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How To Fix Samsung Galaxy S3 Common Problems [Part 17]

As you may have already known, we’ve been supporting a lot of devices but the Galaxy S3 Problems and Solutions is, so far, the longest running series. I started publishing posts like this a few months after the Galaxy S3 was release in 2012 (pre-Android 4.3).

Samsung-Galaxy-S3-Problems-17

Imagine, I’ve been supporting users of this phone for more than a year now and we’re still getting hundreds of emails from our readers daily asking how to solve their concerns. Why? Because Galaxy S3 is still one of the widely used smartphones with more than 40 million users. But majority of the problems we receive are related to apps and firmware, thus, minor.

In case you have problems with your phone, feel free to contact us via [email protected] and may include your problems in our next publication. But I urge you to provide as much information as possible. I don’t care how long your messages are as long as they make sense and help us diagnose what the problems really are. You can also reach us via our Facebook and Google+ pages; I am also one of the people that answers questions there. Lastly, try to go through each part of the series to see if we already addressed your concerns.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Problems After Android 4.3 Update [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]

Galaxy S3 Problems and Solutions

#1. Galaxy S3 shuts down multiple times

Q: Hi, after the latest update a few weeks ago, my phone has been shutting down and failing to reboot at least 20x/day. Most of the time, the phone would shut down and get hung up on the Samsung logo, then shut down again, stopping at that. Once in a while, it would reboot, but shortly after shut down again. The periods where it stays on without shutting down is now seldom.

Background

  • Right after the update a message had popped up stating that a Factory Reset was required since a data partition has been corrupted.
  • After backing up all the photos and data, I finally managed to attempt the factory reset. It took me this long due to the multiple phone shutdowns coupled with having to transfer via Bluetooth to my Mac desktop.
  • Phone is still shutting down while I am trying to start over after having done the factory reset.

Please say you can help me, and thank you! — Jocelyn

A: If the phone was just fine prior to the update, then it’s a software issue. At this point, we already know that Factory Reset could solve it and there are three ways to hard reset your phone.

The first is by going to Settings menu of the phone but as you said, it took you so long to do so because of the frequent reboots. The problem with it is that during the process and phone shuts down automatically, it may end up being corrupted and more problems will follow. So, if you prefer that procedure, all your need to do is boot the phone to Safe Mode and perform factory reset there. Here’s how you boot to safe mode:

  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.

The second way to factory reset the phone to delete all personal information and settings is by dialing a code using the phone’s stock Dialer/Phone app. To do this, launch the phone app and dial *2767*3855# (star-2-7-6-7-star-3-8-5-5-pound). It will automatically reset your phone.

The third way is a bit complicated but the most effective because it does not only delete your personal information and settings, it will also re-format the cache and data partitions. You can do this by booting to 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 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.

I hope I provided all information need to bring your phone back to its optimal settings.

#2. Galaxy S3 charging problem

Q: Hey, I was reading your blog and would like to say that it’s really helpful. However I have a few problems of my own and would really appreciate if you could help.

Since a few months, I am experiencing problems in charging my phone (I know its been answered earlier but this is a bit different). Firstly it only charges with my own charger and refuses to charge with any other original Samsung charger. Further, if I charge it through my car or laptop, using the USB cord of my charger it actually drains the battery rather than charging it. I did a reboot and also cleared my cache but the problem remains.

Since a couple of weeks, when I put it on charging, it shows that its charging (the bolt sign shows on the screen) but it really does not charge. Also because of this, whenever I keep it on charging, I practically make sure that it does not get disturbed (as in moved or touched) but even then it constantly goes on and off from charging. Every now and then I hear that ping of it being charged. And thus, again the phone remains uncharged. I keep it on charging in the night. In the morning it shows 100% charged. But as soon as I remove the charger, it drains to 51 or 42%. I really am sorry as I know that these are a lot many questions but would really appreciate if you could help. Regards, Arpit.

A: If you think you’ve disturbed us by trying to explain what the problem is, well, you haven’t. I even appreciate the effort. In your message, you’ve already ruled out the possibility that it is just a charger problem. There is a very slim chance that 3 or 4 chargers will be damaged at the same time. That said, we are left with two suspects; the battery and the USB charging port.

I understand that you may not want to purchase a different battery kit considering there is no guarantee it would fix the problem. But honestly, there’s no better way to rule out the possibility that it’s a battery problem. If you know someone who owns a Galaxy S3, you may ask them to let you borrow their battery for few minutes so you could try charging the phone with a different battery.

If ever you get hold of a new battery, the first thing you should do is to try charging the phone and see if it does. If the phone charges fine with a new battery, our suspicion was confirmed that it was indeed the battery that has some issues, otherwise, you just have to look at the bright side that when the phone eventually get fixed, you already have a spare battery.

The other suspect is the USB charging port. This is where things get complicated a little. If you are confident you safely open your device and inspect the USB port, then do it. Otherwise, employ the services of an authorized technician. You may end up buying a replacement for this component but once replaced, your phone will be like new. Also, if you don’t want to buy a new battery, then bring the phone to a tech and have him check if it’s a battery problem or not. I hope I have somehow answered your questions.

#3. Galaxy S3 will not boot up

Q: Hello! I’m having trouble rebooting my phone. I wiped data/factory reset, and deleted “all user data” then pressed “reboot system now” however, when I pressed the power button it didn’t restart. Please help me with this, I figured it might be something with the USB port or battery but I’m not sure because even when I did the hard reset, it wouldn’t restart past the Samsung/android logo screen. I look forward to hearing from you, thanks!

A: You’re lacking something here: what happened before this problem occurred? It’s very rare that the recovery ROM would be corrupted. Based on your message, I don’t think the battery or the USB port has the problem. In fact, I don’t even think it’s a hardware issue after all. We could assume a lot of things that may result to this problem: my first assumption is that you updated the phone and the process was interrupted. You attempted to reboot it but you were stuck on the Samsung logo, so you emailed. It could also be that you tried to root your phone or installed custom ROM. The point is, I cannot provide solution to a problem that I don’t even know what the cause was.

#4. Galaxy S3 internet connection is unstable

Q: Hello. I have went through all your pages that will actually open and I cannot find a solution to our galaxy s3 problem. Ever since day one of upgrading to 4.3 I’ve experienced problems on Wi-Fi. I constantly get a message on top that says “internet connection unstable”. I upgraded about three weeks before my wife and as soon as she upgraded she stayed getting the same message. It doesn’t matter what Wi-Fi we’re using whether at home, church, or public it’s the same so I know it’s not our router. It only happened after the upgrade. Is there a solution or are we forced to deal with it like we have been? Thank you so much for all you do. — Troy

A: The last time I encountered this issue, I just disabled a feature that allows automatic network switching and the problem was solved. The reason behind that is when that feature is enabled, the phone would have the authority to switch between networks depending on the quality of service or coverage. So, I want you to try that one first:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Scroll to and tap Wi-Fi.
  4. Long press the network you’re connecting to.
  5. Tap Forget Network.
  6. Tap the Menu key again.
  7. Choose Advanced.
  8. Turn Auto Network switch to Off by unchecking the box.

If that procedure will not work, I urge you to back up all your important data and perform factory reset. You said the problem happens to your phone and to your wife’s after the update.

#5. Galaxy S3 mobile data gone from notification panel

Q: Hello. I’ve recently factory reset my S3 because I was trying to recover some preinstalled ringtones that got deleted some how. After the reset and setting up my phone to how I originally had it, the ‘Mobile Data’ button in the Notifications Panel disappeared. I went to the display settings and tried to reset the notification panel manually, but the ‘Mobile Data’ button didn’t even show up in the ‘Available button’ section. I’ve restarted my phone countless of times, I’ve tried the “battery pull” technique and have watched countless videos to restore the ‘Mobile Data’ button in the notification panel (which was no help because the software in the videos were the software before the update). Every time I have to use my data, which is a lot, I have to go through the settings just to turn it on and off. I truly miss just sliding my finger down from the top of my screen and having that option of my data to be on and off at the push of a button. Please help me, sir. Thank you. — Christian

A: Are you a Sprint, Virgin Mobile, or Boost Mobile subscriber? If so, then there’s nothing we can do about it because after the Android 4.3 update, mobile data switch/icon has already been removed from the notification panel. If you’ve updated your phone and the mobile data was still there after the update, the factory reset may have done it. You see, factory reset brings the phone back to the “default settings” of the current OS that is installed on the device.

However, if you’re not a subscriber of the carriers I mentioned, try swiping the notification bar. In the upper right hand corner you can see the settings icon (cogwheel) and just beside that to the right is the quick settings setup, tap on that. Now, items that have green bar at the bottom are the ones currently displayed on your notification panel, select mobile data and it should be displayed there.

#6. Galaxy S3 stops charging

Q: Hello! So my Galaxy S3 is giving me some trouble. It refuses to charge. I have tried multiple different chargers and it will just charge for a second then stop and keep on doing that and will not charge my phone over 15%. It is getting really frustrating. I’ve tried about 2 or 3 home plug in chargers and even a car charger so I know it has something to do with my phone. This has been a very recent problem it has been happening the past 2 days! please help! — Ally

A: Ally, it sure is a hardware issue. The first thing that comes to my mind is that the microUSB port on your phone is loose. Try wiggling the cable and I’m sure the phone would charge when there is good contact between the port and the cable but you have to hold it that way so it would continue charging. For this problem, please bring the phone to a technician and let him take care of it for you.

#7. Galaxy S3 screen flickers, network drops, battery drains faster

Q: I have recently getting problem regarding my Samsung S3, after its Android latest update. Phone battery is charged to 80%. While net browsing or during working on an application, the network of my phone suddenly disappears and the phone screen flickers. After this the screen freezes and nothing works. I have to shut down the phone. But if I try to power on the phone, it fails to do. The welcome screen comes and the phone does not turn on. Later if I try to connect my charger, it shows very low battery (nearly 2 %) remaining. Then I have to charge it all over again to use my phone. It seems that the sudden disappearance of network, screen flicker and screen freeze drains my battery charge. Is this problem related to software issues or battery issues. Kindly help me in this, if there is any solution to this problem.

A: It may seem like it’s a hardware issue but since you said these problems happened after you updated your phone, so there is a possibility that it could also been brought by bad update. I hope the update wasn’t, in any way, interrupted because if that was the case, then you need to reinstall the firmware and it’s not easy.

First things first, boot the phone to Safe Mode to rule out the possibility that a third-party app is causing it. I don’t know the frequency of the occurrence but based on your message I think it’s more frequent than I think. While in Safe Mode, observe the phone closely to know if the service drops and screen flickers. If so, then it could be an issue with the system itself, otherwise, an app caused them. Either way, it would still be wise to perform factory reset to bring the phone back to its original settings.

However, if Factory Reset won’t solve the problem, then it’s time you brought the phone to a technician and have it checked for possible circuit issues inside.

#8. Galaxy S3 won’t boot up after the update

Q: Dear Sir/Madam, I have updated firmware via wifi and after installing that update the phone rebooted. After reboot there is a screen of Samsung Galaxy S3 and then after few seconds only Samsung Logo with LED of phone is blinking. I have waited almost for an hour but no change in the screen so I have removed battery and again started phone, the problem is again the same (Samsung Logo with LED of phone blinking). I have tried this many times charged battery, replaced battery but still the same issue. So I have formatted factory reset the cell but still the same issue. Can you please tell me the way to solve this issue. Regards, Nagesh.

A: First of all, it could have been helpful if you mentioned the color of the LED that’s blinking. Secondly, I really want to know how your “formatted factory reset the cell” because I’ve already encountered users who said they performed factory reset but the fact is, they connected the phone to a computer and reformatted the drive as recognized by the computer. That is not factory reset! But here’s what you need to do, though:

  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. 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. Highlight ‘reboot system now’ and hit the Power key.

Let me know if this works.

#9. Galaxy S3 displays grey battery icon

Q: Hi, hope you are well and can help me out. I’m having issues with my S3. I did an update to the new 4.3 when I was promoted to by the device, everything worked well and was having no issues for about 2 – 3 weeks. However I was in my room when my cell slipped off the bed and landed on the carpet (not hard surface) and started to reboot, It continuously restarted so I left it on and it drained the battery, I then plugged it in to charge and see if it had stopped its crazy ways as I plug it in the grey empty battery screen comes up and then restarts this continues over and over.

I have opened the device checked the checked all connections I have also checked the power on off button this seems to be triggering correctly, I haven’t been able to access the home button but this should not restart the phone if it is held down, only turn the screen on or off. Is there some device failure Maybe dead battery. I also tried disconnecting individual devices at a time to see if one was broken, camera, speaker, and this did not change the outcome. Regards,

Steven.

A: The grey battery icon that comes out whenever you connect the charger means that the phone doesn’t recognize it as the “original” charger and two of the most common reasons are the microUSB port is corroded with dirt, and one of the pins is bent that proper contact is impossible.

That said, inspect the port on the phone to see if there’s corrosion or if a pin is bent. For corrosion, a small and dry brush can help clean out the port. For the other issue, a toothpick could bend back the pin to its original location but be very careful when you do so, you might end up bending it beyond repair or breaking it.

If the port has already been cleaned and pins looked straight and in place, inspect both ends of the cable you’re using. The same things could happen. However, if all your efforts fail, bring the phone to a technician and have it repaired.

#10. Questions before resetting Galaxy S3

Q: Hi, my S3 after update is going slower by the day. I would like to do a factory reset but I’m not sure about the implications. What I would like to know is:

  1. How to ensure that my data is not lost?
  2. Will my apps go away when I do a factory reset?
  3. If not the apps, will their settings and bookmarks etc will go away?
  4. How to backup my contacts on Gmail / Samsung / hard disk of a computer?

In short I’m a bit scared to do a factory reset as I’m not sure what will be recoverable after I’m done with it.

A: There are actually free apps from the Play Store that would help you backup every bit of data on your phone. Try to find one that’s easy for you to use but as far as backing of data is concerned, just copy all your files including pictures, videos, music, documents from your phone’s storage to the microSD card mounted on your phone.

Yes, all third-party apps including their settings and bookmarks will be gone after the factory reset. But as I said earlier, there are apps that could help you backup your data including apps. After the reset, you can just simply restore them.

About your Gmail and Samsung contacts, you don’t have to worry about them because they are saved somewhere and they will not be deleted from those servers. After the reset, you can sync your accounts and they will be restored on your phone.

As long as you’ve backed up everything that you don’t want lost during the reset, you can always restore them. There’s nothing to worry.

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image credit: iFixit