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How To Fix / Troubleshoot Common Problems With Samsung Galaxy Note 3 [Part 34]

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is among premium phones that have received really good feedbacks from tech critics and bloggers. However, it’s not perfect. Problems and errors happen every time and that’s the reason why we are now in the 34th part of our Note 3 Problems series.

galaxy note 3 problems 16

The problems I addressed in this post may not be different from ones we’ve already answered in the previous segments. This is our way of answering emails sent to us and to give a more personalized touch, we include messages we pick randomly giving priorities to those that were sent first.

We still have thousands of emails to be answered so expect that these troubleshooting series will continue. If you got concerns with your Galaxy Note 3 or any Android phone for that matter, feel free to email us at [email protected] and we may include your problem in our next publication. We are serious in what we do so we’re trying to utilize every medium available online. For owners who are socially active, you can your questions on our Facebook wall or Google+ page.

I divided this post into sections so click any of the links below to jump to a problem:

  1. Troubleshoot Galaxy Note 3 Becoming Unresponsive
    1. Randomly freezes and becomes unresponsive
    2. Phone just hangs without apparent reason
    3. Note 3 goes dead
  2. Galaxy Note 3 Charging Issues
    1. Phone refuses to charge after getting wet
  3. Galaxy Note 3 Problems Emerged After 4.2 Update
  4. Troubleshoot Galaxy Note 3 microSD Card Problems
    1. Files do not load or there is an error message
    2. Broken picture icons and can’t locate files
    3. SD card unexpectedly removed
  5. Galaxy Note 3 Voice Command Issues
    1. Voice command opens when using headphones
    2. Voice command activates when watching videos
  6. Galaxy Note 3 Camera Problems
    1. Failed to initialize the camera
    2. Camera failed


Troubleshoot Galaxy Note 3 Becoming Unresponsive

Problem 1: Randomly freezes and becomes unresponsive

My Galaxy Note 3 seems to have developed a glitch or something because now it just randomly freezes and after a while it becomes totally unresponsive even when I press and hold the Power button. What I always do when this happens is remove the battery. After doing that, the phone would work until it freezes again and becomes unresponsive. I’m in this loop for more than a week now so I really could use your help if you knew how to fix this problem. – Violi

Problem 2: Phone just hangs without apparent reason

Hey guys, first of all, I like all your troubleshooting tips and tricks. I’ve already read 19 parts of your Note 3 series and I enjoyed every one of them. I will continue reading all the remaining parts but while doing that, please include my problem in your next episode. Apparently, I own a Note 3 and it often hangs to the point that I couldn’t use it as it won’t respond to anything anymore. Of course, taking the battery would power it off, then it would turn on until such time that it decides to hang again. It’s very frustrating. Can you help me out, please? — Markus

Problem 3: Note 3 goes dead

My Note 3 started going dead several times a week. It would come back to life after removing the battery but that’s a hassle when for phone randomly dies. Unresponsive. The solution was to turn off auto updates for apps. Since taking this step no more instances of the phone randomly shutting down. — Bob

Explanation: The thing about this problem is that it may have been caused by either third-party or pre-installed apps, a firmware glitch, or a hardware issue. We have three similar problems here and these guys actually did a good job telling us a workaround to this issue but what I want to know is what they were doing with their phones when this problem happens. Were they using a third-party app or a pre-installed one? Or, did the phone just freeze while not in use?

Since they didn’t include that information in their email, let’s try to troubleshoot this problem based on what they said. But I call on our future email senders to please be observant about the activities of your phone.

Troubleshooting: For this problem, it is important for us to know what the user is doing when the problem happened because we can immediately tell the probable “trigger” and trace the issue to its roots. But since we don’t have that information, isolating the problem is the key.

Boot in Safe Mode

This will immediately tell you whether it’s a third-party or pre-installed app that’s causing the problem.

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key.
  3. When ‘GALAXY Note 3’ appears on the screen, release the Power key. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  4. Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  5. ‘Safe mode’ will display in the bottom left corner of the screen. Release the Volume down key when you see ‘Safe Mode.’
  6. Now, observe the phone closely to know if it still freezes, hangs or becomes unresponsive.

If the problems were fixed while the phone was in safe mode, the culprit is a third-party app. Find it and either disable or uninstall it. In case the phone performs the same as when it’s in normal mode, then either one of the native apps or the firmware itself causes the problem. Try the next procedure.

Wipe Cache Partition

Wiping the cache partition may get rid of some caches that may be causing the problem without compromising your data and settings.

  1. Press and hold the Power key, tap Power off, and then tap OK.
  2. Press and hold the Power key and Up Volume key at the same time.
  3. Release the Power key when the Samsung logo appears.
  4. Release the Up Volume keys when the Android image appears.
  5. Press the Down Volume key to select Wipe cache partition.
  6. Press the Power key.
  7. Once “Cache wipe complete” appears, press the Power key to select Reboot system now.
  8. The device restarts once the wipe is finished.

In case the problem persists after wiping the cache partition, it means the problem may not be as minor as you may think. You need to continue troubleshooting and this time try bringing the phone to its factory settings.

Factory Reset

Performing factory reset is easy. It is with the backing up of data that makes it very exhausting to do but still it is imperative you do it to know what the problem really is.

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key and Power key.
  3. When ‘GALAXY Note 3′ appears on the screen, release the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
  4. When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
  5. Press the Volume down key to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key to highlight ‘delete all user data.’
  8. Press Power button to select and start the master reset. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  9. Press the Power key to turn the restart the device.

Once the phone has restarted, don’t install your apps back yet. Instead observe the phone to find out if the problem happens even if everything is in its default setting and everything that runs is a part of the stock firmware. Try to initiate a manual update search if the problem still persists after the reset and if there’s none, then we’re looking at a possible hardware issue. What hardware? We don’t know but it’s up for the tech to find out.

Galaxy Note 3 Charging Issues

Problem: Phone refuses to charge after getting wet

Hi. I dropped my Galaxy Note 3 in the toilet and it was probably in there for maybe 2 seconds. I grabbed it up and dried it off real good. I put it in rice and left it in for a couple of days. After that, I plug it back up and it turned on and worked just fine. The screen was perfect. No problems whatsoever. Later in the day, the battery drained and I tried to charge it. It would not charge. I called AT&T and got a new battery. Again the phone worked great with no problems. Once it died, again it would not charge. I found all types of stuff online. I put the phone in 91 % alcohol and after it dried, I plugged it up and it started to charge. I accidentally hit power button when I was putting back on. I don’t know if that messed it up again? Any ideas? — Tim

Troubleshooting: Charging issues are a little complicated because there are several hardware that you need to check. In this case, we don’t have to include the battery to our suspects because as what the owner said, it’s new. Now, this is how you troubleshoot it:

  1. Remove the battery from the phone and then press and hold the power key for 30 seconds.
  2. Replace the battery and attempt to charge the phone.
  3. If the phone still refuses to charge, try to connect it to a different power adapter if possible or plug it to a desktop computer to find out if it charges.
  4. If it still refuses to charge, try a different cable; you may borrow or buy a new charging kit.
  5. In case the phone still won’t charge after using a different power adapter and cable, then water may have damaged the circuitry in the USB charging port.

The USB charging port, otherwise referred to as USB board, regulates that current from the power adapter (charger) to the battery. If damaged, the phone usually refuses to charge as the bridge is cut off. It is replaceable and the component can be bought separately.

When troubleshooting this kind of problem, it is always wise to borrow, if possible, different chargers rather than to buy because you can’t tell if it’s really the charger that has a problem or the USB board.

Galaxy Note 3 Problems Emerged After 4.2 Update

Dear, I have been using note 3 for almost a year now. After the update to 4.2 I have started facing following problems, I hope you can provide some help:

Problem 1: During the call screen brightness dims down and even when the call ends screen brightness is almost at zero level. When I check the screen brightness it is set at mid-level as I keep it. Either I turn the screen off and on again and it works or I move the brightness bar up and down to restore screen brightness but why does it dim down during the call? After the 4.2 update when I started facing this problem I did a hard reset and cleared the cache and this problem did not occur again but now after couple of months this problem has started happening again.

Problem 2: Secondly sometimes while watching any video on my Note 3 screen will freeze for a second and then split into almost 18 smaller screen which are blur. Until I restart the handset by taking out the battery it will remain the same. Furthermore, touch screen keep on working by that I mean when I press the power button it shows the restart menu on all the smaller screens but I can get it to restart if I can guess and press where restart button is when screen is working fine.

Please help to identify the problem. Regards, Shaheryar Ahmed.

Suggestion: Your problem has something to do with the proximity sensor and it controls the screen when in a call. We’ve encountered a lot of issues caused directly or indirectly by the proximity sensor but not like this. To know what the problem really is, we need to closely observe the phone and know its setup. Obviously, we can’t do that.

About your other problem, this is not a Note 3-specific issue as I encountered it twice with two different phones (not Note 3). The first time I encountered it was when I was playing Asphalt 8: Airborne and the second time while using the stock messaging app. It’s not also exclusive to Android 4.2 as I was running 4.4 when I encountered it. I cannot provide an explanation or solution to this as of now but rest assured I will research on this one as I’m also a victim of this issue.

Troubleshoot Galaxy Note 3 microSD Card Problems

Problem 1: Files do not load or there is an error message

Hello, my name is Wayne. My issue I am having with my Galaxy Note 3 is when trying to use my memory card in my Galaxy Note 3; files do not load or there is an error message. I tried reformatting my memory card. My question is can it be the memory card or something else? Thank you.

Problem 2: Broken picture icons and can’t locate files

I own a Galaxy Note 3 and while I love its performance, I have a minor issue that happens frequently. There are times when pictures in the gallery is represented by an icon with a lightning bolt running through the center and I can’t locate files I saved in my memory card when this problem happens. Why is this happening?

Problem 3: SD card unexpectedly removed

Hi guys! This is a great service you’re offering, please continue doing this. By the way, I have minor issue with my Note 3. It always says that the microSD card was unexpectedly removed but it was never removed…not even touched. Is this a common issue with the phone? What does this error message mean?

Explanation: The error message associated with this problem and the behavior of the phone are pretty straightforward, meaning the tell you what the problem is but not the cause.

For example, when the error message pops up saying the SD card was unexpectedly removed, it means that the problem is with the microSD card but it never tells you why.

The same is true when you see a bunch of “broken” pictures that were saved in the microSD card. It tells you it couldn’t access those pictures but not the reason why it happens in the first place.

So, what’s the reason behind all these? A possibly faulty microSD card.

When it comes to this problem, all you can do is troubleshoot to confirm if the microSD card mounted on your phone is really faulty and if so, buying a new one is wisest decision you can make as far as this issue is concerned. There are a lot of tutorials online about how to fix faulty SD cards so if you want to give it a shot then go ahead but I won’t recommend that especially to people who store very important data in it.

I tried that before and I used the basic CHKDSK command to fix my faulty 16GB card. It was fixed but the problem returned after a week and this time my computer wasn’t able to read from it. So, bye bye to my files and music.

Troubleshooting: The following procedure will help you determine whether your microSD card can still be used or not.

  1. Turn off the phone and remove the microSD card.
  2. Using a card reader, let your laptop read from it.
  3. If the computer can still read from it, then copy everything that’s in it. However, if your computer prompts you to format the card, it means it’s already unreadable and all your data are already gone.
  4. Reformat the microSD card using FAT32 format.
  5. If successful, mount it back to your phone and turn it on.
  6. If the phone can read from it, you can still use it until it becomes permanently damaged. Otherwise, it’s time you bought a new one.

Galaxy Note 3 Voice Command Issues

Problem 1: Voice command opens when using headphones

Hello, ever since the most recent update on the galaxy note 3, I have been having weird technical issues with my audio. When I’m listening to music with headphones, my phone randomly opens the voice command even though I don’t press anything, and have the voice controls turned off. The phone will also pause my music as well as lower and raise the volume randomly as well. I have talked to three other galaxy note 3 owners that say their phones do the same things since the update. Any advice you can give would be great. Thanks, Morgan.

Problem 2: Voice command activates when watching videos

Hi, the problem with my Galaxy Note 3 is weird. There are times when the voice command opens while I’m watching videos on my phone. It happens when I stream videos online or simply watch movies I saved in my phone. I never had this problem with my S3 before so it’s frustrating that a more expensive phone is doing it. Can you help? — Jimmy

Potential Solution: I can’t explain it or why it happens but I saw this problem in action before. The phone was an S4 and the voice command activates when the music player starts playing a track. What I did to fix it was simply wipe the cache partition as I suspected it must have been a corrupt cache that caused it and I was right. I suggest you do the same.

  1. Press and hold the Power key, tap Power off, and then tap OK.
  2. Press and hold the Power key and Up Volume key at the same time.
  3. Release the Power key when the Samsung logo appears.
  4. Release the Up Volume keys when the Android image appears.
  5. Press the Down Volume key to select Wipe cache partition.
  6. Press the Power key.
  7. Once “Cache wipe complete” appears, press the Power key to select Reboot system now.
  8. The device restarts once the wipe is finished.

Galaxy Note 3 Camera Problems

Problem 1: Failed to initialize the camera

Hello, my Galaxy Note 3 started to have problems with camera 2 days ago. Sometimes when I try to open camera it says “failed to initialize camera” (sorry if i have spell mistake I don’t know how to write the word) and the app closes. I can only fix it with reboot but it comes again after some hours. What do i need to do?

Problem 2: Camera failed

Hi, there are times when my Galaxy Note 3 pops up the message that says camera failed. Consequently, the camera app closes and pictures I recently took aren’t saved. What is the problem and how can I fix this?

Troubleshooting: Two of the most common causes of these issues are: the camera sensor itself is faulty or a third-party app is interfering with the normal operation of the camera app. To narrow down the problem, you need to boot your phone in safe mode first and observe if the problem still happens in that state. If so, then there is a possibility that the sensor itself is faulty or it’s taking time to load and activate causing the system to pop up an error. If this was the case then you need to bring the phone to a tech and have it checked. In case the sensor was damaged, you can buy a new one and let the tech install it for you.

However, if the problem was fixed while the phone was in safe mode, then a third-party app may be the culprit. It can be rectified by bringing the camera back to its original settings–clear its cache and data. Don’t worry, your photos are stored somewhere safe and clearing the camera data won’t delete any of those.

Engage with us

Feel free to send us your questions, suggestions and problems you’ve encountered while using your Android phone. We support every Android that is available in the market today. And don’t worry, we won’t charge you a single penny for your emails. Email us via [email protected] any time. We read every email but can’t guarantee a response. Lastly, if we were able to help you, please help us spread the word by sharing our posts with your friends or visit our Troubleshooting Page. Thanks.

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