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How To Fix / Troubleshoot Common Problems With Samsung Galaxy Note 3 [Part 36]

Welcome to the 36th part in our series of troubleshooting articles dedicated to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It has been more than a seek since the last part was released and ever since then we have been receiving lots of emails from our readers seeking for assistance regarding this particular model. For those who don’t know yet this is a section in our site where we help our readers resolve the issues they are facing with their mobile devices.

galaxy note ii

If you own a Galaxy Note 3 or any other Android device for that matter feel free to send us an email at [email protected]. We will be more than happy to assist you with any concern that you may have with your device. This is a free service we are offering with no strings attached. We do however ask that when you send us an email try to be as detailed as possible so that an accurate assessment can be made and the correct solution can be provided.

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Note 3 Randomly Changes Wallpaper

Problem: My Samsung Galaxy note 3 changes it wallpaper by itself but when it does it also disproportion the picture. I don’t mind so much that it changes the wallpaper so much as when it does change it, it in larges the picture, if you could help me with that problem that would be great, so if there is ANYWAY to keep how the picture changes but keeping it at 1080 – 1920 dimensions.

Solution: Normally your phone should not randomly change its wallpaper. The only reason why your phone wallpaper should change is of an app is causing it or if you changed the wallpaper. In this case it appears that an app that is installed in your phone is changing the wallpaper.

You might want to start by checking your phone for any automatic wallpaper changer apps. Some of the popular apps available at the Google Play Store that changes your wallpaper include Automatic Wallpaper Changer, Zedge, and Wallpaper Changer just to name a few.

If you are using a third party launcher then it might also be causing your wallpaper to change. There might be a setting in the launcher you are using to automatically change your wallpaper.

If you can’t seem to find the particular app that is causing this issue then you should try to start your phone in Safe mode. In this mode only the default apps are loaded while the third party apps installed from the Google Play Store are disabled. This makes it easier to isolate the issue and to verify if it is really an app that is causing the problem.

To boot your phone in Safe Mode

  • Turn the device off.
  • Press and hold the Power key.
  • 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.
  • 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.’

Try to observe your phone behavior in this mode. If the wallpaper does not change then the issue is most likely caused by an app. You should find out what app this is and uninstall it.

If the issue still exists in Safe mode then you may want to start fresh by doing a factory reset on your phone. Make sure to back up the data of your phone first as this will be erased in the process.

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, Power key.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Note 3 Mobile Data Turns Off On Its Own

Problem: Hi, I’m using Samsung note 3 and my mobile data goes off by itself. It started after I factory set my phone. My WhatsApp messages will stop coming or when I’m try to browse, I will be informed there is a problem. When I check the mobile data it has gone off. I will turn it on and then realize after some time that is has gone off again. This happens several times a day. My network mode is set to auto so I don’t know where the problem is coming from. Will be really nice if you can help. Thanks.

Solution: Does this issue occur in one particular area or in no particular area at all? If it occurs in a specific area then this might be a network issue. In this case you should contact your network provider.

In case this isn’t a network related issue then the first thing you should check is your SIM card. Remove it from your phone and if possible try to insert it in another phone and check if the problem also exists in that other phone. If it does then you might have a faulty SIM in which case you have to get a replacement.

Once you have determined that your SIM does not have a problem it’s time to troubleshoot the phone itself. You mentioned that the issue occurred right after performing a factory reset. A factory reset deletes everything in your phone including the settings of your mobile data. This is what you need to check first.

  • Press the settings icon.
  • Press the Connections tab.
  • Press More networks.
  • Press Mobile networks.
  • Press Access Point Names.

You will want to delete whatever Access Point Name is available and create a new one. Contact your network provider for the correct settings and assistance in getting them to your phone since each carrier has a specific setting.

The next thing you should consider if a certain app is causing this problem. If you have a power saver app installed in your phone then it might turn off your mobile data. To check if any third party app is causing this issue you need to boot your phone in Safe Mode.

  • Turn the device off.
  • Press and hold the Power key.
  • 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.
  • 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.’

If your mobile data does not turn off in this mode then you have to find out what app is causing this problem and uninstall it.

Note 3 Network Issue When Roaming

Problem: Hello, How is everything? I will try and be as clean and descriptive as possible. Not to long ago I purchased the “Note 3” from a Canadian provider ( I live in Canada) I got the phone unlocked since I travel quite frequently. Upon my arrival in the USA for a short vacation I realized certain problems that appeared.

– No notification sms stating I arrived in the USA

– Unable to make phone calls

– Unable to send txt/mms messages

and I will add I did not change my sim card to an American one. I kept my Canadian sim card in the phone while in the USA. The notification message I was constantly receiving was “NOT REGISTERED ON NETWORK”. I tried going into the settings to connect to atnt, virgin etc etc but with no luck. No matter what I tried I was unable to connect/register on an American network provider. My lock-screen said “emergency calls only” and what is even stranger is that I had  all my bars connected without the “R” for roaming. I have also checked if my IMEI number is Null and it seems to be fine. What can be the issue? Any help will be great. As it stands I have a phone that can’t even send a txt in the United States on my Canadian SIM card! Thanks.

Solution: It appears that the phone is unable to connect to any of the United Stated carriers. You should first check with your home network and verify if your account is setup for roaming. If your account is active for roaming use then a quick reset of your phone should do the trick here.

Turn off your phone then take out the battery and the SIM card. Leave it out for a minute then return both the battery and SIM card. Turn on your phone. You should be able to get a roaming signal now.

You should also check if your phone is properly setup for roaming

  • Tap Settings.
  • From the Connections tab, scroll to and tap More networks.
  • Tap Roaming.
  • Tap Roaming network.
  • Tap Automatic to enable roaming.
  • Tap Roaming settings.
  • Tap to check or uncheck the preferred options.

Note 3 Application Not Installed Error

Problem: Hi, can you please assist. I currently have two applications on my Galaxy Note 3. I use these two application each day but the past month something weird is happening …this will be the fourth time that I had to re-install when I click on the icon it gives me “application not installed” message, I used the applications this morning and late afternoon when I wanted to use them again it gave this message the icon also appears faded and it’s got a SD sign next to it can it be the app self or something wrong on my Note? The apps are installed on my phone not the memory card.

Solution: For this issue you will need to uninstall both apps again then before you install them clear the system cache of your phone. This does procedure not delete your personal data.

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, Power key
  • When ‘GALAXY Note 3′ appears on the screen, let go of 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 cache partition.’
  • Press the Power key to select and wipe the cache.
  • With ‘reboot system now’ highlighted, press the Power key to restart the device.

Once the system cache has been cleared install the affected apps again. Make sure to get the apps from the Google Play Store.

If the problem still exists then you might want to replace your MicroSD card. There are instances when an app may be installed in the internal storage of your phone but it may access its data from the MicroSD. If your MicroSD is faulty then the app may not be able to access its data which may lead to this problem.

Note 3 Email App Issue

Problem: Hi there, need help. I had about 5 regular email accounts, as well as an MS exchange active sync email account, running on my Note 3, running 4.4.2. After I removed the active sync exchange account, my email application is frozen. When I hit the email app button, the email starts, but stays at a white screen… no button works. After pushing the center button, the system says: Email does not respond. I can then either decide to wait (which does nothing to the problem), or close. Any idea how to reset the email application? Thanks indefinitely.

Solution: To reset your email application you will have to clear its cache and data. Take note that this will delete your emails as well as your email settings. Make sure to back up your emails and its settings before proceeding.

  • From the home screen, tap Apps.
  • Scroll to and tap Settings.
  • From the General tab, scroll to and tap Application manager.
  • Swipe left to the ALL tab.
  • Scroll to and tap the Email application.
  • Tap Clear cache.
  • Tap Clear data
  • You’ve now cleared the application cache and data.

Once this is done you will have to setup your emails again.

Note 3 Cracked Screen

Problem: Hi I have a question to ask. I have dropped my Samsung galaxy note 3 & it has cracked the screen. But the screen is all black now, the Bottom home buttons light still works I Can Still Get Text Messages & stuff but just can’t see them. The Light little light on the top of the screen that is blue when you have a call of text also Lights up & the blue light when it is charging. I am charging it at the moment. What could be wrong with it?

Solution: The most likely cause is that the display is already damaged. You will need to get this replaced. Just bring your phone to an authorized service center to have it repaired. Before you bring your phone make sure to make a backup copy of your data. You can easily do this using the latest Kies software installed in your PC. Kies will be able to back up the following data Contacts, S Note, Message, S Planner (calendar events), Call log, S Health, Videos (internal memory), Music (internal memory), Photos (internal memory), miscellaneous content files (internal memory), Ringtone, Story Album, Applications (internal memory), Alarm, Email account information, and Preferences.

To back up your phone

  • Connect your device to your computer.
  • Open Kies 3 and click the Backup/Restore tab.
  • If necessary, click Data backup.
  • Mark the checkbox next to the content you want to back up. You can select all content by marking the checkbox next to Select all items. Click Backup.
  • Click Complete when the backup is finished.

Note 3 Email not Updating

Problem: Hi, I’ve had my Note 3 for 2 weeks and it stopped updating my email on all 3 accounts that I’ve set up. The busiest account is a Hotmail one with the others being outlook…not sure about the 3rd.  I’ve looked through the settings and all seems fine. Just wondering if you can suggest anything? Regards

Solution: When your emails are not syncing in your phone the first thing you need to check is if the Sync switch of your phone is on. Pull down the notification shade of your phone and check the Sync icon. If it is on then tap on it to turn it off and tap on it once more to turn it on. While you are here make sure that the power saving feature is also turned off.

The next thing you should do if the above steps do not work is to reset your email application. Take note that this will delete all emails in your phone as well as its settings. It is important to back up everything first before proceeding.

  • From the home screen, tap Apps.
  • Scroll to and tap Settings.
  • From the General tab, scroll to and tap Application manager.
  • Swipe left to the ALL tab.
  • Scroll to and tap the Email application.
  • Tap Clear cache.
  • Tap Clear data
  • You’ve now cleared the application cache and data.

Before entering your email settings again you should clear out your system cache first. This does not delete your phone data.

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, Power key
  • When ‘GALAXY Note 3′ appears on the screen, let go of 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 cache partition.’
  • Press the Power key to select and wipe the cache.
  • With ‘reboot system now’ highlighted, press the Power key to restart the device.

Note 3 Insert SIM Card Error

Problem: Hi I bought a Samsung note 3 last week but I tried to insert my SIM card it always show insert SIM card please help me sort this problem thank you.

Solution: The first thing you should verify is if your SIM card is indeed working. Try to insert the SIM in another phone and if it does not work then replace it with a new one. In case your SIM works on another phone then it could be a misalignment issue. Carefully insert the SIM on your phone making sure that the contacts meet. If it still shows the insert SIM card error then take out the battery and SIM then using a cotton dipped in alcohol clean your phone’s SIM holder. Once it is clean try to insert your SIM again. If it still does not work then try using another SIM.

If after performing all of the steps above your phone still can’t recognize the SIM then this might already be a hardware related issue. In cases like this you will have to bring your phone to an authorized service center for repair.

Note 3 Wi-Fi Option Greyed Out

Problem: Good day! I am having issues regarding my note 3 Wi-Fi switch. For some reason the Wi-Fi switch is turned off and can’t turn on (greyed out). Tried resetting phone to factory settings but no go. I hope you have another option to fix this before I ran out of options and throe this thing out. Thank you very much. Note: the phone is running on android 4.3 and used only for 4 months. Thanks a lot

Solution: If the factory reset does not solve your Wi-Fi issue then you might want to check for any new system software updates available for your phone. Any new update comes with improvements and bug fixes that may resolve this issue.

If your phone is running in the latest software update then the next thing you should do is to perform a reset.

  • Turn off your phone
  • Take out the battery
  • Press and hold the power button for at least 3 minutes
  • Reinsert the battery
  • Turn on your phone

Once your phone is fully on try checking your Wi-Fi settings.

If the problem still exists then do a factory reset using the hardware keys. Make sure to back up your data before performing the procedure.

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, Power key.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Note 3 Instant Messaging Code J Error

Problem: I am getting a lot of failure to send instant messages mostly with a code J error code.  I have a Note 3 and using the default IM app.  I have tried others and still get failures.  It doesn’t seem to matter if I am connected via mobile or Wi-Fi.  Any help would be appreciated.

Solution: Before troubleshooting this issue make sure that your phone is running on the latest system software. In most cases an update will solve the issue that a phone is facing since it comes with improvements and bug fixes. Once you have made sure your phone is updated proceed with the troubleshooting steps below.

To check if a certain third party app that you installed is causing this problem boot your phone in Safe Mode. In this mode only the default apps are loaded while third party apps are disabled.

  • Turn the device off.
  • Press and hold the Power key.
  • 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.
  • 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.’

If in Safe mode your IM works normally then the issue may have been caused be an app. Find out what that app is and uninstall it.

If the problem still occurs in Safe mode then you might want to try clearing your phone’s system cache. This does not delete the data on your phone.

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, Power key
  • When ‘GALAXY Note 3′ appears on the screen, let go of 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 cache partition.’
  • Press the Power key to select and wipe the cache.
  • With ‘reboot system now’ highlighted, press the Power key to restart the device.

One final troubleshooting step you can perform if the above steps fail is to do a factory reset. Take note that this procedure will delete the data in your phone so make sure to create a backup copy.

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, Power key.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Note 3 Freezes

Problem: During the middle of the day, my phone suddenly hangs. The signal indicator does fine but I can no longer call or send in messages. When I try to call, the call does not push through. When I try to end the call, the dialing screen just freezes. The only way I can restore it back to normal is to turn off my phone. What do you think is the issue?

Solution: Try taking out your phone’s MicroSD card if it has one installed then observe it if it still freezes. There are cases where a faulty MicroSD card causes a phone to freeze since it will have a hard time accessing the data stored in the card.

If the MicroSD card is not the cause of the issue then you might want to do a factory reset on your phone. Make sure to back up your data as this will be deleted in the process.

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, Power key.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Note 3 Email Sending Failed

Problem: I keep getting a sending failed message every time I boot up my phone. I have looked in to the outbox and sent box and it is not there. I have even deleted my email accounts completely once and reinstalled them but I keep getting “sending failed”. Ironically the party did receive my email that I sent to them! This is from a Microsoft exchange server account.

Solution: This issue may be caused by a glitch in your email app. This can easily be resolved by clearing out its cache and data. Take note that by doing so your emails and email settings will be deleted so better make a backup copy first before proceeding.

  • From the home screen, tap Apps.
  • Scroll to and tap Settings.
  • From the General tab, scroll to and tap Application manager.
  • Swipe left to the ALL tab.
  • Scroll to and tap the Email application.
  • Tap Clear cache.
  • Tap Clear data
  • You’ve now cleared the application cache and data.

Open your email application then setup your email again.

Note 3 Can’t Take Screenshot

Problem: I can’t take a screen shot I was able to now every time I try to it says “security policy prevents use of screen capture” I don’t know how to fix it and what security policy are they talking about?

Solution: This error message usually pops up for Samsung devices that have updated to KitKat and have the Knox security software installed. If this is a work phone then your company may have certain restrictions setup preventing your from taking a screen shot. If this is your personal phone then you should first check if there are any new system software updates available for it. If there then install accordingly. These updates contain improvements and bug fixes that may help resolve the issue.

One other troubleshooting step you should consider performing is a factory reset on your phone. This will however delete all data on your phone so take the necessary steps to perform a backup first.

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, Power key.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Note 3 Flash Does Not Turn On

Problem: I have a galaxy note 3 and my flash has never worked right.  I took it back to Costco and the guy took out the battery and replaced it and then it worked.  Only problem is, when I need a flashlight or my camera flash, I don’t have time for a reset.  The reset seems to work just for the immediate time afterwards.  

Solution: You might want to try to start your phone in Safe mode to check if an app that you installed is causing this problem.

  • Turn the device off.
  • Press and hold the Power key.
  • 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.
  • 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.’

Check your phone’s flash operating in this mode. If it works normally then you should find out what app is causing the problem and uninstall it.

If the problem still occurs n Safe mode then do a factory reset. Make sure to back up your data first before performing this procedure.

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, Power key.
  • 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.
  • 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.

If after performing the factory reset your flash still exhibits the same problem then this might already be a hardware related issue. In this case you should bring your phone to an authorized service center for checking.

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