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Samsung Galaxy S3 Problems, Errors, Solutions and Troubleshooting Guides [Part 70]

Welcome to the 70th part in our series of troubleshooting articles dedicated to the Samsung Galaxy S3. There are still quite a lot of people using this phone today despite being released three years ago. In fact, some carriers are still offering this model for their prepaid lineup.

Samsung Galaxy S3

This model comes with a 4.8 inch Super AMOLED screen, a quad core processor, and 1 GB of RAM. Although its hardware specs look powerful enough the phone’s last official software update is Android Jelly Bean. Those who would like to experience KitKat or even Lollipop on this phone would have to use a custom ROM.

Just like any other phone this model also has it fair share of issues. Now that it’s pat the two year mark most of the issues that we receive are already hardware related, most notably a faulty battery which needs to be replaced.

In this latest installment of the series we will tackle some of the issues our readers have sent us concerning this phone. 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 try 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.

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

S3 Can’t Hear Calls

Problem: Hey, I’m using a samsung galaxy s3 plays up everytime I answer calls. I can’t here the person thats talking to me on the phone on the other side. Its really annoying. And also after I hang up, the network sort of like cuts off and comes back again! Please help me! I want my phone back to normal. Thanks and hope you do something about it droidguy

Solution: Since your network also cuts out every time the call ends then this may be related to the call issue you are having. Have you observed if this issue occurs at a particular location or does it occur anywhere you are? If it occurs in one area then this may be a coverage related issue.

If the issue occurs anywhere you are then try to isolate the SIM by inserting another SIM on your phone. Try to check if the issue still occurs. If it does then this is not a SIM issue but a phone issue already.

The first thing you need to do if this is a phone related issue is to wipe the cache partition of your device.

  • 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.

Check if the issue still persists. If it does then back up your phone data and perform a 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.

If the problem still occurs at this point then this may already be a hardware related issue. You should bring your phone to an authorized service center for further checking.

S3 Does Not Vibrate

Problem: Hello I am contacting you about my Galaxy S3 (Purchased from Walmart straight talk plan) this phone is a straight talk phone I did not bring my own phone. I got this phone on Christmas Eve so about four months ago. I realized my phone did not vibrate when I had it set on vibrate. Everything showed up as if it was on silent. Phone calls or texts never vibrated. I did that reset that I saw on your page and that still didn’t help. I hate having to have my phone on volume if I am in a resturaunt so I like to put it on vibrate and still get my notifications. But I never know when I get a message or call because it treats it as silent. I hate this because we spent over 300$ altogether for this phone. So please could you give me some advice on this issue.

Solution: This could either be a software related issue or due to a faulty vibrator. The first thing to do in this case is to back up your phone data and do a 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.

If the issue persists then bring your phone to an authorized service center. This could either be caused by a loose wire on the vibrator or the vibrator itself is defective and needs to be replaced.

S3 No Service After Software Update

Problem: Hi, I just read on your page that other people had this problem too. I had a software update, and the following morning when I went to use my phone I had no service. My phone kept telling me there was no sim card inserted. Did all the usual stuff… took it out cleaned it, put it back in. Did a soft reboot etc…and in the end spoke to a guy in the mobile phone repair shop. He tried my sim card in other phones and every one of them recognised it. Tried it back in my own handset and nothing! He suggested I did a back up and full restore (factory settings). Did that, and guess what? Nothing! It seems my hand set does not want to know. Don’t know what else to do because the sim is still working in other phones. No damage has been done to the phone. It has not been dropped, or wet or anything like that. It simply had a software update before I got into bed one night and when I got up the next morning… nothing! Any suggestions?

Solution: This issue might be caused by a problem that occurred during the update. Have you checked the IMEI number of your phone? Another possible cause for this is that the EFS got corrupted. The quickest way to resolve this is to back up your phone data the reflash the phone using Odin. You will need a copy of your phone firmware as well as a program called Odin installed in your computer. Instructions on how to do this can be found at most of the popular Android forums online.

S3 Turns Off When Connected To Mobile Data

Problem: Hi!! I need help – my Galaxy s3 , when connected to the internet through Mobile Network rather than WiFi I can get on whatever I need to but then on some apps (I’ve only experienced it on my Mobile Banking app and SnapChat so far) the screen begins flickering and then my signal will go so the stop sign appears on the status bar where the signal bar once was and then my phone will turn 0ff immediately. When I turn it back on it has no battery – and this can happen from a full battery. Do you know what this could be and a way to stop it happening? I get so worried I have malware or someone hacking into my phone.

Solution: This issue may be caused by corrupt data on your phone. Have you tried uninstalling the apps that cause this issue? After uninstalling the banking app and SnapChat proceed with wiping 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 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.

Go to the Google Play Store then download the apps again. Check if the issue still persists.

If the issue still persists then back up your phone data and do a 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 Does Not Turn On

Problem: I left my S3, ALONE at home, which I NEVER, when I came home it was dead.  Once I plugged it into the charger my screen will not come back on.  It has NEVER done this before. I have taken my battery out and put it back in and that did not change anything.  Please help.  Could I have pressed something to have made the screen temporarily “turn off” accidentally?

Solution: Try leaving your phone connected to the wall charger for at least 20 minutes before turning it on. If you can’t turn on the phone then try using a new battery as the battery on the phone may already be faulty.

S3 Camera Failed After Software Update

Problem: I have read your comments about fixing samsung S3 neo camera problem. I used this phone with android 4.3 and it had no problem. after that  a notification update update appeared on my cell phone that said 4.4.4 is available for download finally i accept to install and 545 MB copied. Now after installing this Android version when I switch to camera it displays an error message “Camera Failed”. Please help me to solve this problem. I did what you wrote on your site and there was no way!

Solution: When you get a camera failure error on your phone the best solution to this is to clear the cache and data of your camera application.

  • To clear the cache for an application, from the home screen, tap Apps.
  • Scroll to and tap Settings.
  • Tap the More tab.
  • Tap Application manager.
  • Swipe to the All tab
  • Tap the Camera application.
  • Tap Clear cache.
  • Tap Clear data
  • The application cache and data is now cleared.

S3 Can Receive But Not Send MMS

Problem: Hi I just got a Samsung galaxy s3 t999 and I’m using it on straight talk.  I changed the apn but I still can’t send pictures in. a text but i can receive them plz help can a t999 not fully work with straight talk?

Solution: You should first make sure that the following conditions are met.

  • Your device has signal.
  • You’re able to connect to the Internet or use data services.
  • You’re able to send and receive text messages. If you’re having problems with text messaging, check out Text message troubleshooting.
  • The contact you’re sending to is stored in your phone with the 10-digit number.
  • The picture or video you’re sending is less than 1 MB in size. Messages over 1 MB will not send. Some Android devices will get a “Message size limit reached” error.

If your phone meets the above conditions then try to do a restart to refresh your connection to the network.

S3 Not Showing Photos In Gallery

Problem: I have Samsung Galaxy S3 SGH-T999. Factory unlocked. Since yesterday my pre-installed app – Gallery stop working. All my pictures are in folders. I can see them in the My Files system. Gallery shows empty. I tried upload new pictures from PC as I did it before. They are uploaded successfully, I can see them in a file system, but they are not showing in gallery. I found also all thumbnails are completely disappeared. Now if I take a new picture – this image goes to gallery and new thumbnail appears. But all previous are not exist anymore. It seems the app Gallery is corrupted. How I can fix it? Also something wrong in the setting. I tried to assign this device with my ringtone as I did all the time until yesterday. Now system allows me to assign with a bunch of default ringtones and there are no options anymore to pick up one from my folder. All my ringtones still are in the folder Ringtones but I don’t have an access to them. Please, help

Solution: This issue may be caused by a glitch in the data of the gallery app. This issue can usually be resolved by clearing the cache and data of this app.

  • To clear the cache for an application, from the home screen, tap Apps.
  • Scroll to and tap Settings.
  • Tap the More tab.
  • Tap Application manager.
  • Swipe to the All tab
  • Tap the Gallery application.
  • Tap Clear cache.
  • Tap Clear data
  • The application cache and data is now cleared.

If the issue persists then try wiping the cache partition of your phone. This procedure may also resolve the ringtone assignment issue that your phone is facing.

  • 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 Google Voice Search Not Working

Problem: My galaxy s3 no longer has google voice search since the google update of 4/15/15. Responds “can’t locate google” and when I manually make a search the response is “unable to load search results”. Also android wear no longer connects to the Moto watch.. when I uninstall the google update all search things work again except android wear which is hung up displaying a message saying  to update google…. so my moto is now useless except for showing the time. I hope u can help.

Solution: Your phone may still have system data from the old software version that hasn’t been completely removed and is causing this issue to occur. Try backing up your phone data then do a 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 No Auto Brightness Option

Problem: My Galaxy S3 does not even show the auto brightness check box option when I am in the brightness adjustment screen.  ONLY MANUAL ADJUSTMENT IS SHOWN. All the instructions I can find online talk about checking the box which I used on my old S2, but this auto option checkbox is not on the brightness screen.  How can I get that to show? Thanks for your time.

Solution: This option should be found in your phone if it is running on stock firmware. Try restarting your phone then check for this setting again under Settings – Device – Notifications – Brightness Adjustment.

If the option is still unavailable then check the About Phone section under settings. It’s likely that your phone may be running on a custom ROM.

S3 “Something Went Wrong” Error

Problem: I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 that I got when I was with Verizon wireless….I left them and currently I am using the PagePlus network…I love the price of their unlimited plan plus   I am on the Verizon network but  since I have been on it I get an error message occasionally. “SOMETHING WENT WRONG please wait a moment and try again. If problem persists try logging in”. If you know what the problem is I would greatly appreciate your help…PagePlus doesnt seem to have a customer service dept… Thank You

Solution: It looks like this issue is caused by the Verizon Cloud app. Try going to Settings – Apps – All – Verizon Cloud. Force stop the app then clear its cache and data. Reboot your phnoe then check if the error message still pops up.

S3 Headset Always Plugged In

Problem: Samsung Galaxy s3 I updated my phone 3 days ago and now I can’t hear anything because my phone show the headset plugged in when there isn’t one plugged in at all.  I don’t get any sound at all.  I just bought this phone. I’m very upset.

Solution:  There may be some dirt or dust inside the audio port. Try blowing air on it or cleaning it with a toothpick. You should also plug then unplug the headphones a couple of times.

If the issue persists then back up your data and do a 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.

If at this point the problem still occurs then this may already be hardware related. You will need to bring your phone to an authorized service center and have it checked.

S3 Wi-Fi Keeps Turning On

Problem: have had phone for about 18 months now. this just started in the last couple weeks. i usually shut off the wifi when im not using it. NOW it just keeps coming back on every time the phones screen goes blank (when im not using it). tried everything i can find and no help. my wife has same phone and now hers started doing the same thing this week????? please help… again it is on the straight talk network. thanks.

Solution: If you are on the Sprint network then this may be caused by the Sprint Automatic connection setting. Go to Settings-> (Wireless and Networks) More Settings-> Mobile Networks -> Automatic Connections -> Click “Sprint Automatic connection” and make sure this option is unchecked.

If your phone is on another network then under the Wi-Fi settings of your phone click on Advanced. You will see an option to auto connect when launching high data usage applications. Just uncheck this option.

S3 Google Search Not Working

Problem: Hi, I’ve been having difficulty with my google search on my phone – I can no longer search without getting “Can’t load search results,” and its quite getting annoying. I used to search all the time without any problems and I’m guessing when it updated my phone, it stopped working. Also, I am getting almost the same thing with google + – it tells me connection data not available. Let me know if there is something I need to do other than do factory reset. Thank you.

Solution: This is likely a connection related issue. Make sure that you are connected to a stable Internet source. If the issue occurs when connected to Wi-Fi then try switching to your mobile data and vice versa.

If the issue persists then wipe the cache partition of your phone as this may be caused by corrupt temporary data.

  • 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 “unable to detect your sim card. Your device will restart to check for your sim card.” Error

Problem: Hi I have a at&t galaxy s3 phone model sgh-1747 and im using straight talk with a straight talk sim card.  I’ve used the phone for 4 months without any issues till recently. If I use the internet or play a game  longer then 5 or 10 minutes my phone will have a message pop up that says “unable to detect your sim card. your device will restart to check for your sim card.”  if I restart my phone it still does not detect the sim card. But I can use everything else on the phone, even the WiFi. The only way I can get my phone to detect the sim card is to shut it down for at least 20 minutes.  Ive tried a soft and hard reset and tried starting my phone in safe mode and still no luck.  have you seen this issue before or have any opinions on what the issue could be?

Solution: Let’s check first if this is a SIM card related issue. Cut out a piece of paper the size of your SIM card. Turn off you phone then insert this paper on top of your SIM .This creates pressure and forces the SIM to create a better contact with the SIM card reader of your phone. Turn on your phone and see if the issue still persists. If it does then try using another SIM. If the error message still occurs then this may already be a hardware related problem. You should bring your phone to an authorized service center for checking.

S3 Can’t Send Text Message When Wi-Fi Is On

Problem: Hello the droid guy , I wonder if you can help a fellow droid user I’ve had my s3 for about a year now and I’ve just started getting this issue , I can’t seem to send txt while I have wifi on . And to sort the issue I have to turn Wi-Fi off then restart the phone before I can send a txt again. Do you know a solution fix for this, worst case I may have to factory reset the phone but want to see if there is a fix first hope to hear back from you.

Solution: Make sure that airplane mode is not enabled and that your phone has good network coverage. Also, make sure that you are trying to send a regular text message and not a picture message since you will have to use your mobile data to do this.

Wiping the cache partition of your phone may also help resolve this issue.

  • 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.

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