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Solutions To Sprint Galaxy S3 Problems After 4.3 Update

Sprint-Galaxy-S3-Problems-SolutionsWhile we published a lot of posts covering Samsung Galaxy S3 problems, we want to provide specific support for carried units. We already published a post addressing problems experienced by S3 owners under Verizon. Now, it’s time to reach out to Sprint Galaxy S3 owners who have been emailing us since last year.

Problems cited in this post are the most common ones. On the second edition of this series, I will address even more issues including more complicated ones. If you have a Galaxy S3 from Sprint and currently having problems you can’t fix, try to browse this post to see if I already addressed them. If not, then don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected]. For those who have Facebook accounts, you can post your problems on our Facebook page‘s wall or PM us. For directions how to get support from us, please visit our Troubleshooting page.

#1. Galaxy S3 freezes every after boot up

Problem

Hey guys, I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 from Sprint. I love the phone, I really do but after the Android 4.3 update, the performance deteriorated and just three days ago it kept freezing. Today, it freezes totally that I have to take the battery out to reboot. But once the phone is booted up, it freezes again prompting me to remove the battery just to turn it off. Called Sprint and their reps didn’t know a thing how to solve the problem, they only let me reboot my phone several times and they advised to perform master reset. What do you guys suggest that I do to fix this? — Mike

Solution

Actually, the reps are right, factory reset may seem to be the only solution to this problem. However, that is a broad spectrum troubleshooting and for the part of the reps that are time-pressured, there’s no better solution. Now, since I have all the time in the world to write this, I will walk you through narrowing down what the problem really is.

The first thing that you should do is boot the phone to Safe Mode for you to know if a third-party app or service is causing this problem. Here’s how you do it:

  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.

You said that every after the phone boots up it freezes, so you will know immediately if the problem still persists once the phone has booted to safe mode. If it wouldn’t freeze, then we already have our answer. You only have to look for the app that’s causing it and uninstall it. You should start from the most recent installation. However, if the phone still freezes, then pre-installed apps or services have something to do with it. Either way, the master reset may solve the problem but before you do that, there’s one thing you should do that might help–boot to Recovery Mode and wipe cache partition. Here’s how…

  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. Once the cache partition has been wiped, highlight ‘reboot system now’ and hit the Power button to reboot the phone.

If this doesn’t fix the problem, then there’s no other option but to perform the Factory Reset. Make a backup of your data if possible before doing so. Since you cannot perform the master reset using the Settings menu, you need to boot to recovery and do it there.

  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.

I hope this helps.

#2. Phone can’t get past the Samsung logo

Problem

My Galaxy S3 is stuck on Samsung logo after I downloaded the update. Tried calling Sprint’s tech support but I already stayed more than 30 minutes on the line without having to talk to a human representative. I found your Q&As online when I tried researching for solutions to this problem and your post came up first. You’ve been asking for problems so please help me with mine. I really need my phone to be working right now and getting one isn’t an option for me this time. So, I would greatly appreciate if you could provide some advices to this issue. Thanks. — Georgina

Solution

Georgina, your problem and Mike’s (the first problem cited in this post) are actually related. The difference is his phone can still manage to boot up to the main screen while yours is stuck on the Samsung logo. Had it been able to boot up successfully, it would also freeze before you could do a thing to it. So, I would suggest the same procedures (please refer above for the steps):

  1. Boot to Safe Mode first to know if a third-party app or service is causing the problem, and if it is, uninstall the app or stop the service.
  2. Boot to Recovery Mode and wipe the cache partition and then boot to normal mode.
  3. Perform factory reset via the Recovery Mode.

If you have further questions, do let me know and please make this post a reference so you don’t have to explain yourself again.

#3. Wi-Fi won’t stay connected

Problem

Hi, newbie here. This is my first smartphone so I’m still learning. My phone is Galaxy S3 under contract with Sprint. I recently received a notification saying there’s an available update so I downloaded it. Everything went well during the installation, no errors, etc. But today, my Wi-Fi can’t stay connected. Before the update, I used to download torrents leaving the phone downloading while I’m away. But after the update, the Wi-Fi disconnects when the phone’s screen turns off. It’s very inconvenient to me and I would greatly appreciate it if you could provide me ways to fix and prevent this problem from happening again. — Claire

Solution

A setting or two may have been messed or changed. Don’t worry, there’s no problem with your phone. Simply follow the procedures below so you could continue downloading files even if the phone’s screen is off. First thing you should do is check if the Power saving mode is on and if it is, turn it off.

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Scroll down to Power Saving Mode. If it’s on, turn it off by sliding the toggle switch.

Now, let’s go to your Wi-Fi settings. There’s actually an option that would make the phone’s Wi-Fi connectivity active even when it’s on idle.

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap Settings, and then tap Wifi.
  3. Tap the Menu key and select Advanced.
  4. Tap ‘Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep’ and set it to ‘Always.’
  5. Now tap on Auto-connect and make sure the box is checked.

I hope this helps.

#4. Bluetooth keeps disconnecting

Problem

Immediately after the 4.3 update, my Bluetooth is having a problem. You know, I always listen to music from my phone using my Bluetooth headset. After the update, the connection between my phone and my headset aren’t as smooth as before as they keep on disconnecting. I’ve searched online and found out there are a lot of us experiencing this problem. Do you have any solution for this? Thank you. — Jay B.

Solution

You’re right, thousands if not millions of Galaxy S3 owners were affected by this problem but the thing is, there wasn’t no acknowledge from Samsung if this is an issue with the firmware knowing it started to happen after the 4.3 update. I’ve talked with my friends who have better knowledge with Bluetooth architecture and they said it could be that the new firmware supports higher version of Bluetooth leaving older devices “incompatible,” hence the frequent disconnection. My friend over at XDA Dev forum suggested the A2DP Connect app from the Play Store. So, please try downloading that app and see if it helps. You know, even factory reset can’t fix this problem and I, too, am at a loss here when it comes to this issue.

#5. Pictures and videos are not viewable / playable

Problem

Hi, I always save my pictures and videos in my 32GB microSD card mounted to my Samsung Galaxy S3 but for some reason I cannot view them anymore. Now, I can see an icon with what seems like a lightning bolt that runs from the top to the bottom indicating something’s not right with the file. I don’t know if you guys have heard of this problem before but when I called Sprint, the rep told me it could be just a temporary problem and might be resolved soon. She, also, didn’t have idea what caused the problem. Can you guys help? I have hundreds of pictures and videos in my phone but I can’t view them now. — Martha

Solution

Yes, you’re right, the icon with a lightning bolt means the photo cannot be viewed by the phone like it was before, although the number of icons you can see is the number of photos you have. So, if you have say about a hundred photos before, there should also be a hundred of those icons. The thing is that you’re seeing those icons because your phone can’t read from you microSD card anymore. If you’re getting an error saying your SD card has been unmounted, then that’s the result but even if you can’t get such notification and the card was automatically unmounted for some reason, you’ll still see the same thing.

The best thing you can do for now is to physically unmount the microSD card from your phone, have your computer or laptop read from it and backup all your data if you can. If this problem would happen more often, you need to reformat the card to FAT32 format using your computer.

#6. Can’t connect to the internet using mobile data

Problem

For some reason, I cannot browse the internet and I can’t receive my emails. I really don’t have any idea what happened but about a week ago I actually updated my phone to Android version 4.3. Everything works fine except my internet. I have an unlimited plan with Sprint and it’s been about a week now that I cannot use the internet on my phone. Well, of course, I was able to connect to the internet at home because we also have Wi-Fi and when I’m at work, I use my company’s Wifi also but I still need internet on my phone because I have important emails that would come in almost everyday. How do I fix this problem, Droid guy? — Felix

Solution

What I was actually waiting was for you to say you changed some settings in your phone or some things were changed after the update. But I think the update somehow messed up with the settings of your phone leaving it unable to connect to mobile data network.

Let’s narrow down the problem; make sure you have a good coverage, first and foremost. Secondly, go to Settings > Connections tab > More networks > Mobile networks > Access Point Names, and check if you have the correct APN settings. If you don’t know the correct one, third, call Sprint support and ask for the correct APN settings.

#7. Phone won’t charge

Problem

Hey guys, I have a slight problem with my phone. My Galaxy S3 drained all its battery so it turned off. I tried to turn it on but it didn’t respond to the Power key being pressed so I thought the battery was totally drained that the phone won’t even bother vibrating like it used to. I plugged the charger, then the phone and left it charging or so I thought. When I came back from shopping and tried turning on the phone, it  still won’t turn on. I unplugged it from the charger, switched it on and still no response. I  plugged it again but it’s not showing the usual charging icon. Is my phone busted now? Help me please, I have a lot of files in there. Thanks. — Marian

Solution

The thing about the phone not charging is that the problem could be the charger, the battery or the phone. In your case, we actually don’t know which one has the problem, so let’s try to isolate the problem.

First, using the original charger, try to charge the phone then gently wiggle the cable to see if you can make it to charge. There are times when the USB cable is broken and wiggling it would make temporarily result to charging.  Wiggling the cable would also help narrow down the problem if the microUSB port or the USB port on the charger has the problem.

Second, if you cannot make the phone to charge using the original charger, try plugging the cable to your computer or laptop. If the charging unit was the problem, then the phone would be charging by now.

Third, if you have a different battery or you can barrow one, then try it out just  to know if the phone could boot up normally and charges. Buying a new battery pack is always an investment for people who often travel. After these steps, with new charger and battery, and the phone refuses to charge still, have it checked by an authorized technician because it could a hardware problem.

#8. Error while downloading apps from Play Store

Problem

After I updated my Galaxy S3 to 4.3, I didn’t experience any problem, perhaps I was lucky. But last week I update several apps and now I can’t download and  install apps from the Google Play Store, it just returns an error when I do  so. I’m sorry I haven’t caught what the error was but every time I download an app, it would just stop before the error message pops up. Help me please. — Elizabeth

Solution

Well, there are a lot of reasons you cannot download apps from the Play Store but since you explicitly said the problem started after you updated some apps, then I have a good feeling it’s more of a Play Store problem than anything. The easiest yet safest way to fix this problem is to uninstall Play Store updates.

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap Settings, and then More tab.
  3. Tap Application Manager.
  4. Swipe to the left twice to display contents of the All tab.
  5. Scroll to and tap Google Play Store.
  6. Tap the Uninstall Updates button.
  7. Then Clear Cache, and then Clear Data, tap OK.
  8. Reboot the phone.
  9. Launch the Play Store again and setup your Google account if necessary.

You should be able to download apps by now.

#9. Past downloads are being re-downloaded

Problem

Okay, so I have downloaded a lot of apps before to my Galaxy S3. After the last update, 4.3, it seems that my phone remembers them all and re-downloaded every single one of them that I keep getting notifications that a file has just been downloaded. Called Sprint twice but their representatives just don’t know what the problem is. They wanted me to restart my phone so I did and the problem was still there. Then they advised I would do master reset but I don’t want to do that because I would lose all my files. Do you guys have any idea how to fix this? If so, please help me. Thanks. — Lily

Solution

Yes, I guess the recent update messed up the phone’s settings or something resulting to the Download Manager remembering previous downloads. This problem can be solved by a very simple procedure that doesn’t include doing a master reset on the phone, please follow these steps:

  1. Go back to the Home screen.
  2. Tap the Menu key. (The key on the left side of the Home button.)
  3. Choose Settings.
  4. Tap on the More tab.
  5. Find and tap Application Manager.
  6. Swipe the screen going to the left until contents of the All tab are displayed.
  7. Scroll to and tap Download Manager (if you can’t find it, look for Downloads instead).
  8. Tap the Clear Cache button.
  9. Tap the Clear Data button, and then OK.
  10. You may reboot your phone to refresh its memory.

I hope this solves your problem.

#10. My Galaxy S3 shows -1 on message icon

Problem
I have a rather weird problem, the messaging icon shows -1 instead of 0. I did check my messages of course and I don’t have any unread messages. I already cleared Messaging app’s cache and data but the notification wouldn’t just go away. Help me guys, please.

Solution

It’s actually a common issue since 2013 the good thing is people with brilliant minds discovered just how to fix it. Follow these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap the More tab.
  3. Tap the Application Manager, then swipe to display the All section.
  4. Scroll to and find BadgeProvider.
  5. Tap Clear Cache, and then Clear Data.
  6. Reboot the phone.
  7. At this point, the notification (provided you don’t have unheard voice messages) should be gone.

Well, I hope this problem would be gone by now.

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