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Samsung Galaxy S3 Problems, Errors, Solutions and Troubleshooting Guides [Part 65]

Welcome to the 65th part in our troubleshooting series dedicated to the Samsung Galaxy S3. Although this phone was released in 2012 a lot of people are still using it. The hardware this phone uses is pretty decent and is even more powerful than most of the midrange models today. While it won’t be getting the official Lollipop upgrade from Samsung I’m sure several custom ROMs will be available based on the latest Android version.

galaxy s3

In this latest installment of the series we will tackle some of the emails we have received from our readers concerning this device. Some of the issues are minor in nature while others, which are already hardware related, need to be sent to an authorized service center for repair.

If you own a Galaxy S3 or any other Android device for that matter then 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 however ask that when you do send us an email ty to be as detailed as possible so that an accurate assessment can be made and the correct solution can be given.

If you would like to browse the previous parts in this series then check out this link.

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S3 Recovering Deleted Photos

Problem: I have accidentally deleted photos I took this weekend on my Samsung Galaxy s3 and I can’t find where the deleted files are cached. Can you help?

Solution: Once you delete a photo on your phone you won’t be able to access it again normally. You can try using some of the third party software solutions designed to recover such photos. You will need to install the software in your computer then connect your phone to it using a USB cord. Just follow the instructions on how to do a recovery on whatever software you choose. I must warn you though that this is not guaranteed to work 100% of the time.

S3 Not Charging

Problem: Hello. I have been reading ur posts and tried all sorts, my phone is Samsung galaxy s3 which doesn’t seen to be charging anymore. I even got new battery new charger tried different wall sockets but my phone seems to just say charging and shows the charging symbol but doesn’t charge at all. Please help!!!! Thanks.

Solution:  If your phone does not charge even if you have replaced the battery and the wall charger then there is a big possibility that the problem is with the charging port of your phone. The appearance of the charging icon when you plug in the charger despite the fact that it is not charging at all is an indication that the charging port is already faulty.

Try cleaning the charging port of your phone first with a toothpick or toothbrush. There are cases when dirt or lint can interfere with the charging process and cause this issue.

If the problem still persists then you should bring your phone to an authorized service center for repair.

S3 Not Recognizing SIM Card

Problem: Hey mate.. This afternoon, i tried to call someone but it said “not registered on network”… I tried some solutions in the internet then i stumbled upon this video on how to fix it by installing a custom rom. I’ve done all the steps but after the process, my phone didn’t recognise my sim anymore.. Can you help me pls?

Solution: You should first verify if your SIM card is still working by inserting it in another phone. If the issue is the same while inserted in a different phone then you should get a new SIM. If however the SIM works fine then I suggest flashing back the original stock firmware of your phone. Then see if the issue is still the same.

If you still get the same issue then try checking the SIM card holder for any signs of dirt, lint, or loose parts. If you spot any dirt or lint then clean it out using a toothpick. If the SIM holder shows signs of damage and can’t hold the SIM properly then you should have this part replaced.

S3 Does Not Wake From Sleep Mode

Problem: Hi, I’ve been having a problem with my Galaxy s3 phone that I was hoping you could help me with. I’ve had my phone for about 3 years now and keep up with all the updates for my phone. Fore the last few weeks at times I go to use my phone and it won’t come out of sleep mode “the screen stays black”. In order for me to get it out of sleep mode is I have to take the battery out and reboot the phone. This happens around twice a day. Any ideas why my phone does this? Thank you!!!

Solution: This might be a software related problem which can be resolved by doing a factory reset. Make sure to back up your phone data before proceeding with the steps listed below.

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

S3 Music Player Stops Playing Music

Problem: My stock music player is not working properly. It plays a song for a minute or so and stops playing music. If you could help it would be awesome.

Solution: This issue may be caused by some corrupt cached data on the music app itself. You need to clear the cache and data of the stock music player. Take note that you may lose your playlist in the process.

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

S3 Not Able To Stream Audio After Update To 4.4.4

Problem: I am using Samsung s3 which was upgraded from 4.4.3 to 4.4.4.  Since the upgrade I am not able to listen to live audio channels. Appreciate if u can asst. Thank you.

Solution: Try checking first the Internet connection. If you are connected to a Wi-Fi network then switch to your mobile data network and vice versa. This eliminates the possibility of any connection related issues.

If the issue only occurs in one connection mode then the problem is caused by your connection.

If the issue persists then you should do a factory reset. Whenever a phone undergoes a major software upgrade some issues will pop up afterwards. This is usually caused by data from the previous software version that has not been completely removed and is causing a conflict with the new software version. A factory reset will delete this 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 the phone vibrates, 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.

S3 Battery Issues

Problem: DEAR DROIDGUY:  Have you noticed a connection between reported battery / battery charging issues / battery lasting and the age of the Samsung Galaxy S3 ?  I am wondering if after a certain age( 2 years plus), the Samsung Galaxy S3 just has age induced problems.  background:  I am looking to replace the battery in my Samsung Galaxy S3.  Reviews online for products that I have viewed go from “great battery” to “charge was great at beginning, now only lasts a few hours” to “got bad one, will not charge in my Samsung galaxy S3.”  Could it be that the battery is fine but the phone is failing for some of these users?

Solution: It’s highly unlikely that the phone is the cause of the new batteries failing. The hardware components inside your phone are expected to have a lifespan of at least 10 years on average before they slowly deteriorate. Unless of course if the component get damaged for some reason.

If the replacement batteries go bad after using them for a short period of time then chances are the battery itself is faulty. As much as possible you should get an original Samsung battery for your phone. Any battery from a third party vendor that costs cheap may not work as expected.

S3 Syncing Contact Photos

Problem: Hello, I looked all through the questions and issues and didn’t see my problem; could have overlooked. It’s simple but annoying.  When I first turned on my previous Samsung phone and imported/synced my contacts, photos were automatically loaded in, most of them were Facebook profile pictures I think.  This phone, a Galaxy S3 imported all the contacts just fine, but only a few pictures.  They are indeed facebook or google profile pictures, but there are only a few.  I have the sync photos box checked everywhere in my phone that I can find to do so!  Thank you for any advice you can give.

Solution: Have you tried syncing the contacts using a different Internet connection? There may be issues with the connection you are using which is why only a few photos are appearing.

If the problem persists then restart your phone. Check on the contacts again and if only some photos appear then proceed with wiping the cache partition of your phone then do a manual sync again.

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

S3 On Virgin Mobile Sometimes Can’t Receive MMS

Problem: Hi, I came across your site as I was googling my samsung galaxy s3’s lack of APN settings option. I have been having issues receiving mms, sometimes they work, sometimes they do not and it is driving me bonkers. I use chompsms app as my default messaging system and within that app there is a settings option to adjust APN settings. I have done so according to the virgin mobile usa site.

My settings are currently as follows:

  • MMSC
  • http://mmsc.vmobl.com:8080/mms?
  • MMS proxy
  • 239.233.136
  • MMS port
  • 81

those are the only options it lists. When it comes to the APN settings on my actual device itself, it does not exist. I go to settings, more networks, mobile networks, and it has mobile data (which is turned on to access over mobile network) network mode, which is set as LTE/CDMA (preferred option) other option is just CDMA, and the last thing is connections optimizer which I’m sure you know. I have changed my default messaging app to the messaging that comes with the phone itself, and asked a friend to send me an mms, it worked. But it has not loaded the mms that have been previously sent to me when i was getting the error message. Oh and by the way, my phone uses MMS for group texting and I’m pretty sure those are the messages I am not receiving. Frustration. Do you have any advice?? I realize this problem is a little trivial, but it is getting under my skin to keep receiving these error loading messages due to APN settings WHICH I cannot control via my device. Vicious cycle. Thanks for reading my novel of a problem, appreciate any advice you may have 🙂

Solution: Several other Virgin Mobile S3 owners have also reported previously that the APN settings don’t exist on their phones. You will have to check if there are any new software updates for your device. If there are then get them since this may bring back the APN sting on your phone.

Another option for you is to contact the technical support team of Virgin Mobile and have the APN settings for your phone properly set.

One drastic approach which I hardly recommend is to reflash your phone with a different stock firmware that is known to have the APN settings.

S3 Disable Rear Camera

Problem: Hi! I’ve seen a post about the SIII in your website (http://thedroidguy.com/2013/10/samsung-galaxy-s3-camera-failed-problem-fix-76001) and I saw that you might be able to help me. My phone got wet, so I sent it to Technical Assistance and they fixed it. However, they didn’t have a replacement for the camera. When I initialize the Camera app, it crashes. I tried everything in your post, but I believe the problem is with the hardware.  While I was using the Facebook Messenger, I noticed that I could use the front camera through the app. So the problem is only with the rear camera. As I use mostly the front camera anyway, I was wondering if there would be any way to set the Camera app to automatically use the front camera instead of initializing with the rear one, or even some way to “disable” the rear camera so Android won’t even think there is one (or maybe trick Android to use the front camera thinking it is the rear camera). If you could help me I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

Solution: There’s no way right now to automatically disable the rear camera and use the front camera except if you change the way the firmware of your phone works. A custom ROM must be created that will default to the front camera whenever the camera app is used. I’m not really sure if such a ROM exist right now.

Your best option is to have the rear camera repaired so that the issue will disappear.

S3 Copy Photos From Internal Memory To SD Card

Problem: I would like to no how to get my pics and my music to download from my phone to my SD card.

Solution: The easiest way to do this is to connect your phone to a computer using a USB cord. You will see the internal storage a well as the SD card of your phone. Choose the files you wish to copy from the internal storage then paste them to the SD card.

S3 Can’t Install Firmware Using Odin

Problem: Hi, My Galaxy Siii i9300 is bricked and I’m trying to reinstall the firmware using Odin. I’ve done this successfully in the past but this time it’s not working. I’m not sure whether the device is even being recognized by my PC. Could this be a battery issue, though I know there is power in the phone’s battery. I know it’s a lot to ask when you don’t have the device in front of you but do you have any idea what the likely problem is? Thanks

Solution: The first thing that you need to make sure of is if your phone has sufficient power. If you can try using a different battery then it would be better. You should also try using a different USB cable and also perform the reflash using a different computer.

S3 Black Screen After Being Dropped

Problem: I dropped my phone on is right side. I say it was about a foot and a half drop. When it feel I was on my messages. I picked it up and push the home button and i could see partial of my message on my home screen. I put it down for a while and when i picked it back up i could see a hot pink contrast and the bottom left corner was black. I saved all my contacts and pictures why i still had the chance. I powered it off and back on but nothing happened. It’s been 5 hours now and the whole phone is almost black except the top right corner. My phone is still very active, it’s just the screen turning black. I have no clue what to do, PLEASE HELP!!!

Solution: Unfortunately in this case it seems that the display has been damaged. You will need bring your phone to an authorized service center and have this checked. You may also need to replace the display of your phone.

S3 Shuts Down When Flash Used In Photos

Problem: Every time i take a picture with the flash my phone screen shuts off. I can take video with flash just mo pictures. Any ideas or suggestions?

Solution: This may be caused by a corrupted software. Back up your phone data then do a factory reset Check and see if the issue still persists after the factory reset.

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

S3 Straight Talk Not Receiving/Sending MMS

Problem: I recently purchased a galaxy s3 straight talk phone. It works great however, it will not let me send or receive pictures, see emoticons or even smileys nor attach a picture to an email. I saw your post about the APN, when I followed the directions my phone does not have a section to change that. Or add it. I can turn on my data or wifi or turn them off and that is it. Please help. Thank you

Solution: First make sure to enable your mobile data when sending or receiving picture messages. If your mobile data is turned on and the issue still persists then contact Straight Talk and have the APN of your phone checked.

S3 Charger Port Broken/ Does Not Turn On

Problem: Hello droidguy, I have a white galaxy s3 and the charger port broken. I use another s3 to charge my battery. The other day my phone was on the table it was at 99 percent then it went to 0. I put the battery in the other phone and it charged so i put back into mine. Right when i put the battery in a bright flash came from the flashlight. I though okay… so then i pushed the power button but it would turn on… i freaked out. I bought a new battery just a few hours ago and i charged and put into that phone but still won’t turn on! Please help me!!!!

Solution: You need to have your charger port replaced first before any troubleshooting can be done. There may be a shorted circuit in your phone due to this port which is causing your phone not to turn on anymore.

S3 Email Icon Displays “-1” Mark

Problem: Good Evening, The email icon on my home screen is displaying ” –1″, and not able to work out how to remove this. Once I have read my emails I delete them from my inbox, and also delete from my deleted emails folder. Can you help.

Solution: Try clearing the cache of your email app first and see if this resolves the issue.

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

If the problem persists then you will need to delete the email account then add it again. Make sure to have a backup of any important email messages that you have in your phone.

S3 Fingerprint Lock Error

Problem: I have an s3, on the 4.4.2 update. Today I was deleting some misc files, trying to clean up some of my SD space. All of a sudden I get a screen asking for my fingerprint. I’ve never used this lock before and it doesn’t recognize my fingerprint. It now is doing that both if I try to access storage through settings and through my downloads section. How do I fix this, and without losing all my stuff on my SD card. Thank you for your time.

Solution: Since the S3 does not have any hardware based fingerprint scanner then this must be caused by an app that is installed in your phone. Try to start your mode in Safe Mode and see if the phone will still ask for your fingerprint.

  • Turn the device off.
  • Press and hold the Power key.
  • When ‘Samsung Galaxy S III’ 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 this mode the issue does not occur then find out what app is causing this and uninstall it from Safe Mode.

S3 Constantly Freezing

Problem: In the last 24 hours, my Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3 has consistently locked up (which I had to pull the battery and reboot), when it comes back on the touchscreen will not work most times for at least 5 minutes, then when it finally comes up, the keyboard takes at least 2 minutes to appear on texting and apps (when they don’t shut down) and when it finally shows the keyboard about half the time the touchscreen will not work to type, and sometimes eventually it will finally let me type.  This is intermittent and sometimes it works fine for hours…. and others I feel like throwing it against the wall (which I didn’t.)  These things happen on occasion here and there, but not usually all at the same time and not back to back to back.  When the system finally came back up and the touchscreen finally started working again last night, I went through settings to application manager and on most of the apps clicked the CLEAR DATA button.  This morning it started the same things again, freezing screen &/or touchscreen not working, etc and I just finally said screw it until I got to work.  I pulled the battery for about an hour and it is still intermittently freezing/touchsceen not working.  And there is a difference between the freezing screen and touchscreen not working.  I can tell when the screen freezes by the wifi symbol and time and battery life not changing (because when the touchscreen is not working, these things will still blink and time/battery life change amounts.)  The touchscreen not working is usually at the lock screen and when the keyboard finally comes up. The phone gives the last software update as update_SCH-I5358_ML1_to_NE1 6/20/14. It says no new updates are available and it does not give me the name of the last update.  I have most major apps (FB, Messenger, Ebay, etc.), several games (mostly King brand) and a handful of simple apps.  I do have Google Message+ for messaging and my memory says I have over 2 GB free on the Application Manager.  I didn’t see anything in the issues you had listed on your website that accurately described these issues, so I thought I’d reach out for help!

Solution: I suggest doing a factory reset to clear out any corrupt data that may be causing this issue and to refresh your phone. Just make sure to back up your phone 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 the phone vibrates, 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.

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