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How To Fix Common Samsung Galaxy S3 Problems and Errors [Part 20]

This is going to be the 20th part in our series of troubleshooting articles regarding the Samsung Galaxy S3. From the amount of emails we are getting it looks like this is going to be one of the longest running series on our website. This doesn’t mean that the S3 is a problematic device though as most of the emails we receive from our readers are similar and have already been answered in our previous posts.

s3

To check on the past issues we have tackled check out the links below.
[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6] [Part 7] [Part 8] [Part 9] [Part 10] [Part 11] [Part 12] [Part 13] [Part 14] [Part 15] [Part 16] [Part 17[Part 18] [Part 19]

If you are having issues with your S3 or any other Android device feel free to send us an email at [email protected] if possible try to be as detailed as possible. Information such as the Android version used or the exact error message that can be seen on the screen can be very helpful in the troubleshooting process. We do our best to answer every email that we receive however it might take some time as we receive lots of emails.

Alternatively, you can also reach us through our Facebook page or our Google+ page.

In this part of the series we will tackle issues ranging from random reboots, dead device, gallery, and camera issues. Read on below to see what our readers have sent us.

Galaxy S3 Does Not Turn On After Update

Problem: Hello, On Saturday I installed an update on to my phone. Since then it will not work or turn on at all. It starts up to the Samsung logo and then shuts off and keeps re-starting but it doesn’t actually turn on. I tried to put it in download mode but not sure where to go from there. Please help!! Thank you

Solution: From the way you described the issue it appears that your device is in a bootloop. I’m assuming that your device has never been rooted and that the update you downloaded comes is an official update. There are various reasons as to why this issue occurs such as

  • After installing an official or custom ROM
  • Flashing a wrong ROM or Kernel
  • Running an incompatible app or game
  • Wrong Permissions fix for an app or file
  • Installing a custom mod or theme

In your case the issue occurred after installing an official update. First try to do a soft reset on your S3 to see if it helps.
Take out the battery (leave it out for around 30 seconds)
Reinsert the battery.
Press and hold the power button for 10 seconds.
If that didn’t work you might want to do a hard reset on your device. Just make sure that your data is backed up before performing this.

  • Turn the phone off
  • Press and hold Volume UP and Home (center) button
  • Press Power until the phone vibrates
  • Wait until you see the Android logo then release all the buttons
  • Select Wipe data/Factory reset with VOLUME DOWN, press Power (right hand-side)
  • Select YES…delete all user data with VOLUME DOWN and then Press Power
  • After format, press Power again to reboot the phone (select reboot system now)

If this still doesn’t work then you might want to consider flashing a stock ROM on your device. Contact us again if you need the procedure on this or you could also search for it on the popular forums.

Galaxy S3 Won’t Turn On

Problem: Hi there! So my Samsung Galaxy S3 (bought like a year and a half ago) won’t turn on. It’s not the battery, cus it works in my mom’s SG3 and her battery doesn’t turn mine on. Two days ago it started crashing randomly. It did better with time, I think, and then both nights when I charged my phone overnight, it was dead when I woke up. I wondered if it was from overcharging all the time, but if overcharging only effects the battery, like I said, my battery worked in my mom’s phone. I’ve been able to power it on up till now by removing and replacing the battery, but today when I turned it back on, I used it for a while, it got hot, crashed, and since then it hasn’t turned on (been a couple hours). I tried leaving the battery out for a good while before replacing it and it still won’t turn on. I tried everything in your “How To Fix A Galaxy S3 That Won’t Turn On [Troubleshooting Guide]”, and none of it worked, it won’t turn on at all. Is there any other recommendation that comes to mind? There’s still some things I wish I could retrieve from my phone, so if there are any other possibilities, anything would help. Even if you can only reply “no”, I’d appreciate it. 🙂

Solution: From the way you described the problem it appears that your device now has a hardware issue. It’s good that you isolated the battery and tried troubleshooting the device (which eliminates any possible software issue). Have you tried using another USB cord and see if it turns on giving you just enough time to backup your data? Make sure to plug it into your laptop so if it does turn on you can immediately retrieve your data. Aside from this the best thing you can do right now is to send it to an authorized service center to have it checked. There could be a chip (possibly the power IC) in the S3 board thats’ already faulty.

Galaxy S3 Flashes Then Turns Off

Problem: Hello, My name is Kevin. My wife has a Samsung Galaxy S3 and it has recently been giving her problems. It seems like the phone some nights will only have half charge and drains quickly. And most recently, the screen went out when she tried charging it and when we try to turn it on, the screen will flash and vibrate and go off. When plugged in, it does this every couple of seconds. We think it could be the battery because we have tried all the steps to boot it up, boot in safe made and holding volume up, home and power, but none have worked. The screen still just flashes and vibrates then goes off. What do you think the problem is and recommend for fixing this problem? Thank you for your time and help.

Solution: Hi Kevin, have you tried doing a soft reset on your phone? Try taking out the battery, leave it out for at least 30 seconds, then place it back in, and turn on the device. This usually resolves the issue. If this doesn’t solve the issue then try connecting it to a laptop with the latest Kies software installed. Check if the S2 can be detected and if it stays on. You might want to backup your data at this point if it turns on since you will need to do a hard reset to isolate any software related issues that is causing the problem.
After performing all of the steps above and the problem still exists then this could already be a hardware related concern. You will need to try using a new battery and charger then leave it charging before turning it on . If that doesn’t work then you might want to have the unit checked at an authorized service center.

Galaxy S3 Does Not Turn On

Problem: Hi! I found your troubleshooting guide for Samsung Galaxy S3’s that won’t turn back on and hoped it would help, but unfortunately I am still not able to turn on my phone. I really don’t want to lose pictures of my kids, so this is my last attempt before I have to order a new phone. This is my issue: My phone was working fine. I plugged it into my charger and noticed the screen didn’t light up. I tried to turn it on, plugged in, no luck. I unplugged it, tried again. I tried another charger, took out the battery and put it back in, nothing. *note: I had been away for the weekend and while I was gone, there was a power outage/surge, as my clocks were blinking. I wonder if there was excess power in the charger that fried the phone. I also remembered that for whatever reason, the charger I had used wasn’t working the night before I left. I took the phone to Verizon, who didn’t have extra batteries, told me to try radio shack. There I learned that my battery works, as it allowed a new phone to turn on, and a new battery in my phone didn’t work. I also learned that at some point there was some water in my phone, but it was not wet or near water for days at the time my phone died. I tried all of the troubleshooting tips on your page, but they didn’t work. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Solution: We’re sorry to hear that after trying all of the troubleshooting steps on our page your phone still does not turn on. You mentioned that you have already isolated the battery and the charger and still your S3 will not turn on. This could already be an issue concerning the hardware of the phone itself. It’s quite possible that a power surge may have affected some chips in the device. Right now the best option you could do is have it checked at an authorized service center. If they find a faulty chip that can be replaced then there’s a big chance that you will be able to retrieve the photos.

Galaxy S3 File Sorting Issue

Problem: I am not able to sort and file my pic files anymore. I go through the process of picking them out to move but when I promp to move it shows the file moving page but nothing happens the bar does not advance. What could cause this all of a sudden? Any help would be appreciated.

Solution: First try to boot in safe mode and see if ou can move your photos. This way you are able to isolate any third party apps that may be causing the issue.

  • Turn the device off.
  • Wait for a few second before you turn it on again.
  • Turn the device on again by pressing the Power button.
  • Press Volume down key when the Samsung logo appear on screen.
  • Hold Volume down key until the safe mode Appear on the lower left key.
  • Release the Volume down key.
  • You are now in Safe Mode

Are you trying to move the photos from the internal storage of your phone to the external microSD card? If this is the case then there might be a problem with the microSD card itself. What you need to do is unmount and remount the SD card first and check if it does the trick. This process does not require you to physically take out the SD card.

  • Settings -> Storage -> Unmount SD card and then Remount SD card

If that didn’t work then turn of your device and take physically take out the SD card. If you have an extra SD card try placing it in your device and see if you can now normally move files. If you don’t have a readily available SD card then just replace your original card and check if the issue still exists.
If it still does not work you may want to consider doing a quick format of your SD card. Make sure to backup all of the important data on the card before formatting it.

  • Settings -> Storage -> Format SD card

If after performing all of the steps above the problem still exists then you might want to try getting a new SD card.

Galaxy S3 Gallery Issue

Problem: Hi droid guy, I have a gallaxy s3 i9300. I had a problem with my gallery after i updated my device for 4.3 update. Supposedly after the 4.3 update my gallery will turn out the same with the gallery appearance of gallaxy s4 but unfortunately my update went differently. I have attached in this email a screen shot of the current gallery set up after i updated my device. Please please please help me. A waiting for your rply.

Solution: Have you tried turning off your device then turning it back on again? Try this and see if the gallery changes. If not then try to clear the cache of the gallery app.

To clear the cache for an application, from the home screen, tap Apps.

  • Scroll to and tap Settings.
  • Tap the More tab.
  • Tap Application manager.
  • Tap the desired application.
  • Tap Clear cache.
  • The application cache is now cleared.

Samsung S3 Camera Failed

Problem: Hello, I recently (a couple of weeks ago) got a new unlocked Samsung s3 GTi9300. The camera had been working fine until today. Today the camera started saying “camera failed”. The most recent changes I made were downloading the new Facebook messenger app and inserting a 32Gig SD card with music on it. I have tried all the suggestions on your website as well as uninstalling the facebook app. I have cleared cache and data and force stopped the camera as well as the gallery app, I have done a factory reset, and I have done clear cache partition. I have also rebooted after each attempt. I have scoured the forums for a solution but cannot find one so I was hoping that you may be able to help. If you need any more information please let me know, and any help would be greatly appreciated!

Solution: Since you have tried almost all of the troubleshooting steps on the software side of things then this issue could be caused by the hardware. Now the only thing new introduced into your S3 is the SD card. Save any important data that you have in this card and reformat it then check if the camera works. If you are still getting the same error message then try removing the SD card from your device and check and see if the camera works normally. If the error message does not appear then you might want to consider getting a new SD card as the one you might be using right now could be faulty.

Galaxy S3 Random Reboot

Problem: Hello, my S3 recently started shutting down, and rebooting itself. After reading online, I took it in to get a new button, assuming that was the problem. He told me he put in a new button, and so I went on with my day. Later I noticed it was having the same problem again so I switched the batterys with someone else, and nothing changed. So, I took it back to the store and they adjusted a few things, and told me it was fixed. The problem never changed. I leave in a few days, and I a, desperate to fix my phone. Please help.

Solution: The random reboot issue of an S3 could be caused by various factors that could be categorized as a software or hardware issue. In your case you replaced the button of your device but the problem still occurs. This means that there is another underlying cause to this issue. What you need to do is isolate any third party applications first to see if they are causing this random reboot. To do so you will need to activate safe mode on your device.

  • Turn the device off.
  • Wait for a few second before you turn it on again.
  • Turn the device on again by pressing the Power button.
  • Press Volume down key when the Samsung logo appear on screen.
  • Hold Volume down key until the safe mode Appear on the lower left key.
  • Release the Volume down key.
  • You are now in Safe Mode
  • Once in safe mode check and see if your device still reboots. If it doesn’t then you will need to manually uninstall any third party app that may be causing this issue.

If the problem still exists then try to remove your SD card. Sometimes a corrupt SD card may be causing the reboot. Turn off your device, take out the SD card, then turn your device back on.

The final step you can do is to perform a hard reset on your device. Make sure to backup all of your data first as they will be erased during this process.

  • Turn the phone off.
  • Press and hold VOLUME UP and Home(center) button
  • Press Power until the phone vibrate
  • Wait until you see the Android logo then release all the buttons.
  • Select Wipe data/Factory reset with VOLUME DOWN, press Power (right hand-side)
  • Select YES — delete all user data with VOLUME DOWN and then press Power
  • After format, press Power again to reboot phone. (select reboot system now)

Galaxy S3 Contacts Have Stopped

Problem: Not sure if you can help me, but when I go to my “phone” icon to make a call or check my call log, it says “Unfortuantely, Contacts has stopped”, I have tried several times to sync and that keeps coming up in error and said to try later, it’s been two days now. Do you know why? Thanks

Solution: One of the best ways to resolve his issue is to clear the cache of the contacts app.

  • Go to Settings
  • Proceed to Application Manager
  • Select the All tab
  • Choose Contacts
  • Tap Clear Cache

If that didn’t work then start your device in safe mode and try to check if the issue still exists. If your phone now works normally then there is a third party app that is causing the problem. There is no easy way to know which app is causing this so you will have to manually uninstall any app that you have installed lately.

The final step that yo could do if all else fails is to perform a factory reset on your device. Make sure that you backup all your data first.