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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Problems, Errors, Glitches and Solutions [Part 53]

Welcome to the 53rd part in our series of troubleshooting guides dedicated to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Although this isn’t the top of the line Note model anymore it is still one of the top Android devices out in the market today. This phone, which was released in 2013, comes with an impressive hardware and although it was released running on Android Jelly Bean the Android Lollipop update is on its way.

note 3

In this latest installment of the series we will tackle some of the latest emails that we have received from our readers. If you own a Galaxy Note 3 or any other Android device for that matter then feel free to email us 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 however ask that when you do send us an email try to be as detailed as possible so that an accurate assessment of the issue can be made and the correct solution can be given.

You may also check the previous posts in this series at this link.

Aside from sending us an email you may also reach us at our Facebook and Google+ social media accounts.

Note 3 Not Allowing Screenshots

Problem: I have a galaxy note 3 and has been working fabulously then like a week ago it will not let me screen shot anything at all. When I try a message appears at the bottom and says security policy prevents use of screen capture. And it does it to me no matter what I am trying to screen shot.

Solution: This issue is most likely caused by the Knox security software of your phone. Have you tried taking a screenshot using Palm Swipe? Make sure that the Palm motion feature of your phone is turned on (APPS – SETTINGS – CONTROLS – PALM MOTION).

If Palm Swipe does not work then you should try clearing the cache of the Security Policy Updates app.

  • From the home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  • Tap Settings.
  • On the More tab, tap Application manager.
  • Tap the All tab.
  • Scroll to and tap the Security Policy Updates application.
  • Tap Clear cache.
  • The application cache is now cleared.

Force stop the app then go back to Settings and click on Security. Go to Security policy updates then manually check for updates.

If the issue persists then you will have to perform a factory reset. Make sure to back up your data before proceeding.

  • 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 Update Installation Failed

Problem: Hopefully you can help me out. I recently picked up a used note 3 that had a factory reset done on it before I got it. I woke up yesterday morning after having it plugged in all night, it was only at 59%, and had a notification for an update. I downloaded the update ota, and hit install now. It went to the black screen with the little Droid dude, and said “recovery boot” in blue lettering in the top left while it showed it was installing. Then, it said error by the green guy, and install failed. When it booted back up, it said the installation had failed, and no changes were made. It charges to a full battery pretty quickly now, but I’ve tried a few more times, and can’t get it to do the update. It’s running on 4.4.2 right now. It’s just kind of irritating waking up every morning and having it fail first thing. Have you had any others with this, and have they figured it out? Thanks in advance for the help.

Solution: The installation failed issue may be an issue with your phone software that can be resolved by wiping its cache partition first before getting the update.

  • 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 III’ 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.

If the issue persists then you should try getting the latest version of Kies installed in your computer. Connect your phone using a USB cord to your computer with Kies running. If an update is available you will be prompted to download and install it. Just follow the instruction on the screen to update your phone.

Note 3 Not Receiving Text Message

Problem: pls help, i have a samsung galaxy note 3. I tried removing the simcard last night, i didnt do anything to the phone or to the simcard. after a while i put the simcard back to the phone, i switch it on and tried sending a text message. I never knew if it was sent coz the message didnt show up in the sent messages, then i received a message, its showing 1 message received, but when i go to the inbox, there was no new message…but the number is still showing. my friends were telling me that they are sending text messages to my number , my phone is showing several messages received, but there were really no new messages that im seeing. pls help! thank you

Solution: Have you tired checking the system time of your phone if it is properly set? In most cases if the time is not set properly and if your messages are automatically sorted by the time they are received they will be displayed properly.

If the time is properly set then your next step is to clear the cache of you messaging app as it may be acting up right now. Make sure to use the stock messaging app and not a third party messaging app downloaded from the Google Play Store.

  • From the home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  • Tap Settings.
  • On the More tab, tap Application manager.
  • Tap the All tab.
  • Scroll to and tap the Messages application.
  • Tap Clear cache.
  • The application cache is now cleared.

Note 3 Can’t Send Picture Message

Problem: I have att service but I am using a Verizon Samsung galaxy note 3 that is unlocked. I wasn’t having any issues with sending picture messages thru text but for the past 3 days I can’t send them. They just loans forever then say mm failed. Please help me! Att technical support was no help!

Solution: The first thing that you should check is your phone APN settings. Check if the settings match the one that AT&T is using. You can check on the AT&T website for the correct settings.

In your phone side do the following steps below.

  • From any Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap the Connections tab.
  • Tap More networks.
  • Tap Mobile networks.
  • Tap Access Point Names.

Tap on the AT&T APN setting and check if it is correct. Edit any setting that does not match.

You should also ensure that you have a mobile data connection when trying to send out a picture message.

Note 3 S Pen Not Working

Problem: Hello, I had a question regarding my s pen on my Samsung Note 3. When I was first using the s pen and would hover over a file with a couple of apps in it, it would turn the pointer to a solid blue dot and semi expand the file to show you what apps you have stored in that file and then when you tap the file with the pen it’ll open up and show you the apps stored. Or if I hover the s pen over a long text message it would pop up with a small box with the full text showing me what the person wrote. Recently my s pen stopped turning into a solid blue dot and won’t expand my files when I hover it or show me that box when I would hover over a person who sent me a text message. What is wrong and what can I do to get this fixed? I hope you understood what I’m trying to say. I’d appreciate it if you could help me out with this. Thanks.

Solution: The first thing that you should do is to check if your phone settings concerning the S Pen are correct. To do this tap on the Menu key then tap settings. Tap on Controls then tap on S Pen. Make sure that the following are properly configured.

  • Turn off pen detection: When enabled, pen detection is turned off when the pen is attached to the phone (inserted). This can extend battery life.
  • S Pen keeper: sounds an alert and shows a pop-up message if you move the phone away from the pen without attaching the pen to the phone.
  • Pointer: When enabled, a pointer displays on the screen when you hover S Pen over the screen.
  • Direct pen input: When turned On, the phone will automatically display the handwriting pad in the text input area when it detects the S Pen.

If your settings are correct then restart your phone. Turn your phone off then take out its battery. Press and hold the power button for a minute then reinsert the battery. Turn on your phone then check if the issue still persists.

You should also try using your S Pen on another Note device since there are cases where a faulty S Pen can cause this issue.

Note 3 Not Reading SD Card

Problem: Hi. I bought a GALAXY NOTE 3 NEO cellphone and it happens that once in a while the phone is no longer reading my SD card. Sometimes it says you have to format them, sometimes just stop working. In all cases I changed the SD card with a new one, but it may not be possible that I always buy the defective one. Even, I have reset the cell phone to factory defaults, and the problem still appears. Could you give me an indication about what can I do?

Solution: If using another SD card and doing a factory reset fails to resolve the issue then this may already be a hardware related problem. Before bringing your phone to an authorized service center try to check if there are dirt or lint present on the SD card holder of your phone. If you spot any then clean it using a cotton bud dipped in alcohol. Make sure that the battery of your phone is removed before you attempt to clean it.

Note 3 Update Failed

Problem: ​The Droid Guy… I have a Samsung Note 3, recently it tried to do an update without permission and it got “stuck” in the process. None of my apps work including my photo gallery, all I can do is send/receive texts and send/receive calls. The Samsung Tech referred to it as an App crash. It will not connect to the internet either. Upon contacting Samsung they told me to download Kies3 and back up my phone, however, Kies3 is not compatible with my computers operating system and security settings. At this point I am ready to do a factory reset on it but my pictures are still on the phone somewhere, I just can’t access them. I know they are there because they are showing up as space used just not physically there. Hope that is not confusing. When I went to AT&T to have them look at it the guy said that someone somehow “rooted” aka unlocked my phone… was I hacked?? He told me the phone was pretty much junk at this point and I should get a new one… sales technique?? Do you have any ideas before I do a factory reset and loose all of my daughters baby pics forever?

Solution: Since your phone only works with calls and text the best way to retrieve your phone data is by connecting it to a computer running on Kies. If your computer is not compatible with this software then you can try using another computer (your friend’s computer perhaps).

If your phone has a microSD card installed then there is a chance that you may have previously set your phone camera to save photos to the SD card. Try checking the SD card by taking it out and inserting it to your computer (you may need a microSD card adapter to do this). If the photos are present then you can back it up by simply copying it to your computer.

If you have activated Google Photos on your phone then any photo or video taken is automatically synced to your Google account. Try checking your Google account from any web browser and go to the Photos section.

Note 3 Log Settings

Problem: Hello, Is there a way to keep the setting for logs on calls only.  It keeps going back to all logs including text messages and I only want calls.  I set it daily and it keeps going back. Thank you.

Solution: Right now there is no way of setting it to display only calls. Whenever you set it to display only calls and you exit the log screen, when you open it back it will default to All logs.

Note 3 SD Card Issue After Android 4.4.4 Update

Problem: I have the Samsung galaxy note 3. There was a recent update to go to the 4.4.4 Since the update I keep getting notifications about my sd card. sd card is blank or has unsupported files. My games would grey out and of course anything I have on the SD card I can’t access. But then it would go back to normal. How do I stop this?

Solution: If this issue occurred right after the update then you should perform a factory reset. There are cases when data from the previous software version gets left behind in your phone. This data conflicts with the new software version which manifests itself with various issues, in your case it is the issue with the SD card. A factory reset will eliminate this old data. Just make sure to back up your personal data before proceeding.

  • 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 Only Work With S Pen

Problem: My galaxy note 3 has been acting up the screen doesn’t work with the touch of a finger it only works with the s pen and it has been acting weird like opening up apps/pushing numbers I didn’t press.

Solution: It is most likely that the digitizer of your phone is already defective. This explains why it does not work with touch input but works using an S Pen. You should first try doing a factory reset on your phone to eliminate any software related problems. Just follow the instructions above and make sure to back up your data first.

If the factory reset fails to resolve the issue then you have to bring your phone to an authorized service center for checking and repair.

Note 3 Pin Error

Problem: Hi Droid, Last night I was playing my phone and went to change my security pin. When I tried to use my phone this morning, it would not open using either the new or old pin number. I restarted the phone and was able to access using my old PIN number and use the phone as normal during the day. Now, in the afternoon, I went to use the phone and it keeps saying wrong PIN. I have tried both old and new without success, including restarting several times. Apart from doing a hard reset, is there anything else I can try? I’m prepared to lose some data as I don’t have a Google account linked to back up my data and apps. Don’t worry, it is my own phone and I’ve not stolen it! If I can somehow bypass the PIN open screen, I can remove and move back to swipe pattern. Is this a common issue? Cheers.

Solution: Since your phone is not linked to a Google account then the only easiest way to bypass the PIN is to perform a factory reset.

Note 3 Ads Keep Appearing

Problem: Help me please. Yesterday I noticed my AT&T note 3 acting a little funky. Every time I would unlock it whatever app I went to would freeze and not give any response to touch (including back and menu buttons).  I would have to hit the home button then go back to that app and it would work. I started with a reboot…no help. Then cleared system cache…no help.  Cleared running programs cache…no help.  I thought maybe it was because I would access an app directly from the cover app lock screen…nope, I’d open to my home screen then go into an app (when the home screen didn’t lock up) and it would lock up. I gave up and just used the work around. Well today is a different story, programs aren’t freezing as often but today I am getting pop-up ads every time I unlock my screen or let it sit for a long time.  They come up right in the middle of my screen. I’ve investigated and can’t find anything that could be doing it. I’ve uninstalled the two most recently installed apps, cleared the system cache partition again and they keep coming. I’ve even changed my lock screen, home page and texting apps just in case (I’ve used then all for a long time so I didn’t really think it was them bit had to try). The ads have a little I icon that says they are Google ads but I’m not sure if that’s true. Any more ideas short of doing a full recovery (which I’ve considered doing anyway)? Thank you for any help you can give…it’s really frustrating, I’ve loved my note 3 and am really careful about what I install but something found a way in.

Solution: The most likely cause of these ads popping up on your phone are certain third party apps. If you installed apps coming from sources other than the Google Play Store then this type of issue is most likely to happen.

What you can do is to uninstall all of the apps that you have downloaded then wipe the cache partition of your phone. If no ads appear after this then install your apps one at a time each time checking if the ads reappear (make sure to get the apps from the Google Play Store).

If the issue still remains then you will have to do a factory reset.

Note 3 Not Loading eBay Photos

Problem: Hi, I hope you can help me because I am going insane trying to figure this out.  I have a rooted note 3 that will not load pictures within ebay.  Not on the ebay app not on the mobile page not while it is tethered to my laptop or tablet.  Now my husband has a rooted maxx hd and when I tether off him on my laptop they load. I know this has something to do with my phone or account but can’t figure out what it is. I buy and sell on ebay to make money so this is important to me.  I have waited a month hoping it would fix itself and have called ebay (zero help there!) Have only had the Note for a couple months but I had the same problem with the maxx hd while it was mine, so I know it’s me somehow. If you can help I would be eternally grateful as it is making me nuts. Thanks.

Solution: Do you have any security software installed in your phone? These types of software may come with ad blocking functionality and is blocking the photos of eBay. If you have a security software then try uninstalling it first.

Another thing to consider that may be causing this issue is the connection. Does this issue occur as well on a mobile data connection? If it doesn’t then there may be an issue with your phone and the tethered connection source.

This issue may also be caused by some form of corrupt temporary data on the eBay app. To resolve this you need to clear the cache of the app.

  • From the home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  • Tap Settings.
  • On the More tab, tap Application manager.
  • Tap the All tab.
  • Scroll to and tap the eBay application.
  • Tap Clear cache.
  • The application cache is now cleared.

If the issue still persists then wipe the cache partition of 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 III’ 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 Dropping Calls

Problem: Hello Droid Guy, What is causing the issue why my phone is dropping my calls after few seconds sometimes just over a minute? My husband and I have the same Note 3 and we’re seated beside each other. The same phone signal and it’s just me having an issue with drop calls. I tried calling a land line or mobile phone from other carriers and the same result, drop calls. Any suggestions or solutions? Thank you for your help.

Solution: Try to insert your SIM card in your husband’s phone. If the issue does not occur then it’s most likely a phone related problem. If the issue still occurs then the issue may be with your SIM or account. In this case you will need to contact your carrier.

If it is a phone issue then a reset usually helps as this will refresh your phone connection to the network.

  • Turn off your phone
  • Take out the battery and SIM
  • Press and hold the power button for at least a minute
  • Reinsert the battery and SIM
  • Turn on your phone

Try placing a call and see if you are still experiencing dropped calls.

If the issue still persists then another possible culprit that is causing this is a certain third party app. To check on this you will have to start your phone in Safe Mode.

  • Power off the device.
  • Press and hold the Power key for one or two seconds to turn on the device.
  • When the Lock screen is displayed Safe mode is displayed in the lower-left corner of the screen.
  • When the Samsung logo displays press and hold the Volume down key until the lock screen displays.

Once in Safe Mode try making a call. If you don’t experience any dropped calls then the issue is most likely caused by a third party app that you installed. Find out what that app is and uninstall it.

Before ruling this as a hardware related issue try to check if there are any new software updates available for your device and install the accordingly. These updates come with improvements and bug fixes that may help resolve the issue.

If your phone is running on the latest software update then it’s time to bring it to an authorized service center for checking.

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