Samsung Galaxy S3 problems, questions and solutions – Part 3

Posted on Jan 27 2013 - 11:06am by Harold Hisona

We never thought that our articles about Samsung Galaxy S3 errors and solutions published a couple of days ago will keep us busy answering some of our readers’ questions. This is the third article dealing with most common problems Galaxy S3 owners have encountered. Follow links below for the first two parts:

  1. Samsung Galaxy S3 Errors you may encounter; solutions and workarounds provided – Part 1
  2. Samsung Galaxy S3 problems, solutions and workarounds – Part 2

galaxy-s3-brown

Galaxy S3 Proximity Sensor Error/Glitch

Reader’s Problem: Hello I’m having a problem with my Samsung Galaxy s3 with phone calls, it’s when some one rings me or sometimes happens when I call them that I can’t hang up calls when I’m finished my call, screen just goes back, can’t touch to relight up screen and no buttons will work anywhere on phone. When other end is hung up around 5 seconds delay, then phone lights back up and is normal again. Probably sounds silly but hope you can help. Cheers, Ben.

Explanation: Proximity sensors were added to smartphones to make them even smarter. In Samsung Galaxy S3′s case, this sensor comes into play during calls. If the device detects it is near the owner’s face, the display automatically shuts off while keeping the call active. There were a few reported cases of proximity sensor glitches in S3 and they happened during Ice Cream Sandwich days. While it is a simple glitch, it is annoying because owners would have to wait a few seconds before the phone becomes active again.

Solution:  Since it is a software-related problem, an update would fix this issue. Owners are advised to go to Settings => About phone => Software updates. The phone will then scan for updates and if there is one, owners can initiate without having much of a problem.

Workaround: Just in case an update is not available and owners cannot stand experiencing this glitch, they are advised to turn the proximity sensor off.

How to disable Proximity Sensor in Galaxy S3

Step 1: Tap on Phone icon to launch the Phone app.

Step 2: Tap on Menu key, left of the Home button.

Step 3: Choose Call settings option.

Step 4: Uncheck Auto screen off during calls option.

This is the most common workaround to keep the phone’s screen active during calls.

Set Specific Music Folder in Galaxy S3

Reader’s Problem: I read your help on problems with Galaxy S3 music player but I have another problem. When I play my music on shuffle the phone includes all sound recordings, not just the ones in music player. As I have a Birds of Britain app on my phone with 286 bird song recordings on it listening to music is hilariously interspersed with quacks,  tweets, whistles and warbles. Any thoughts? Thanks, Anna.

Explanation: Android’s stock music player detects all audio formats and adds them to the playlist. While applications’ data are saved in a specific directory unreachable by the music app, problems like this happen when owners make a backup or their apps. All data will be archived in the SD card without being compressed. Thus, the music app can now detect the audio files of the apps and add them automatically to the playlist.

Workaround: I, too, am waiting for the day that the Android stock music app can choose a specific music folder and not scan the device’s entire internal memory or SD card to find audio files. The most common workaround is to delete unwanted audio files from the playlist. But my advice is to use a third-party music app. For this problem, I highly recommend Mixzing application. It is a free app from the Play Store and users can specify which folder the app needs to scan for audio files.

Install Adobe Flash Player in Galaxy S3

Reader’s Problem: I have tried everything that I’ve been advised and nothing works. I had flash before, my husband also has it on his S3, but after Verizon did a hard reset, I lost it. And now unable to find a good link to install it back onto my phone. Could you please help? 

Explanation: It was in August last year that Adobe announced it would stop support for its Flash Player on Android. Consequently, manufacturers and carriers released updates that took away the support for the flash player. So, basically, this is a global problem. Good thing we the XDA Developers who always have solutions for problems like this.

Solution: You can either install apps from the Play Store that claim to support flash or you can follow the guide our friends at XDA Dev forums offer.

Unbrick Samsung Galaxy S3

Reader’s Problem: One of our readers said the electricity was cut off (consequently his internet was cut off, too) while he was updating his device. So, his phone was bricked. 

Explanation: It is not a rare case. In fact, many people have experienced this problem. The thing is, when the update process is interrupted and was completed, some system files are missing in the phone so the operating system couldn’t load completely. Fortunately, it is easy to unbrick Galaxy S3.

Solution: Owners need to flash the official firmware using the Odin tool. Just follow the steps below.

Step 1: Download Odin and launch it as Administrator.

Step 2: Download official Galaxy S3 firmware. If you’re in the U.S. and is under a network, choose one from these firmware packages: T-Mobile | AT&T | Sprint. You need to extract contents of these packages.

Step 3: Turn your Galaxy S3 off and boot it into the Download Mode: press and hold HOME and VOLUME DOWN buttons while tapping the POWER button.

Step 4: Connect your device to your computer. If the connection is good, one of the ID:COM boxes turns yellow. Otherwise, make sure all drivers are installed and repeat this step.

Step 5: Under the Option section in Odin UI, check Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time.

Step 6: Click on PDA button and browse through the directory you extracted contents of the official firmware and look for “.tar” file.

Step 7: Click on START button to begin flashing of the official firmware.

Step 9: Wait until your phone is automatically rebooted before you use it.

Galaxy S3 Shuts Off Occasionally

Reader’s Problem: Wife and I both have the galaxy s3 running verison 4.1.1, from time to time it will just shut down and kick off have to take the battery out to reboot.

Explanation: There could be plenty of reasons why Galaxy S3 behaves this way. Others complain their phone reboots by itself from time to time.

Solution: The first solution we can recommend on this problem is try to reset the device into factory settings. It may be a hassle to back up all your data but it’s worth a try. If it doesn’t work, try to check if there is an available software update. More often, updates bring a lot of bug fixes. Lastly, contact your provider and have your unit be replaced with a new one.

MailBag

Have other Issues with your Samsung Galaxy S3? please share with us either via email at [email protected], or simply leave a comment below.

But the best way to reach us would be to post your questions or comments on our forum at forums.thedroidguy.com.  Simply register for an account and post your issues or questions, we will try our best to answer as much as we possibly can.

We have also answered a few user questions in subsequent posts:

Samsung Galaxy S3 Errors & Solutions Part I

Issues addressed in this article:

  • “No SIM” error
  • “Insufficient Internal Memory” error
  • S3 message app error
  • Sprint Galaxy S3 Error Code 97
  • WiFi authentication error
  • play store error
  • OTA update error
  • USB hardware ID error

Samsung Galaxy S3 Errors & Solutions Part II

Issues addressed in this article:

  • headphone issues
  • TouchWiz freezes
  • internet connection
  • mic volume issue
  • music problem

Samsung Galaxy S3 Errors & Solutions Part III

Issues addressed in this article:

  • sensor error
  • music folder
  • install adobe flash
  • unbrick phone
  • phone shuts off occasionally

Samsung Galaxy S3 Errors & Solutions Part IV

Issues addressed in this article:

  • Homescreen freezes
  • Message app crashes
  • Sound notifications management
  • Battery/charger issues
  • Incomplete OTA update
  • Battery drains faster

Samsung Galaxy S3 Errors & Solutions Part V

Issues addressed in this article:memory card issue

  • memory card issue
  • LED notification problem
  • slow battery charging
  • GPS often disconnects
  • media volume problem
  • Android service stopped
  • gallery app freezes

Samsung Galaxy S3 Errors & Solutions Part VI

  • WiFi turning off
  • SD card mount/unmount issue
  • volume control locked
  • camera freezes, reboots phones
  • streaming media to Bluetooth
  • camera brightness control
  • disable camera shutter
  • WiFi turns on automatically
  • initiating update
  • Play Store crashed

Samsung Galaxy S3 Errors & Solutions Part VII

  • auto login
  • wakeup lag
  • in-call issues
  • flashing red border
  • cannot move apps to SD card
  • S Suggest not available
  • signal problem
  • volume muted by default
  • earphone icon not showing
  • email background settings
  • Facebook app problem

Have Other Questions?  Answers may be in our How To section.

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About the Author

Harold works as an Android support technician. He remains an active contributor to The Droid Guy providing free support to its readers by addressing their problems and questions. He recently launch his small blog, Droidista.com, which serves as an online journal for his works.

  • C. Schueneman

    Been keeping up with all three articles. I am due for an update as of 2/3/13 and seriously considering Galaxy SIII. Have also read articles on somewhat soon to be released GSIV. Question: Do I go with GSIII with solutions to its many problems or wait for GSIV?

  • Anonymous

    Have you looked at the Sony Xperia Z?

  • kevin

    my volume doesnt work with netflix..it works with pandora and utube

  • Ben Lerner

    Galaxy S3′s worldwide have a chip defect that causes them to suddenly die completely after about 6 months of use. Samsung will fix under warranty but have been putting in the same defective chip as the fix, so it’s likely the phone will just poop out again but this time after the 12-month warranty expires. Visit the “Ultimate GS3 Sudden Death Thread” at the XDA Developers website to see just how widespread this issue is around the whole world.

  • Billy

    I’m using S3 LTE I9305 with stock Jellybean 4.1.1.

    I’m trying to enable voice command but under Menu => Settings => Language and Input
    There is no ‘Voice cmd for Apps’ option.
    May I know where to find this setting?

    In fact for this 4.1.1, a lot of the settings are in different places from the normal S3 settings, and I’ll have to hunt around for them. The voice command is onf of the setting that I couldn’t find.

  • Mike

    I get a pop-up window that says “Just a few moments while we prepare this application for use…”. It last for about 10sec and freezes up all commands during that time. It can occur at any time. It started about the same time Jelly Bean came out. However, it’s so disruptive that if I’m watching a streaming sports event, the video is lost and I have to re-enter the website. An example of it with pics are here.
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2097380

  • mmaungmdy

    my phone is galaxy s3 no sound everything is mute I try to play music player no sound pls explain me

    phone ring no sound
    music player is no sound

  • Another Mike

    I’ve got a similar yet different problem involving the music folder in my Galaxy S3. I moved the SD card over from my MyTouch when I got the S3, and to my knowledge, everything was smooth transition — and then I opened the music player. I was trying to build a new playlist, when I noticed that more than half of my music wasn’t in the list of available music. I was able to find the missing half using “My Files”, and the music still plays if I select the songs individually, but I cannot get any of the music to be recognized by the default player for the playlist option. Even more curious was when I hooked my phone up to the computer. I go to the SD card there, and it can find said music, but it can’t find the music that IS available on the playlist option of the music player. Even weirder still is that I can remove the SD card, put it back into my old phone, and all of the music can be found and played back without any issue. I’m at a loss and don’t know what to do, since every new song I’ve added since just falls into the “My Files” void, and it’s getting kinda frustrating having to manually select each song.

  • John Morris

    Good morning… I have a few issues I’m hoping to resolve.

    The most annoying is that my Yahoo Messenger does not deliver my friends’ messages in a timely manner. A friend will send multiple messages over several minutes, but I may not get them until the friend has signed out, then all the messages (3 or 4 or 10 or however many) will all be delivered at the same time. Also, my BlackBerry let me set an alert to let me know when particular friends signed on, but I can’t find this feature on the GS3.

    Secondly, when I attach my GS3 to my PC via USB, I can’t view photos as thumbnails… any way around this?

    Thirdly, my BlackBerry (don’t get me wrong, I’m happy I got rid of it) had a sound profile that let me turn off all sounds EXCEPT the phone ringer… this way i could turn off all my e-mail/IM/Facebook/etc notifications but not miss a call if I am needed in the middle of the night (for my work).

    Lastly, When I move photos from my PC to my GS3 SD card, the original dates of the photo are updated to the current dat. I’m a little OCD and I like to keep my pics in date order, but this screws them all up.

    Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks!

    John

  • franky

    What if the LED notification cant off? Always on 24/7. Is there any solution should i follow?

  • http://thedroidguy.com/ Harold Hisona

    Hello Guys,

    I just want to let all of you know that we have gathered all your questions and we are now working to provide solutions or workarounds. There is going to be 4th and 5th parts so we will email you one-by-one once we have published those articles.

    Please do give us a day or two to sort things out.

    For those who are yet to post comments, please include all details as much as possible so we can provide accurate answers and resolutions. You may include error codes and messages you have received. Thank you!

    Harold

  • http://www.philippinealmanac.com/ Harold Hisona

    Hi C,

    I’m sure Galaxy S4 is worth the wait… but it’s up to you if you can wait until April (I think that’s the rumored time S4 will be released).

  • http://www.philippinealmanac.com/ Harold Hisona

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for the info.. I surely will take a look at that thread on XDA forums. Didn’t Samsung already release a fix for that?

  • http://www.philippinealmanac.com/ Harold Hisona

    Hi Billy,

    I’m already researching for this issue.. I may be able to include an explanation in our 4th article. I will email you personally once I have the answer. thanks.

  • http://www.philippinealmanac.com/ Harold Hisona

    Hi Mike,

    I just hope it’s not a Verizon-specific problem. But let me research on this issue. I will email you when I know how to help you resolve this.

    Harold

  • http://www.philippinealmanac.com/ Harold Hisona

    Hi Mike,

    Try to see if you can find those songs under “Recently Added” tab.

  • http://www.philippinealmanac.com/ Harold Hisona

    Hi John,

    I’m working on the 4th and 5th parts of this topic and your concerns are included in the list of Galaxy S3 issues I have researched. I will email you by the time I got those articles published.

    thanks for reading.

    Harold

  • Another Mike

    Thanks for replying so quickly! When I looked there, it was only showing the songs that are able to be recognized on the standard player.

    Last night I tried downloading another player (Rocket Player in this instance), and it wound up doing the same thing: it Idenitified the songs the other player had and only added those to the playlist.

  • http://www.philippinealmanac.com/ Harold Hisona

    hi there mmaungmdy,

    Go to Settings => Sound and see if Silent Mode is selected. If not, then tap on the Volume and make adjustments.

    thanks.

  • somercamb

    So you’re solution to the galaxy s3 shutting down or rebooting Is the below? Some answer! Reset the device? That’s like a corporate helpdesk telling me to reboot my pc. Thanks, but I’d rather not do that. An update? There’s no stinkin’ update. If there was one, my phone would have notified me. And three, get a replacement? Thanks, but I’ve tried all three in previous lives and the recent replacement still reboots. Sorry to be so harsh, but if you’re going to give advice at least be constructive or add something new to the table.

    Solution: The first solution we can recommend on this problem is try to reset the device into factory settings. It may be a hassle to back up all your data but it’s worth a try. If it doesn’t work, try to check if there is an available software update. More often, updates bring a lot of bug fixes. Lastly, contact your provider and have your unit be replaced with a new one.

  • SJ

    My galaxy s3 has some issues i have found. ( International galaxy s3 running JB 4.1.2 )
    1) I have created few folders in app drawer. Suppose I open Games folder and close that folder, then after returning to the home screen that folder appears on the screen. It cannot be closed except tapping the app drawer icon which is partly visible at bottom left of the screen obviously and then tapping back button. It is not a serious issue though.
    2) I have seen serious lag on opening stock apps or any stock function like messaging app or settings. After opening once and closing it, it doesn’t show any lag.I have also seen lag while typing on keyboard . The keyboard freezes while I type and then after a while I’ve typed the word the letters magically work on their own and type the word. I don’t think that there would be any working solution for this but it is worth mentioning over here.
    3) There is a lag whenever I open camera from lock screen shortcut. The screen resolution just degrades suddenly for a moment and every thing on the home screen like the weather widget for example, become widened and large. It appears for 3-5 seconds and after that the camera is launched.
    Any solutions?

  • Anonymous

    There’s a new feature called blocking mode in setting that allows you to turn off all notifications except phone calls….. I set my blocking mode to start at 10:30pm and end at 7am. This way all my notifications are silent through the night but the ringer will still ring for phone calls. It’s awesome.

  • Another Mike

    That is indeed good news to hear. Even if there isn’t a clear answer for my issue, I thank you anyways for the legwork you’re putting into it!

  • Rory

    Hi there , there is a widget you can get .
    Basically go into apps> widgets and its the ninth page in its called “smart switch” you can click on and off with 1 single tap
    Hope it helps :)

  • Kara

    My phone is having problems while I am talking on it. Out of nowhere the person I am talking to can’t hear me but I can hear everything they are saying. This is happening several times per day. Can you help me?

  • deb

    I’m having an issue with posting to Facebook. There are times my comments completely disappear and I have not been able to post a status update via my GSIII for over a month now. I have rebooted the phone; signed out of and back in to Facebook with no results. Any suggestions?

  • joe

    I have a problem in setting my gmail through Ms Exchange Active Sync. Mine is company email which is created on gmail but has the extension [email protected] instead of ”gmail.com”. It works fine on my Galaxy tab2 but when I am trying to set it up on S3, it says server not found. I am happy with the way it works with Microsoft Active sync on tab and I followed the same setting with server name as m.google.com but does not work. Any fix for this.

    rgds,

    Joe

  • Elisa

    This is my first smart phone. I hate it! I don’t know if it is ME or the phone…. The phone seems to jump between screens. I will have the message screen up, then suddenly the gmail screen is up. Then a few minutes later the camera feature is open. Is this normal?

  • Shane

    Any luck with a solution for this? Is it specific to verizon?

  • Don

    have same issue as others have states; my Samsung S3 indiscriminately reboots. First time this happened was following the firmware update that included a power saving mode that conflicted with the power saving app that I had installed. Sprint customer service was NO help is resolving this matter and only want to just send me a new phone since I had it for a short time. I consulted with my computer programmer son who suggested looing into the power save issue; after deleting the powers saver app the phone worked fine.

    Now my phone got another firmware upgrade and has again started the indiscriminate rebooting. I have experimented with settings and find that the phone will almost always reboot when the battery level reaches the 30% setting I have set in the power saving mode. It will also reboot indiscriminately at other battery levels too though. When the power saving option is turned off there are fewer of these reboots but it still happens. This make me think that the most recent upgrade screwed with the battery monitoring and power saving options. I deduct that a hard reset would be of NO value in resolving this issue and only cause more frustration from saving and recovering everything on the phone only to find out a hard reset is no value.

    Any other thoughts???

  • Sarah

    I’m also having this issue and would like to be included in the response after you’ve finished researching it. Thanks!

  • Leslie

    May I be included in the email also? I am having the same problem, and I’m also with Verizon.

    A few weeks ago, I restored my phone to factory settings when I was having all sorts of problems with it (keyboard wouldn’t open when I needed to type, screens would freeze, and eventually the phone wouldn’t boot). The other problems stopped happening, but now I keep getting that message and can’t do anything for several seconds.

  • Kyle

    I have had numerous problems related to “text corrections” on my Samsung S3; if I have already typed an entire paragraph of text and realized any word had been misspelled, I would move the cursor to the incorrect word then as “back-spacing” to make the correction on my own, the S3 would list their suggestions to the correct spelling. If I do not use that function and make the correction on my own I’m fine; however if I use the text correction option, it erases the entire paragraph as if I typed nothing. I merely wanted to correct the one word, not the entire paragraph! Geez!! I’m not highlighting anything, just back-spacing and selecting the S3 spelling correction that inevitably deletes everything….it is maddening!

  • Dave

    really?? get a life!

  • Anonymous 2

    Have a Samsung S3 keep losing contacts, only way to get them back is to re boot the phone. This has happened with three different S 3 phones.

  • jim H

    I have a G3 which has both my personal and corporate email. When I receive an email to my corp account that has a digital signature or a trusted certificate, I can’t reply nor forward that email.

    My corp IT says that they don’t mandate signatures so it is not coming from them and of course my carrier points back to them.

    Has anyone experienced this and if so is there something in my settings that I need to change. Greatly appreciate anyones assistance.

  • rekha

    my samsung galaxy s3 gets hanged very often and gets switched off too…will a software update help to deal with this problem????

  • Miri

    Hello .. i have an issue with the colors seem to be so vanished! I tried to adjust the brightness from Settings – Display – Brightness , but it’s not about the brightness because even though it’s so low , the colors still vanished ! i also checked the screen mode , it’s set normally on standard.I tried the dinamic mode too but still. Honestly this is so annoying to the eyes :( .. plz help me !

  • boutros eid

    hi to all ,
    i have a samsung s3 but imagime the phone is ur hand and u wanna see the clock so u click one the right button the phone dont respond or the middle button dont respond too .but if u try to call me from other phone u will see that my phone is not off and the phone that u call from it will give u that my phone ringing but the fact that my phone dont ring not even vibrate and light . after that i push the side button for 10 seconds to restart the phone but its happen 2 or 3 times per day .someone can help please

  • abdul mateen

    i have a galaxy s3 is turn off suddnley and now is not turn on please give me solution

  • jackay

    I switched over from an iphone to Samsung galaxy s3 and I am not able to listen to music while on phone call. any suggestion