I recently got the update to Android Nougat 7.0 to my Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, and one of the things that I noticed shortly after the update (which by the way is great), was that the infrared sensor had stopped working.
Since I had not used it for a while, I was not entirely sure if it was a problem generated by the upgrade to Nougat, or a previous conflict with some other app, so I set about the task of solving the issue. It should be noted that I have not ROOT the phone and I am using the Stock ROM. In my case, the solution that hit the spot was to wipe the Android cache partition, but since that may not be exactly your case, I am going to list here some of the solutions that you can apply, since many Samsung phones have an infrared sensor, and there are several possibilities for the sensor to stop working.
If you have any other suggestions, you can leave them in the comments to complement the guide.
Start in safe mode
The first thing will be to rule out hardware problems. Ideally, we have problems with another app that conflicts and removing it will solve the problem. To rule out conflicts, an easy way to do this is to start Android in safe mode, and test the sensor there. If we have a conflict with an app, in safe mode it is very likely that the infrared sensor works again, which gives us a light that it still works and that we must then focus on looking for a guilty app. To start in safe mode, follow these steps:
- Turn off the phone
- Press the volume button down and the power button until the phone starts up.
- Release the power button, but press and hold the volume button down until you reach the Android lock screen.
- You should see a legend at the bottom of the screen that says “Safe Mode.”
Once in safe mode you can test the sensor operation as explained below.
Verify that the sensor operates
You can use the maintenance code in the app to make calls. Press the code “* # 0 * #”. This should open a menu of manufacturer tests, where you will find a section specialized in the infrared sensor “IR LED”, to test its operation independently of any app.
A simple way to verify that your sensor is indeed working, other than using it with a TV, is to use another phone. Open the camera app on the other phone and aim at your Galaxy’s infrared sensor while using the test menu described above. Infrared light that our eyes cannot see should be visible to the other phone’s camera, if the sensor is operating. If you see the light, you can rest assured, the sensor has not been damaged, and surely it is a conflict with another app or permission problems. You can exit safe mode now.
Verify that you have no conflicts with other apps
Many users have reported in the forums that the infrared sensor of the Samsung Galaxy stops working when certain apps are installed, especially those that use the proximity sensor to do advanced functions.
- If you have Tasker installed, try temporarily disabling this app to see if it is causing the problem.
- Gravity, another app that uses the proximity sensor to turn on the phone screen, is one of the possible causes that the infrared sensor stops working.
- Some people in the past reported infrared sensor problems after installing Samsung Pay.
In your particular case, if you do not have these apps, you can try uninstalling the recently installed or updated apps one by one, looking to find if any of them is the culprit. Too clear the cache and data of the applications that use the infrared sensor, it has helped some people solve the problem. Here is a point of trial and error until we find the application that may be bothering us.
Wipe the Android cache partition
If you recently updated the operating system (as in my case), a common solution to these types of problems is to clean the system cache. This is maintenance work that has no negative impact at all and you do not run the risk of erasing your personal data. To run this maintenance you must perform the following steps:
- Turn off the phone, and then simultaneously press the power button, the home button, and the volume button up. After about 3 seconds you can release the power button without solar the other two, until you see the Android icon with a warning message indicating that it is going to do an update.
- After a few seconds the screen will change and you should enter the Android recovery menu. Use the volume buttons to scroll through the alternatives, and look for the one that mentions wipe the cache partition.
- To confirm the selection use the power button.
- Let the process finish and then select the option “reboot system now”.
If this procedure helped, your infrared sensor should be operating normally again.