Cannot Use Samsung Optical Reader on the Galaxy S4 Active [Workarounds]

Optical Reader is just another application that uses the device's camera to recognize text and extract information. You can point it at words or phrases, contact details and QR codes. QR codes are bar codes, which contain data that can provide a URL, contact details, email address, phone number or similar information straight to your device.

The Optical Reader app is also used for detecting texts in different languages and translate them to a language you prefer.

The Optical Reader is only available on selected devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active.

Some GS4 owners though are having some trouble using the Optical Reader application. Some of them cannot use the app while others said the reader cannot detect text.

In respond to this concern, we offer you the following workarounds and resolution procedures.

A. Determining possible causes of the problem

Before we start with the troubleshooting methods, let us look at the possible causes. And these would include the following:
  • Device camera is defective or not functioning properly.
  • Something is obstructing or blocking the camera lens.
  • Lighting level is not appropriate.
  • Device cannot focus.
  • Device is trying to detect hand written text or phrase.
  • Physical or liquid damage on the device.
Now that we already have identified the possible causes, we may now proceed with these workarounds.

1. Remove all non-Samsung OEM cases or covers that may block the camera lens and then try to use the Optical Reader again this time. If problem persists, continue to the next step.

2. Check the camera and see if it is functioning properly. To do so, touch Apps from the Home screen and then select Camera.

If the camera won't open, or there is no image seen when you open the camera, then you need to check the camera app. To do this, visit the Application Troubleshooting and the select Camera to troubleshoot the camera application.

3. To ensure the problem is not caused by some dirt, clean the camera lens using a soft cloth slightly dampened in mild soap and water. Never use harsh chemicals, cleansing solvents or strong detergents to clean the phone.

4. Make sure the device has no physical or liquid damage. Dropping or exposing to moisture can cause physical or liquid damage to occur on your device.

5. Check for any available software updates for your phone and if there is, you may consider updating it this time.

B. Resolution Procedure

If you still cannot use the Optical Reader after performing the above steps, proceed with the following procedures:

1. Touch Apps from the Home screen.
2. Selected Optical Reader.
3. Point or aim the pointer at words, contact details or QR codes.
4. If you are in a place with low light or you think the device is not detecting the text, touch the flash icon to turn on Flash.

An indication that the text is detected is a blue box that appears around the text.

By default, the phone uses English language for detecting text. You can choose a different language by touching the language icon and then select the language of detection text and the language to translate as you prefer.

If problem continues, do the following:

Clear App Data/Force Stop

In most cases, clearing the application data will resolve certain device or app issues you are encountering. Remember that clearing the app data also means resetting the application to factory default settings but won't delete downloaded or purchased apps.

Follow these steps to clear data app on your Galaxy S4.

1. Touch Menu from the Home screen.
2. Touch Settings.
3. Select More to continue.
4. Touch Application manager.
5. Scroll to the right to view the ALL tab.
6. Select Optical Reader.
7. Touch Force Stop and the hit OK to close the selected app.
8. Touch Clear data under Storage.
9. Touch OK to confirm deletion of app data on your device.
10. Wait until the clear app data process is completed.
11. Touch Apps from the Home screen and select Optical Reader to launch the app and see if it already works fine this time.

Further Recommendations:

In order to get best results when using the Optical Reader on your Galaxy S4, we recommend the following:
  • Avoid any abrupt movements and hold the phone steady.
  • To detect more text, rotate the phone in landscape mode.
  • Hold the device close enough to the text or move the phone closer until it is able to focus on the text.
Holding the phone too far will result to a blurry image display.

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