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What to do if your Samsung Camera app won't work

Submitted on 08/21/2019

The owners of different models of Samsung smartphones (S5, S6, S7, S8, S9, S10, Mega 2) may face an unpleasant issue: Camera app won't launch. Instead of starting the Camera, the Android notifies its user that a failure has occurred. 

In service centers you'll be told to bring your device for diagnosis in order to find out the cause of the failure. Which might be a software “glitch” or hardware failure. 

However, there are several methods of how you can find out the cause of the issue occurring with the Camera and even fix it yourself. We're going to talk about simple, but quite effective methods.

The contents:

  1. Restarting your phone
  2. Memory card isn't available
  3. Clearing Camera app cache
  4. Using Recovery Mode
  5. Safe Mode
  6. Performing a Hard Reset
  7. Nothing helped

The easiest: rebooting your phone

It might seem that this method won't solve any issues with the Camera. However, judging by our experience quite often a simple restart of a phone can bring its operation back to normal. The method is simple and absolutely safe. 

If you want to fix the problem with your Camera through a reboot:

  1. Open "Restart" (in order to access the corresponding menu press the "Power" button).
  2. Wait for your phone to turn off and turn on again showing the Samsung logo.
  3. Check if the Camera works.

Removing a memory card

Another quick and effective way to solve the problem with the Camera on Samsung phones is to remove a memory card. 

If Camera app is running without a memory card, it's likely to continue working after the SD card is reinserted. However, take your time and first of all check your storage device for reading errors. This can be done via chkdsk utility:

  1. Connect your memory card to a computer (via a card reader).
  2. In the context menu of the drive select "Tools > Properties > Check".
  3. Wait till the end of the checking process (at this stage chkdsk will fix the errors) and insert the memory card back into your phone.  
  4. Check the operation of Camera app. 

Here is an article on this topic: In the article you can find all the common errors which can prevent your phone from detecting a memory card. This is exactly what causes the Camera to crash. 

Clearing the cache of failed apps

Cache stores the data needed for quick operation of Android apps. Quite often the culprit of all sorts of “glitches” is cache. 

Data cleaning has to be performed in Camera and Gallery apps. So, follow each point of the guide:

  1. Go to the main settings of your phone and find "Application manager" app.
  2. Select "Camera" and tap on the corresponding menu item.
  3. Find "Clear data" button and below which there is "Clear cache" button, so just click on it.
  4. Close the settings and check whether the Camera is working.

In order to delete data from the Gallery, go back to the "Application manager", find the item called "Gallery" and clear its data and cache in two clicks.

Note. Actually, you should delete unneeded information and get rid of the cache on your phone on a regular basis and not only when an error with Camera app occurs. This ensures efficient operation of all programs as well as prevents Android OS from possible failures. In order to quickly remove cached files we recommend using a free mobile app called CCleaner.

Fixing Samsung Camera app in Recovery Mode

If standard data cleaning didn't help to fix the Camera, you can perform a "wide" cleaning via special Recovery Mode. In order to enter it on your Samsung phone, you have to: 

  1. Turn off your device. 
  2. Press the Power, Home and Volume Up buttons at the same time. 
  3. After a few seconds, Recovery Mode will be enabled on your phone.
  1. Via the Sound Control button, select "Wipe Cache Partition" from the menu.
  2. Clear the cache from all the apps installed on your smartphone.
  3. Restart your phone via the menu item called "Reboot System Now".

Safe Mode

One of the distinctive features of all Android gadgets is Safe Mode which allows to run initial diagnosis of a device. In this way you can find out why the Camera on your phone won't work. 

You can enter Safe Mode on Samsung in the following way:

  1. Turn your phone off.
  2. Turn on your smartphone and wait for the Samsung logo to appear on the screen.
  3. Hold down the Volume Down button until Android OS launches completely.
  4. If you see "Safe mode" sign at the bottom of the screen, you have performed everything right.

In Safe Mode on Samsung only a limited number of apps are running. All third-party programs are blocked. 

Note. You can read more on Safe Mode [here].  

If you manage to start the Camera on your smartphone in this mode, it means that there are some problematic third-party apps which most likely have been installed recently. In such case you have to: 

  1. Start your phone in the ordinary mode (after leaving Safe Mode)
  2. Delete new apps one by one until the Camera launches again. 

[Manual on how to uninstall unneeded apps]

If the Camera still doesn't want to work even in Safe Mode, proceed to the next chapter.

Factory data reset

Rolling your smartphone back to its factory settings is pretty much a last resort. And its main drawback is the consequences: deletion of absolutely all personal data from the internal memory of a phone. However, "zeroing" your Samsung can solve the problem with the Camera.

Before resetting, make sure to create a backup copy of important user files. For example, move all data to a cloud or another device. In order to create a full backup of Android OS, we recommend using Titanium Backup app.

There are two ways of how you can reset data on Android:

  1. Via Android system settings. In order to do this, open your phone "Settings" and then "Restore and reset". Find "Reset" among all the menu items.
  2. Via Recovery. This option is for advanced users who know how to handle this add-in. (We have described above in detail how you can do it). From the Recovery menu select "Wipe All Data" and wait a few seconds until the system deletes all data. Restart your phone and check the Camera.

Camera app is still unavailable

If none of the listed above methods was helpful, it's highly likely that your phone has a more serious issue than just a Camera failure. In order to eliminate it, it's better to contact any Samsung service center, where experts can conduct a full diagnosis of your device and, if necessary, replace some of its parts.

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