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How to Fix Samsung Galaxy S3 Problems and Errors [Part 22]

Samsung-Galaxy-S3-Problems-22

Welcome to yet another segment of our popular Samsung Galaxy S3 Problems and Solutions series. I answered ten questions/problems in this post so I urge you to browse through and see if your concerns were addressed. This is the 22nd part so it goes without saying we already addressed more than two hundred problems sent to us through email by our readers. Browse through the first 21 parts of the series and find your problems.

[Index] [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] [Part 20] [Part 21]

Whether or not we already addressed your concerns, we are always open to your questions, suggestions and problems. You can reach us via [email protected] but I need you to be as detailed as possible so we would know where to start in our troubleshooting. You can also interact with us on our Facebook page; I’m one of the people who answers questions there. We also have a Google+ page you could follow so you would be notified every time a post is published.

Contacts app says it’s updating

Q: Hello. My contacts have been stuck on updating for a several hours now. I have removed the battery and SD card several times. I have deleted the cache on all applications. I wiped the cache partition and rebooted the phone.

I can not see any of my contacts right now. It just says Updating contact list…

with the circle continuing to rotate. I can not make calls – as soon as I type the third number, an error message pops up: Unfortunately, Contacts has stopped. I can receive calls (but the caller is not identified by my contacts).

The text message threads are still in my phone, however the identified contact is gone – just the number of the sender or sendee remains. I have no way of knowing who some of the text messages are to or from now because the contact persons name has been removed.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated! Thank you. — Renée

A: Hi. I understand you already did things you thought could help fix the problem and that’s a good thing. I gotta say, the things you did are correct. Apparently, the problem remains. So, the things I want you to do are the ones you haven’t tried yet. The very first thing you have to do is narrow down the problem to know if there is a third-party app that caused it or the pre-installed ones are at fault here. I want you to boot the phone to safe mode and do some troubleshooting procedures. Here’s how you boot it 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.

Now, open the Contacts app to see if it still has some issues now that third-party apps are temporarily disabled. If the problem is still there, then try to clear data of the Contacts app. Don’t worry, you will not lose any of your contacts; it is the Contacts Storage service that stores your local contacts.

  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 Contacts.
  8. Tap the Clear Cache button.
  9. Tap the Clear Data button, and then OK.

If the previous procedure won’t fix the problem and if the Contacts app functions normally in Safe Mode, you should perform factory reset. But please back up all your important data first.

  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 it can help you solve the problem.

Email appears on PC but not on the phone

Q: I just updated my Galaxy S3 from ATT and my email setting is the same but when I sent myself an email it never showed on my phone and yet it showed up on my pc desktop.

I sent my self another email and watched my pc and within seconds it was in my email on my pc and still did not show up on my S3. Can you please tell me how I can fix this problem because I check my emails when I’m away from home and now I will have no idea what emails I have received until I get home. Please help. — Frank

A: Frank, the problem is with the settings on your computer. Your email client (ex. Outlook) may have been set to download messages and delete them from the server that’s why there’s nothing left for the phone to download once your computer receives those new messages.

Assuming you’re using Microsoft Outlook, here’s what you need to do to fix this.

  1. From the Menu bar, click File.
  2. Click Account Settings.
  3. A new window pops up, click your account or email address and then click Change.
  4. Another window pops up named Change Account, click More Settings button on the lower right area of the window.
  5. Click the Advanced tab.
  6. There is an option there that says “Leave a copy of messages on the server.” Make sure that option is checked.
  7. Click OK and restart Microsoft Outlook.
  8. At this point, your phone should be able to receive email messages.

User has problems with Contact Manager

Q: Dear respected team, I have an issue with Contact Manager from the day I bought this device. It takes long time to load and lookup for contacts update all the time. To solve this issue I decided to show only the contacts stored on the mobile, the speed is better but yet slow… Finally I decided to log out from all Social Networking apps and from this point the story takes different path. Every single minute it gives me an error message (unexpectedly error….) and it shuts down whatever the application running. It happens in email, whatsapp, viber, Facebook, contacts, etc… All apps… I read an article about it and they advised to clear the contents from sittings, application manager, contact manager… I did and apart of I lost my contacts, the issue not solve… Now to use the device I kept the contact manager switched off all the time but of course I can not make a call, send SMS, etc… Any suggestions? — Hatem

A: By ‘Contact Manager’ I hope you mean ‘stock Contacts app’ because the Galaxy S3 didn’t come with a service called contact manager. The Contacts app, however, is the one responsible in managing your contacts. But if you mean the ‘Contact Manager’ app available from the Play Store, then the issue is obviously caused by a third-party application. But here’s what I suggest you do:

First, clear the cache and data of the Contacts app. You said all your contacts have already been deleted so there’s no risk of losing anything here. After that, do the same for the Contacts Storage service.

  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 Contacts. (Contacts Storage)
  8. Tap the Clear Cache button.
  9. Tap the Clear Data button, and then OK.

If the steps above couldn’t fix the issue, then there’s no other option but to do the 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. 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.

Wi-Fi became unstable after the update

Q: Hi, last week i downloaded the latest updates for my Samsung S3 & since then I have troubles in my mobile concerning Wi-Fi. It keeps saying that my Wi-Fi connection is unstable & switch off from Wi-Fi. My phone became slow too but the main problem is not automatically connecting to wifi and that wherever I am. I have WiFi connection unstable. Please advise. Thank you.

A: First of all, the phone could only auto-connect to a ‘known’ Wi-Fi network, meaning it must have connected to that network before so it can remember all credentials and can connect automatically.

You made it sound like the phone is the culprit but have you checked you network already? Maybe your Wi-Fi network is really unstable so deal with that first.

But assuming the problem is with your phone, the you need to follow these steps to make it connect automatically:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap Settings then touch the Connections tab.
  3. Tap WiFi, then tap the Menu key again.
  4. Touch Advanced.
  5. Tick the option Auto Connect.

Not only would the phone auto-connects, it would also lock onto the network it is connected to regardless of how strong or week the signal is.

Phone stuck on ‘Downloading’ screen, won’t boot up

Q: Hi my phone was working just fine the other day when all of a sudden it turned off and restarted on its own. After it turned on it seemed to be loading fine until a screen that I’ve never seen before appeared. It was a black screen with the android symbol that said Do not turn off target. Downloading. I called tmobile and the same troubleshooting steps that I saw that you posted with no luck. They sent me a replacement, but my memory card was full and apparently saved everything on the phone itself. I really want to try to retrieve pics from my phone from a recent family vacation. Please help.

A: I’m not sure what happened to the phone or what you were doing prior to the problem but this kind of issue is most often caused by a bad update. Actually, the device is waiting for something to be made available; it could be a file, system or a kernel. If you can’t remember having updated your phone, then there is a possibility there was an OTA update that was interrupted. Since you cannot boot successfully, there is no way you can back up data stored in your phone’s internal storage. But I hope you won’t lose hope that easily. Try to see if you can boot the phone to Safe Mode, if it can then you can backup all your data and there is a possibility the problem can be fixed by factory reset.

You also try to boot the phone to recovery mode. If you’re techie enough, you can flash the stock firmware using ODIN and that might just fix the problem for you.

Phone won’t power on after charging

Q1: I got your e-mail off a website. I have a Samsung Galaxy S3. My phone was charging in my truck while I was on my way to work which I do everyday. Someone had called me on it which it worked perfectly then when I arrived to work, I pick it up to make a call and it was turned off. I kept trying to turn it back on and nothing. I’ve tried a new battery, I’ve tried holding down the volume, home , and power button all at once and still nothing. Also lately I have been using a lot of different chargers, if that means anything… Can you please help me? Thanks! — Whitney

Q2: 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. Thanks, Holly.

A: First of all, try removing the battery and then press and hold the power key of the phone for a minute. Place the battery back in and attempt to power on the phone; that often works. If the phone still refuses to come back on after doing that, then the problem could be with the USB charging port, which receives power from the battery. Have the phone checked by a technician but you can try booting the phone to recovery mode, safe mode or download mode. If it boots up to any of those, then your phone is fine. If you can reach the recovery mode, you can try to wipe the cache partition and see if that helps, or you can perform factory reset.

Phone won’t power on but flickers and vibrates

Q: 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. Sincerely, Kevin.

A: Considering the information you provided, yes, I agree it could be the battery that has a problem. Obviously, my suggestion would be to buy a new battery kit and test it out but before that, make sure the old battery was charged. And it is also worth it to attempt to boot to recovery mode (Vol Up, Home and Power buttons). If the phone can successfully get into the recovery, there’s no problem with the hardware, instead, you may just need to clear off some data.

Phone’s camera failed even after factory reset

Q: 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! Sincerely, Allison.

A: One of the reasons why we do this is to know what the real problem is. Therefore, most of the procedures we provide are “troubleshooting” steps. In your case, you’ve all procedures that could fix the problem but it remains so, I think the issue is with the camera sensor itself. It cannot be fixed by clearing the cache and data or by performing factory reset. The best thing you can do is bring it to a technician and have it diagnosed. You may need to buy a new camera sensor to replace the one that’s on your phone.

 

Phone stuck on Samsung logo, boot loop

Q: Dear droid guy, my Samsung Galaxy S3 has been broken for a while. Last time I used it was before I did a software update. When I did the software update, the phone never turned back on. All it does when I try to turn it on is it gets stuck on the Samsung screen. I can go into the recovery mode and I’ve wiped the cache and tried to reset to factory settings but it still won’t turn on. I have a feeling that there is no software on it. If you know how to help I would be incredibly thankful if you could share any ideas you have to fix the problem. Kind regards, Charlotte.

A: Whether the phone has an OS installed or not, you’re the one who would know that. But I’m thinking, the update was interrupted for some reason. If you cannot boot the phone to recovery, then the recovery ROM may be corrupt and there’s nothing more we can do about that except flash the stock firmware using ODIN. The process still comes with risks so if you haven’t done it before, find someone who knows how to do it. Flashing a firmware to the phone may result to a more complicated issue if done incorrectly.

Galaxy S3 reboots randomly

Q: Hi, I have an AT&T S3 that is about a year and half old, running on I believe 4.3. It has had several of the bug issues that are reported with that operating system and issues that are new to me. It was powering on and off by itself, often powering back off before the system finished rebooting. I took the battery out, replaced it and did a full charge without powering it back up, and that worked for a few hours, until the cycle started again. I managed to get it on long enough to do a Factory Reset, spent 45 minutes allowing apps to download back and get it set back up when the phone reset itself. I started the new phone set up process a second time and halfway through the setup, the phone reset again, before any additional apps had been download. Any suggests on how to save my phone? My back up is an iPhone 4 that I would prefer to leave buried in the closet. — Christin

A: I’m interested to know the apps you installed because one of them may be causing the problem. You said you had the phone working long enough to finish factory reset but the cycle started again after you installed your apps. But to confirm this, you need to boot your phone to safe mode. If it still reboots there, boot it up to recovery and do the master reset from there. This time, don’t install any app yet, instead observe the phone closely to see if it still reboots without apps. If so, then I think it’s the battery or the USB charging post that have issues.

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