Samsung Galaxy S21 problems and how to fix them

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs S21 Plus vs S21 Ultra 1

David Imel / Android Authority

Table of contents

Problem #1: Samsung Notes not working

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs S21 Plus vs S21 Ultra in hand

David Imel / Android Authority

After the One UI 4, some users are facing problems using the Samsung Notes app. The ticker keeps moving to random parts of the note while typing or automatically deleting parts of it.

Potential solutions:

  • You can try clearing the app data and cache. Go to Settings > Apps and select Samsung Notes. Then go to “Storage” and tap on “Clear Cache.”
  • Repeat the steps above and clear the storage for the Samsung keyboard as well.
  • Some users have found that resetting the keyboard seems to work. Go to Settings > Device Management > Samsung Keyboard settings and tap on “Reset to default.” In the same keyboard settings menu, you can also try going to Suggest text corrections > Writing assistant and turn off all listed languages.
  • Samsung has acknowledged the issue with the Notes app, and a permanent fix will be available soon.

Problem #2: Notification issues

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra screen in hand 3

David Imel / Android Authority

One of the more common Galaxy S21 problems since the update to Android 12 has to do with notifications. App notifications are delayed or not appearing at all.

Potential solutions:

  • You can try clearing the app data and cache. Go to Settings > Apps and select the problematic app. Then go to “Storage” and tap on “Clear Cache.”
  • Delayed notifications could be caused because of the phone’s battery optimization features. Go to Settings > Apps and tap on the options button (three vertical dots) at the top right corner and select “Special Access.” Select “Optimize Battery Usage” and toggle off the apps you don’t want to optimize. If the entire app list isn’t available, you might need to first tap on the “Apps not optimized” section at the top and select “All.”
  • An update was rolled out to fix the issue where users didn’t hear notification sounds when receiving text messages. If you’re still facing this problem, open the default messaging app, tap on the menu icon (three vertical dots), go to Settings > Notifications. Tap on “Notification Categories,” then tap on “General notifications” (on the words and not the toggle). Set a new default notification sound.

Problem #3: Notification font is too small

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra display held in hand over water

David Imel / Android Authority

After the One UI 4 update, users have noticed that the notification font is too small. Adjusting the system font size doesn’t fix the problem.

Potential solutions:

  • If you have the Galaxy S21 Ultra, go to Settings > Display > Screen resolution. It will likely be set to Full HD+. Set it to Quad HD+ and close the settings menu. Then go back to the same page and set the resolution back to before. That should fix the notification font sizes.
  • With the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus, go to Settings > Display > Font Size and Style, max out the size, and return it to the size you want. This should reset the notification font size as well.

Problem #4: Android Auto problems

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra display standing up 1

David Imel / Android Authority

Problems with getting Android Auto are common with most smartphones. Unsurprisingly, that is also the case with the Samsung Galaxy S21 series.

Potential solutions:

  • You might be running into Android Auto connection issues if you used the Smart Switch feature to set up your new phone. If that’s the case, find the app in the Google Play Store, uninstall it, and download it again.
  • You may notice that you don’t see the Android Auto app in your app drawer anymore. Go to Settings and use the search button to find Android Auto. Everything you need should be there. If there’s a problem with app settings, you’ll find them tucked away in the phone settings.
  • Check the cable you’re using and get a new one if required. If you see frequent disconnections, this might be a hardware problem. On the other hand, if you’re using Android Auto Wireless, you might want to switch to a wired connection if possible for more stability.
  • It should automatically be set to Android Auto when you plug the phone in. However, you might have to change this setting manually. When the phone is plugged in, tap on the Android System notification in the notification panel. Make sure that it is set to “transferring files/Android Auto.”

Problem #5: Random reboots and apps crashing

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra display in hand 1

David Imel / Android Authority

Quite a few users face a problem with their apps crashing on the Galaxy S21, and some face random reboots.

Potential solutions:

  • An app might be causing this problem. Boot the phone into Safe Mode (you can find the instructions on how to do so below) and check if the issue persists. If it doesn’t, the cause is a rogue app. Uninstall the most recently updated or installed apps and see if the phone works as expected.
  • You can also try wiping the cache partition. The instructions are in a guide below.
  • Software updates have fixed this problem for many. If you’re still coming across it, though, getting a replacement is probably the best option.
  • Go to Settings > Device care > … > Advanced and tap on Disable Auto Restart.

Problem #6: Camera issues

backs of the phones

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Some people notice a variety of Samsung Galaxy S21 camera problems after the Android 12 update. Users see the “Camera failed” error, or the viewfinder appears out of focus.

Potential solutions:

  • You can try clearing app data and cache. Go to Settings > Apps and open the app list. Select the Camera app, then go to “Storage” and tap on “Clear Cache.”
  • Some users say that performing a Factory Reset after installing the latest version of One UI helps clear out some common bugs. It’s not the best solution since you’ll lose all your data and need to set up the phone again, but it’s worth considering if you’re running into many issues after the update.
  • This software issue will likely be fixed in an upcoming update.

Problem #7: Connectivity issues

 USB C

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

You may occasionally come across connectivity issues with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Galaxy S21 owners are facing Wi-Fi problems in particular Until then, you can try these general troubleshooting tips.

Potential solutions:

Wi-Fi issues

  • Turn the device and the router off for at least ten seconds, turn them back on, and retry the connection.
  • Go to Settings > Battery > Power saver and ensure that this option is turned off.
  • Redo the Wi-Fi connection. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi and network, long-press the connection name, and tap on “Forget.” Now re-enter the details and try again.
  • Make sure the Wi-Fi router firmware is up to date.
  • Make sure the applications and software on the device are up to date.
  • Go into your Wi-Fi network settings (the gear icon next to the name and tap on Advanced) and make a note of your device’s MAC address, then make sure that it is allowed access in the router’s MAC filter.

Bluetooth issues

  • With issues when connecting to the car, check the manufacturer’s manual for the device and the car and reset your connections.
  • Ensure that you are not missing a vital part of the connection process. Some Bluetooth devices have unique instructions.
  • Go to Settings > Bluetooth and Device connection and ensure nothing needs changing.
  • Go into Settings > Bluetooth and Device connection, delete all prior pairings, and set them up again from scratch. Don’t forget to delete any devices you no longer connect to on this list.

Guides: Factory reset, boot into Safe Mode, wipe cache partition

back of the phones

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Factory reset

  • Turn the phone off.
  • Press and hold the volume up and power buttons.
  • Release both buttons when the green Android logo appears.
  • Press the volume down button to toggle the selection to Wipe data/factory reset.
  • Then, press the power button to select Wipe data/factory reset.
  • Press the volume down button to toggle the selection to Yes – delete all user data settings.
  • Press the power button to select Yes – delete all user data.
  • Once the reset is finished, press the power button to select Reboot system now.

Boot into Safe Mode

  • Turn the phone off.
  • Press and hold the power button past the Note 20 name appearing on the screen.
  • Once Samsung appears, release the power button and immediately press and hold the volume down button.
  • Continue to hold down the volume down button until the phone finishes restarting.
  • Let go of the volume down button when you see Safe mode on the bottom left corner of the screen.

Wipe cache partition

  • Turn the phone off.
  • Press and hold the volume up and power buttons.
  • When the Android logo appears, release the volume up and power buttons.
  • You will see an Installing system update message for anywhere between 30 and 60 seconds.
  • Press the volume down button in the system recovery menu options to toggle the selection to wipe cache partition.
  • Press the power button to select wipe cache partition.
  • Once again, press the volume down button to toggle the selection to yes.
  • Use the power button to select yes.
  • Press the power button to restart the device once the Reboot system now appears.

What Galaxy S21 problems have you encountered? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. We’ll do our best to help.

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