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LG G4 bootloop problem: How to diagnose and fix it

Andrew Williams

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LG G4
LG G4

LG G4 bootloop: What is it?

The LG G4 always was, and still is, a great phone. However, it has a serious issue.

If your LG G4 falls foul of the now-infamous “bootloop” syndrome, you're in trouble. We're going to take a look at what it is, the causes, and how you can resolve the issue.

What is the LG G4 bootloop “bug”?

If your LG G4 turns itself off unexpectedly, then gets caught in bootup, refusing to actually make it to the Android homescreen, it sounds like you may have the LG G4 bootloop issue.

It effectively bricks your phone, even though it isn't a software issue – which is what usually turns your handset into a useless slab of plastic. The cause of the problem has been confirmed as a fault in the soldering of one of the connectors on the device's main board.

This is bad news, since it means you can't fix the phone simply by re-flashing the software.

Owner reports posted on the internet seem to suggest the problem crops up after the phone has become quite hot. Games that use mobile data and your location are likely to result in your LG G4 becoming quite toasty, as so many heat-generating parts of the phone are working.

That's right: Pokémon Go might spark the dreaded bootloop.

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LG G4 3

What is LG's take on the bootloop bug?

In January 2016, LG officially acknowledged the bootloop issue. This appeared to be confirmation that this wasn't simply a sporadic problem caused by users mistreating their LG G4s.

We contacted LG in early August to try to get an update on the issue so far. However, we’re yet to receive a revised statement. We’ll update this article if we’re able to discover any new information.

LG’s current advice is to take the phone back to the network if it was purchased as part of a contract deal, or to the relevant retailer if it was bought outright. As an officially recognised issue, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting your LG G4 repaired if it's under warranty.

Here's the full statement from January 2016, as published by Android Authority:

LG Electronics has been made aware of a booting issue with the LG G4 smartphone that has now been identified as resulting from a loose contact between components. Customers who are experiencing booting issues with their LG G4s should contact their local carrier from where the G4 was purchased or a nearby LG Service Center (www.lg.com/common) for repair under full warranty.

Customers who purchased their G4 devices from non-carrier retailers should contact an LG Service Center with the understanding that warranty conditions will differ. LG Electronics is committed to providing the highest standards of product quality and customer service and apologises for the inconvenience caused to some of our customers who initially received incorrect diagnoses.

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Can I fix the issue myself?

At this point, there's a good chance your LG G4 may no longer be under warranty. So what do you do?

Some people have had a degree of success in getting their phones to work by either baking or freezing them. This isn't a permanent fix, and personally, we wouldn't recommend trying an LG G4 bake-off. Phones do not belong in ovens.

However, some reports suggest that this course of action has got LG G4 phones working again for at least a few days. It's enough time for you to pull your data off the phone – but it isn't exactly a solution.

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LG G4c 19

A much more interesting tactic has come to light by way of a document intended for LGE service engineers, which has been leaked online. It details a process that can sort-of fix the problem.

It isn't a perfect or simple repair job, though.

The LG fix reaches deep into the LG G4, using a recovery tool to install a custom .tot firmware file that disables the phone's “big” cores. Your G4 will end up significantly slower, with CPU power closer to the third-generation Moto G.

The LG G4 uses a Snapdragon 808 processor featuring two Cortex-A57 and four Cortex-A53 performance cores. Those “big” cores comprise the pair of A57s. They may only represent a third of the number of cores, but these performance cores are far more powerful than the “LITTLE” A53s that will be left running the show.

If you're wondering what all this “little” and “big” nonsense is about, it concerns CPU arrangement. The Snapdragon 808 is a big.LITTLE CPU, with teams of cores that let it switch up gears when necessary.

The idea behind disabling the big cores is that it stops the phone from reporting an overheat status quite so readily. It’s intended as a short-term fix to allow data recovery, after which the phone’s main board will be replaced. Let us know if you’ve applied this fix and managed to get your phone working again longer-term.

When did this problem start appearing?

The LG G4 launched in April 2015. Roughly five months later in September 2015, reports of the bootloop issue started popping up in forums. Videos showing the problem were posted on YouTube.

At first it appeared that perhaps only certain versions of the LG G4 were affected: there are slightly different iterations of any phone in different territories and different production batches. However, by 2016 it became apparent that this issue can afflict just about any G4 sub-model.

In January 2016, a change.org petition was formed. It was a plea to LG to replace faulty phones regardless of the region of the phone. Some users have reportedly been turned away from LG service centres because they own imported devices.

At the time of writing, the petition has 5,556 signatures. While not on the scale of some of the petitions you may have signed, or seen, it's a clear sign that this is likely a very significant, fairly widespread problem.

If you experience the issue and you device is still within warranty, we recommend getting in contact with either your network or a service centre. To do the latter, you need to request a repair on the LG website.

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Have you had issues with the bootloop problem? Let us know in the comments.

InternetSeekho

August 10, 2016, 3:23 pm

Just Bought it Few days ago G4 H818p with SN 605 and Hardware version 1.1.
Only devices which has serial number starting from 505 to 509 has bootloop problem.
I believe im safe.

Dillon Milord

August 10, 2016, 4:32 pm

Just got hit with the issue today

Soe Moe Naing

August 11, 2016, 6:13 am

So bad problem. I used 5 months and got that problem. So so bad. I buy from other country and there is no warranty. LG is so bad.

Tammy Pierce

August 11, 2016, 11:51 pm

My original phone was replaced under warranty but now the new one has done the same thing. Don't know what the serial number of the first one was but this one starts with 512 so it is out of the range that others have reported. Very frustrating that I wasn't given the option to get a different model and yet they knew the problem hadn't been resolved.

Tammy Pierce

August 11, 2016, 11:55 pm

Would like to know if the soldering joint can be repaired by any chance.

Alexander Cajamarca Aguilar

August 12, 2016, 2:25 am

My phone went on the Bootloop past sunday, It has just 8 months, this one starts with 510 and HW (1,0) and now I´m waiting what will gonna do LG´s technical service. The problem is worldwide. I´m from Colombia. And in my country the phone was sold a lot this year. I´m sure that LG will be very worried about that because there comes a lot of complains.

Ram

August 12, 2016, 9:40 am

i have faced the same problem, given the phone for service in LG authorized service center. let me see how they will solve the issue.

Jason Alonzo

August 15, 2016, 3:28 pm

My LG G4 just got hit by the bootloop issue yesterday. It is so frustrating that LG would not own this "defective" units which are bought from other countries. Please do contact LG regarding this issue and let us know if there are progress regarding this case.Thanks.

Jongmu Lee

August 15, 2016, 6:46 pm

I have 510 and it just happened to me today.

Shakeel

August 16, 2016, 9:58 pm

Sign this petition ASAP.

New Launch a replacement program for defective LG G4s
https://www.change.org/p/lg-mo...

Daniel Paz

August 18, 2016, 3:03 pm

Just happened to me about 2 weeks ago. It started with cooling issues, but I didn't pay it no mind. I was playing Pokemon back then. Then the day came when it turned off, I tried rooting it and it worked once then it went into infinite bootloop. Scared to keep playing Pokemon because I just bought ANOTHER G4.

Big Steve

August 31, 2016, 1:05 am

Got an LG-G4 in Oct 2015, early summer 2016 the touchscreen started to get less responsive when trying to wake the phone up, Aug 2016 bootloop started. Brought phone back to T-Mobile and because it was less than a year old it was still under warranty, cost me $20 bucks to replace it. Had everything backed up on SD Card with LG Backup program so restoring everything was a snap. Love the phone, hope this one holds up better. If not I'll probably be looking at getting a Moto G4-Plus unlocked phone.

Amy N

September 14, 2016, 3:35 pm

Got my 509 series G4 Sept 2015 via Sprint lease (VZW unlimited data switchover). Boot loop circle of death started a few weeks ago "android is starting: optimizing 1 of 85 apps...." over and over and over again. I had minor overheating shutdown issues over summer while charging in vehicle. Phone and contract less than year old.

Went to Sprint, they said they could not help me and told me to go to LG directly because I did not purchase insurance....even though....they technically still own the phone, right?....because it is a lease.....which they wouldn't let me pay off because it was part of my contract....bogus.

I have Google backup, but for some reason not everything was backed up (i.e., new contacts defaulted to phone rather than Google). I was able to get my G4 going for a few minutes but was only able to copy over a few things before it shut itself down for good.

Anyway, denied by Sprint, I am in the "repair in progress" part of the repair cycle direct with LG and without my phone for almost 2 weeks now (still paying lease). I decided to purchase a CL phone for $35 to get me through and Sprint actually had to downgrade my service to 3G to make it compatible. LG tracking says I will receive my "repaired" phone in 6 days. Will update about whether this is a refurb or my original phone or a new model. GL!

ElectricSheep

September 16, 2016, 9:48 am

So, did LG change the design of the motherboard to prevent future issues on newer stock? If so, what manufacturer date should we be looking for when buying? Of did they just carry on, business as usual?

david

September 16, 2016, 10:55 am

So yours went a whole year before the issue popped up? What did you think of the phone prior to that? I'm looking at getting one that was manufactured later, so maybe they made adjustments to it. The price is $279 for an unlocked US version. A good price for what the phone offers, hopefully minus it turning into a brick later.

Get back to us on your repair job.

david

September 16, 2016, 10:58 am

Another guy got one on his 512.

Amy N

September 19, 2016, 3:24 pm

status - 6 days later, still in "repair in progress" mode. david - re: G4 phone - until this boot loop issue, I thought the phone was pretty decent, no other issues, would shut down when charging in car on hot summer day, but I think they all do now. I came from Galaxy s3 prior to which I loved.

Jerry W

September 19, 2016, 9:36 pm

Bootloop started about August 24, 2016 about 9 months into my Sprint LG G4. LG received it August 30th for warranty work. Except for notice that they received it and a bogus 6 day turn time noted on their support website, I received no information after 6 business days. I called and they said actually 7-9 business days. I called again after 13 business days and finally they told me that new motherboards were back ordered. I finally received confirmation today (after 15 business days and over 3 weeks of no phone) that my unit is repaired and shipping out. I'd consider this very poor customer service especially since they didn't keep me in the loop about the long wait time. Since LG has acknowledged this problem since January 2016 you'd have thought that they had some kind of a process in place. Very disappointing.

Same thing happened to a friend of mine and as a result of my experience, instead of sending it in, he went to a local Sprint store and was able to get an immediate replacement (to a G5). I'd suggest you try the same thing first. I wish I did.

david

September 20, 2016, 1:53 am

Thanks for the follow-up, Amy!

Blackstar

September 21, 2016, 9:51 am

Yep mine's a 512, the Sprint variant (LS991) and it just happened a few hours ago. Bleh...

Bernardas Daugirda

September 21, 2016, 12:00 pm

i use lg g4 for 5 months no boot loop happening

Ben Herr

September 21, 2016, 2:59 pm

This sucks, was on vacation when this happened to me. Have had the phone for a little over a year, LOVED it otherwise. It got really hot in the beach bag and I wasn't using it. Got it out later to take some pics, it took a few, then all of a sudden rebooted and was stuck in the loop. I get the LG and Android screen, lasts a while, then black screen and after 3-4 seconds it's on the LG/Android screen again.
I had come from an LG G2 that I also really liked, no insurance, but this isn't a fault of mine so hopefully AT&T won't screw me as I'm still paying for the phone on the Next plan. Going to try to freeze it to get the last day's worth of photos off before going to the store - if I'm without a phone for 2-3+ weeks like some who have posted lately that won't work I'll have to get a loaner or something as I don't have another line.

Steve Witcombe

September 26, 2016, 11:44 am

My wife and I got G4's on the recommendation of another couple who have joint upgrades a couple months before us. Mine is the last of ALL of them to do this that's 4 out of 4 in a year, this is not a sporadic issue at all its unacceptable, I dusted off my old note 2 and it's running like a dream I am never being unfaithful to Samsung again..

Amy N

September 26, 2016, 2:44 pm

status 2 - 2 weeks after LG receipt still in "repair in progress" online. Called LG. They said they are waiting for a part (motherboard) that is supposed to arrive today.

Muz

September 30, 2016, 9:30 am

Is the phone working ok now?

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