Hello guys, welcome to the second segment of our T-Mobile Galaxy S3 Problems and Solutions series. We may have already addressed hundreds of problems sent to us by our readers but cannot stop answering questions because there are still thousands of emails left unanswered in our inbox.
Now, this post addresses some of the most common problems encountered by Galaxy S3 owners that are under T-Mobile’s umbrella. We don’t intend to replace T-Mobile’s support, we just want to help our readers. It’s our obligation to respond to our readers’ questions but we want to make our answers public so others who have the same problem don’t have to email us telling the same issues. That is why our answers are published in posts like this. So, if you have problems with your phone, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to respond and provide appropriate solutions.
T-Mobile Galaxy S3 Cannot Send / Receive Text Messages
Among the most common problems or complaints we received is related to text messages. T-Mobile customers who emailed us were complaining of not being able to receive or send text messages. Each of them, of course, was worded differently but at the end of the day, the problem stays the same. Here’s a couple of email messages we received:
Email 1: Hello guys, I have a small problem here. A couple of days ago I could send text messages just fine without any issues, however, yesterday, my messages just won’t send and also today. I have a Galaxy S3 from T-Mobile. I hope you could help me with this. Thanks.
Email 2: So, my son gave me his Galaxy S3 replacing my old flip phone. The phone is from T-Mobile and it’s working fine, however, I can’t get it to send a text message. If I’m right, I think it can’t receive a text message as well because I never received any since I got it. I told my son about it and he said there’s no problem with the phone because it was working fine and that all he did was to factory reset it. Any ideas would surely be appreciated so if you have any, please tell me. Thank you.
Apparently, we don’t know what the problem really is that is why we troubleshoot and that is the very purpose of this post–to give you ideas what to do when this thing happens to you.
- Check for message blocks. The first thing you should do is check settings of your phone especially the feature that could block messages and calls. T-Mobile offers this service, which is renewable every 90 days, so I suggest you call them first and ask if your account is enrolled to it.
- Make sure you are within T-Mobile’s coverage area–no coverage, no service. You said the problem started a couple of days ago so it could be a network issue.
- Reboot the phone. A simple reboot may be able to fix the issue and while you may think it’s stupid to do it, it’s still worth a shot. There are a lot of things that could be fixed by reboot.
- Make sure Airplane Mode is disabled. A lot of owners don’t know what this is but if you can see and airplane on the status bar of your phone, it means Airplane Mode is in play and the phone couldn’t get any wireless connectivity.
- Deregister your number from iMessage. This is only applicable to owners who migrated from iPhone to an Android device. Basically, a phone number that was registered to iMessage before may have a problem when transferred and used on a non-Apple device. To deregister your phone number, tap Settings > Messages and turn iMessage off.
- Boot the phone to Safe Mode. After doing previous steps and you still can’t send/receive text messages, try to boot the phone to Safe Mode to rule out the possibility that it’s a third-party app that’s causing the trouble. You can confirm this if you can send or receive messages while in that state, otherwise, it could be a firmware issue.
- For firmware issues, factory reset is always the immediate workaround, however, there’s no guarantee.
I hope these troubleshooting steps can help you.
T-Mobile Galaxy S3 Won’t Charge
Many users believe that charging issues can be caused by a fault in hardware, however, it can also be caused by software glitch or bad update. Batteries can be pulled out from the main unit and charged separately, however, when it is inserted into the phone and you plug the charger in, the software takes part in the charging. That is why the phone can accurately measure the percentage and stop the charging once the battery reaches its threshold. This supports the claim that charging problem can also be caused by a software glitch.
Therefore, when troubleshooting charging problems, the firmware is one of the things that should be considered. But of course, the hardware and accessories should be inspected properly. Among the things you need to inspect are the battery, charger, USB cable, battery receptors, and the firmware. Before giving you the troubleshooting steps, here is a couple of email messages from our readers who have encountered this problem.
Email 1: Thank God you guys exist. I’ve been searching the web when I found one of the posts about Galaxy S3 problems. Actually, I too have a problem with my phone. I bought it via T-Mobile last year and never had major problems with it until recently. The issue is that the phone just won’t charge whenever I plug the charger in. Of course, I checked if the cord was properly connected and it was. My phone is off for more than two days already because it just won’t charge and I can’t find a local technician who is trained to troubleshoot it. I’m thinking about bringing it in to a T-Mobile store and have them check it. But if you have suggestions on how to fix this, I would be interested to read them and probably follow them in a bid to fix my problem. Thanks and keep up the good work.
Email 2: Hello people. First of all thank you for doing this; you’re doing millions of owners a great favor. Now for my problem…it’s basically a hardware issue. My phone just won’t charge most of the times. There were a few times when I could charge it to full but the next time it almost runs out of battery, I can’t get it to charge. Look, I am just an average user and not really that techie like others but I would love to give it a try and fix whatever the problem is. So, if you could provide me a list of things I could do, that would be great. Thanks again.
As I said earlier, charging problem could be a software glitch or a problem with the hardware and accessories. The troubleshooting steps I will provide are based on the standard procedure that we technicians do to know what the problem really is.
- Remove the battery for 30 seconds and insert it back in, and then attempt to charge it.
- Connect the phone to a computer or laptop. If it charges or gets detected by the computer, then it’s the main charging unit that’s defective so you need to buy another one. However, if the phone doesn’t get detected, there is a possibility that it is a cable problem. If you have a different cable, try to use that and see if the phone gets detected (this is applicable to phones that are currently on).
- If the phone won’t charge and can’t be detected by the computer after trying other USB cables, then the problem could be in the USB charging port. It’s a component of the phone that handles charging and bridges data transfer via USB. If that gets busted, you can still replace it with a new one but you need the services of a technician.
- It may come in late but at this point, perform a physical checkup of you phone. Remove the battery and wipe its connectors with a dry cloth to make sure there is no corrosion. Also, check the battery receptors on the back of the phone for misaligned or broken pins.
- Now, if you have access to a different battery, try to use it and see if the phone charges with it. If not, then it must be a hardware problem.
- If the problem isn’t with the charger, or the cable or the battery, it could be the USB charging port or some other components inside. The best course of action is to bring the phone in for checkup.
T-Mobile Galaxy S3 Unable To Download Apps
There are times when you are unable to download or install apps from the Android market, otherwise known as Google Play Store. I have experienced this problem so many times already and thanks to those experiences, I can share a solution or two. But before that, here are three actual email messages from our readers…
Email 1: Droid guy, God knows how thankful I am that you guys are doing this kind of service. I have a minor problem with my Samsung Galaxy S3 that I bought from T-Mobile. I used to just search and download apps from the Play Store but now I’m getting errors here and there. What could have happened? Can you fix this for me please?
Email 2: I have encountered at least 3 error messages from the Google Play Store in the last couple of days and I don’t know what happened to the app. First, I was getting the “No Connection” error with Retry button. The second error was returning a number 403 and the last error message I received was something to do with not being able to install the app.
Email 3: I’m pretty sure you guys have already encountered a lot of problems already so I don’t need to explain my problem. I’m getting an error that says something like error while downloading apps. I don’t have any idea why my phone is acting up like this but if you could help me, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.
The Google Play Store is a pre-installed app so you cannot just uninstall it and install it back if it did have some problems. All you can do is troubleshoot until you know what the problem is and eventually fix it. I will try answer the questions I cited here first.
The problem in the first email is actually vague. We could have narrowed it down if the reader included the actual error messages. But since the problem concerns the download and installation, the immediate workaround to this problem is to clear the cache and data of the app.
- From any Home screen, tap the Menu key.
- Tap Settings.
- Tap the More tab.
- Tap Application manager.
- If necessary, swipe left or right to the All screen.
- Tap the desired application
- Tap Clear data and then tap OK.
- Tap Clear cache.
If the clearing of the cache and data won’t fix the problem, uninstall updates. Simply follow the same procedure and tap the Uninstall Updates button.
The second email, on the other hand, provided all necessary information. And since there are three error messages, there will also be three fixes. The “No Connection” error message is basically a connectivity issue. If you are connected to a Wi-Fi access point and you’re getting this, you would need to disconnect from the network, forget the network and let the phone scan and connect to the network again. If that doesn’t work, then proceed with the troubleshooting of your network, not your phone. The 403 error messages, however, is a Google-specific problem; it’s not an issue with the phone. The last time I encountered this problem, there was an issue with the server, thus, affecting Google Play Store. There’s nothing you can do about it but wait until the problem is solved. The error message could be same as the previous email. So basically, clearing the cache and data could resolve it, otherwise, uninstalling updates is your best bet.
The third email is basically just the same as the first one. Since we don’t know the error message or what the problem really is, we cannot provide a specific solution.
Now, there are times when the Play Store is stuck at “Downloading” and cannot finish, you have to cancel the download and retry. If it’s still stuck, reboot the phone and if that doesn’t fix the problem either, clear the cache and data of the download manager.
For issues involving microSD card like the error that says there isn’t enough space in the external storage, it could be just a glitch especially when there is a few gigabytes left. If this happens it’s actually the internal storage that is almost full; clear up some space by moving big apps to the external storage and then reboot your phone. That should fix it.
T-Mobile Galaxy S3 Cannot Boot Up Successfully
The most recent update seems to have brought some issues to a lot of users and one of the most common issues is that the phone powers up but couldn’t successfully boot up. Meaning, it is stuck somewhere and Android cannot fully load necessary files. Firmware updates aren’t supposed to do that but there’s no guarantee everything will work fine after an update especially when it’s a major rollout. Here is a couple of email messages from our readers…
Email 1: Droid guy, please help me with my problem. I updated my Galaxy S3 and now it is stuck on the Samsung logo. It was doing fine prior to the update but now it seems like it’s totally messed up. I already tried rebooting it a hundred times but it just wouldn’t push through. How do I fix this?
Email 2: I may have gotten a bad update because my phone’s screen would remain blank during boot up. I can see all logos I used to see before the update but it’s stuck somewhere before the Home screen. The buttons light up but the phone wouldn’t respond. I tried removing the battery but it’s the same–it’s stuck. Help me guys. Thanks.
Those readers are actually suffering from the same problem the only difference is that the other is stuck on the logo while the other is somewhere before the Home screen is displayed. But basically, it’s just Android that won’t boot up successfully may be because of corrupt files or data, or worse, the firmware is corrupt. There are two things you can do; first is to boot to Safe Mode and second, to boot to Recovery Mode. But either way, you still have to perform factory reset.
If the phone can boot to Safe Mode, it means that some third-party data are corrupt and needed to be cleared. You’ll have to boot to Recovery and wipe cache partition–the problem should be fixed after you did this. However, if the phone refuses to boot to Safe Mode, you don’t have any other option but to boot to recovery and perform factory reset. Of course, all data saved in your internal storage will be lost.
How to boot to Safe Mode
- Turn the device off.
- Press and hold the Power key.
- When ‘Samsung Galaxy S III’ appears on the screen, release the Power key Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
- Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
- ‘Safe mode’ will display in the bottom left corner of the screen. Release the Volume down key when you see ‘Safe Mode.’
How to boot to recovery (factory reset)
- Turn off the device.
- Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, and Power key.
- When the phone vibrates, release the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
- When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
- Press the Volume down key to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.
- Press Power button to select.
- Press the Volume down key to highlight ‘delete all user data.’
- Press Power button to select and start the master reset. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
- Press the Power key to turn the restart the device.
T-Mobile Galaxy S3 Wi-Fi Keeps Disconnecting
WiFi-related problems are among the most common issues ever since the release of the Samsung Galaxy S3. Of course, there are several factors to consider when troubleshooting this kind of problem. But based on hundreds of emails we received related to this issue, majority of the people who were complaining about their Wi-Fi didn’t really have real problem. It was just a matter of setting up the phone not to disconnect. Here is a couple of examples…
Email 1: I know you guys are very busy but I really need your help so I will take my shot. My problem is about my Wi-Fi, it keeps disconnecting and my phone heats. I noticed recently that my phone seems to be picking the network with good signal. When I’m at home, my Wi-Fi is good as well as my mobile data–full bars for both. But my phone switches to Wi-Fi and then to mobile data then go back to Wi-Fi. It’s an endless cycle. I understand that this problem can be solved when I turn off mobile data but then if did that, I wouldn’t receive my MMS so it’s not really an option for me. Can you suggest a fix to this, please.
Email 2: Before the update, my phone will stay connected to my Wi-Fi the entire day but after the update, the signal is lost if the phone goes idle. I always download torrents and I’m sure it’s not because of my subscription because I have unlimited plans, but I’m not really sure if my provider, T-Mobile, is capping my data download. If they did, would that affect the consistency of my connection? Please suggest a solution to this problem. Thanks guys.
See? These messages show there’s no problem with the phone or the Wi-Fi. Instead, it’s just a matter of setting up the phone to function the way the user wants.
The first email can be addressed by simply disabling the Auto Network Switch feature, which can be found under Advanced Wi-Fi settings.
- From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
- Choose Settings, and the Connections.
- Tap Wi-Fi.
- Tap the Menu key once again, and choose Advanced.
- Disable Auto network switch.
This procedure will keep the phone locked to one network only. If it’s currently connected to Wi-Fi, it will stay connected to it regardless of how strong or weak the signal is. However, if the feature was enabled, the phone will normally scan of stronger signal and connect to it
The second email is about the phone’s Wi-Fi sleep policy. The phone was set to turn the Wi-Fi off if it became idle, thus, all downloads will be interrupted. To address this issue, the user must follow these:
- Tap Settings, and then tap Wifi.
- Tap the Menu key and select Advanced.
- Tap ‘Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep’ and set it to ‘Always.’
- Now tap on Auto-connect and make sure the box is checked.
I hope this helps.
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