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10 common Galaxy S5 problems and how to fix them

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As experience has shown, all smartphones have their own particular issues, and the Galaxy S5 is no exception. If we're lucky, the problem is widespread and the solution becomes quickly known. But this doesn’t always happen and some problems only appear gradually or after a new Android update. Here are the 10 most common Samsung Galaxy S5 problems and how to fix them.

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Keep your Galaxy S5 running smoothly with these solutions to common problems. / © ANDROIDPIT

1. My Galaxy S5 is slow

Even following the Galaxy S5 Android update to Lollipop, TouchWiz is still a little slow. One thing you can do about all that pre-loaded bloatware is to disable as many apps as possible in Application Manager. They will appear in a new tab called Disabled and they can be re-enabled later if you so wish.

You can also try replacing TouchWiz with another, faster launcher. We've got a great roundup of the best Android launchers that you can choose from. Just remember the more bells and whistles a launcher has, the slower it is going to be. You can also follow our great guide on how to speed up the Galaxy S5.

If you want to stick with TouchWiz, you can disable animations and transitions, get rid of the Home button S Voice shortcut, ditch excess widgets, take control of your apps and services and clear your system or app cache. Instructions on how to do all of this can be found in the link above.

TouchWiz on the Galaxy S5: love it or hate it? / © ANDROIDPIT

2. My Galaxy S5 battery drains too fast 

No S5 troubleshooting guide would be complete without a battery drain section. Battery drain is one of the most common Galaxy S5 issues. We've all been there - so often that we actually dedicated a whole article to Galaxy S5 battery tips, so please check that out too. If you just want a quick fix, you can try the following.

Restart your phone, clear the cache partition (instructions are in the linked article), manage your screen timeout and display brightness, and make sure your other settings are not killing your battery. If your battery drain comes after an Android update, you might want to create a backup and then factory reset your Galaxy S5.

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A short battery life is one of the most common S5 complaints. / © ANDROIDPIT

3. My Galaxy S5 camera crashes

If you find the Galaxy S5 camera crashes you can try a few options. First, turn off your phone and wait a minute, then start it again. This simple trick helps surprisingly often.

Secondly, try toggling video stabilization on and off. This was an early fix for the problem and can be accessed in the camera settings. Just go to the camera app and tap the cog icon, then tap the Video Stabilization tile until it says 'Off'.

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The last thing you need is a non-functioning camera. / © ANDROIDPIT

Thirdly, you might just need to clear the app data for the camera. Make sure you have a backup of your photos and then go to Settings > Application Manager > Camera and clear the cache and data. If this still doesn't work, try using a different camera app from the Play Store.

If the camera closes unexpectedly, followed by the message: 'Camera failed' or 'the camera application is not responding', things are more serious. This error is a hardware issue that affected some S5s. If your phone is one of them, you'll need to contact Samsung or your retailer.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy S5 camera video stabilization
If your Galaxy S5 camera crashes, try turning off video stabilization. / © ANDROIDPIT

4. My Galaxy S5 is water damaged

The Galaxy S5 may be water-resistant but there have been more than a few people who have confused 'water-resistant' with 'waterproof' and joyfully given theirs an enthusiastic bath. Not surprisingly, this often leads to water damage. 

Always make sure the battery cover is firmly in place and try not to get your S5 any more wet than you might in a light rain shower. You definitely don't want to be going anywhere near chlorine, the ocean or deep water with it. 

In the event that your S5 stops working after getting wet, do not try to turn it on. Pull it apart and dry the components, with a paper towel, then put them in a bag of rice for a day or two before reassembling and trying to turn it back on. For more tips, see our guide on how to fix a water-damaged phone. If it won't turn on after this, it's time to take a trip to a repair center. 

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Make sure you don't lose this little water-resistant flap, even if the hinge does break. / © ANDROIDPIT

5. Galaxy S5 overheating issues

If your S5 overheats there are a few things that might be causing it. It could be related to some app process that is running riot, so pay particular attention to when the phone overheats. If it always overheats during use of a particular app, perhaps you need to uninstall it. Also, go to the Running tab in Applications Manager and familiarize yourself with the apps at the top of the list. Do they belong there?

You could also run a benchmark test to see if it's simply the CPU working hard which causes the problem. Of course, prolonged screen-on time is always going to lead to heating up, as are graphically-intensive games and tasks, and ambient temperatures. There's no solution for using your phone heavily.

But if your Galaxy S5 gets hot just doing regular stuff (not during hi-res games or watching videos while charging) then you might want to check your battery and make sure there are no problems like bulging or leaking. If you still experience overheating, then you may want to take it to a technician for a proper inspection and professional diagnosis. 

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If your phone overheats just lying there, you might have a battery problem. / © ANDROIDPIT

6. Galaxy S5 display problems

If you have experienced problems with auto-brightness levels of your Galaxy S5 – either the screen is too bright or too dark for the ambient light conditions – then you may have a dirty or faulty sensor. Take a look and make sure there’s nothing gunking up the sensor on the front. If you can see something under the glass you may need a repairman to assist.

Many people also suffer from 'ghosting', which causes some pictures to stay on the screen as a faint background or after-image. This is occasionally solved by paying attention to on-screen elements that cause the ghosting, for example an always-present widget or clock.

There are also apps available that supposedly repair screen burn-in. I can't say I think they work all that well, but they're worth a try. Another trick to minimize screen burn-in is to keep your screen brightness at a low manual setting to decrease the likelihood of the S5's screen getting baked.

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This wallpaper looks like a good setting for a ghost. / © ANDROIDPIT

7. Galaxy S5 touch response issues

Many users have reported problems with a lack of calibration on the Galaxy S5 touch sensor. This means the smartphone does not respond exactly where the screen is touched, but few millimeters to either side. While Samsung addressed this with updates, some users still suffer from inconsistent touch response. 

Try going to the secret Galaxy S5 service menu for help. To enter this menu, go to the dialer and enter *#0*#. Access the 'Touch' section to test how well your S5 reacts to touch input. If you see problems that an update or factory reset haven't been able to fix, you might want to take your S5 to a technician for further examination.

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The service menu on the Galaxy S5 lets you test features such as touch responsiveness. © ANDROIDPIT

8. Galaxy S5 finger scanner problems

Now let's talk about the S5's fingerprint sensor. From my personal experience I can say that it does not always work as it should, although it has improved with successive updates. Assuming you're not swiping too fast, off to the side or with sweaty fingertips, the first thing you want to do is make sure you record your fingerprint in the right way.

Pay attention to how you swipe your digit (based on how you generally hold the phone). If you record your fingerprint in a way you don't normally hold it, you can't expect a great success rate. Also, register your prints using a few different techniques. Remember you can always re-register your prints if you're having problems. 

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Something tells me only your Mom holds her phone to unlock it this way. / © ANDROIDPIT

9. Wi-Fi problems

The Samsung Galaxy S5 issues continue in Wi-Fi land. Before we go pointing fingers though, the S5 has an option that makes Wi-Fi shut off automatically if the connection is very bad. It's called Smart Exchange and will switch you to cellular data if Wi-Fi is bad, so make sure your Wi-Fi 'problem' isn't related to this. Go to Settings > Wi-FI Settings > Smart Network Switch to check.

Wi-Fi dropout can also happen when you open the Google Play Store or some other application. If you think your Wi-Fi issues are related to an app, try disabling it in Settings > Application manager and see if your Wi-Fi problems go away. You can also try clearing the cache of the app that causes the disconnection (or the whole system cache), or check out our guide on how to improve Wi-Fi signal on Android.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy S5 Wi Fi Smart Network Switch
Smart Network Switch might be why your Wi-Fi is disconnecting all the time. / © ANDROIDPIT

10. Sudden death

This problem may well seem like the end of your smartphone. The sudden death bug was a particular problem for the Galaxy S3 and also affected other devices in the Galaxy range.

If your S5 starts turning itself off without warning, acts particularly erratically or won’t even turn on (assuming you have a charged battery), the only option left is factory reset your Galaxy S5. This will erase your data, so make sure a regular backup is part of your care plan.

If a reset does not bear fruit, the only avenue left to you is to take it to a Samsung technician. If the problem lies with an internal component or the motherboard itself, they are the best people to tackle the issue (and keep your warranty intact).

Did you find the solution to your particular Galaxy S5 problem? Let us know how we can help.

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Kris Carlon

Kris Carlon
Senior Editor

Kris is a former AndroidPIT Editor who came to the team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.

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  • Dave Bliss Aug 10, 2016 Link to comment

    After 14 months of owning an S5 the phone got so hot that I had to remove battery for fear of fire taking place. Took it to Movistar shop where purchased and I was told it had to be sent away for inspection. No loan phone offered or available. Phone returned 8 days later this time screen totally dead. Sent away again that was 15 days ago. I went and bought second hand iPhone 5. The mobile signal is stronger and has no reliability problems. Samsung are a bunch of Korean Bandits I vow never to buy any Samsung product again. A totally rubbish company who don't give a damn about customer support. Avoid all Samsung products they suck.

  • skyrail Aug 6, 2016 Link to comment

    What is regular temperature for G900F? battery temp and cpu temp?

    When I am just browsing for a few minutes, connected to wifi only and airplane mode on, my device climb from cold 27°C to 39°C hot (battery temperature).
    Then DU battery saver claims my cpu is too hot "fix it now by closing apps running and shut down background tasks".

    gsam battery monitor report my battery drains 5% per hour. And this is a new battery 2 weeks old (samsung genuine as a replacement of the original one)

    Do I have to be concerned or is it fine?
    It would be great to have battery benchmark for Galaxy S5.

  • Vallerie S. Jun 16, 2016 Link to comment

    When on a call the person I am talking to is having a lot of trouble hearing me. I am having to shout amd sometimes thats not enough. Con I do something to fix this or is my phone done?

  • thenameisselena May 5, 2016 Link to comment

    My phone display low memory, I moved all pic, sounds and docs to external SD and reset, but it still display low memory when I'm using the camera or trying to download, is this the beginning of a crash?

    • Chocl8tLvr Oct 11, 2018 Link to comment

      I would like to know the answer to that as also as I am having issues with los memory but I'm not using the camera..I get this all & anytime. DOES ANYONE KNOW?

  • Miodrag Leposavic Apr 9, 2016 Link to comment

    I have a problem with my galaxy s5 contact. When I try to change some things inside my contact (change the number, picture,ringtone) they said "contact's isn't responding". Does enyone have this problem and If is YES, how to solve it?


  • Muhamad Fathiaiman Mar 23, 2016 Link to comment

    USB PROBLEM....!!!

  • Gerry Murray Feb 10, 2016 Link to comment

    My Galaxy S5 was screen-locked in my pocked during a game of golf on Sunday and did a factory re-set! I hadn't backed-up recently and lost a lot of data.

  • Ramesh Bommaraju Feb 8, 2016 Link to comment

    My Samsung Galaxy s5 G900L LTE A don't have network mode option under mobile networks. This is an unlocked phone from South Korea. Please help me in setting network mode to access 4G/LTE on my phone.

  • Doreen Bowman Jan 8, 2016 Link to comment

    My phone often has settings I've NEVER touched come on, like bluetooth, or the ringer was off with exceptions.

  • Autumn Kraft Dec 7, 2015 Link to comment

    I had to factory reset my phone, after the factory reset my gallery runs as slow as a 386 with a 9600 baud modem... I ended up getting a factory warranty because my Sim memory card no longer registers... (a big issue that deters me from upgrading to the S6, no Sim memory card slot, Samsung needs to fix the issue, not just erase the ability.) Now the replaced S5 Gallery runs even slower than before. Impossible to describe how slow, let's just compare is to loading a 5&1/4in floppy of DOS into a Tandy 1000 to get to the next program on another floppy up...

    • Chocl8tLvr Oct 11, 2018 Link to comment

      Whoa!that is crazy!

  • Ramskim Mancawan Dec 4, 2015 Link to comment

    my phone samsung galaxy s5 NO SERVICE HOW TO FIX IT PLZ HELP ME>>>>>

  • Pete Maric Nov 16, 2015 Link to comment

    My flash has completely stopped working.
    I cant use torch apps or take photos with flash as its just not there anymore.
    Likewise i loved the fingerprint scanner on this phone until one day that gave up too.
    I just get that shitty message pop up telling me to turn it off and on again!
    Piece of rubbish. Has anyone else had issues like this??

    • skyrail Aug 6, 2016 Link to comment

      > My flash has completely stopped working.
      I cant use torch apps or take photos with flash as its just not there anymore.

      This is not a surprise. It just cannot work together at the same time.

  • Laurice Dela Cruz Sep 25, 2015 Link to comment

    My phone problem is always said " Unfortunately your *the problem* e.g Android service has stop!. How can i Fix it!!!!!!! i badly need help.

    • April D Sep 17, 2016 Link to comment

      I have this same issue! I've tried everything and still hasn't worked. I even sent it back to Samsung and unfortunately my phone is out of warranty, so I told them to send me back my broken phone because I'm not paying $70 to get it fixed. It's not worth it.

  • Grace Amstutz Sep 2, 2015 Link to comment

    My phone moves apps from my SD card back to the phone, BY ITSELF. I have to go in daily & move random apps back to my SD card, otherwise I'm unable to update any apps that are on my phone, due to insufficient storage space. They were perfectly fine on my SD card, but all of a sudden they're moved. Is there a permanent fix?

  • Tiffany Wigley Aug 28, 2015 Link to comment

    What about other issues? Suddenly my display resets itself to 15 seconds every time I turn around. Also, my alarm clock is turning itself completely off. Also, it takes forever to load photos on Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook. These are all recent issues 😕

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