The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active focuses on being a phone just as active as its target audience. Samsung wants to make sure this is an Android phone you aren’t afraid to be rough with and has plenty of apps to make each day better than the last. Luckily for all of the S6 active users out there, there’s more than a few helpful tricks with the device.
The S6 Active sounds like a perfect phone for any outdoorsman, or at least it does at first. Sadly, the phone isn’t perfect and does have a few problems holding it back that absolutely need troubleshooting. That’s where this guide comes in, to help you identify, troubleshoot, and then fix every big issue with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active.
Since many troubleshooting problems have similar steps, I’m going to describe each problem first as either a software problem or a hardware problem. At the end of the guide are two separate lists for troubleshooting steps, so please follow those to fix the issue. If there are any specific steps for a problem, I’ll list them under the issue itself.
1. My S6 Active is Too Slow When Getting and Sending Text Messages
If there’s one thing that never fails to frustrate me with technology, it’s when things that are normally supposed to be fast slow down. This is, unfortunately, a big problem with the S6 Active. How are you supposed to be an active user when it takes five minutes to send a simple text message?
If you’re suffering from this problem already, or are scared you will in the future; you aren’t alone. Thankfully, since so many people have had this problem before, it’s much easier to troubleshoot than things further down on the list. Before we start to fix the problem, we need to understand it first. That way we can stop it from happening again.
Why is This Happening?
This problem is a broad one with some potential causes, which is where troubleshooting comes in too narrow down the issues and fix it. Just to name a few possible culprits, there’s: spotty Wi-Fi, inconsistent data connections, buggy third party messengers, malware, and malfunctioning hardware.
It’s going to take some time to find the culprit because of the numerous possible causes. In cases like this, there are only a few troubleshooting steps to rely on. More often than not, this is a software problem, so please look at the How To Fix Most Software Problems section first.
2. My S6 Active Won’t Connect to the Internet
This is a pretty broad problem but is has a few different meanings. Does your S6 Active only fail to load web pages? Does your phone fail to load the Google Play or Samsung Store? Does your phone refuse to do anything related to the internet at all? All of these are separate issues that all have similar solutions.
Why is This Happening?
Most of the time this is a problem with the connection (your own mobile connection, or Wi-Fi) itself. If this is the case, then the troubleshooting steps for software problems will fix this in just a few minutes.
Other times, if it’s something in an app that won’t load, check to see if other apps behave the same way. If you see a difference, it’s the app or program causing a problem, not your connection.
3. My S6 Active Hotspot is Acting Weird
Like most AT&T supported phones, you have your own mobile hotspot that uses data from your data plan.
However, some users are experiencing dropped connections, and failures to connect altogether.
Why is This Happening?
After an update, or even before it, AT&T enabled hotspots to keep themselves on a timer before eventually terminating, disconnecting all devices connected to it. This timer has a toggle switch in your hotspot settings, but in some cases it doesn’t work.
For situations like this, install the AT&T AllAccess app to monitor, and have better control over your AT&T hotspot.
AT&T AllAccess Download (Free)
4. My S6 Active is Frozen on a Black Screen
It isn’t unexpected to get a random freeze here and there, but what about when your screen goes blank during it? It’s frightening to see, but don’t worry, it’s easily fixed.
Why is This Happening?
The S6 Active will lock up with a black screen for a multitude of reasons, and unfortunately, you can’t do anything to minimize the chance of it happening. It won’t happen often, but when it does, it’s annoying.
This problem has a specific fix in Step 2 of software troubleshooting, so please refer there for the solution.
5. My S6 Active is Stuck in VR Mode
Does this screen look familiar to you?
This is a well-known bug that usually becomes apparent early in an S6 Active’s life. The phone will think you’re getting it ready for VR, and then it’ll stay on this screen with nearly no way to get off of it.
Why is This Happening?
This is, unfortunately, a fault on Samsung’s part and doesn’t have anything to do with user input or other apps or programs installed on the device. If this happens to your S6 Active, please refer to Step 2 of how to fix software problems, if that doesn’t fix the issue, please refer to hardware problem steps.
6. My S6 Active Won’t Pair With Other Devices
The S6 Active has a strange history with Bluetooth pairing. Sometimes it works flawlessly, and other times it’ll disconnect at random, or not connect at all. This doesn’t affect all S6 Active users, but it’s a problem that doesn’t have many solutions.
Why is This Happening?
Most of the time this is down to the S6 Active hardware itself, which unfortunately means there isn’t much you can do about it. Your only real option is to get a replacement, but before you ship off your phone to get a new one, try the software problem steps first. If this isn’t because of faulty hardware, you’ll be glad you took the time to troubleshoot it first.
How To Fix Most Software Problems
Let’s look at this in steps. The first step is going to be a pretty basic check, leading all the way up to the last possible resort to fixing any problem. Not all of these steps are specific, and most of them will work with troubleshooting any software problem. Hardware problems are an entirely different beast, but we’ll get into them later.
If none of these steps work, you have a hardware problem on your hands.
1. A Quick Refresh
When you have a problem with nearly any machine what’s your first instinct? Besides giving it a swift kick to the side, try turning it off and then on again. If you’ve ever had to go through any technical support line, you’re probably tired of hearing this, but it’s true that a Soft Reset clears up most software problems.
- Completely power down your device, don’t just put it to sleep.
- Wait for at least fifteen seconds.
- Power the device back on.
- Try and reproduce the problem.
A Soft Reset is quick, painless, and hopefully, fixes your problem. If it didn’t, let’s keep trying.
2. Pulling the Plug
One step above a Soft Reset is a Battery Pull, but a traditional Battery Pull on the S6 Active is technically impossible without voiding your warranty. In this case, we’re going to simulate a Battery Pull instead.
- Make sure your S6 Active is powered on.
- Press and hold the Power + Volume Down
- Keep the buttons held for at least five to eight seconds.
Here’s how the process works on the Samsung Galaxy S6:
Your phone will automatically reboot. While this isn’t usually what happens during a Battery Pull, it’s the next best thing to do with hardware keys instead of resorting to apps.
3. Enter Safe Mode
Safe Mode is basically like putting your phone on lockdown until further notice. This is a great way to confirm if you have a software problem or not. It doesn’t tell you what piece of software is causing the problem, but it’s great to start.
Learn all about booting into Safe Mode: How To Boot Your Android into Safe Mode [2 Methods]
Once you’re in Safe Mode, getting back out is next to impossible without the right knowledge. So after you’ve confirmed you either have a software problem, or you don’t read up on how to leave Safe Mode behind until you need it again.
Learn how to get out of Safe Mode: How To Turn Off Safe Mode On Android Phones to Live on the Wild Side
4. Do a Complete Virus Scan
After you’ve confirmed you have a software problem with Safe Mode, and you haven’t found the source yet, it’s time to scan your device. As well protected as the S6 Active is on the outside, the inside is just as vulnerable as any other Android device.
You have plenty of choices for virus protection and malware removal, but if you’re wondering which one is the right one for you, we’ve already looked at the best options.
Find out which Antivirus is right for you: Make Your Choice for the Best Antivirus App for Android to Keep Your Personal Data Safe
A full virus scan will uncover any malicious programs hiding in the dark depths of your S6 Active, and force them to pack up and move out.
5. Change Data Connections / Wi-Fi Networks
If the problem isn’t being caused by a malicious virus or pesky malware, maybe your connection is the one causing you headaches. You have a few options to troubleshoot your connection:
- Switch into and then out of Airplane mode to refresh data connections.
- Disconnect from Wi-Fi, and then reconnect.
- Delete saved Wi-Fi connections from your S6 Active and then add them again.
- Disable all data connections except for Wi-Fi.
- Renamed your Wi-Fi connection, and change the password.
- Refresh your router/modem.
- Disconnect all other devices from your Wi-Fi except for your S6 Active.
Any of the seven options above are an easy way to fix most connection problems and determine the root of the problem.
6. Uninstall Recent Apps
This step is pretty easy to perform, and won’t take much time. If whatever problem you’re facing is new, try uninstalling any apps you installed recently. For example, if your messages stopped sending properly after downloading a new email app, uninstall it and try a different one.
7. Perform a Factory Reset
This is the absolute last resort for any software problem. A Factory Reset wipes every last byte of personal and installed data that wasn’t on the S6 Active originally. That’s one reason why it’s called a Factory Reset; it brings your phone right back to how it was before it left the factory.
I don’t recommend you do this if you have any other option. Once you do a Factory Reset, there’s no going back, but it will fix any and all software problems.
To perform a Factory Reset: How to Factory Reset your Android and start over
How To Fix Most Hardware Problems
As I mentioned before, hardware issues are a completely different beast entirely. If you don’t have enough knowledge to tear down your phone and put it back in working order again, these are nearly impossible to solve on your own. There are a few things you can do, but unfortunately, your options are very limited.
Since your options are limited, these steps are going to be much shorter than the software problem steps above.
1. Check Your Warranty
If you have a warranty, it’s time to consult it. Depending on the terms, and how long it’s been since you bought your phone, there’s probably time to return it and get a replacement, or at least a fix.
Depending on the warranty, this isn’t always free, but it’s better than letting the problem continue to plague your S6 Active.
2. Let Your Phone Rest
Sometimes all it takes to fix a problem is let your phone power down, and get some rest for a day. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an option, but if you do have the chance to shut your phone down for a few hours, try that before going any further.
3. Contact AT&T Support
Since AT&T is the only carrier with the S6 Active, they’re the only company you can count on for tech support.
If you have any problems, you can’t solve yourself, search their support center, or contact them about specific issues. In most cases, this will involve you returning the phone for a replacement, but it helps to check to confirm.
4. When in Doubt, Hard Reset
A Hard Reset or a Factory Reset doesn’t normally work with hardware problems, but if you’re out of options, this is all that’s left before throwing in the towel.
Despite some problems here and there, the S6 Active is still a great phone. The phone’s biggest issue that can’t fix is its limited availability. It’s difficult to track down in the first place and is only supported by one carrier, AT&T. If you do manage to get your hands on an S6 Active, keep it close and don’t let go anytime soon.
Do you have any S6 Active problems that you didn’t see above? Leave a comment below, and we’ll troubleshoot the issue with you.