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How To Fix Common AT&T Galaxy Note 3 Problems and Errors

ATT Galaxy Note 3 Problems 1

This is our first part of AT&T Galaxy Note 3 Problems and Solutions series. Based on the number of emails we received each day, I’m sure there will be more of this to follow. There were 8 problems I addressed in this post and all of them were from AT&T subscribers.

However, your Note 3 was from other carriers or generic, you may want to browse our Note 3 series instead as we’ve already answered hundreds of questions from our readers. You can also email us via [email protected] and tell us your Android problems. But please provide as much details as possible so we would know where and how to start. Screenshots, model numbers, service providers and Android version are among the most important information we need.

Lastly, we don’t intend to compete with AT&T when it comes to providing support to their customers. We do this because our readers contacted us and that means something to us. So, if you think you have problems with your phone that you can’t fix, shoot us an email anytime or join our online communities on Facebook and Google+.

New Note 3 battery won’t work

Q: The original battery of my Note 3 (AT&T) got bigger for some reason that it became difficult to plug it in on the back so I got a new one and now it will not work. I thought that would fix the problem but it doesn’t work at all. The phone just won’t power on even if the USB cable is plugged in to my desktop or if I charge it. What will I do? — Roxanne

A: Hi Roxanne. It’s very rare for a battery to completely stop functioning unless it’s been damaged internally. The fact that you now have a new battery tells us that it may your phone that’s the problem or the USB cable that you’re using to charge the battery. I would suggest that you try a new power cable on the device or get another USB cable to charge your phone on your computer.

You also want to check the screen of your device if its broken, or if there’s some signs of damage. If the screen got damaged together with the battery, it is a clear indicator that your battery is working but the screen is.

However, if the screen works fine, try checking the charging port on the phone. If this port is loose or damaged, it won’t allow you to charge your device. You may want to try another new battery before you conclude that it’s a phone issue. Contact a technician or Samsung to fix your phone.

Touchscreen on Note 3 does not work after it got wet

Q: I dropped by Note 3 in a pool and it got wet for a few minutes. I was able to pull it out just in time I guess so I tried to dry up the SIM card and battery by placing them in a ziploc filled with rice. I let them dry for a full day before reinserting them.

I tested the phone the following day and it worked fine, until I discovered that the touchscreen has become significantly unresponsive. When I use the S pen, the screen would work somewhat but then I have to tap the screen several times or hover the pen longer to open a particular app.

The front facing camera looks damaged too. A friend familiar with electronics said that the phone’s motherboard may need to be replaced too. Is motherboard replacement expensive?

I think my phone is a goner. Is there anything that I can do before I consider a replacement? Thank you. — Leonard

A: Hi Leonard. Pool water is the worst enemy of smartphones because chlorine can affect the metallic components of your device. I would recommend that you stop using your phone and have it thoroughly cleaned by a technician. Hopefully, the components have not started to breakdown yet.

We have heard of some users saying that their phones came back up fine after cleaning them properly after being soaked in pool water. Once liquid interacts with a device, oxidation process happens, which means that the phone’s internal circuitry may start to break down. A device may also show errors until it totally breaks down. If you can still access your files or data, I would recommend that you immediately back them up because there’s no telling when the device will shut down altogether.

If it’s true that the motherboard has been damaged during the accident, your options are to either get an entirely new device, just continue using it without the front camera, or wait until the device stops working. Motherboard replacement is possible but finding and replacing one that fits your device may cost more or less the same price as getting a new phone.

Back light of Note 3 not working

Q: The backlight of my Note 3 has stopped lighting up. This phone is just a few months old and I don’t know what to do. Is there something that you can do to help me or is this just a software glitch? — Luis

A: Hi Luis. The answer to your question really depends on how your device behaves right now. If the back button is still working like it should, then you don’t have to worry because it can definitely be fixed, or you can get the phone replaced by Samsung or your service provider. As you can see, the light on the back button is simply cosmetic and it should not affect the primary functions of your phone. If the micro-sized light bulb on the back button stops working, it means that the phone’s software is up and running and you should not have other problems.

I would recommend that you get a replacement phone instead. Repair for this problem is not worth it because this entails removing the entire top screen to access the backlight.

Other troubleshooting steps if Note 3 does not power on

Q: Hi. I’ve scoured the internet for a possible fix for my device not turning on. I have tried replacing the battery doing all the reset stuff but they don’t help. Are there any other causes for this issue? — Lydia

A: Hi Lydia. The only other causes for a phone not powering on are the following:

  1. The charge port is damaged so the battery does not get charged at all. The only way to fix it is by replacing the damaged part.
  2. The LCD or screen may be unplugged or damaged. This means a technician must open the device to look for the damage. Did you drop your phone before? A significant jolt may unhinge or cause the LCD to become loose.
  3. The power flex cable that controls the power on button may be at fault. Again, only a technician can determine if this is the case because the phone needs to be opened up.

We hope this answers your questions.

Note 3 screen remains off after a call

Q: I love my Note 3 and it’s been working fine until now. The only issue I encounter with it so far is that the screen does not turn back on after I finish a call. This is not supposed to be the case because I remember before, the phone will turn the screen off when I answer a call and automatically turns it back on afterwards. Now, I have to manually press the power button to turn the screen back on to end the call. I have checked all my call settings but I can’t seem to find an easy fix. I have tried resetting the phone to factory defaults but it’s the same. — Gracey

A: Hi Gracey. Based on your description of the problem, it looks like the proximity sensor of your Note 3 is not properly working. This usually happens over time. I think what’s going on is that the sensor is putting the screen to sleep instead of temporarily shutting it down during the call. As far as I’m concerned though, this kind of problem is not worth fixing as long as it does not require you to do something drastic like removing the battery out to turn the phone off.

Phone manufacturers know that most users nowadays usually replace their phones after 6 months and that other phones may copy their “features”. In a word, as long as the main functions of your phones are working, repairing the proximity sensor is not worth the hassle at all. Most phones are made to work at peak capacity for only a year or shorter than that. This may not be the most consumer-friendly truth but that’s how it works now.

Of course, you still can demand a replacement unit from Samsung or your phone provider if it’s under warranty at this time. Some local shops in your area may offer a fix for this issue but I haven’t heard of anything like this before.

AT&T Note 3 goes blank

Q: Hello. I have looked through your posts and have found similar issues but no advice or solution. My whole family has the GN3 and 3 out of 4 phones have the same issue so I don’t think its hardware. Also it did not seam to appear until after the last AT&T update to KitKat.

Here is what happens, the phone will just go black, I can hear that it is still working/running apps, the lights on the bottom bar still lights up, a phone call will still be connected (this mostly happens during calls but also during games/internet/music) so the device is working but display is black. Now I hit the power button, home button, volume, back, menus ext and display still remains black. After 5 minutes or so it will come back on let me put in my pass code and use the phone for maybe 45 seconds then go black again and come right back up so I can put in my pass code but then the screen will not respond to touch at all for a minute then it will go nuts catching up with everything I did while the screen was frozen (I hope that makes sense) and work for a while until the issues come back.

After resetting the phone (while not working you can hold down power and reset (the menu for powering down options will come up but if you don’t make a choice and hit back it goes black again) then the phone will reset) and after reset the problem goes away for a while then starts kicking back in. So needless to say we reboot a lot.

I have called AT&T and Samsung and they don’t seem to know about the issue or want to help or just tell me its hardware and to replace it. I know its not hardware because we have 4 GN3’s and this is happening to 3 of them in different degrees (mine is the worst).

I have checked and there is not a common app between all 3 phones we all use different software and I have factory reset several times and left them stock and still the issue exists. Also on one of the phone they waited to update to KitKat and did not have the issue but after update it came forth. There is some setting in KitKat or some setting causing the issue because the 4th phone is fine and I can’t find the setting different.

Thanks for what help you can give.

Also if it helps I have little glitches like email/texts will stay in sending status and MMS will stick in receiving status until I switch WiFi off and on a few times or even airplane mode back to normal and then they will go through. Its strange and I am the only one that gets that. Besides that the phones work great.

Thanks so much, Carl.

A: Carl, I am sorry you have to go through all that hassle but based on your message, you may have done a lot to fix this problem already to no avail. If this problem happened to me, like you I would resort to factory reset to basically bring the phone back to the state when it was working properly and probably get rid of the third-party app that possibly caused it. But since the problem is still there after the reset, that leaves the recent update the suspect. Unfortunately, there is no way to roll back to previous version that would keep your phone’s warranty intact, so I would suggest you let Samsung do it for you. I understand you may have already called them and they suggested to replace the device; that could be the best way to get rid of this problem but if you like, you can root your phone and flash a custom ROM just to know if it really was the firmware that has an issue. So far, these are the only solutions I can think of for this problem…unless, AT&T would acknowledge there’s a problem with the firmware and release a patch to fix the glitch or bug.

Software download interrupted error on AT&T Note 3

Q: Hi, I just bought an unlocked AT&T Note 3 from a friend. Still has version 4.3 and when I try to update, it says software is up-to-date. At times, it says “software download was interrupted. Try again 24 hrs”. Been trying this for 2 weeks now but unsuccessful.   Went to an AT&T store and got the same message, and they inform that it might not be my turn to upgrade (what an excuse). What can I do to get the upgrade? Is there a way to force it? Is it really worth to upgrade? Thank you for whatever assistance you can give. — George

A: Well, the “maybe-it’s-time-to-upgrade” excuse often works for big companies so it’s expected they would suggest it if things won’t work the way they should. The thing is, the Note 3 is a little more than a year since it was released so an upgrade isn’t that necessary.

As to your problem, I think it’s just a matter of clearing all data handled by the Download Manager. Follow these steps, please…

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap the General tab.
  4. Tap Application manager.
  5. Swipe to the All screen
  6. Tap the desired application
  7. Tap Clear data and then tap OK.
  8. Tap Clear cache.

Once you’re finished doing this, try to pull down the update again. If the thing happens, then try pulling it down using Samsung KIES, you’ll have to use a computer for this, though. So far, these two procedures will let you download and install the update but if they failed, Samsung could actually force the update into the device but you have to send the phone in for their support reps to do that.

Note 3 dropping Wi-Fi connection

Q: Hi there, just quick question, I have Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which was in beginning dropping the Wi-Fi. Now it cannot connect to internet even thought is says that it is connected to WiFi? Could you please let me know what could be a reason for it and how to rectify it. Thank you in advance. — Stan

A: The thing about Wi-Fi connectivity problems is that they can be complicated at times due to factors that could contribute to the issue. First, there is your network equipment such as your modem or router, and then there is your phone. The most logical thing to do before doing anything with your phone is to try to connect to other Wi-Fi networks. But I suppose you already did restart your router/modem and your phone. If you can connect with other networks, then the problem is with your network specifically the equipment that broadcast Wi-Fi signal. However, if your phone cannot, in any way, acquire good connection with other networks, it’s time you did factory reset to rule out the possibility that it is a setting or third-party issue.

Galaxy Note 3 can’t receive messages from iPhone

Q: I have not been able to get text from iPhone users on my new Galaxy Note 3. I switched from an iPhone. What do I need to do? I no longer have the iPhone.

A: It’s more of an iOS problem than Android. The mobile number being used by the Samsung device is associated with an Apple ID that was originally registered to an iPhone using iMessage. iMessage recognizes this and will attempt to deliver new messages to the number using iMessage. Thus, unregistering the mobile number from the iMessage system will fix this issue. Since you don’t have your iPhone anymore, and if you don’t own any iOS or Mac device now, there’s no way you can unregister the phone number. But you can change your Apple ID password so iMessage will demand reauthorization to continue using the service. If not reauthorized, the text messages will be sent directly to your phone number instead of iMessage.

  1. Go to https://appleid.apple.com
  2. Click Manage your Apple ID.
  3. Enter your Apple ID info and click Sign in.
  4. Click Password and Security.
  5. Answer the security questions that were set when you created the Apple ID and click Continue.
  6. Under Choose a new password, click Change Password.
  7. Enter your Old Password.
  8. Enter your New Password and Confirm Password. Then scroll down and click Save.

I hope this helps fix your problem.

I hope this helps.

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