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How to fix soft-bricked Samsung Galaxy S8

Are you experiencing problems on your Samsung Galaxy S8? If you are and if you don’t know how to fix them in order to smooth up the Android experience, don’t panic as that’s why we are here. As you can already tell, during the following guidelines we will detail dedicated troubleshooting steps that will help you fix different software related problems that can cause malfunctions on your Galaxy S8.

Of course, these guidelines can help you only if we discuss about issues that are somehow related with the Android core system or with other additional tools, apps and features. Unfortunately, the steps explained below won’t help you if there is a hardware problem. In that case you should take your Galaxy S8 back to service and ask for a more specialized and experienced support – do note that if you tweaked your device, you might not be able to reclaim the warranty (operations like gaining root access or installing a custom ROM firmware will trip Samsung KNOX – it can be reverted only by reinstalling the official Android firmware, an operation that can be applied through Odin).

A soft brick describes general problems that can mess up the regular Android experience. So, we’re referring to all sort of malfunctions and issues as problems can be caused even by a new OS improvement or by a new app that’s installed from Google Play. Yes, I’m talking about lags, hangs, screen freeze, battery drain, heating problems, signal strength issues, boot loops, total blackouts and so on.

Most of the problems are caused by an unresponsive process that’s blocked in the background, by an inappropriate app or by a malware. Also, there are situations when a third party software is bricking the Android core system and that usually happens when you try to tweak your Galaxy S8 by removing bloatware, install a custom recovery image, overclock or undervolt CPU frequencies and who knows what else.

Now, the best is that most of these issues can be fixed without taking your phone back to service. In that respect you will have to isolate the problem, remove it or / and restore your Galaxy S8 back to its default state. And that’s what we will try to achieve during the guidelines from below.

But before starting the troubleshooting methods you need to secure a few things, as explained below:

  • Make a general backup as otherwise you can end up in losing everything that wasn’t there from day one – for example, if you apply the hard reset, everything will be erased; so don’t hesitate and try to save your contacts, call logs, texts, images, videos, audio files, market apps, internet settings, EFS folder, IMEI / NVRAM data and so on.
  • The backup can be performed by using Samsung’s own cloud storage apps, by syncing your data with your Google Account or by using any other similar backup and restore app from Google Play.
  • Charge your Galaxy S8 before doing anything else – even if you cannot verify the amount of power that’s left on your handset, plug in the charger in order to avoid any other unpleasant situations.
  • Note: usually, the charger must be plugged in if the power left is lower than 50%.

One last thing: all the steps explained below are official operations. You won’t risk anything by choosing to follow this tutorial – you won’t have to use third party apps or risky programs and Samsung KNOX won’t get tripped. Also, the troubleshooting steps can be applied without problems even if your Galaxy S8 was rooted, installed with a custom recovery image, updated with a custom ROM firmware and so on.

How to fix soft-bricked Samsung Galaxy S8

Access Android Safe Mode

When noticing a software problem you should first access Android Safe Mode. That’s the best way in which you can isolate the problem and remove it. As you might know, in Safe Mode all third party apps are disabled by default. So, if after entering the safe mode the Android OS is running without issues, it means that a certain third party app was causing the problem. Therefore, you just have to isolate the problem and remove it afterwards. Anyway, here is how you can enter safe mode on Samsung Galaxy S8:

  1. Power off your smartphone.
  2. Press and hold the Power button.
  3. Release Power key when you see the Samsung logo displayed.
  4. Right after releasing the Power button, press and hold Volume Down.
  5. Keep holding this key until the boot process is completed.
  6. Safe Mode will be now entered on your Samsung Galaxy S8.

Make a hard reset

If you cannot find the problem through Safe Mode, then I recommend you to initiate a full wipe. In this way you will remove everything from your Samsung Galaxy S8 – only built-in and default apps will remain installed in the end. So, you can partially restore your phone back to its initial state by using this method. By removing everything you will most likely get rid of the issues too. Anyway, here is what you need to follow in order to apply the hard reset:

  1. First, of all, power off your device and wait while the shut down operation is completed.
  2. Then, reboot recovery mode on your Android device: press and hold the Power, Volume Up and Bixby buttons at the same time, for a few moments.
  3. In recovery choose ‘wipe data factory reset’.
  4. Wait while the wipe is completed and when done return to main menu of recovery.
  5. From there choose ‘reboot system now’ for going back to Android mode.

Clear app data cache

If after completing the hard reset you are still experiencing issues (for example, a boot loop might be now displayed), you should also clear app data cache, which can be done in this way:

  1. Once more, reboot recovery mode on your Samsung Galaxy S8.
  2. From recovery, first select ‘wipe cache partition’.
  3. Then, choose ‘advanced’ and pick up ‘wipe dalvik cache’.
  4. Go to main menu of recovery when that’s done.
  5. From there select ‘reboot system now’.

Reinstall the stock Android firmware on your Galaxy S8

If the troubleshooting steps from above aren’t helpful enough, you need to fully restore your device back to its initial state. And that can be achieved only if you use Odin for manually reinstalling the stock / official Android firmware on your Samsung Galaxy S8.

Now, if your phone was tweaked, after taking care of the steps from below you will revoke root access, reinstall the stock recovery image, relock the bootloader and re-apply bloatware. Also, the factory restrictions will be once more set up on your device.

Anyhow, this particular troubleshoot solution should fix an software related problem that is messing with the Samsung Galaxy S8 Android experience, so here is what you need to do:

  1. A computer must be used – there, install the Galaxy S8 drivers first: you can use Samsung KIES if you don’t know from where to get the right drivers.
  2. On your computer download Odin from here and then install the program on your PC.
  3. Finally, run Odin on your computer.
  4. Download the stock Android OS for your Galaxy S8 (the full firmware package) and save it on desktop.
  5. Power off your device and reboot into download mode: press and hold Power, Volume Down and Bixby buttons together, for a few moments.
  6. Connect your phone with your computer via USB cable – the ‘added’ message should be displayed on Odin where the ID:COM field should be turned yellow or blue; otherwise, reinstall your phone’s drivers and repeat the step from above.
  7. Then, from Odin click on AP and load the firmware package; make sure you don’t check the Auto Reboot and Re Partition options.
  8. Click on Start when you are ready and wait while the flashing process is automatically completed.
  9. When done, on Odin the ‘pass’ message will be displayed and the ID:COM field will be turned green.
  10. Unplug the USB cable and reboot your phone.
  11. Done.

Final thoughts

So, that was all. Those are the easiest troubleshooting solutions that you can use for fixing a soft bricked Samsung Galaxy S8. So, try the methods explained above and share how everything went for you with us, during the comments field from below. If you are still experiencing issues, try to explain their behavior in detail. Based on the details you provide we will then try to find the perform solutions for your Samsung Galaxy S8. Enjoy, and stay close for similar tutorials and Android related tips and tricks.

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