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AT&T Galaxy S3 Problems, Errors and Ways To Fix Them [Part 2]


This is apparently the second part of our AT&T Galaxy S3 (i747) Problems and Solutions. The issues aggregated in this post are among the most common concerns AT&T customers complain about when calling the carrier’s support hotline.

We don’t wish to compete with the support AT&T provides to its customers. Rather, we want to make it easier for users to troubleshoot their problems, and eventually fix them, before they spend several minutes on the phone waiting for a human representative to help them.

So, if you’re a Galaxy S3 owners under ATT’s umbrella, please take time to browse this post to see if I already addressed your concern. You may also want to browse the first part I published more than a week ago.

AT&T Galaxy S3 (i747) Problems and Solutions [Part 1] [Part 2]

If you are a Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile or Straight Talk customer and also have problems with your Galaxy S3, please find visit the appropriate link provided after the break.

If your problems weren’t addressed in any of your previous post or you have a different issue, feel free to send us emails at [email protected]. I assure you I will read your email but I cannot guarantee that I can respond. We also have our Facebook and Google+ pages in case you want to use those media to get in touch with us.

#1. Gallery stopped working after update

Problem: Hi, recently my phone is acting up and I cannot view my images. When I open the gallery, I get this very annoying message “Unfortunately, Gallery has stopped” and I can’t do a thing but to tap OK. I’ve been reading your blog since 2012 and I give it to you guys, you can help a lot of people by doing this. I need your help now. I think you’ve already addressed this issue before but I don’t know how to find that post. If you can point me to that post, that would be great and if you’re so kind to address it, that’s much better. And oh, my phone is Galaxy S3 from AT&T. Thank you guys, Linda.

Solution: You’re right, Linda. I’ve already addressed this same problem on our previous post, titled “Galaxy S3 Gallery stopped working.”

It’s a common problem among GS3 owners that surfaced following Android 4.3 update. But since you are having a hard time finding it, let me give you a quick rundown of our previous recommendation.

I previously advised our sender to simply clear the Gallery app’s cache and data. While there are lots of workarounds available, clearing cache and data of the Gallery app is found to be very effective. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Touch Menu from the Home screen.
  2. Touch More tab.
  3. Touch Application Manager then swipe to display All Section.
  4. Scroll down to find and select Gallery.
  5. Touch Clear Cache to initiate clearing of cache from Gallery.
  6. Touch Clear Data and hit OK to start clearing data from Gallery.

If problem persists, then try this:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap the More tab.
  3. Tap the Application Manager, then swipe until you get to Turned Off section.
  4. Scroll to and tap Paper Artist.
  5. Tap the Turn On button.

This should already solve the problem. Otherwise, please email us back so we can find other possible workarounds available for you. Previous content addressing this same problem is available here.

#2. Messaging app says -1 unread message

Problem: Hello Droid guy, I’m a Galaxy S3 user under contract with ATT. It’s kinda weird that my phone says I have negative one (-1) unread message. How is that even possible? I’m pretty sure it’s a glitch but I don’t have a clue how to fix it. It’s not really a problem but it’s annoying to be seeing that read notification all the time. Thanks. — Darren

Solution: Although this problem isn’t common, you’re not alone Darren. In fact, we had received lots of prior emails from GS3 (Sprint and Verizon) owners with the same email issue. Instead of showing 0, it prompted them with negative 1 (-1) unread messages.

A developer’s theory has explained the negative number denotes the notification was not properly set and therefore, suggested to set or configure the notification so as to get this issue fixed. Unfortunately, this DIDN’T solve the problem.

Then we tried to suggest Clearing of the Email Cache and Data as the next possible resolution attempt and that fixed the issue.

Important Reminder:

While clearing of email cache and data has been known to fix same email glitch, be reminded that the process will also delete personal settings and messages from your phone. So you may consider backing up all your important files first.

Here’s how to clear email cache and data on your GS3 handset:

  1. Go to Applications Manager to get started.
  2. Swipe to select All Tab.
  3. Scroll to find and select Email App.
  4. Touch on both Clear Cache and Clear Data buttons.
  5. Reboot your phone.
  6. Set up your email account again.

The above-mentioned procedure has worked well on our prior email senders with the email issue, and I hope it will do the same on you, Darren. You can find our previous content, addressing the same concern in this page.

There is one available solution online, and it’s basically the same as the aforementioned procedure but you’ll have to find the service called BadgeProvider.

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Touch the More tab.
  3. Tap Application Manager.
  4. Swipe left to display the All tab.
  5. Scroll down to find BadgeProvider.
  6. Tap Clear Data button.
  7. Tap OK.
  8. Now, reboot your phone.

I hope these procedures help.

#3. Phone will not continue booting up

Problem: Okay, I decided to email you guys because nothing on the web offers the same service as yours. I hope you can help me. My phone just received a new update and after that it won’t boot up. I’m pretty sure it’s not the battery because it powers on but it is stuck somewhere after the Samsung logo. The screen is blank or black but I’m pretty sure it’s powered on because I can see the logo just before the blank screen. I’m thinking of bringing it in for checkup but the nearest AT&T store is 75 miles away or so. I thought you’ve encountered this problem and I need your input on this before I decide to drive for hours back and forth. Thanks. – William

Solution: Many, users have encountered the same problem as yours William and some them have had relayed it to us already. Several workarounds have been made available to help GS3 owners deal with the issue on their device that stuck at Samsung logo after Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update.

I strongly suggest you to perform a wipe clear partition to begin with and then do a factory reset afterward. Both procedures must be done in Recovery Mode.

Steps to wipe cache partition

  1. Pop the back panel open and remove the battery for about 1 minute while the phone is ON.
  2. Place the battery back after the time has elapsed.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons, simultaneously.
  4. Wait until the phone vibrates, then release the Power button first. Keep holding and pressing on the Volume Up and Home buttons until the Android System Recovery screen displays.
  5. Highlight ‘Wipe Cache Partition’ using the Volume Down button, and then press the Power button to select the current option.
  6. Once the device is done wiping cache partition, highlight ‘reboot system now,‘ then press the Power button to initiate phone reboot.

If problem persists after completing the aforesaid procedure, proceed to performing a factory data reset or master reset:

  1. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons simultaneously.
  2. Wait until the phone vibrates and release the Power button first. Keep holding and pressing on the Volume Up and Home keys until you see the Android System Recovery prompt.
  3. Highlight ‘wipe data/factory reset’ using the Volume Down button, then press the Power button to select the current option.
  4. Highlight ‘delete all user data’ using the Volume Down button, then press the Power button to select the current option.
  5. Wait until the master reset is completed, then highlight ‘reboot system now.’
  6. Press the Power button again to continue.

Important Note: While performing a master reset or factory data reset has been proven to solve GS3 problems like this, you have to remember that doing so will also delete all your customized settings as well as the files you’ve saved on the phone.

You may also check out our other solutions to different problems on Galaxy S3 after firmware update available here.

#4. Previous downloads reappear or re-downloaded

Problem: Droid guy, how are you? I have a slight problem with my phone (AT&T Galaxy S3). It happened after I updated the device to 4.3 last week. I downloaded a lot of files before and some of them are still in my phone but after the update, they seem to be getting re-downloaded. Every now and then the Notification Panel displays notifications that items were downloaded completely. I don’t know if they were actually being re-downloaded or something but I just want to stop this non-sense and I don’t know how. Can you help me. — Miles

Solution: We’ve heard of and addressed this same issue relayed by one of our readers, who owns a T-Mobile GS3 smartphone. The issue is similar to yours, in which downloaded items reappear on the notification panel after the latest firmware update. In order to resolve this issue, we recommend you to do the subsequent procedures:

  1. Go to the Home screen.
  2. Tap the Menu key on the left side of the Home button.
  3. Select Settings to continue.
  4. Tap on More tab.
  5. Locate and tap Application Manager.
  6. Swipe the screen to the left until All tab contents are shown.
  7. Scroll to and tap Download Manager. If you can’t see Download Manager, look for Downloads and tap on it instead and proceed to the next step.
  8. Tap the Clear Cache button.
  9. Tap the Clear Data button.
  10. Tap OK to continue.

To refresh your phone’s memory, simply reboot the device. That should do it.

More about GS3 problems and solutions: You may also browse for more information on GS3 problems and solutions on this page.

#5. Cannot download/update apps through Play Store

Problem: I don’t know when this problem started but my ATT Galaxy S3 cannot update apps. When I open the Play Store app and go to My Apps, I can see some of apps I installed on my phone have updates so I tried updating one and there was an error. I tried doing the same to other apps and the same thing happened. Now, when I tried downloading an app, I’m getting another error message and I can’t continue the download process. I called AT&T about this and the rep walked me through clearing data of the Play Store but apparently it didn’t help. AT&T don’t know a thing of fixing this problem so I was thinking maybe you could help. Thanks. — Melinda

Solution: Were you prompted with error 403? If so, then it is not a problem with your smartphone but rather on Google Play Store itself. This should be fixed any time soon or a little later, so all you have to do is wait.

But if this is not the case, I recommend you to uninstall updates from your Play Store app. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Tap the Menu key from the Home screen.
  2. Tap Settings to continue.
  3. Tap to select More tab.
  4. Swipe to the left twice, to choose/select All tab.
  5. Scroll to and tap on Google Play Store.
  6. Tap Uninstall Updates.

Wait until the device is done uninstalling Play Store updates and try to download a new app or update an existing app again. Hope this helps you Melinda.

#6. New laptop cannot detect the phone

Problem: First of all, I just want to know I’m a 65-year-old woman and I own a Galaxy S3 and a plan with AT&T. My 5-year-old laptop died on my last week so my daughter bought me a new one. It’s a nice laptop but it seems not to detect my phone when I connect it. Previously, I just have to connect my phone and I can copy my pictures and videos to and fro but not now. What must I do to help my computer detect my phone? I worked for a computer company before so I know a thing or two about computers and phones but technology evolves every day and I’m afraid I was left behind. I would greatly appreciate it if you can help me. Thanks. — Roann

Solution: Thank you for letting us know of this problem Roann, and I’d be glad to assist you on further.

Regardless of whether your new laptop is running on Mac or Windows OS, it is very likely that you need to install a device driver that will allow it to recognize your GS3 smartphone.

Windows computers usually have these little programs that function as bridge between the computer itself and other devices attached to it, including Android smartphones. However, there are lots of universal USB devices that can automatically be detected or recognized by a Windows computer once they’re plugged in.

In your case Roann, your new laptop probably needs to have those drivers for it to recognize or detect your Galaxy S3 device. But before you proceed to searching for a device driver, I suggest you to perform these first few methods to refresh your phone’s system.

  1. Turn off the phone.
  2. Remove the battery.
  3. Wait around 30 seconds then put the battery back on the phone.
  4. Connect the phone to the new laptop.

Isolate the problem

If problem persists and the new laptop still doesn’t recognize your phone after doing the first recommendations, try to use a different USB cable (if available) to connect the phone to your laptop. Also attempt to connect other USB devices to your new laptop, to check if the USB is just working fine. If the new laptop does not recognized the other devices, then it means there is a problem on its USB port. If you may, please check your laptop’s device manager and see if there is any reported issue for the USB controllers. Here’s how:

  1. Press the Windows key + X on your laptop and then select Device Manager.
  2. Click on the + sign to expand the “Universal serial bus controllers.”
  3. If you see a yellow exclamation mark or a red X mark over any USB controllers, then that means there’s a problem.
  4. Right click on Device and select Properties.
  5. Go to the General Tab and check the device status.

If the device status prompts any corrupt driver or if the driver isn’t loaded for a USB controller, you will need to update the device driver.

Hint: To know which driver is right your new laptop for this function, you may search the web via Google or Samsung website on Galaxy S3 USB drivers to see available drivers for your new device. Other option is to install Samsung Kies and use it to find the right driver for your device. You may download Samsung Kies app here.

#7. Wi-Fi can’t stay connected after update

Problem: I updated my phone last week and I encountered a lot of problems so I decided to do master reset. Now, the phone is normal again with its new firmware but the Wi-Fi keeps disconnecting, I can’t get it to stay connected. I notice it disconnects every time the phone goes idle. Do you know how to fix this? Is it a software or a hardware problem? Thanks guys. I would appreciate it if you address my concern. — Nina

Solution: What you are experiencing Nina is more likely a software glitch and I believe it has something to do with the phone’s wireless network settings. Basically, the update to Jellybean 4.3 overrides the phone’s current settings, and so there’s a big possibility that your wireless network settings automatically changed.

I strongly suggest verifying of your phone’s network settings first and see if it’ll fix the problem. Here are the recommended workarounds for you.

  1. Tap the Menu key from the Home screen.
  2. Tap on Settings.
  3. Scroll down to Power Saving Mode. If you see it’s turned On, slide the toggle switch to turn it OFF. Otherwise, leave it on.
  4. Verify/reconfigure wireless settings. Here’s how:

4.1. Go back to the Home screen and tap the Menu key.
4.2. Tap on Settings.
4.3. Tap WiFi.
4.4. Tap the Menu key and select Advanced.
4.5. Tap the option that says, ‘Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep‘ and set it to ‘Always.’
4.6. Tap on Auto-Connect. Be sure to put a check on the box.

That should work. If not, then please let us know ASAP so we can look for other possible fixes available for this issue and get back to you soon.

#8. Phone auto corrects every word I type

Problem: I don’t know what happened with my phone but it seems to show me it’s a lot smarter than I am because it corrects every word I type. It could have been better if the words were right but 90% of the time they’re incorrect. I don’t know so much about the latest technologies in phones so I can’t tell if this is a problem with the software or not. Do you know how I can turn this feature off or fix it if it’s a known issue? — David

Solution: Hi David, the problem you have right now is caused by a phone feature called predictive text. For some reasons, certain phone updates may have reset some features and phone functions. If this is the first time you encounter such problem, I recommend you to verify some settings on your device, specifically on Language. Follow these steps:

1. Go to the Settings menu.

2. Select Language and Input.

3. Check on the Predictive Text slider. If it is ON, toggle the slider to turn it OFF.

Hint: To prevent your phone from correcting every word you text, the Predictive Text slider must be set to OFF because doing so will likewise disable the phone’s Auto Correct messaging function.

#9. Can’t send MMS messages

Problem: Hi, I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 I purchased from AT&T but since Straight Talk offers better unlimited service, I ported my number to use their service. I can make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, can connect to the internet but I can’t send MMS messages. I’m pretty sure it’s not a coverage issue because I can do things I previously mentioned that uses network connectivity. I’m at my wits end here and I tried calling Straight Talk but the representative told me my account is in good standing and I have unlimited plan so it’s not that. Is this a phone problem? Please help me. — Melody

Solution: The problem is not on your phone, Melody. Mobile data is one of the requisites in sending and receiving MMS messages. Unlike emails, you will not be able to send MMS messages even if your phone has Internet connection. In order to successfully deliver MMS messages to your recipients, an active mobile data is needed.

My first suggestion is to verifying your phone’s mobile data settings and make sure it is Enabled.

If it is already enabled but the problem persists, then it is more likely that the problem is due to incorrect APN settings on your phone. In this case, you will need to contact your service provider and ask for the correct APN settings.

There are also some instances when the Galaxy S3 cannot send MMS messages when it is set to Power Safe mode. To ensure this is not causing your problem, please turn this feature OFF.

#10. Wi-Fi auto reconnect gone

Problem: Hi guys! I’m an S3 owner and an AT&T customer. I received an update last week and everything went well. The phone is much better now that it runs the latest update but there’s one thing I’m missing. Before the update, my phone would auto-connect to Wi-Fi networks I often connect to and it’s gone now.

When I’m at home, I connect to my own Wi-Fi network but when I leave home for work, the phone will automatically connect to mobile data network in the absence of a Wi-Fi access point. And when I arrive in the office, my phone would auto-connect to the company network. But it’s not doing it now. I have to manually connect it to Wi-Fi networks I mentioned. How do I fix this? Thanks guys. Keep up the good work! — Roxanne


Have you verified your phone’s Wi-Fi settings yet? If not, then be sure you do it first. It’s possible that the latest update overrides your previous phone settings, including the Wi-Fi auto network switch configuration.

In order to let your phone automatically switch and/or connect to an available wireless network, the Auto Network Switch has to be enabled on your phone. Here’s how:

  1. Tap the Menu key from the Home screen.
  2. Select Settings to continue.
  3. Locate and tap on the Connections tab.
  4. Turn WiFi On first (if it’s OFF), otherwise, leave it as is and proceed to step 5.
  5. Tap WiFi.
  6. Tap the Menu key.
  7. Select Advanced.
  8. Locate the box beside ‘Auto Network Switch’ and be sure to put a check on it.

Your phone should now be able to switch/connect to an available wireless network. But if problem persists after doing the aforementioned workarounds, be sure to let us know ASAP so we can assist you further with this concern.

Engage with us

Feel free to send us your questions, suggestions and problems you’ve encountered while using your Android phone. We support every Android that is available in the market today. And don’t worry, we won’t charge you a single penny for your emails. Email us via [email protected] any time. We read every email but can’t guarantee a response. Lastly, if we were able to help you, please help us spread the word by sharing our posts with your friends or visit our Troubleshooting Page. Thanks.

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