While this post is apparently intended to Galaxy S3 owners and Straight Talk subscribers, the troubleshooting procedures and solutions I cited here can be used in other S3 variants. Many of our readers emailed us and specified the model of their phone and their service provider, so we find it necessary to publish posts like this.
For S3 owners whose concerns cannot be found in this page, I suggest you visit our Galaxy S3 Troubleshooting page as we made an index of all problems we addressed in the past. Try the solutions we already provided and if they don’t work for you, then email us at [email protected] so that we may include your problem in our future posts. Or, you may post your concerns on our Facebook wall and Google+ page as we also use those media to help our readers.
However, there’s one thing we ask of you–details. Please provide as much details as possible so that we can assess your problems well and provide you with appropriate troubleshooting steps and solutions. Screenshots are always welcome as well as error messages. Don’t forget to include the mode of your phone and when the problem started.
Click any of the links below to jump to a specific problem:
- Straight Talk Galaxy S3 Can’t Receive Calls
- Straight Talk Galaxy S3 Downloads Stuck
- Straight Talk Galaxy S3 Has Duplicate Contacts
- Straight Talk Galaxy S3 Automatically Shuts Down
- Straight Talk Galaxy S3 Downloads Photos And Documents
- Prevent Play Store From Updating Apps On Galaxy S3
- Straight Talk Galaxy S3 Becomes Very Slow
- Straight Talk Galaxy S3 Screen Turns On and Off
- Straight Talk Galaxy S3 Won’t Boot Up Completely
- Straight Talk Galaxy S3 Nearby Service Has Stopped
Problem: Hey droid guy. I own a Galaxy S3 and I have Straight Talk as my service provider. I have subscribed to their unlimited data, calls and text but now my phone can’t receive any call. It started about 3 days ago because I noticed people (including my boss) who call me daily didn’t call. The second day I knew something wasn’t right so I tried dialing my number using my boyfriend’s phone and it brought me directly to voicemail. I gave it another day thinking it may have been just a system issue but even today, my number cannot receive calls. I hate calling tech support because I will be transferred several times. If you can help me with it, you will save me from a heap of trouble. Thanks. — Melrose
Suggestion: It’s not a problem with your phone, Melrose. It’s with Straight Talk’s system, or at least, the fix should come from them. There’s nothing we can do on our end that would fix this. You said that the call would go straight to voicemail, it’s a sign that your number is deactivate. It needs to be reactivated so you can use the service again. Don’t worry, your credits will surely be reverted back to your account. So, call tech support but don’t say you can’t make calls. Instead, tell the rep that calls go straight to voicemail so that no troubleshooting will be done.
Problem: Hello Harold. It’s nice for you to offer free support to us technology challenged people. I am an old lady but my daughter gave me this new phone from Samsung. It’s Galaxy S3. I know how to use its basic functions and I know how to download apps from the Play Store but recently, all my downloads get stuck. Play Store won’t show the download counter anymore and it keeps on going and going and I already spent hours trying to download an app I use for reading. Can this be fixed? Thanks. — Emma
Solution: Hello Emma. I’m glad you reached out to us about your problem. Well, if your problem just started, then I’m sure it’s just a minor glitch with the Play Store itself. So, I suggest you go into Settings > Application Manager > tap Play Store > tap Clear Cache. This usually works for this kind of problem, so close the Play Store after following the procedure and reboot your phone. Once the S3 is up and running, make sure it’s connected to the internet, launch Play Store again and try to download any app to see if it still gets stuck. If so, go back to the Application Manager and clear Play Store’s data and tap Uninstall Updates. This will revert the app back to the version that’s fully working. You should be able to download an app now.
Problem: Hi! I just did factory reset as per advice of ST tech support. My phone, which is a Galaxy S3, is now fast and buttery smooth even with all my apps reinstalled so I’m really happy with it now but there’s one issue though. I think all my contacts have duplicates; some have three while others two. I have more than two hundred contacts so it’s not really that easy to delete all those duplicates. Do you know how to fix this problem?
Solution: Well, for starters, you can merge duplicate contacts but it will take time considering the number of contacts you have. But you know what, if there are duplicates, it means you’ve synced more than one account. I’m not sure where you saved your contacts list but I’m sure one of them is Google or Gmail. So, I suggest you unsynced all accounts that hold your contacts. Login to your Gmail account through a web browser and view your contacts. Check if there are duplicates. If there are, it’s easy to delete them through web browser as you would have to select them and deleted them in one click.
If, however, there are no duplicates, try to synced that account to see if it would still create multiple duplicates. In case, duplicates still exists, clear both Contacts and Contacts Storage cache and data via Application Manager. This will delete all contacts saved in your phone so back them upu first if you haven’t yet.
Going back to Gmail, export all your contacts to a .vcf file and then copy the file to your microSD card and let your phone import all your contacts from Gmail. That will solve the problem.
Problem: Hi Harold. I am a Galaxy S3 owner and I have my phone activated under Straight Talk in October. Recently, I noticed that my phone is shutting down on its own for no apparent reason. I haven’t noticed a pattern. It’s all random regardless of what app I use. There was even a time when it shut down while it was idle. Do you know why it’s shutting down? How can I fix it?
Related Problem: Hi, my Galaxy S3 is more than a year old and starting last week, it began to shut down randomly. I can’t figure out what the cause is that is why I need your help on this. Have you encountered this problem before? If so, what did you do to fix it?
Troubleshooting: It’s difficult to pinpoint what the cause is but the most common suspect is the battery especially if the phone just shuts down without signs of any performance-related problems like freezing or lagging. The best thing to do is to troubleshoot it because it is in doing so that we will be able to narrow down the issue. Here is a simple troubleshooting procedure you may follow:
- Remove the back cover and pull the battery out. Once pulled out, physically check it for signs of swelling and lumps or any deformities.
- If the battery doesn’t have any deformities or physically defects, place it back in but this time, make sure it’s properly inserted. If it has some kind of play or loose, that might be the reason why the phone turns off randomly.
- After making sure the battery isn’t the culprit, boot the phone in safe mode and closely observe it to know if it still shuts down on its own. If the problem remained, then there is a chance it’s a firmware issue. However, if the problem was solved, then one of the third-party apps may be the cause.
- Backup your data and perform the master reset. This will rule out the possibility of firmware issues. If the problem still persists after this, then it’s time you have the phone checked by a technician as it could be a more serious hardware issue.
Problem: Hi guys. I have a weird problem with my phone, Galaxy S3. It keeps syncing photos and documents even if I turned off all syncs. Notifications keep popping on my Notification Bar saying some photos have been successfully synced and documents downloaded. I want to stop the phone from doing this but I don’t know how. So, I hope you guys know the solution. Please help. Regards, Melody.
Solution: Hi Melody. It is just a minor glitch that can be rectified by a simple reboot. But suggest you make sure all syncs are off first, then reboot the phone. Once the phone becomes active, check for syncs to find out if they were turned on during the boot up. If they stayed off, then problem solved. However, if they were turned on, you need to clear the cache and data of the Download Manager:
- Tap Settings.
- Tap the More tab.
- Tap Application manager.
- Swipe left or right to display the All tab.
- Tap the Download Manager.
- Tap Clear data and then tap OK.
- Tap Clear cache.
That should do it.
Problem: Hi, my Galaxy S3 always updates my apps even if I didn’t initiate it. I do admit, auto updating the apps is a good feature as it saves a lot of users from manually checking applications that needs updating. The problem is, I don’t have an unlimited plan. Well, Straight Talk said that I purchased an unlimited card but half way through the billing cycle, my phone couldn’t connect to the internet anymore. I called tech support and they said I used up too much data and I don’t want that to happen. However, Play Store is doing its thing almost everyday. So, how can I stop it from doing so? — Mike
Solution: I understand perfectly well what you wanted with your phone and luckily I know just how–restrict Google Play Store from using background data and this is how you do it:
- From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
- Tap Settings and then the Connections tab.
- Under the Connections tab, find Data Usage and tap on it.
- Scroll down and you’ll see a list of apps that use data. I’m sure Google Play Store is one of them so tap on it.
- In the next screen, the Data Usage of the Play Store, you’ll see a checkbox labeled “Restrict background data,” that’s the option you need ticked to restrict it from using data.
- I understand you didn’t ask how to stop receiving app updates whenever mobile data is turned on but it may come handy. So, while on that same screen, tap the button that says “View app settings.”
- In Google Play Store settings screen, find the option that says “Auto-update apps” and tap on it. You will now see three options; you can either choose “Do not auto-update apps” or “Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only.”
I hope this will solve your problem.
Problem: Hi droid guy, I hope you can help me with my problem. I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 I purchased from eBay. It is an international version but I got it activated with Straight Talk. For three months, the phone was actually doing great; it was fast and buttery smooth. But recently, its performance has greatly deteriorated and I think it was the update that caused the problem. I’m not really comfortable in troubleshooting it because I’m not a tech person; I might end up making things worse. Can you help me with it, please? — Danny
Troubleshooting: Danny, if it was an update that caused this problem, then it’s very easy to fix. The update process may have corrupted some of the caches and data that the system uses. You need to clear them so that the phone will be forced to cache newer and fresher sets of data to use.
Boot the phone in recovery mode and wipe the cache partition. This is delete all that is inside the cache directory. During boot up, the device will use new caches. For this issue, the solution can be effective. However, if the problem remained after doing so, then you don’t have other choice but to backup all your data and perform factory reset and I suggest you do so in recovery mode as well.
Problem: I don’t know if you guys already encountered this problem but the screen of my Galaxy S3 will turn on and off on its own. When it goes into idle mode, after a few minutes the screen will turn back on. After two minutes, the screen will turn off again and then on again after a few minutes. Why is this happening? I called the tech support of Straight Talk and inquired about this but he, too, was stumped and eventually advised me to do master reset. Should I do that? Is this a major problem with the phone? If so, how can I fix it? Or is it even possible to fix it on my own? — Hanes
Solution: Hanes, don’t worry this problem isn’t serious and yes, you can fix it on your own. Based on your description, I believe the phone has some wakelocks that awaken it whenever it goes into sleep mode. Wakelocks are often extensions of apps you may have installed on your phone. There are also times when you’ve installed an app that’s built to phish information such as your location or login credentials. It is, therefore, imperative to address it immediately. The most effective way to do so is to download and install Wakelock Detector app from Play Store.
Launch the app and search for “wakelock detector” and the first on the list is the app you’re looking for. Install it and run it so that you can find wakelocks and disable them.
Problem: Harold, I need your help. My phone is a Galaxy S3 and I use Straight Talk’s unlimited plan, if that matters. Anyway, yesterday my phone shut down on its own and I don’t know what may have caused it. I tried to turn it back on but it didn’t respond when I hit the Power key. I pulled the battery out, press and hold the power key for a minute as per your advice in one of your articles, placed the battery back in and the phone turned on. The problem is, it is stuck on the Samsung logo. I thought it was just trying to load everything up so I left it in that screen. After 15 minutes I went back and it was still on that screen and it was warm. What could be the problem and how can I fix it? — Dominic
Potential Solution: Hey Dominic. It sounds like it’s just a minor glitch. So, the next thing I want you to do is to boot the phone in safe mode. If it can boot up successfully, just reboot it and it should boot up in normal mode. However, if it failed to boot in safe mode, then boot it in recovery mode and wipe the cache partition. That should fix the problem.
Problem: I’ve encountered a lot of problems with my Galaxy S3 already and I fixed majority of them but there’s one thing I don’t understand–the error message that says “Unfortunately, Nearby has stopped.” The error pops up every time I play Metal Slug Defense on my phone and after it popped up, another error follows, “Maps has stopped.” Why is this happening? Can you help me figure out what the problem is? Thanks in advance. — Jomarie
Potential Solution: You said that the error message pops up only when you’re playing Metal Slug Defense. Well, check the app because there’s an option under WiFi vs mode that will allow you to search for nearby players. Try to turn it off if it’s on. If the problem persists, however, go to Application Manager and choose the app and hit the Clear Defaults button. Launch the app and if it will ask you to allow it to access your location, deny it. That may fix the problem.
In case the issue remained, then there’s no other option but to clear the cache and data of the app or reinstall a fresh copy from the Play Store. I understand you may have already finished several stages but that’s the remaining option that may fix the problem. But it’s your call what you want to do about it.
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