Moto E4 apps failing including camera

What phone do you have? Moto E4

What plan are you on? Standard 1Gb data w/unlim talk/text paid annually

Does your plan include data, or just talk & text? 1Gb data


Issue Description

Phone seems to have been recently possessed by evil gremlins. Battery runs out pretty quickly. After a recent time when phone died (due to battery), lots of bad things started. Amazon Music kept failing and giving me the option to close it or keep it up, but that dialog always disappeared too quickly (so my attempts to say stop it ended up selecting behind that I didn’t want). I uninstalled that app and that worked around that problem. Then I started getting same behavior on Sams Club app so I uninstalled that. Now, when I take a picture, it seems to work, but then it comes back and tells me “Camera Error” “Please restart camera”. I restarted camera, then restarted phone, still an issue, camera is functionally dead. I found a link discussing it (for the Moto G4) and tried force stopping camera to no avail. Tried removing a few apps to no avail, then tried in Safe Mode to no avail. Is this just a low quality phone that was more disposable than I had hoped? Thanks,

Hi @michaelc.kq5nc0,

Since Safe Mode didn’t help, I suggest as the next logical step you trying clearing both the app and Android system caches. Here’s how:

The good news is that the instructions were quite good and I was able to follow them successfully (cleared cache for all apps and then android). Unfortunately, camera is still saying the same thing. Camera is a big thing for me as I often work with different contractors and the ability to take a picture of something and send it to them so they know what/who they need to bring/fix is quite important. Recent craziness of phone has me concerned.

2 items: First, I should have thanked you for your assistance and I apologize that I did not. I got a bit flustered from the phone and decorum suffered. I greatly appreciate your looking at this. Second, ironically, I just deposited 2 checks w/out an issue (which of course uses the camera). Almost makes me think I need to find some app to sit overtop the camera (other than the camera app). At least it appears that the camera is working. Thanks,

One other small item is that I believe my pictures store to the SD card in my phone (which has been in there since the beginning and is integrated). I can use settings -> storage and go into the card and see many pictures (not the ones I’ve taken lately). So, not knowing exactly what functions the camera app performs on a typical still photo … it is possible he’s having trouble with the SD card (even though I can access the card fine thru settings.

OK, one more point, I have used 12.44GB of my 16GB Internal shared storage, and 14.21 GB of my 128GB SanDisk SD card. So both seem to have plenty of space. Not sure how to capture a log of what that app is doing to see if I can find an error message somewhere. But I also cannot start to capture video (less of an issue as I don’t use it much … but another data point).

Hi @michaelc.kq5nc0 just jumping in with one thing that happened to us on our Moto G6’s. Not sure it applies to your situation. This would apply if you are using the SD as Portable Storage.

You might check the camera app and make sure it is still set to store pictures on the SD card. A recent app update to the Moto Camera 2 app on our Moto G6’s changed the setting to save to internal memory. When in a reset to SD card and all is good. Not sure what camera app the E4 has, but might be worth a quick check.

Hi @michaelc.kq5nc0,

First, there is no need to apologize, however, I do appreciate it.

Am I understanding correctly, that the SD card is formatted as internal storage? If so and it’s been corrupted somehow, it might be contributing to the issue. And, that might also explain the phone instability you mentioned. Unfortunately, the only way to reformat an SD card being used as internal storage is a factory reset.

Let’s not go there just yet. If the issue is currently limited to the Camera app, have you tried force stopping that app, then restarting the phone?

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Will check. My SD card is not portable. It was a while ago, but I went thru whatever the process was to allow it to be integrated. Based on the timing, it would not surprise me much to find out it is tied to the SD card (ie: picture seems to take fine … and it is a few seconds later that it reports the error). I see no pics on the card for September … which is odd as I just started getting the message yesterday or today. With my card integrated, I am loathe to take it out and re-insert it as I fear all kinds of gremlins could attack at that point.

Not sure you need to take SD card out and re-insert. Motorola says “Once a card has been formatted as internal storage, both your device internal storage and the card will show up as “device storage” under storage settings.” Easy to check what system says under settings>storage. Mine has a value for Internal shared storage and one for SD card under Portable storage since the SD card is used as Portable storage. It could still be a SD card failure but as @rolandh says, let’s no go there just yet :smiley:

Thanks Roland. I have indeed force stopped the app and restarted the phone (that was first step). Under Settings -> Storage … I see "Internal shared storage and Sandisk SD card. I did do an Android update recently … would it say Sandisk SD card if it was still considered internal? I wonder if you are onto something. I wonder if, somehow the card is no longer considered internal? When I go to Apps within the Sandisk SD card … I see 4 apps that I’m not currently having any trouble with. I’m not clear on how to tell if the camera app is still set to use the SD card. If I go Settings -> Apps and go to camera … Storage says 36.43 MB used in internal storage. One thing for sure, since 9/1 … it has NOT been writing to the Sandisk card anymore (which should be seen as internal). When I go to the SD card, see the pics, and try to delete one … it seems to go OK then I get the message that it could not delete. So much going on, but it may be that the card has somehow become ReadOnly (ie: may need to be reformatted)

We need to establish if the SD card is formatted as internal or portable storage. If you’re seeing a separate heading for SD card storage, that suggests it’s formatted as portable storage.

The other option is to temporarily remove the SD card. If it’s truly formatted as internal storage, the phone will complain and, then you can put it back. In any event, how does the phone behave without the SD card installed?.

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I can say that, at one point, I did format it to NOT be portable but be integrated (or whatever the term was). I now took it out and rebooted and am being told: SanDisk SD card missing … Reinsert this device. Settings -> Storage shows Internal shared storage and SanDisk SD card Not inserted (makes me think it IS integrated ie: not portable. I put card back in and turned on again. It booted fine, Settings -> Storage sees card again and is happy, but camera still does not work. Interestingly, I CAN now delete items from the SD card. So I once again force-stopped the camera and turned phone off and on. When I turned it on, I see that the pictures are NOT deleted (although no errors on deletion) and the camera still does not work. Thanks,

It seems to me something is not quite right about the SD card. Candidly, it may be necessary to resort to a factory reset of the phone and a reformat of the SD card.

You mentioned earlier that safe mode didn’t help but that was before clearing the caches. With the phone in safe mode, does the Camera app still not work and does the phone otherwise behave better?

Its probably an old battery. Get a new one. It should solve the problems. If its not solved, then it might be failing hardware. Its the internal memory that might be failing. That can’t be fixed.

Thanks. I will order a new battery as battery life seems to have gone down a bit. If I recall, 9/1 was right around when I installed the last Android upgrade (and when it seems the card stopped being writable). I am going to play with adding something to the card to see if I get lucky. Otherwise I will try to look at backing it all up and going the hard way.

If the microsd card is formatted as internal, that might be causing problems as well. How about try to transfer the apps back to storage and save the data on pc and format the card as external to see if the apps function properly or not. You’ll get used to the process of backing up data and switching out sd card or factory resetting the more you do it. Good luck. Also, e4 is old. Think about getting a new phone. Lots of better options around. Also get a higher quality card next time like a sandisk extreme pro if you plan to format as internal.

This is true which is why nearly all new phones only allow SD cards to be set up as external. In all cases the access to the SD card is slower than to the internal memory so simply using as internal can slow things down, when everything works well. The type of memory an SD card is made from has a much lower read/write failure threshold than the internal memory as well, so when the card fails, it causes cascading failures on the phone.

Honestly, to me, this sounds like an internally formatted SD card causing issues. Although painful I thin the solution is going to be to reformat the SD card as portable.

I would rather have the option to be able to format as internal (even though I don’t use it personally). Hate to think a samsung or other phone blocking the feature because they want you to pick a different phone if you want larger storage.

I honestly don’t think that’s why they do it. Most phones these days come with plenty of space for apps and storing music, pictures and videos on external storage is easy. As phones have gone from 4 to 8 to 16 (and some to 32 or to 64GB) as their base storage, the need for the card to be internal has been greatly lessened. I think they do it because the support nightmare is real. People don’t realize that SD cards formatted as internal can’t be moved from phone to phone. People don’t realize that the data on a card formatted as internal is lost if the phone fails, people don’t realize that the cheap SD card they bought is slowing down their whole phone, etc etc.

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