How To Fix Galaxy S8 And Galaxy S8 Plus Won’t Activate
Boot loops are a nasty thing that nobody wants to deal with. But they still happen, mostly because of the firmware of your Samsung Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8 Plus. Other times, it’s a particular data file, bootloader file, system file missing or some corrupt cache. Whatever the cause, you don’t need to despair when dealing with such problems.
Today’s article is going to be a long, detailed and comprehensive tutorial on how to tackle the entire above – how to fix your Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus all by yourself. You’d have to know, though, that despite the fact that these troubleshooting options are pretty safe, sometimes, things can go wrong, just like boot loops happen. So, whatever you are about to do, you will act at your own risk.
First, what is a boot loop?
When your phone tries to boot and enter the normal functioning mode but it never makes it to the Home screen, you’re looking at a boot loop. This can happen on numerous instances and the blockage can occur anytime during the boot process. The result is always the same – you cannot use the device until it goes out of that loop.
This will bring us to our next question…
How to troubleshoot Galaxy S8 Plus when stuck on the activation boot loop
Judging but what we have previously mentioned, the three most important culprits are:
- A problem caused by a faulty third-party app;
- An app cache or a system cache problem;
- Or anything else that makes the device completely inoperable.
For every single one of these we have a solution that you can try:
- Boot into Safe Mode and disable the third-party apps, temporarily;
- Boot into Recovery Mode and clear the cache;
- Boot into Recovery Mode and initiate a Master Reset.
As you can see, it’s always about accessing a particular running mode, be it the Safe Mode or the Recovery Mode. That’s because as long as the device cannot remain stable and constantly powered, you cannot operate anything on it. Also, the order of these solutions is very important because:
- Most Galaxy S8 Plus boot loop problems are solved from the Safe Mode and only on rare occasions you would have to clear the cache or do a general reset;
- The third option won’t work unless you can access the Recovery Mode, and you have the chance to test if you can on option number two (some users couldn’t boot into Recovery Mode when dealing with a boot loop).
All these considered, let’s get into details.
Step 1 – Safe Mode and third-party apps
If you manage to boot your Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus into Safe Mode, you will be able to temporarily disable the apps and services that didn’t come from the factory. If the cause of the boot loop was, indeed, a third-party app, you will be able to confirm it since the app won’t be able to run in the Safe Mode and your phone should, consequently, work just fine.
We already suggested that this is the most easy fix and we will have to add that app crashes are extremely common. Some of those apps can even compromise the firmware of your smartphone, hence the freezing, the chaotic reboot or the boot loops.
To access the Safe Mode on Galaxy S8 Plus:
- Tap and hold the Power button;
- Release when you notice the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus message on the display;
- Tap and hold the Volume Down key;
- Release it only when the device finishes the reboot and you see Safe Mode written at the bottom left corner.
To troubleshoot your Galaxy S8 Plus in Safe Mode:
- Closely monitor whatever happens with your smartphone from now on;
- If it will work fine, it was a third-party app, now blocked because of the Safe Mode (keep in mind that despite being blocked from running, you can still open these apps by tapping on their icons);
- The troubleshooting will consist of testing every single third-party app to discover which one is blocking your device;
- If you have a limited number of apps, you can do it manually, starting with the most recent installation and going backward;
- If you have too many apps, you can decide to spend a couple of hours doing so or you can simply reset your phone – do a backup before, so you won’t lose your photos, videos, apps, contacts, data and other files:
- Open the Apps icon;
- Tap on Settings;
- Select Backup and Reset;
- Select Factory Data Reset;
- Tap on Reset Device;
- Type the PIN or unlock password if required;
- Tap on Continue;
- Select the Delete button to confirm the reset.
If your phone didn’t boot up in the Safe Mode, you should move on to our next step.
Step 2 – Recovery Mode, the cache partition, and the system cache
The subtitle is pretty explanatory. The Recovery Mode is also extremely useful for troubleshooting all kinds of other firmware issues, from the minor ones to the moderate ones. But the reason why you will want to try this is because whenever you access this mode, you get to power up all the components of your Galaxy S8 Plus. It’s a great opportunity for you to see if everything is powered up as it should!
Aside from that, the Recovery Mode will give you access to a specific range of services relating to the system and the firmware. Your actions here might easily help to troubleshoot the boot loop problem without you risking anything.
The goal is to make your Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus boot into the Recovery Mode and, from there, to delete all the system cache files. These files are created automatically by your Android – which means that after you delete them and make the problem go away they will show up once again, piling up data from scratch. This doesn’t only prove that there’s nothing you can break on this occasion, but also that it is actually recommended to perform this action every now and then, to prevent ending up in situations like the one you’re experiencing now.
If you cannot boot into Recovery Mode, you have two alternatives:
- You manually flash the stock firmware or install it from scratch;
- You go to a service and ask a technician to troubleshoot the problem for you.
Suffices to say that if you don’t know what does it mean to flash the stock firmware, if it’s the first time you hear about it or if you’ve never successfully performed something like this, you really shouldn’t do it. The process will void your warranty and it has the significant downside that it won’t even guarantee fixing your Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus boot loop.
Alternatively, if you know how to do it, there is a high chance to fix your phone this way because we are talking about a firmware problem. And it doesn’t really matter what corrupt files you have in there; the flash should remove them. But again, this is entirely your call.
Step 3 – Recovery Mode and the Master Reset
We have to stress this one more time – you cannot initiate a master reset if you cannot boot into the Recovery Mode. If you tried the second step without success, your quest ends here. If you were able to boot into the Recovery Mode but you couldn’t fix it with the wipe cache, you can now try the ultimate solution, which is this general reset.
Remember that this is the only remaining aspect that you can try on your own to troubleshoot a Galaxy S8 Plus boot loop so you will want to do your best. This reset is very similar to the factory reset that we talked about earlier. The difference, however, is that, this time, you will delete all the data but also reformat the data partition, which will make your smartphone look like a brand new device. In any case, it will have the same configuration as the one of a phone taken out of the box right then.
Deleting and formatting your device is the way to fix many other problems. Here is what you have to do:
- Turn off the smartphone;
- Press and hold the three physical buttons: Home, Volume Up and Power (only the latter will initiate the reboot, so don’t sweat too much on how long you should press the first two before you get to the third one);
- Release the Power button when you see the Galaxy S8 Plus message on the display;
- Release the other two buttons when you see the Android logo on the display – this one will pop up shortly after the Installing System Update message;
- Wait for another minute and then use the Volume Down button to navigate through the Recovery Mode;
- Select the Wipe Data / Factory Reset option;
- Activate it with the Power button;
- Select “Yes – Delete all user data”;
- Confirm with the Power button;
- Wait for the device to reset;
- Select Reboot System Now;
- Start the reboot from the Power button;
- Wait a bit longer, until the device restarts.
This final step should really fix the boot loop on Galaxy S8 Plus. If it doesn’t, move on to asking the help of a technician!