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How to fix ''camera failed'' problem on Galaxy S4

Authored by: Scott Adam Gordon — 7 months ago

If you receive the message: “Warning: Camera Failed” on your Galaxy S4, it may seem like a big issue, but the solution is actually very simple. It is usually a software problem rather than a hardware issue, and can often be fixed with the following troubleshooting steps. Here's how to fix the Galaxy S4 'camera failed' problem. 

androidpit samsung galaxy s4 hero h
This is how to fix the camera failed problem on the Galaxy S4 / © ANDROIDPIT

Clear camera cache and data

From the home screen, go to Menu > Settings > Application manager, then swipe twice to the left to choose the All tab. Scroll to the camera and tap it, then tap the force close button, the clear cache button and the clear data button. Note that your preferences and settings may be deleted when you do this. After you've done all this, reboot your phone and see whether the camera is now working

Your camera failures may have been caused by something in the cached data that has been corrupted. Tapping the force close button will stop the app from running, and clearing the cache and the data will delete the files that are used by the camera when it launches its app. It will also delete any preferences and settings that you have set, but only for the camera app, the rest of your phone will be unaffected.

Factory reset

If the above procedure doesn’t work, then you should try factory resetting your S4. Before you do anything else, you should make a backup of everything important in your phone before you proceed with this.

First, tap the menu button from the home screen. Then go to Settings > Accounts. Tap Reset, then tap Factory data reset and select Delete all.

This should delete all of the settings and data that can be reached by Android. There are certain folders and partitions that can’t be deleted by doing this. You can delete those using the procedure outlined below.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy S4 review 2015 5
Still going strong: the Galaxy S4. / © ANDROIDPIT

Wipe the Cache Partition

If the problem hasn't been solved by the previous two steps, try wiping the cache partition. To do this, turn your Galaxy S4 off, then press and hold the volume up, home and power buttons until your phone vibrates. Then let go of the power button but keep holding the volume up and home buttons until the Android System Recovery screen pops up. Press the volume down button to choose Wipe cache partition. Press the power key to select it.

This empties the contents of the cache partition. The files that could not be deleted by doing a factory reset will now be gone. This should solve your Galaxy S4 camera problems.

What do you think of these solutions? Did they work for you? Let us know in the comments.

Originally from the UK, Scott graduated in Popular Music Studies at Newcastle University and attributes most of his success there to his beloved Samsung Galaxy S2. A dedicated Android fan, Scott has never owned an Apple device, of any kind, and doesn't see this changing anytime soon.


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  • the first steop worked for me. I was getting an unknown error everytime I opened my camera app, and now that error is gone.

  • Angel 1 month ago Link to comment

    Hola, yo probé con los 3 pasos y no funciona la cámara delantera, me aparece un texto que dice" error de inicio de preview de cámara" que puedo hacer?

  • First step did not work, but restoring factory settings worked a treat. Thanks so much for the help

  • My camera only works for like 45 seconds everytime i reboot my phone even before i knew about these steps. This problem had been happening only recently. None of the steps helped :(

  • None of this worked.

  • It worked petfectly only trying the first step!!!

  • Cindy 6 months ago Link to comment

    It worked with only trying the first step , problem is that only my back camera works , and every time I press the front camera button it shows a black screen and exits out , what else can I try ?

  • The specific message I received when trying to record video (only) on my Galaxy S4 was:
    Recording failed
    I stopped the (built-in) app, cleared data and cache, then restarted the device but there was no change. As I protect the device with a permissions manager (AppOps by Pixel Monster) I suspected it might be restricting a function the camera app needed. A quick check showed that the 'Record Audio' function was disabled, which, when enabled, now let me record video.

  • Still having the same problem after wiping the cache partition. Is there anything else that I could do to try fix this? Its really irritating me!

  • thanks .. it really works.. ^_^

  • tried alll 3 procedures but the error doesnt go.

    please help

  • Sana Nizar 10 months ago Link to comment

    it worked............thanks alot......

  • First steps worked for me! Thanks a ton!

  • D-Lo Nine 11 months ago Link to comment

    I followed the instructions and at first I just deleted cache because I was afraid to delete my pictures. My camera still wasn't working. i went into Gallery and I saw the pictures at first and then they turned to just gray boxes. I decided to try to save my pictures by bluetoothing them to my computer. It worked. I then deleted all of the pictures including the last picture I received via text. After that my camera was functioning normally and my Gallery returned with no empty gray boxes!!

  • I tried all of the above and it's still not working. HELP

  • I did all these as suggested, camera still not working correctly

  • Thanks a lot mate!! Option "1" was enough in my case, I cleared the cache and application data of the camera and the problem is now fixed!! Cheers!!

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