Open via the home key is not ticked.
  • You may want to turn off some background data syncing. You can do this via Settings > Accounts or within the settings menus of individual apps.
  • To reduce the impact of bloatware go to Settings > Application manager and look at the All tab. Any app you don’t want to use, you can tap on it and choose Disable. All disabled apps will be listed in a separate tab, so you can always turn them back on again in the future.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Problem: Water damage

Unfortunately a lot of people read water resistant as waterproof and there’s definitely a difference. We’ve seen lots or reports cropping up about people with water damaged Galaxy S5 handsets. That IP67 rating means that it can be submerged in water up to a depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. It isn’t designed to deal with high pressure water jets, and that could mean the water coming out of your faucet.

  • Don’t deliberately dunk your Galaxy S5; the feature is a safeguard against the dreaded toilet drop, or a sudden downpour.
Potential solutions:
  • Don’t try to turn it on. Open it up and dry it off with a towel as best you can, then place it in a bowl of rice. You can also find dry bag kits online, using silica crystals or isopropyl alcohol, but if you don’t already have one, you won’t want to wait for delivery, so rice is a good solution. Resist the temptation to turn the phone on for as long as possible (at least 24 hours) to give it a good chance to dry out.
  • If you’re not keen on self-repair you’ll find a lot of services and repair shops out there that will get your Galaxy S5 ticking again for a fee. Make sure you choose one that offers a money-back guarantee if they can’t fix it.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Annoyance: Slow camera

Are you finding that the camera takes a long time to focus and capture your photo? The Galaxy S5 should have a snappy shooter, so this may be down to your camera settings.

Potential solution:
  • Fire up the camera and tap on the gear icon at the bottom left then turn Picture stabilization off. It’s designed to improve the quality of low light pictures by extending the shutter speed. If your lighting is good then you don’t need it turned on, as it’s only going to slow the camera down.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Bug: Camera failed

Some people are reporting that they get a pop-up when they try to start the camera which says “Warning: Camera failed” and the camera won’t load up at all.

Potential solutions:

Samsung has acknowledged the camera bug and advises anyone who suffers from it to call 1-888-897-4357. Verizon users can also contact @vzwsupport on Twitter.

  • You might find that a simple restart does the trick. Hold down the Power button and select the Restart option. The problem may return.
  • Try going to Settings > Application manager and select the camera app. Tap on Force stop, Clear cache, and Clear data.
  • Try clearing the cache partition. Hold the power button and choose Power off then press and hold the Volume up key, the Home button, and the Power button. When the phone vibrates, release the Power button, but keep holding the other two. When you see the Android System Recovery screen you can let go. Use Volume down to choose wipe cache partition and press Power to select it then, when it’s done, press Power again to Reboot System Now.
  • There’s a chance that an app is causing the problem. Any app that uses camera functions, including flashlight apps, could be the culprit. The fast way to check this is to reboot in safe mode. Hold down the power button and select Power off then hold down the power button to turn it on again and when you see the Samsung screen come up, release the power button and press and hold the Volume down key. You’ll know it worked if it says Safe mode in the bottom left corner. If the camera works then it’s definitely a problem with an app you installed. Hold down the power button and choose Restart to get back out of Safe mode.
  • If you’re using a microSD card to save photos try removing it, save them elsewhere, and see if that makes a difference.
  • Back up anything important and try a factory reset via Settings > Backup and reset > Factory data reset.
  • If nothing works then you may have a faulty camera and you’ll need to contact your carrier, retailer, or Samsung about a replacement.
Samsung Galaxy S5 tips and tricks

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