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Samsung Galaxy S4 Reset and Restore

We recommend backing up your content regularly in case your Samsung Galaxy S4 experiences problems or to help you smoothly transition to a new phone. Performing a soft reset on your phone is the first step in troubleshooting it. Learn how to turn it on in Safe mode and clear its memory which can help the phone's performance. Performing a Factory Reset will remove apps that you downloaded and switch back to default settings. If an app may be causing problems, make sure Automatic Restore isn't on when you perform a factory reset.

  1. Restart your phone

    (ID 78201)

    Soft reset can resolve issues like continuous resetting/rebooting, device crashing, freezing, won't ring or vibrate, can't make or receive calls, device locks up, and keypad doesn't respond.

    Note A soft reset (turning the device off then back on) is similar to restarting a desktop computer and is one of the first steps in troubleshooting a device. A soft reset won't affect data on the device.

    1. Press and hold the Power button (located on the right edge).
    2. Tap Restart.
    3. Tap OK.
      If unable to perform a soft reset, remove then re-insert the battery.


    KB ID 78201

  2. Clearing the memory on your device

    (ID 78244)

    Note Notes:

    • Random Access Memory (RAM) levels above 90% may cause the device to perform poorly when running certain apps. Review the amount of RAM being used on the device and Clear memory if the RAM levels are above 1.58GB.
    • Clearing the RAM ends running apps and stop background apps. Verify that app data is saved before clearing memory.
    • Clearing the RAM may resolve issues with the device/display freezing. The device may be running low on memory (RAM).

     

    1. Press and hold the Home button.
      Home
    2. Tap Task manager (located in the lower-left).
    3. From the RAM tab, tap Clear memory.


    KB ID 78244

  3. Power up in safe mode

    (ID 103386)

    Safe Mode puts your phone in a diagnostic state (returned to default settings) so you can determine if a third-party app is causing your device to freeze/reset / run slow.

    An alternate method is available if the device can be powered on and is responsive.

    1. With the device powered off, press and hold the Power button until the Samsung Galaxy S4 logo appears then release.
    2. With the Samsung Galaxy S4 logo on screen, press and hold the Volume down button (located on the left-edge).
    3. Continue to hold the Volume down button until Safe mode appears in the lower-left of the unlock screen then release.
      Note This may take up to 45 seconds.

    Note Notes:

    • With Safe Mode enabled, test device and app functionality. If the previous issue fails to occur, the cause has been isolated to a third-party app and all recently installed or updated apps should be uninstalled.
    • Power cycle the device to disable Safe Mode, reinstall then test each app, one at a time, to identify which is causing the problem.


    KB ID 103386

  4. Restart in safe mode

    (ID 77504)

    Safe Mode puts your phone in a diagnostic state (returned to default settings) so you can determine if a third-party app is causing your device to freeze/reset/run slow.

    An alternate method is available if the device is unresponsive or won't power on.

    1. With the device powered on, press and hold the Power button (located on the right-edge) until the Phone options prompt appears then release.
    2. Touch and hold Power off until the 'Reboot to safe mode' prompt appears then release.
    3. Tap Restart.
      Note The restart process may take up to 45 seconds to complete.
      Note Upon restart, Safe mode appears in the lower-left of the unlock/home screen.

    Note Notes:

    • With Safe Mode enabled, test device and app functionality. If the previous issue fails to occur, the cause has been isolated to a third-party app and all recently installed or updated apps should be uninstalled.
    • Power cycle the device to disable Safe Mode, reinstall then test each app, one at a time, to identify which is causing the problem.


    KB ID 77504

  5. Google backup and restore options

    (ID 78020)
    1. From a Home screen, tap Apps (located in the lower right).
      Note These instructions apply to Standard mode only.
    2. Tap Settings.
    3. Tap Backup and reset.
      Note If unavailable, tap the Menu icon Menu (located at the bottom-left) then tap Switch to list view.
    4. From the Back up and restore section, ensure the appropriate account is selected from the Backup account field then configure the following:
      Note Enabled when a check mark is present.
      Note If data back up is disabled, existing backups are deleted from Google's servers.
      Backup Account
      Personal data such as Wi-Fi passwords, Browser bookmarks, User dictionary, a list of installed Market applications and other customized settings are backed up to Google's servers.
      Automatic restore
      Data and settings are restored to applications utilizing the backup service upon re-installation.


    KB ID 78020

  6. Automatically restoring your device

    (ID 78188)

    Note If attempting to determine whether a third-party app is the cause of an operating system / app issue, ensure Automatic restore is disabled prior to a performing a factory data (hard) reset.

    1. From a Home screen, tap Apps (located in the lower right).
      Note These instructions apply to Standard mode only.
    2. Tap Settings.
    3. Tap Backup and reset.
      Note If unavailable, tap the Menu icon Menu (located at the bottom-left) then tap Switch to list view.
    4. From the Backup and restore section, ensure "Back up my data" is selected (checked).
    5. Tap Automatic restore.
      Note Enabled when a check mark is present.


    KB ID 78188

  7. Erase all content and settings - device on

    (ID 77507)

    A factory data (hard) reset may help with a blank or frozen screen, apps crashing or freezing, keypad/touchscreen problems, can't hear, device making noises, can't make or receive calls and device won't sync.

    Warning Perform a factory data reset only if absolutely necessary as it removes all settings and data including:

    • Contacts
    • Email accounts
    • System and app data
    • App settings
    • Downloaded apps
    • Media (It is recommended to backup this data)
      Note Alternatively, music, pictures and videos can be backed up to a computer.

     

    Note Notes:

     

    1. From a Home screen, navigate: Apps Apps menu icon > Settings.
      Note These instructions apply to Standard mode only.
    2. Tap Backup and reset.
      Note If unavailable, tap the Menu icon Menu (located at the bottom-left) then tap Switch to list view.
    3. Tap Factory data reset.
      Note If troubleshooting third-party apps, disable (uncheck) the Automatic restore option.
    4. Tap Reset phone.
      Note If presented, enter the current passcode or draw the unlock pattern.
    5. Tap Delete all.
      Note Allow several minutes for the factory data reset and reboot processes to complete.
      Note To setup the device after the process has completed, refer to Initial Activation and Setup.


    KB ID 77507

  8. Erase all content and settings - device off

    (ID 103183)

    A factory data reset may help with a blank or frozen screen, apps crashing or freezing, keypad/touchscreen problems, can't hear, device making noises, can't make or receive calls and device won't sync.

    Warning Perform a factory data reset only if absolutely necessary as it removes all data including:

    • GoogleTM account
    • System and app data
    • App settings
    • Downloaded apps
    • Media (Music, pictures and videos, etc.)

     

    Note An alternate reset method is available if the device can be powered on and is responsive.

     

    1. Ensure the device is powered off.
      Note If screen is frozen, remove/reinsert battery.
    2. Press and hold the Power+Volume Up+Home buttons at the same time. 
      Power button, Volume up key and Home key
    3. When 'Recovery Booting' appears in the upper-left corner of the screen, release the Power button. Continue to hold the Volume Up+Home buttons until the 'Android system recovery' screen appears.
    4. From the Android system recovery screen, select wipe data/factory reset.
      Note Utilize the Volume Up/Down buttons to highlight and the Power button to select.
    5. Select Yes -- delete all user data.
      Note Allow several seconds for the factory data reset to complete.
    6. Select reboot system now.
      Note Allow several minutes for the reboot process to complete.
      Note To setup the device after the reset has completed, refer to Initial Activation and Setup.


    KB ID 103183

  9. © 2015 Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC. Samsung, Samsung Galaxy S 4 is a trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Modified: 09/03/2015

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