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AT&T Galaxy S3 (i747) Android 4.3 Problems and Solutions

ATT-Galaxy-S3-ProblemsUPDATE: I just published the second part of this series: AT&T Galaxy S3 (i747) Problems, Errors and Ways To Fix Them [Part 2]. If your concerns weren’t addressed in this post, visit the second part as I may have included them there. Thanks.

This post, of course, is intended for AT&T subscribers who own a Samsung Galaxy S3. There are ten problems addressed in this post and solutions are also provided. So take time to browse this post if you have problems with your AT&T Galaxy S3 phone because may be one of the problems cited here is related to yours. If not, then we have a dedicated mailbox for your questions, problems and concerns. Don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] and I guarantee I will read every email we receive, though I can’t promise to respond to them all.

For Sprint and Verizon customers who also have problems with their Galaxy S3, I already published posts like this:

If you spend a few hours on Facebook, you can post your concerns on our Facebook Page or PM us. Those with Google+ accounts may also follow our Google+ page.

#1. Messaging app stopped working

Problem

Hi Droid Guy, I have a little problem with my phone. I am an AT&T customer and a Galaxy S3 owner. I don’t have complaints with my service and my phone, it’s just that recently, the message app I’m using keeps freezing and more often it will prompt me with an error “Unfortunately, Messaging has stopped” and I don’t have other option but to choose OK. My phone says it’s running Android 4.3 if that matters. Can you help me out, please? — Megan

Solution

Megan, it’s probably just a glitch in the messaging app. The fact is, this problem is common and there is also an effective way to fix this. Just follow these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Touch Settings, and then More tab.
  3. Touch the Application Manager option.
  4. Swipe to the left twice or until contents of the All tab are displayed.
  5. Scroll to and tap the Messaging app.
  6. Tap Force Close button first.
  7. Then, tap Clear Cache.
  8. You may lose some of your messaging data and settings with this next step, tap Clear Data and then OK.
  9. Reboot the phone.

It should work now.

#2. Cannot browse the web on stock browser

Problem

Hi, thanks for the wonderful and helpful tips you guys are doing. You’re doing a great job and probably have helped a lot of users. My problem is I cannot browse any website using the browser on my phone. I know I have internet connection because I can send and receive emails just fine using either Wifi or mobile data. This problem is probably very easy for you to solve but I’m a noob when it comes to technology so please, spare some time to answer my problem. Thanks. Looking forward to your reply. — Melanie

Solution

It sounds like it’s a browser issue more than anything else and it’s minor, don’t worry. The thing about apps like the browser is that their data can be deleted without affecting their performance or functionality. In fact, when you clear their caches and data, they may even perform better. That’s what you need to do with the browser app you’re using.

  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.

The workaround, in case the problem persists, is to use a different browser like Chrome or Firefox.

#3. Gallery loads very slowly

Problem

I have a Galaxy S3 and I’ve been experiencing a lot of problems ever since I updated it to Android 4.3 in November. I was able to fix those problems, at least majority of them, by doing the master reset. I had to sacrifice a lot of my pictures just to make this phone usable again. Everything was working fine after the reset but just recently, I noticed the Gallery app now takes so long to load and when it’s loaded up, it would take a minute or two just to preview photos. Consequently, my camera was affected by its performance. Do you have a fix for this except factory reset? I understand it could fix the problem but it’s a hassle on my part because I have to copy all my files to my computer, again. So, if you have any idea how to fix this, please help me. Thanks. — Jessica

Solution

Since you positively said that it’s the Gallery that’s having some problems, let’s set our focus on it first. So basically it will load up but it takes more time to do so than before. I wonder, how my photos do you have in your phone or SD card? The Gallery is one of the busiest apps in your phone because it works hand-in-hand with the camera; it manages photos and videos that are already stored in your phone, it crops photos to produce thumbnails, it receives photos from the camera every time take some, it syncs with multiple cloud servers to make a backup of every item it manages. The point is, if you have hundreds if not thousands of photos in your phone, it is almost expected that the Gallery’s performance will deteriorate. But there are procedures we can do to try to fix this.

First is to clear the cache and data:

  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 Gallery.
  6. Tap Force Close button first.
  7. Tap Clear Cache and then Clear Data buttons.

If the procedure above won’t solve the problem, please try to “unsync” the Gallery app from cloud services you may be using like Dropbox, Picassa, Google+ or Facebook. You can also transfer all your pictures to your computer to see if it remedies the problem. And, don’t forget to check on your microSD card to see if it’s still functioning well. Problematic SD cards will also result to this issue.

#4. Phone display blacks out when in call

Problem

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?

Solution: I think there’s no problem with your phone at all. The Galaxy S3 actually has a setting that would turn the screen off during calls. Perhaps, that setting has been messed up for some reason. Just follow these steps and you’ll be alright:

  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.

#5. Phone refuses to charge

Problem

For some reason my phone has become so stubborn, it won’t charge no matter what I do. Just a background, I love my phone very much that I use nothing but original casing from Samsung and I never used a different charger. The battery is still the original and I haven’t rooted it. Basically, the phone is in mint condition but I was surprised the other day when it refused to charge. Since then, I wasn’t able to use the phone because it just won’t charge and I drained all the battery. By the way, if I rooted the phone, would it perform better? Thanks. — Bern

Solution

The thing about this kind of problem is that there are always four things you have to check; the charger, the USB cable, the battery and the phone itself. Please follow these steps to troubleshoot what the problem really is:

  1. Plug the USB cable to the computer and the plug the other end to the microUSB port on your phone. If the phone charges, the problem was with the charger.
  2. If the phone still won’t charge even if it’s plugged to a computer, there is a possibility that it’s the cable. So, if you have a spare USB cable, use that just to confirm our suspicion. If the phone charges using the other cable, then you can use your charger to charge the phone.
  3. In case the problem still persists even with a different cable, the battery might be the problem. Open the back panel and remove the battery. Leave the phone without the battery for a minute and while waiting for the time, press and hold the power button of your phone to discharge stored electricity in capacitors. Replace the battery and try to charge.
  4. After doing the previous step and the phone still refuses to charge, try to use a different battery. If the problem persists, then it’s the phone that has a problem. Have it checked by a technician.

#6. Keyboard freezes randomly

Problem

Hi, there are times when I can’t totally type because the keyboard freezes. I’m not sure what caused the problem but it could be because my phone has a lot of apps installed. I even noticed the phone’s performance isn’t as good as before so I guess it should be the apps. What can I do to fix this problem? Thanks guys. — Milo

Solution

First and foremost, we will have to confirm your suspicion if it’s really the apps that cause the problem. So the first thing you should do is to boot to Safe Mode to disable all third-party apps.

  1. Turn the phone off completely.
  2. Press and hold the Power button.
  3. When the Galaxy S3 screen appears, release the Power button.
  4. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume Down key until the phone finished restarting.
  5. “Safe Mode” will be displayed on the lower left corner of the screen.

Try to observe your phone’s performance if there is a significant boost. Also, type something on your messaging app or email just to find out if the keyboard would still freeze. If your phone’s performance improved generously and the keyboard wouldn’t freeze when in safe mode, then your suspicion that the apps are causing the problem were right. All you have to do is find apps you don’t use anymore, clear their caches and data then uninstall them.

If, however, the problem still persists even when in Safe Mode, then there is a need to perform factory reset but first, try to wipe the cache partition via the recovery mode.

  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 cache partition’ and press the Power button to select it.
  4. When finished, use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’ and press the Power button to select it.
  5. Still use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘delete all user data’ and press the Power button to select the option.
  6. Once the master reset is finished, highlight ‘reboot system now’ and hit the Power button one more time.

#7. Can’t hear callers

Problem

It’s been happening for months now, every time I call someone or somebody’s calling me, the person on the other end of the line can’t hear me. Does it have something to do with the phone’s settings? If you guys know how to solve this problem, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks. — Belinda

Solution

I believe it’s a hardware issue more than anything else. So, without further ado, backup all your important data and perform factory reset just to bring the phone back to its default settings. I would recommend performing master reset via the recovery mode:

  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. When finished, 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.

#8. Phone suggests different words

Problem

Okay so I understand that smartphones today are programmed to suggest words when you type but the thing is my phone chooses the wrong word for me. I have a Galaxy S3 phone from AT&T and I’ve been looking everywhere how to get rid of the suggestions or how to stop the phone from suggesting wrong words. Can you help?

Solution

Yes, phones today are way smarter than feature phones 5 years ago but the thing is, even dated feature phones have predictive text feature. The feature you’re talking about is present to almost all phones in the market today. There’s of course a way to get rid of it: I would like you to go to Settings > Language and Input > Samsung Keyboard settings > disable Predictive Text. That’s it, your phone won’t suggest words when you type and it surely won’t choose the wrong words for you.

#9. Can’t send / receive MMS messages

Problem

I can browse the internet with my phone using Wifi, I can receive and send emails and can make calls and text messages. The only thing I can’t do is send an MMS message to my friends. Why is it so? Everything is working fine except for my MMS? Is this a bug or something? Do you have a solution for this?

Solution

MMS messages need mobile data to be sent or retrieved. You might be thinking MMS messages can be sent like emails or if there is an internet connection you can send an MMS message. No. MMS messages needs mobile data to be delivered so you need to enable it before you can actually do so. If mobile data was already enabled, then there is a problem with the APN settings; you need to call your service provider to ask for correct APN settings.

#10. PC can’t detect my phone

Problem

I am not a techie person and a woman at that. By the way, my laptop has Windows 7 OS and whatever I plug into it, it could detect and recognize except my phone. What’s the matter with my phone or computer? Do I have to do something so I could connect my phone successfully to my laptop?

Solution

There’s nothing wrong with your phone or your laptop. It’s just that you need to install little applications called “drivers” so your phone can be detected and recognized by your laptop. But instead of scouring the web looking for those drivers, download and install Samsung KIES because it comes with all necessary drivers. Aside from that, you can use it when you need to backup or restore your phone. Just google ‘Samsung Kies’ and you can find a link where you can download it from. And once the application was installed in your laptop, you can plug the phone and it should be detected and recognized this time.

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