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Samsung Galaxy S3 Problems After Android 4.3 Update [Part 1]

galaxy s3 screen dims

UPDATE: To make it easier for you to find problems we’ve already addressed, I prepared Samsung Galaxy S3 Problems and Solutions Index.

UPDATE: 3/7/14 – I have just published the second part of this series answering 15 questions/problems sent by our readers. If you emailed us about the problems you currently have with your Galaxy S3, please read the second part: Samsung Galaxy S3 Problems After Android 4.3 Update [Part 2].

This post will tackle the most common problems Samsung Galaxy S3 owners encountered after the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update. There are 10 problems cited in this article so take time to browse through it to find out if your concern was included in the list. Solutions and workarounds were also provided so that it would be more convenient to you to fix the problems.

In case your problem wasn’t included, you can contact us or ask questions via our Facebook page or Google Plus community. You can also send us email at [email protected]. I will be the one to read the emails and I guarantee I read every single email we receive from our readers as long as it’s not a spam. If you already sent us an email, subscribe to our newsletter so that you will be updated when I post articles like this one.

Messaging stopped working

Problem: Hi & good day. I’m facing a problem where when I press the messaging icon it will hang. The message came out as “Unfortunately, Messaging has stopped”. Would appreciate your expert advise on this. Thanks.Ihsan

Solution: While this problem is very annoying, it is minor and can be solved by a simple procedure. The message “Unfortunately, Messaging has stopped” may pop up upon launching the Messaging app or anytime while you’re typing a message. You can get rid of it by doing the following steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap Settings and then More tab.
  3. Tap Application Manager.
  4. Swipe twice to the left to choose All tab.
  5. Scroll to and tap Messaging.
  6. Tap Force Close button first.
  7. Tap Clear Cache and then Clear Data buttons.
  8. Launch the Messaging app and observe if the error message still pops up.

In case the problem persists after doing the first procedure, you have to clear the cache partition folder but power-shock your phone first. Follow these steps:

  1. While the phone is on, pop the back panel open and remove the battery for a minute.
  2. Place the battery back.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home, and Power buttons.
  4. When the phone vibrates, release the Power button but continue holding the other two until Android System Recovery screen appears.
  5. Use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power button to select it.
  6. Once the wiping of cache partition is done, highlight ‘reboot system now’ and press the Power button to reboot the phone.

Galaxy S3 refuses to come back on

Question / Problem: Good day. My Samsung Galaxy S3 suddenly went off and it refused to come back on. I removed the battery and fixed it back, but it still won’t come on.  With your experience and expertise, what do you think is the cause of the problem and what is the solution. Thank you for your time, looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Answer: I really cannot be sure what the cause of the problem is but I suspect it’s the battery more than anything else.

Solution: Plug the charger in, let it charge for 5 minutes and try to see if the charging icon displays. If not, remove the battery (again) and press and hold the phone’s Power button. Doing this will discharge all stored electricity from electronic components inside the phone. Place the battery back in and plug the charger again. If you still can’t see the charging icon, it’s time you bought a new battery.

But just to exhaust all possible solutions, try connecting the phone to the computer and see if you can see the charging icon. If not, consider using a different USB cable as it could also be the cause. But even if the charging icon does not display, try turning the phone on normally and see if it reacts. If not, the problem is more complicated than what it seems. You may need help from an authorized technician.

Additionally, try booting the phone into Recovery Mode to see if it reacts to that: press and hold the Volume Up, Home, and Power buttons. If it boots successfully, try wiping the cache partition and attempt to boot normally to see if it can.

Galaxy S3 browser issue

Problem: Hi! I have the Samsung galaxy s3. I realized that when I’m on a website and I want to open another link on the same web page, it keeps telling me that I have to close a window in order to open another window. How can I fix that? I never had that problem before until 2 days ago.

Solution: I’m not sure what browser you’re using but it seems to me that you have opened a lot of windows or tabs already that the phone couldn’t accommodate yet another one. So, basically, you need to close one to open another. However, if such is not the case, it could be just a browser glitch. To attempt to solve the problem, follow these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap Settings and then More tab.
  3. Tap Application Manager.
  4. Swipe twice to the left to choose All tab.
  5. Scroll to and tap on the browser you’re using.
  6. Tap Force Close button first.
  7. Tap Clear Cache and then Clear Data buttons.
  8. If the problem persists after doing the steps above, uninstall it and then download and install a fresh copy of it from the Play Store.

Workaround: You can use a different browser in case the problem keeps on bugging you. There are a lot of good browsers from the Play Store.

Gallery takes a long time to load

Problem: The gallery in Galaxy S3 (international version jb 4.3) is taking a lot of time to open. I have tried clearing the data and cache from gallery app. I have reset the phone once. But still it takes some time to open the gallery. In the camera app, after taking a photo, it takes a lot of time to view the image taken. Please suggest a solution for this.

Answer: There are only two general problems that could happen in a smartphone; either it’s a software or a hardware problem. I understand you’ve done almost everything you could to resolve this problem but try wiping the cache partition*, and if you’re rooted clear the Dalvik cache** as well, and then perform a factory reset (again) and this time via the Recovery mode.

*Wiping Cache Partition – this directory in your phone’s internal storage may not be cleared even if you perform a factory reset. Cached files used by apps may remain in the directory and by the time you installed the same apps, there would be conflicts as the phone may continue using the old files. Clearing this directory may force the phone to cache new and fresh sets of data.

**Clearing Dalvik Cache – When your phone boots up, the Dalvik Virtual Machine scans all your apps and frameworks, and creates a tree of dependencies which is stored in the dalvik-cache. This would allow apps to run in an optimized state. Clearing it (if you have a rooted firmware) would force the phone to create fresh dependencies and framework to run more consistently.

Workaround: Try using a different Gallery app from the Play Store and observe if the phone would still take a long time to load previewed photos. If so, consider having the phone checked by a technician as there could be some problems with the camera sensor, which apparently affects your phone’s performance.

Could not install program in Storage

Problem: Hi there. I have a Galaxy S3 with a 16GB SD Card that came along with the phone itself. The issue that I am facing is that while installing certain programs like Subway Surfer, Tom Cat etc., it throws an error stating “Could not install program in Storage.” Can you please help.

Answer: There are several variations to this error message. Depending on the variant owners might get “Application cannot be installed in the default install location,” “There is not enough storage space,” or “App could be updated due to insufficient storage space.” All these mean one thing only–your phone is running out of space in its internal storage. These error messages pop up when you download an app or update the ones that are already installed in your phone.

Solution: Try and do a good overall house cleaning.  Uninstall apps you don’t use anymore, clear cache and data of some apps you don’t often use. If it’s not more of a hassle on your end, try performing a factory reset to give the phone a fresh start.

Delayed receipt of SMS messages

Problem: Hi guys, I just got a new phone Galaxy S3 mini and I am ripping my hair out in frustration.  At this point the biggest issue is not being able to receive SMS messages in real time or at ALL!  Messages come through hours later, out of chronological order or piece-meal truncated or fragmented messages. Any suggestions? I played around with the phone today and after a while UN-INSTALLED the Nova launcher because it was really messing things up but still the SMS are a major problem.  I took my SIM card out of the new phone and put it back in my old phone and then 15 messages came in one after the other timed at various times throughout the day that just never made it to the new phone. Help?! Thank you so much.RJ

Suggestion: I would suggest you call your service provider and ask for help or ask for correct APN settings. It appears like this is really a provisioning issue and only your service provider can help you with it. On the other hand, I also have a hunch that it has something to do with the Network Mode your phone is currently set. So, before you actually call your provider, follow these steps first:

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap Settings and then the Connections tab.
  3. Tap More Networks followed by Mobile Networks.
  4. Tap Network Mode.
  5. Try every single one of them and send an SMS message after you selected one after the other to check if there’s an improvement.
  6. If all else fails, call your service provider.

Galaxy S3 with custom ROM reboots randomly

Problem: My GS3 crashes after opening an app. I booted to safe mode and it doesn’t crash so I choose to reboot into normal mode and it never comes back on. Everything worked fine on this phone until last week I realized that it kept turning off in the middle of an app even though the charge showed ~30% at times. I am running cm 10.2 and have tried cm 11 as well. No new apps have been installed for a while. I am frustrated and the insurance option will cost me $100 which I do not have right now. I am saving but would like to try other things before spending that.

Solution: I am a CyanogenMod lover, in fact all my Android phones have CM on them. But the thing is, when troubleshooting a phone with custom ROM, it is difficult to arrive at a conclusion because the question of the firmware’s stability would always pop up. I understand it hurts to spend a hundred bucks for the insurance so why don’t  you try flashing the stock firmware into your phone first and see if the problem happens even if it is already running the official firmware? I believe you have an open mind to agree with me that if the problem persists even with the stock firmware installed, there’s a more complicated problem with the phone than just software glitches.

Stuck at Samsung logo after firmware update

Problem: Really need your help. I have an S3 and yesterday got a prompt to update my firmware. I do so and when my S3 was restarting, after the update, it got stuck at the Samsung logo. It doesn’t move from that point. stays there for hours. I took the battery out several times. I also tried to connect the device to Kies but it won’t connect. It charges alright but won’t turn on. I’m really very stuck. Please help!Nadia

Solution: You’re not the only one who encountered this problem. In fact, this issue seems to be so common after the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update, although it’s not something serious. There are a couple of things you might do in order to fix this problem. The first is wipe clear partition and second is performing a factory reset. Both must be done in Recovery Mode.

  1. While the phone is on, pop the back panel open and remove the battery for a minute.
  2. Place the battery back.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home, and Power buttons.
  4. When the phone vibrates, release the Power button but continue holding the other two until Android System Recovery screen appears.
  5. Use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power button to select it.
  6. Once the wiping of cache partition is done, highlight ‘reboot system now’ and press the Power button to reboot the phone.

If the phone is still stuck at the Samsung logo, do the following:

  1. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home, and Power buttons.
  2. When the phone vibrates, release the Power button but continue holding the other two until Android System Recovery screen appears.
  3. Use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’ and press the Power button to select it.
  4. Still use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘delete all user data’ and press the Power button to select the option.
  5. Once the master reset is finished, highlight ‘reboot system now’ and hit the Power button one more time.

Screen blacks out during calls

Question / Problem: Hello. I’m currently having problems with my Galaxy S3. I have Verizon right now and I’m paying for the insurance monthly. Whenever I make a call or receive calls my phone blacks out and I cant do anything. However when the phone call would end and the other person would hang up since I couldn’t press end my phone would go to the home screen and not be black anymore. A few hours ago my phone just completely dimmed itself, and is almost all blacked out and doesn’t change while I make calls. Just like the led light in the screen almost went out. I can still use the phone just have to really use my eyes. I can receive calls text and use it. I do have a crack on my screen from then I had dropped it a few months back. But these problems have just started recently. What do u think it is and how should I go about resolving this if it is even fixable?

Answer / Solution: If this issue happens only during calls, then there’s no problem with your phone at all. There is just one setting that may have been messed up for some reason. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a setting that would automatically turn the screen off during calls. It was included in the features to save battery when the owner is engaged in a call. You can actually turn the screen back on in-call by press the Power button. But if you want to get rid of this issue for good, do the following steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap the Phone application.
  3. Tap the Menu key, and the select Call Settings.
  4. Tap or uncheck the ‘Auto screen off during calls.’
  5. Your phone’s screen will stay on during calls from now on.

Uninstalling Maps on 4.3 firmware

Problem: I read your post about how to uninstall the maps.  When I foolishly let my phone update, my maps now seems to be embedded so I only have the option to Force Stop or Turn Off. I do not have the option to Uninstall. Any idea on how I can do this?  There are several things I dislike about 4.3 but the biggest is the new navigation.  I cover the West and Central Region so am very dependent on the navigation system. I wish I could go back to the older OS, do you know if this is possible? Thanks for your assistance. 

Answer: After the Android 4.3 update the Navigation system was replaced by Google Maps, which is attached to the core system of the firmware. The only way you can uninstall or get rid of default apps like Maps is to root your Samsung Galaxy S3. Yes, it is also possible to roll back to previous Android version but you still have to root your phone and flash Android 4.1 manually.

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  • Simon

    Ten of the most uncommon problems after 4.3 update. What about dropping wifi connection and saying your connection is unstable and battery life drastically reduced ? which most people are complaining about. I Solved both of these by downgrading to 4.1.2, so definitely the upgrade to blame. As the saying goes if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  • Jennifer Jordan

    The “Unfortunately, Messaging has stopped”error did happen to me several times that I eventually reset my phone to factory default.
    It did the trick and has so far did not encounter that error again.

  • Raybert Eichmann

    A factory reset also works wonder most of the time for me. I remember having an issue with my wifi not picking up my home signal before. I knew it was not my internet because a laptop and an iPad was connected to it without any problems.
    ended up resetting to default and it solved the problem.

  • andrew boon

    Lot of problem on this phone even after updating the android !

  • Sabrina Morris

    Hi, I’ve done everything you said for the “stuck on Samsung logo” a number of times and I can’t get it to go past it!!! Very frustrating!

  • Michael

    stuck on smasung logo, if I have to do a factory reset and loose all my personal data, I swear that my next phone will be an Iphone despite not liking it!!!

  • Tony Nguyen

    cant even factory reset. What to do now?

  • Lisa Anderson

    To fix that annoying wifi issue without trying to hunt down and replace the WPA file, try using the app called “wifi fix” from the Google Play store (it’s free). This solved the majority of the random dropping issues.

  • ponchorivas

    JavaScript is ALWAYS enabled in my internet settings, yet after about 15-20 minutes of browsing the web JavaScript stops working and the websites buttons become unresponsive until I restart phone, often telling me that JavaScript is disabled, then the cycle continues.

  • Christie

    My phone would shut off, not turn on unless it was plugged in, didn’t show wifi, wouldn’t go to 4G. It’s not the battery, people! I put my husband’s battery in and it didn’t work. The phone was plain messed up! I backed up my photos and media and did the factory reset. So far so good for the past 15 hours. The battery is lasting longer, as well. Amen to that!

  • Janice Ortiz

    Simon how did you go back to the 4.1.2 i can not stand the 4.3 i use to much data cause of this dang thing not staying connected

  • boychik0830

    what is being done to fix the 4.3 problems with the Verizon huge battery drain, apps crash, lagging and other major issues nothing. I have had this problem since December and so far nothing has been done to fix it.

  • Chris

    Most of these problems have nothing to do with 4.3 in particular, except the maps.

  • Muhammad Shahid Deshnoor

    Samsung Should Have Never Dumped S3 From Kitkat Update. What’s The Use Of Being A Flagship Device?

  • Roxanne

    Hi, after the 4.3 update I constantly get “Call Ended” with my Samsung s3. I have to restart the phone and then it will work for a couple more time before getting the “call ended” message again! Frustrated. Thinking of trading in my phone!

  • Marysia Welnicki

    My power button seems to have suddenly stopped working. I can not use it to do any of the functions you normally would use the button for (ex: activate lock screen, black out screen, power, restart, etc) Any ideas n what caused this/how to fix it?

  • Ayham Al-Sayed

    MY IMEI number has changed on my S3 I9300 and I constantly get the not registered on the network error. ….

  • Carole

    Hi Lisa Anderson, I looked for the app you mentioned, called “wifi fix” and don’t specifically see it; rather, I see one that says, “Wi-Fi fix and rescue” and another one that says “Wi-Fi fixer”…can you tell me the name of the company that wrote the software app you downloaded and can you confirm that you are using an S3? I asked that because when I was reviewing the description of both the above mentioned apps, neither mentioned being specific for samsung s 3. Thanks in advance for your assistance!

  • Carole

    Hi Simon, if you wouldn’t mind, can you explain how one goes about downgrading to the 4.1.2? , Is it difficult to do?

  • TabithaX

    Agree and no one seems to be calling Verizon to complain! CALL VERIZON if you are their customer. Demand some assistance. Seems they’re saying “they are unaware of the issue.” Bulls*it!! Never again will I get a Samsung.

  • TabithaX

    I’m with you, never again will I get a Samsung

  • boychik0830

    I called them a while ago but they did nothing and going into the store did nothing either.

  • Simon

    For all those asking about downgrading, I had done a nandroid backup before I upgraded so just put the backup back on my phone, If you don, t have the original firmware to put back on you can end up with a blank imei number and no network, a quick search and you will find a guide to get around these problems.

  • TabithaX

    Figures, I used to love this phone too. :( Good Luck! When I can upgrade, I’m doing something different.

  • Jennifer Jordan

    What do you mean by can’t even reset? Are you getting an error on your screen? Or is it just a blank screen?

  • Jennifer Jordan

    A phone is just like any computer. resetting it refreshes it’s memory and unclogs some corrupt data.
    Works sometimes with my wifi router. when the connection gets real slow, a hard reset on my router resolves the issue at times.

  • Raybert Eichmann

    I realized the same thing. rebooting a device, esp my electronics, always comes to mind first when doing some troubleshooting.
    It saves time and energy most of the time.

  • Jennifer Jordan

    I hope doing the factory reset resolved the issue. That works for me with my S3 before. I had to factory reset after Google Play fails to load.
    A bit inconvenient redownloading apps and do the customizations but I think it always works.

  • Gavi Moshavi

    How do you downgrade ? Im having massive battert drains that get worse every day and mobile data connection not working

  • Zikrullah Zubir

    If gs3 can’t update to kit kat and fix this problem…I swear of god…I will throw my s3 to garbage and immediately buy sony z2
    And never ever buy samsung again

  • Ivy Ngim

    Hi, I also facing the problem after upgraded the Android 4.3. When my phone ringing, it is vibrating but no ringing tune, and it no show of in coming call number and no icon show for me to pick up the call. Sometime can pick up, but most of the call cannot be pick up. It is much appreciated that your guys can help me out. Thank you

  • Ivy Ngim

    After black out sometime, it have an error message stated that ” process com.not responding”

  • david tzach

    my samsung turns the sound off (silent mode) ocasionaly. what should I DO ?

  • Valeria Gmz

    Hey do u know how to get out of safe mode? I’ve tried everything with turning off, pressing diff things, taking out battery, uninstalling recent apps but it doesn’t work at all, I’m thinking it might be a problem with the last update

  • Jane D.

    I am so angry and annoyed with this stupid update. It hasn’t improved anything and my sound doesn’t work! I’ve rebooted, checked everything I can, and there’s no noise or notification when I get text messages or when I get a call. I have to constantly check my phone and see that I’m missing messages and calls. Today has been so unbelievably frustrating because of my stupid phone! Thanks Samsung S3 Update for being totally worthless and unhelpful.

  • Toni Bradley

    I looked through all the problems and solutions, but did not see this one. Since 4.3 update, the native email application no longer syncs, so it’s impossible for me to see what emails I replied to (from computer or tablet) and what emails I’ve already read. This is a business phone so this is a serious issue for me. I’ve done all the obvious stuff multiple times – clear data and cache, delete and reinstall each email account, etc. When I do this, and the emails download from the server, everything is synced just fine – read status and reply status are all correct with a fresh download – but then there is no syncing at all. Any suggestions?
    Toni B

  • Peg

    How do I get my emails to load? Last update July 1
    cannot get any

  • christi

    O.k. Put a new battery in and bought a new charger and worked for a little bit but now will not charge and even turn on when on charger. Now what? Have taken battery out and everything. Please Help!

  • avriesha brown

    Does anybody do remote downgrading?

  • david

    i need help with my s3 i tried to look at a video on youtube it says website not found i tried to exit out but it won’t let me i took battry out to restart but it won’t let me do anything

  • Lisa Garrett

    HI, I have a Samsung Galaxy S3. This morning my phone said that it needed to do an android system update. I started the update and when the phone rebooted it gave me a bunch of weird messages. The messages looked similar to those when a computer crashes. I have rebooted the phone as well as taken the battery out several times and put it back in. It keeps bringing me to the same screen. When it reboots, it does a recovery reboot. I really do not want to do a factory reset as not everything is backed up and I wil loose most everything. It looks like that may be my only option though. Please tell me there is another option! For some reason this forum is not allowing me to attach the image of what my phone screen looks like. If you email me, I can send it to you that way.
    [email protected]
    Thank you!

  • Lisa Garrett

    Oh, just realized that the photo did get attached to my post… all 5 times lol oops. sorry.

  • Κίκος Κίκου Κικιρίκου

    Finally a lifeboat here… I’m having the same issues friend ….

  • miliu99 .

    I can’t believe 4.3 is an official release because I ran into a lot of problems since upgrade, like many people do. I have two Galaxy S3. One of them had a problem that it goes freezing from time to time (sometimes once a day), which was a big pain. Over Thanksgiving, I bought a Samsung Gear Fit, which forced me to upgrade my OS to 4.3. Surprisingly, as a side effect, the freezing problem is gone since then. I was so excited that I upgraded the other phone as well, which turns out to be a big mistake. This second phone now cannot be charged. Initially, I thought the connector was defected. However, when I fiddle with the connector, I can get connected sometimes, but it gets disconnected right away, no matter how slow I do. This makes me believe it’s not a connector wire issue (otherwise I should be able to find a position and hold it for a while at least).

    For my first phone (where the freezing is gone now), I also ran into three issues: 1. It keeps saying my internet connection is unstable. 2. Everything is becoming slow. 3. Battery is used up quickly. So, I tried to manually install 4.3 again two days ago using the procedure described above. So far, all those problems seem to be gone.

    Yesterday, a friend of mine told me that he had a not working earphone on his HTC. After upgraded the OS, it surprisingly made the earphone work again. He initially thought it was a hardware issue.

    Inspired by this, I am trying to manually install 4.3 on the second phone in hoping to fix the connector issue. The problem is that I can’t get it connected to Odin3. In download mode, when I fiddle with the connector, Odin3 keeps showing Added!! and Removed!! right away. What else can I do?

    This second phone is my wife’s. She is already switched to iPhone 6 and very happy. She asks me to throw away all the Android “garbages”, but I still have high faith in Google…

  • Abigail Nicholl

    About the refuses to come on well my phone is doing that and it has been on charge for an hour but if I take them charger out and put it back in it just vibrates and flashes like a white and black constant can u guys help please it would be great

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