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Straight Talk Galaxy S3 Problems, Errors, Questions and Solutions [Part 2]

galaxy s3

Welcome to the second part of our Straight Talk Galaxy S3 Problems series. There are several common problems I addressed in this post and I hope the solutions or workarounds I suggested here can help you fix your concerns with your phone. The title says this post is intended for Straight Talk subscribers but the fact is the troubleshooting procedures here can work on any Galaxy S3 models. So, if you have the same device and found a problem here that is related to yours, feel free to follow the same troubleshooting procedure and you’ll be fine. There were a lot of ST subscribers who emailed us so we find it necessary to answer their emails and this is our way of responding.

We’ve already published 40 Galaxy S3 support articles that also answer emails sent by our readers. Needless to say there were already hundreds of problems we addressed, so if you have issues with your unit, feel free to browse our Galaxy S3 Troubleshooting Index; all problems were duly itemized for each part for easy browsing. If, however, you can’t find your problem anywhere in the page, drop us an email at [email protected].

We also have Facebook and Google+ pages that we use to answer questions. And if you really want to catch me, I created a small online community [click here to join] where I also answer questions about smartphone problems. I leave that page open on my computer 24/7 so there’s a big chance of catching me online.

ST Galaxy S3 Can’t Download Picture Messages

Problem: Hi Harold, I own a Galaxy S3 and I use Straight Talk’s services. I’m not really sure what the problem is but one of its symptoms is that I can’t view picture messages. I already called Straight Talk’s hotline but their representative didn’t know what to do and I had to be transferred twice and that sucked big time because I had to wait for so long before having told my problem couldn’t be fixed. I have no one to turn to so I really need your help. — Liz

Related Problem: Hello guys, my name is Ramone and I recently subscribed to Straight Talk’s unlimited plan. Everything is working except the MMS. I can browse the web, send text messages, make phone calls and whatnot but I cannot send nor receive picture messages from my friends. I don’t know what’s wrong with my phone. The Wi-Fi’s doing fine because I’m connected all the time to our home network but the MMS just won’t work. How can I fix this?

Solution 1: Liz, I am sorry you have to undergo all those inconveniences and haven’t got the support you need. Actually, the problem is very simple; if mobile data is enabled while this issue occurs, then it must be the APN that needs to be checked. But of course, I assume your account with Straight Talk is in good standing, otherwise, there’s nothing you can but to call the hotline and ask the rep to fix the issue for you. Assuming your account with ST is good, then follow this:

Turn On Mobile Data

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap More settings.
  4. Tap Mobile networks.
  5. Put a mark inside the check box next to Use packet data.

Now, try to send a picture message to your own number to find out if you can successfully send and receive. If that fails, then the issue is with the APN.

Straight Talk often changes its APN and more often subscribers phones aren’t updated with the new settings. At this point, I want you to call the hotline but instead of telling the rep your problem, ask for the APN Settings for the Galaxy S3. The rep will then trigger the system to send you an SMS containing the APN. Once you have the APN, follow these steps to edit the existing one:

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap the Connections tab.
  4. Tap More networks.
  5. Tap Mobile networks.
  6. Tap Access Point Names.

Don’t forget to save the data once you’re finished.

Solution 2: Ramone, I was thinking you were using mobile data connecting to the internet but it turned out you’re on WiFi. The reason why you can neither send nor receive MMS is because mobile data is disabled in your phone. You need to be connected to the mobile network to use the MMS service and to do that follow the steps above.

Straight Talk Connection Very Slow On Galaxy S3

Problem: Hi droid guy, my service with Straight Talk has always been so bad. During the first two weeks of the month, my connection is really good but in the third and fourth, the connection is very slow that it takes so long to load Google. There is a connection but very slow that I always get the error message that the sync was interrupted due to unstable connection. I can’t figure out what the problem is. Can you help me out please?

Related Problem: Hello, for some reason my internet connection is terribly slow that I can’t even stream videos on YouTube and Facebook anymore. There are times, however, that my connection is good and fast and that happens during the first week or second week of the month but some other time I would like to throw my phone as I can’t even browse a website. I already called Straight Talk about it but the rep didn’t even know what the problem was. I purchased the unlimited card from Walmart and it said it was unlimited everything but why can’t I browse the internet with decent connection?

Solution: The problem isn’t with the phone, it’s with Straight Talk itself. You may have subscribed for unlimited data but there is actually a cap in every billing cycle. Once you used up data for that billing cycle, your connection will be throttled down and there is a noticeable difference in the speed.

For example, Straight Talk offers unlimited data but the cap is set to 5GB. Once you used up the 5GB data, you will still have a connection but throttled down to slower speeds. More often, 3G connection are throttled to 2G connectivity, which has a huge difference when it comes to data transfer speed.

The solution is to wait until the current billing cycle ends. Your connection will reset on the next cycle until you used up your data again. Or, you can purchase another card from Walmart again.

Media streaming is the most common cause of this problem. There’s nothing we can do about it because that’s the company’s policy. Therefore, you should be the one to adjust so that you won’t suffer slow internet speed. Minimize on media streaming.

Straight Talk Galaxy S3 Showing “No SIM Card” Error

Problem: Hi guys, I bought a Galaxy S3 phone from Walmart last month and it has Straight Talk services in it. The phone was actually doing well and still is except that I’m getting the error “No SIM Card” every now and then. What I do when it happens is just reboot the phone and the problem is fixed but after some time it returns. The error just shows up when it wants to and I don’t know what triggers it. It is obvious that the issue is with the SIM card but does the phone have something to do with it, too? Any advice would surely be appreciated. By the way, thanks for providing this free support. You guys are doing us a huge favor. — Ron

Related Problem: Hi, my name is Manish and I have a Galaxy S3 that has a Straight Talk SIM card in it. Yesterday, it started showing the No SIM card error and it won’t go away. I can’t make a call or browse the internet. I can’t even send a text message. What should I do to fix this? Is my phone busted already? It’s just about 6 to 7 months old. Please suggest a solution to this problem. Thanks.

Solution: Ron and Manish, the No SIM Card error is not something you can fix because apparently it’s a SIM card problem. That error means the phone cannot detect the SIM card that is mounted on it. In other words, it is totally damaged, or in the case of Ron, about to get damaged.

The solution, call Straight Talk’s hotline and demand a SIM replacement. The rep may let you conduct troubleshooting procedures before creating a replacement ticket. The new SIM will arrive 3 to 5 days later so in that span of time, you won’t have service with your phone.

Straight Talk Galaxy S3 Won’t Sync Google Contacts

Problem: Hi Harold, I have an issue with my phone. But before anything else I just want to give you an idea about it; it’s a Galaxy S3 and I bought it from Walmart. It uses Straight Talk’s services. I already called ST’s hotline but the rep wanted me to wipe all data in my phone via factory reset, which I think was absurd knowing I was trying to restore contacts from my Google account.

The problem is, for some reason, my Google contacts won’t sync with my phone. I’m not sure what the cause is, it just won’t. I thought my contacts were deleted so I tried to log in to my account and found out they’re all there. I’m not as techie as you guys but I sure know how to sync data including contacts but nothing happens when I do. It’s not about my internet connection like the other rep implied when I called earlier because apparently, I was able to log in to my Google account on my phone’s browser plus, I can stream videos via YouTube. I’m at my wit’s end here so I need your help. Thanks in advance. — Mel

Solution: Mel, just like you, I don’t have any idea what causes this problem as I never encountered it before so I will not delve into the technicalities, rather I will provide a workaround on how to get your contacts from your Google account to your Galaxy S3. Please follow the steps below:

  1. Login to your Google account through your computer browser. (http://mail.google.com)
  2. Once you’re inside your Gmail account, look at the upper-left corner of your browser. Directly under Google’s logo you can see “Gmail” with a little arrow-down button.
  3. Click Gmail and choose Contacts. At this point, you will be able to verify if you really made a backup of your contacts because you can see all of them.
  4. If you want to restore all the contacts, tick the checkbox at the top to select all.
  5. There is a button that says “More” with a little arrow, click on that and choose export.
  6. You will be asked to choose which contact to import, tick “Selected contacts” and the format should “vCard Format.”
  7. Click the Export button, and save it into a directory you can easily locate or access.
  8. Connect the phone to your computer and copy “contacts.vcf” file to your phones external storage or microSD card.
  9. Once copied, disconnect your phone and get it ready to import contacts.
  10. From the Home screen, tap Contacts.
  11. Tap the Contacts tab.
  12. Tap the Menu key.
  13. Tap Import/Export option.
  14. Choose Import from SD card.
  15. Tap Import vCard file.
  16. Tap OK.
  17. The phone will automatically search for vCard files and import the contacts to your phone. Once finished, you will be able to see all your contacts.

I hope this helps, Mel.

Straight Talk Galaxy S3 Uses Too Much RAM

Problem: Hi, my phone, which is a Samsung Galaxy S3 from Straight Talk, has become terribly slow. The rep told me to check the RAM usage and it says 701/831, so it was clear the problem has something to do with the memory. When I asked the rep what to do next, he simply said I need to do factory reset. I didn’t want to do that because I have a lot of important data in my phone I haven’t backed up yet. The problem is, the phone is very slow that backing up the data is impossible. Just to give you an idea what’s happening to my phone, it freezes almost every minute and it would take about 30 seconds before the phone becomes responsive again. I was lucky I was able to check the RAM. What do you suggest I do to fix this problem? Thanks.

Solution: It’s not a common issue with Galaxy S3 especially those that are more than 1 year old. The thing is we always thought apps get automatically closed when we hit the Home button, they don’t; they keep running in the background, although the RAM usage is minimal when they’re in idle state. But if you have a lot of apps in your phone already, RAM would easily run out. Now, to address this issue and to avoid the phone from freezing while you’re fixing the problem, boot it in safe mode first:

  1. Press and hold the Power button.
  2. When the Samsung Galaxy S3 screen appears, release the Power button.
  3. Immediately press and hold the Volume Down key until the phone finished restarting. The problem has already been initially solved if you reached this far.
  4. The text “Safe Mode” will be visible on the lower left corner of the screen.

Once the phone is in safe mode, follow these:

  1. Go back to the Home screen.
  2. Press and hold the Home button.
  3. You can close each application by touching and dragging them to the right. Or, you can simply tap the Clear All icon at the bottom-right.
  4. With Recent Applications cleared, tap the Task Manager icon.
  5. Tap Active applications and tap the End button next to the application you want to stop. You can also tap End All to stop all active apps.
  6. Now, if you have unsaved data, save them first because the next step may delete them.
  7. Tap the RAM tab, and then tap Clear memory.
  8. At this point, you must already have freed some space in your phone’s RAM. Try to view free memory.

I hope this helps.

Straight Talk Galaxy S3 Won’t Turn On

Problem: I found out that my phone, a Galaxy S3, turned off last night. It tried several times to turn it on but it refused. I tried charging it and the LED notification light says it’s full already. I’m not really good with technology but I am sure the phone wasn’t dropped or submerged in water. I’ve taken good care of it so I’m really perplexed why this problem happened. Please, if you have any idea how to bring my phone back to life, let me know. Thanks. — Jane

Related Problem: Hello Harold and team. First of all, thank you guys for all efforts you exerted in helping us. You’ve already helped a lot of people. I have a problem with my phone that I bought from Walmart. It’s a Galaxy S3 and for some reason it won’t turn on. I was charging it but when I got back from the store I found out it was off. I tried pulling the battery out and it still refused to turn on. What must be done to fix this problem? Thanks guys! Regards, Julie.

Troubleshooting: Apparently, these problems are similar. Jane and Julie already ruled out the possibility that it was just a depleted battery issue, so let’s proceed with the proper troubleshooting. Please follow the steps below:

  1. Soft reset. Remove the battery and then press and hold the power key for a minute. That should be enough to drain stored electricity off of capacitors. After that, attempt to turn the phone on.
  2. Safe Mode. The purpose of this procedure is to find out whether the phone could actually boot up with all third-party apps disabled. If it could, then the problem may have been caused by a third-party application. If the phone can’t boot in Safe Mode, then there’s no other option but the next procedure.
    1. Press and hold the Power button.
    2. When the Samsung Galaxy S3 screen appears, release the Power button.
    3. Immediately press and hold the Volume Down key until the phone finished restarting. The problem has already been initially solved if you reached this far.
    4. The text “Safe Mode” will be visible on the lower left corner of the screen.
  3. Recovery Mode. This is your last chance and if the phone still refused to boot in this state, we have narrowed down the problem to either firmware or hardware issues. In recovery mode, you can wipe the cache partition or proceed immediately to factory reset. If you could reach this far, there is still a chance the problem can be fixed.
    1. Turn off the device.
    2. Simultaneously press and hold these three buttons: Volume Up key, Home key and Power key.
    3. When the phone vibrates, release the Power key but keep pressing and holding on the Volume and Home keys.
    4. When the Android System Recovery screen shows up, release the Volume Up and Home keys.

If the phone screen remained dead after doing any of the aforementioned procedures, then the problem is with the hardware. However, if the phone turned on but goes into a screen you haven’t encountered before, it’s a firmware issue and re-flashing of the firmware could fix it. Either way, you need to bring the phone to a tech.

“Unfortunately, Gallery has stopped”

Error: Hi droid guy, as of late my phone started giving me error message saying “Unfortunately, Gallery has stopped.” It happens every time I try to open or view pictures. It also happened several times after I took pictures so it’s not just triggered by one app but many including the camera. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to fix this nor I have any idea what caused it, so please help me as it is very annoying. — Markov

Related Problem: My Straight Talk Galaxy S3 is showing me an error that gallery has stopped working. It started one day when the phone suddenly turned very slow. I don’t know how to get rid of this problem so please I need your help. — Gina

Solution: If you have a microSD card mounted on the phone, try to remove it first and then observe the phone closely to find out if the same error pops up. If the issue was fixed by removing the microSD card, then the Gallery app was trying to access media files but the phone couldn’t read from it. Let your laptop read the microSD card and if possible backup everything in it. However, if the computer couldn’t read from it as well, then you need to buy a new one as it has already been damaged.

However, if the problem wasn’t fixed after removing the SD card, the issue is with the app only. Clearing it’s cache and data will fix it:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap the More tab.
  3. Tap the Application Manager, then swipe to display the All section.
  4. Scroll to and find Gallery.
  5. Tap Clear Cache
  6. Tap Clear Data and hit OK.

Straight Talk Galaxy S3 Shows -1 Message

Glitch: Good morning team. I’ve got a weird problem because my phone is giving a notification that I have a -1 unread text message. I checked the messaging app and I’m sure there is no unread messages. I know this isn’t a serious issue but very annoying. Do you know a fix for this? By the way, my phone is a Samsung Galaxy S3. Thanks. — Charles

Related Problem: Hello, the voicemail icon in my phone shows I have unread (unheard) voice messages but when I checked, there was none. The icon won’t go away whatever I do. Please help me as I’m always fooled my phone. — Patel

Solution: Don’t worry, this problem is minor, in fact, it’s just a glitch in one of the services. It can be fixed by clearing the cache and data of the service. Follow these steps fix this:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap the More tab.
  3. Tap the Application Manager, then swipe to display the All section.
  4. Scroll to and find BadgeProvider.
  5. Tap Clear Cache, and then Clear Data.
  6. Reboot the phone.

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