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27 problems with Samsung’s 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. Life’s not fair, but don’t give up on your Samsung Galaxy S5 just yet. 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 Galaxy S5 problems and the fixes you need to get past them.

Problems with notifications, text messages, contacts, and more

Problem: No notifications or music controls on lock screen

A lot of people have been frustrated by their notifications, music controls, and other widgets disappearing from the lock screen after the update to Android 5.0 Lollipop. Thankfully it’s easy to get them back again.

Solution:

  • Go to Settings > Sound & Notification and tap on When device is locked and then choose Show all notification content or Hide sensitive notification content. If your music controls aren’t back straight away, then try restarting the phone. Unfortunately, the music control notification in Lollipop is scaled down compared to some widgets that you may have been using, but Google has ditched lock screen widgets in Lollipop.

Issue: Can’t download apps “Insufficient storage available”

This is a common problem and many people are reporting that they can see available space in the storage, but the S5 keeps returning this error for updates or when they try to install new apps. The first thing to do is go to Settings and find Storage listed under System.

Potential solutions:

  • If the internal storage is full and the space you have is on the microSD card then you need to move some files. Go to Apps > My Files > Local storage > Device storage and select the files and folders you want to move by ticking the boxes next to them then tap the Menu icon at the top right and tap Move then choose SD memory card. Find where you want to put them on the SD card and tap Move here.
  • To stop the problem cropping up as frequently in the future set the SD card as the default for your camera app. Go to Apps > Camera > Settings > Storage and select Memory card. Now photos and videos will go on the memory card by default.
  • If you find that the internal storage isn’t full and you’re still getting the error message about lack of space then it’s time to delete your cache. Turn your S5 off. Now press and hold the Power, Volume up, and Home buttons together. Let go when you see the Samsung logo with blue recovery text at the top. The Recovery menu will come up and you can use the Volume down button to scroll down and choose wipe cache partition then press Power to select it. When it’s done use the Volume buttons to highlight reboot system now and Power to select it and when the S5 restarts your problem should be gone.

Glitch: Echo on the speaker

Quite a few people have encountered an annoying echo on the Galaxy S5 speaker. For some people it’s at their end, for others the echo is bothering the other caller during a call. There are a few possible problems and solutions here.

Potential solutions:

  • The first thing to do is make sure it isn’t being caused by your S5 case, so remove it and see if it makes a difference.
  • Try blowing into the speaker and/or microphone depending what end the problem is on. Ideally use compressed air or a soft brush to make sure there’s nothing stuck in there.
  • Go to Settings > Accessibility > Vision and turn Talkback off. If it turns itself back on then go to Settings > Application manager and scroll over to the All tab then find the Talkback app and tap on it then tap Disable and see if that helps.
  • Try using a Bluetooth headset for a call to see if the problem persists. If it does then it’s probably a network issue. Contact your carrier and see what advice they offer.

Problem: Not receiving text messages

Some people have been having trouble receiving text messages on their Galaxy S5. There are a couple of things that could be going on here.

Potential solutions:

  • If your previous phone was an iPhone then you have to deregister iMessage. That link will take you to the Apple instructions. If you still have your old iPhone then it’s as easy as turning iMessage off in Settings > Messages. If you don’t then you’ll need to enter your number and have Apple send you a code.
  • You should double check that you have storage space available in Settings > Storage.
  • It could be a problem related to the Message center. Open up the Messages app and then tap Settings > Text messages > Message center. You’ll have to check with your carrier what the right number is, but it’s usually listed on their website.
  • If you’re using a different SMS app then you could try uninstalling it and using the default instead to see if that makes any difference. Alternatively you can check by pressing and holding the Power button and then tap and hold on Power off until you see the Reboot to Safe Mode message then lift your finger and tap Restart. The S5 should restart and say safe mode in the left bottom corner. If it works now then your problem is an app you installed. You can try uninstalling one by one or factory reset and reinstall selectively.
  • If none of this works then it’s time to contact your carrier.

Glitch: Can’t delete photos

A lot of people have been annoyed by the fact they are deleting photos in the Gallery app on their Galaxy S5, but they just keep returning.

Solution:

  • This is likely to be because they’re backed up on Google+ via Google’s Photos app. If you start up the Photos app and choose a photo you want rid of and then tap the trashcan to delete you should get an option to Delete everywhere.
  • If you don’t want them backed up through Google then you can tap Settings at the top right in the Photos app and turn Auto-Backup off. You can also do this in the Google+ app. Alternatively you can go to Settings > Accounts > Google, tap on your account and see a complete list of everything that is being synced. Scroll down and uncheck Google+ Photos. You may also need to go to Settings > Application manager > Gallery and tap Clear cache.

Bug: Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped

If you’ve been getting this pop-up on your Galaxy S5 pretty frequently and apparently randomly, then you are not alone. There are a couple of workarounds that have worked for some people, and Samsung has released an update that seemed to fix the issue for some people.

Workarounds:

  • Go to Settings > Application manager and scroll down to Google+ and then tap Disable. Unfortunately you won’t be able to use Google+, but this has stopped the pop-up for some people so it you don’t use it much or at all anyway, then it might be worth trying.

Potential solutions:

  • Some people report temporary success by going to Settings > Application manager > Contacts and tapping Clear cache.
  • It might be a good idea to wipe your whole cache partition. Hold down the Power button and tap Power off. Now hold down Power, Home, and Volume up together. When the S5 vibrates, let go of Power, but keep holding down the other two. You should see the Android System Recovery screen and you can let go of Home and Volume up. Use Volume down to highlight wipe cache partition and then press the Power button to select it. Once it’s done, tap Power to select Reboot system now.
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