Android

Pro tip: Revive your Samsung Galaxy Tab when the battery has completely drained

Jack Wallen shows you how to get your Samsung Galaxy Tab to turn back on after the battery has drained completely.

Samsung battery

Recently, my wife handed me her Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 that wouldn't start. No matter how long she charged the device, it simply wouldn't respond. Since I was aware of this issue, I decided to help her get back up and running without having to return the tablet.

The solution wasn't exactly easy, but doable -- and it does come with a warning, because you have to take the back off the device.

That said, before I managed to resolve the issue, I tried the following fixes:

  • Holding the power button down for sixty seconds: Nothing
  • Holding the combination of power button, volume up button, and home button: Nothing
  • Holding the power button down while touching display: Nothing
  • Charging with various chargers: Nothing

One of the things I'd previously discovered was that, sometimes, devices need a trickle charge to get back on their feet -- so a charger with less than 2.0 amps or less is ideal (in other words, the Samsung Travel Charger).

In the end, what's going on with a seemingly dead tablet is that the motherboard still has a charge and (for some odd reason) prevents the battery from charging. To fix this, you have to disconnect the battery from the motherboard. That's right, you have to remove the back and pop off the battery connector. The only difficult part of this solution is removing the back of the device. I highly recommend using pry tools. I happen to have super-strength thumbnails, so I was able to pop the back off without the tools (I don't recommend this to anyone with mere mortal nails). To pry the back off, you insert the tool into the seam between the glass and the side, and carefully pop it out. There are a number of connectors, so this will take some time.

Once you get the back off, locate the white plastic plug that connects the battery to the motherboard (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

The motherboard of a Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Take another pry tool and carefully slide it under the wires of the connector and pry the connector off (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B

The battery unplugged.

Wait about 30 seconds and plug the battery back in. The tablet should now charge and turn on. Replace the back, and turn the device on.

Why this happens is a mystery, and Samsung really should address it. Until then, just make sure you don't allow your Samsung tablet battery to drain to zero.

Have you experienced such an issue? If so, what was your endgame with the device? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

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About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

13 comments
unidentifiedbones
unidentifiedbones

Thanks very much for this:


Saved my Tab 3 from an expensive holiday with Samsung repair!

gfinger
gfinger

I had the same problem. I connected the charger cable to the USB port of my laptop. Then the tablet started to charge. After 5 minutes I used the charger to speed up charging. With the battery charge at 15% the tablet is now working well. 

Then I googled and found this site. It seems a well kown problem and SAMSUNG shoud solve it

mdavis16
mdavis16

used a pry tool to pop the back off and cracked my screen!! thinking about buying an iPad mini now

hewttam
hewttam

I have the original Samsung Galaxy Tab with the old wide Samsung charging port.  The battery was run down by my son and wouldn't charge up.  When I plugged the charger in, I'd get a circle of lines in an empty battery, then a battery with one blue segment which would quickly go out.  

I have managed to get the back off and disconnect the battery cable from the internal connector (the connecting plastic plug to the battery on mine is black, not white).  I left it off for 5 minutes, reconnected the battery and plugged the charger back in.  So far it has made no difference, but I will keep trying.

snowpellet
snowpellet

Thank you very much!! Followed your instructions my Tab 3 charged right up! It is less than 1 year old and this was the first time i let the battery drain. They get ya coming and going.I bet Samsung knows all about this.

anojito
anojito

Thanks, Jack, You save my life. :)

samuelr
samuelr

Same thing happened to my tab 3 7.0. I tried all the tricks: pushing buttons various ways, holding button and touching screen, charging with various chargers etc.. Nothing... But this trick worked. Thanks for the tip!

vthokiejjw
vthokiejjw

Same thing happened to my son's tab 3 7.0. I had to get the back off (used a credit card to slip in and carefully pry off the back).    but...   I have also noticed that when this happens, the date/time gets reset back to Dec 31, 2000 and something...  so some apps don't work until you set it back to the current date/time.

alzie
alzie

This also works for 2012 Nexus 7s that

refuse to power up.

Most processors can get into a snit when

the power droops too low.


shah301
shah301

My asus TF300T had the same problem & I tried what is suggested in this article, but it did not work. I am now using it with adapter connected, pending battery replacement

pethers
pethers

My HTC Butterfly J has had this problem - I had to just leave it on the charger for a while and it finally started charging. Took quite a while to come alive again.

MZeke007
MZeke007

When mine has experienced the above condition, I just plug it in using the supplied cable into a USB port on my computer.  This will allow it to charge.  After a few hours connected to the computer it will be charged enough to move it over to a standard household charger and finish charging.

stevemedia
stevemedia

Jack, any chance you could do a video of how to "pop the back off"?

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