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How To Fix A Galaxy S3 That Won’t Turn On [Troubleshooting Guide]


We receive hundreds of emails each week from our readers reporting–many actually complain–about the problems they encountered with their phone. In one of the emails, our reader, a Samsung Galaxy S3 owner, said his phone was fully-charged but about an hour later, he found it turned off. The worst part is, he couldn’t power it on.

What happened? Well, even Samsung engineers couldn’t answer that question without performing some troubleshooting procedures.

In this post, we will attempt to troubleshoot the phone exhausting all possible ways to bring it back to life.

Before we go any further, I just want to say that you can tell us your phone-related problems. We will find appropriate solutions for you for free. This is what we do and we are happy we’re doing it. You can post your problems on our Facebook page, I’m actively answering questions there. Please follow us on Google Plus. For those who prefer the traditional way, you can send us your questions via this form. It would also inspire us to do even better if you shared our articles with your friends who might also have problems with their phones.

Troubleshooting Steps

Step 1: Hit the Power button – yes, please do. This is the first thing you should do when troubleshooting a problem like this. Don’t just do it once or twice but do it many times just to make sure that there is indeed a problem with the powering on of the phone.

Step 2: Remove the battery and hold the Power button – yes, I’m serious. Actually, somebody told me I was a fool when he saw me pull the battery out of his phone and hit the power button. He said, there is no way I can turn the phone on without the battery. That’s true, but we’re not actually trying to power on the phone at this point. Rather, we’re trying to drain electricity stored in electronic components inside the phone. After this, place the battery back and hit the power button again. If the phone stays dead after that, proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Boot to Safe Mode – to rule out the possibility of a third-party application preventing the phone from booting up normally, you need to boot it to Safe Mode. It will run on pre-loaded apps and nothing else. So, if it were an app causing the problem, you would know by doing this.

  1. Press and hold the Power button.
  2. Immediately after the Samsung Galaxy S3 screen appears, release the Power button then press and hold the Volume Down key.
  3. The phone would restart and the Safe Mode text will be visible in the lower-left corner of the screen.

Consider yourself lucky if you can go this far. If this is the case, then you can commence the search for the rogue app and uninstall it. Start your search from the most recent installation. The rule of thumb is to disable suspected apps first and attempt to boot normally. The problem has already been fixed at this point.

In case you cannot boot to Safe Mode, proceed with the next step.

Step 4: Boot to Recovery Mode and wipe cache partition – booting to Recovery Mode can be already be considered a desperate measure yet it is not a guarantee you can fix the problem. In fact, there is no guarantee you can even boot to this mode. But try to follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home, and Power buttons.
  2. When the phone vibrates, release the Power button but continue holding the other two until Android System Recovery screen appears.
  3. Use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power button to select it.
  4. The phone will reboot automatically after the cache partition was wiped out.

At this point, if you can’t boot to Recovery Mode no matter how much you tried, then we have already narrowed down the problem. It’s either your battery is totally busted or your phone’s Power switch has a problem.

Step 5: Try a different or new battery – borrow from a friend or just buy a new battery so you can test if it was really the battery that caused the problem. If you bought a new one and you found out it wasn’t the battery, at least, you now have a spare. Of course, make sure the battery is compatible with the Galaxy S3 and make it a point to fully-charge before using it. If your phone powers on after a battery swap, then problem solved.

Step 6: Seek help from a technician – in case you’ve tried a different battery and the phone still refuses to turn on, it’s time you brought it back to the store or to a shop where it can be physically check thoroughly. If proven defective by a technician, a replacement unit may be provided for you of it could be repaired. I have a suspicion it’s a Power switch issue especially if the phone don’t respond when you pressed it.

I hope this helps.

Having problems with your phone that won’t turn on?

We can help you troubleshoot. We already published troubleshooting guides for the following devices:

Phone Won't Turn On Troubleshooting

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  1. My phone Samsung Galaxy S3 GT-19300 cannot turn on completely. It only shows Samsung Galaxy S3 GT-19300 in white writing with a dark screen. I attempted all the steps but to no avail. I can only get it to downloading mode. I tied downloading the firmware through odin but it failed. Do you gave any better suggestions?.

  2. I turn the power button on, the screen starts loading then turns off and then starts to turn on again and fails over and over again. I can charge the phone normally and put different batteries in it and all of them can be charged but the phone wont turn on. How could this be fixed?

  3. Amazing! the step 2 … remove the battery and hold pwr key… worked like a dream after no less than a dozen attempts to pwr on with battery.

  4. My S3 LTE started to do this thing where it’ll display the “Samsung Galaxy SIII GT-I9305” as per a normal boot but it would get stuck on that, screen would go blank, then flash the starting boot screen again, and repeat. I have a spare battery which resolved the issue. So I figure my OEM battery finally gave way. Thanks for the guide guys, you’re pretty spot on.

    Update: It started up on the OEM battery but I’m not sure how it’ll last or operate.

  5. I tried all of these steps to no avail. My Samsung galaxy s3 would turn completely on, but as soon as my lock screen came up, the phone shut back off. I started going through the comments in a desperate search for something else to try when someone said something about the sim card! This got me thinking about yesterday after my phone over heated, I took out the battery and I got distracted and took the sim card out, then put it back, then took it out again, etc. So I just took the sim card out and turned on my phone. Thank God it finally decided to work! IF YOUR PHONE DOESN’T WORK AFTER TRYING ALL THESE STEPS TRY BOOTING UP WITHOUT YOUR SIM CARD!!!!

  6. For step four – make sure you hold it for like ten long seconds if that one didn’t work. I use that one every time on mine to turn it on and i usually start panicking because it isn’t turning on but you just have to wait a little longer.

  7. In the middle of doing something,playing a game,making a call,surfing the Web my phone suddenly just shuts off and attempts to restart but turns off again at the Verizon screen…the only way I’ve been able to steady it is to plug in the charger…

  8. I also have the same problem.

    The phone was switched off and in my pocket for a while. I noticed it was extremely hot after a period. I tried switching it on, charging, changing battery and all the steps above but it remains a lump of plastic and metal.

    I suspect it’s a component who’s soldering wasn’t up to standard that may have caused the problem in conjunction with the possibility that the power button may have been depressed for an extended period in my pocket leading to the over-heating issue.

    Please let me know if you managed to find the fault.


  9. I had the same problem, but it never came all the way up. Finally checked and the power button was always shorted, even when not pushed. I removed the power button and made contact with the two points till the phone vibrated. then the phone powered up and works fine. I just don’t power off any more.

  10. GUYS if none of this works (like me) it could be your power button! My phone would turn on once I put in the battery WITHOUT pressing the power button. What I did was smack it with an eraser repeatedly until it boots up and goes to the page where you enter your password (if you put in one). The popup where it gives you the option to turn off, restart, put on airplane mode started appearing on and off but I kept smacking it with the eraser until it went away. My phone has been working ever since I tried it… although it did turn off a few hours later, I just repeated the same process and it came back on and now its been 12 hrs since it turned off. I guess this is temporary, but at least it will give you time to back up everything to your computer or something so you don’t lose anything. Hopefully it works for you guys!

  11. Yea… THanx… When I woke up, the phone had like 70-100 degrees (I let it to charge all night under the pillow, I forgot it there) and I hardly touched it to pul out the battery.
    Anyway, it wasen’t turning on (not even the scrren). But I found that it was the batery because my sister has s3 too. Now I have to spend 17euro for a new battery.. -.-
    Thx very much though. :3

  12. Upon finding this page, I was also able to get my S3 to start after hitting the power button about 12 times in a row. Mr. Hisona, you just saved me about $300.00 on a new phone upgrade. THANKS!!

  13. My s3 just won’t turn on full stop. I first received a phone call from someone who pocket called me. the screen went blank so took the battery out and put it back in again. Then in the top left corner some little words popped up like ‘reading sd card’ processing finished’ with a tick then the phone when blank and hasn’t turned on again with all my efforts apart from trying a new battery (my battery is quite new though and have had no trouble with it). My phones memory was pretty full though so was planning on a factory reset. Do you think my phone isn’t turning on because of a memory overload???

  14. Stop fighting with “Einstein” (or maybe that’s how his mom calls him)… people that insults already lost the conversation to begin with. I can bet Jon probably grabs a Tripp Lite UPS and calls it garage because he can not use it on medical equipment.

  15. Step 2 did the trick for my phone! Thanks!!!

  16. “If they had a degree in engineering, they would be doing something that pays a lot better.”

    Do your really know how much the reviewers at e.g. Tom’s Hardware get payed?

    PS: also not everybody always chooses the Job where he or she gets the highest payment.

  17. The ripple current may be 1000Hz or 10Khz or even 60Khz.
    Following “the standard” means nothing as excessive isn’t specific to merely the peak-to-peak ripple current.
    Nobody is bringing PSU’s to market that don’t meet the de facto standard because no retailer would procure them.

    So your analogy is pure gibberish.

    If you want to know why I’m so annoyed with you, go to school for engineering be it electrical/electronic, computer or even radio.

    The average person who thinks they have tech knowledge including your expert reviewers are painfully ignorant if not outright inherently stupid. If they had a degree in engineering, they would be doing something that pays a lot better.

    Anyone can solder some parts together and build a regulator or a stereo amplifier or a radio transceiver. Knowing how it works at the quantum and mathematical level is a whole other world which is why I stated, your opinions are worthless as are those of your “experts”. Anyone that actually works with any electrical devices on a regular basis knows why.

    Every single electrical and electronic device is it’s own little universe and it’s impossible to say anything definitive without running it through the gauntlet of tests on various test equipment.

    Just the time involved to review the data sheets of all the IC’s and semiconductors in a PSU?

    You need at least 2 years of college, an A.A. and another year minimum working in power supply systems to be able to competently engineer something seemingly as basic as a computer PSU.
    Nobody reviewing them has any of that because if they did as I already said, they would have a much better career.

  18. I haven’t written anything about directly connecting audio or video equipement to a PC PSU. This is not what a PC PSU is made for. It is made for powering PC motherboards (and other PC components like drives and fans). Of course the motherboards have additional filters and regulators.

    But imho you cannot call something garbage if it obeys the standard it should obey and this standard is ATX in the case of PC PSUs.

    And I am not an engineer and I never tried to present myself as an engineer, but I read a lot of PSU reviews, including professional reviews, so I know that high-quality PC PSUs obey the ATX standard within a very good margin (or all these reviewers lie, which I think is highly unlikely). IT IS UNFAIR TO JUDGE THEM BY A HIGHER STANDARD, because the ATX standard is thorough enough for what PC PSUs are meant to be used. It would be technically possible to design them with even less ripple current, but this would just make it more expensive and maybe too big to fit into normal ATX cases. If you want and universal PSU, you can buy an universal PSU, so there is no reason to make an ATX-PSU universal.

    So your complaints about all ATX PSUs are like complaining about a road surface which is not smooth enough if you drive 100 km/h on this road, although the road has a speed limit of 30 km/h.

  19. I have a Samsung S3 (GT-I9300) which doesn’t do anything if I press the power button. It also doesn’t show that it is charging when I connect it to the charger. The LED also doesn’t turn on anymore.

    It all started when I tried to wake up may phone from standby and it didn’t react. After this I measured 0V on the battery with my multimeter, first I tried to recharge it with the phone + charger, but this didn’t work, but after I used a universal Li-Ion charger (where you put the battery directly into the charger) it recharged to 4.16V, which is much more than the rating of 3.8V.

    I tried all the steps here and also the following additional things:
    – connecting the phone to the PC: it is not recognized in Device Manager, Kies or Odin.
    – Downlaod mode (Volume down + Home + Power)
    – short circuit the power button.
    – I measured the current: after I put the battery in, it rises to 3.6-3.8mA, then it drops to about 0.34-0.45 mA and stays at that level. When i press the power button, the current rises to about 170-200 mA and stays there as long as I have the power button pressed, but then it goes back again to about 0.34-0.45 mA. If I remove the battery and have the charger connected, I measure about 0.01mA between the + and – battery connector.
    – I left the motherboard in my oven at 230°C for 5 minutes, because I read on the Internet that the reason might be a problem with the soldering of the power IC, which is a BGA chip and BGA chip soldering problems can sometimes solved this way.
    – I also measured the voltage of the battery in different conditions: it is now at 4.13V when I just put it in the phone and it drops to 4.05V when I press the power button, so the battery is probably not the problem.

    Is there anything else I can try? I would be satisfied if I it is only recognized by the PC so I can save my data, I will get a new phone soon anyway…

  20. Smartphones have to be as thin as possible, so there is probably not enough space for classic style plugs and sockets…

    As for PC power supplies: only the cheap ones are garbage, high-quality PSUs obey the ATX standard which allows a ripple of max. 50 mV at 3.3V/5V and 120 mV at 12V. high-quality PSUs have much less than this with all load scenarios (including unrealistic ones like having the maximum current on one rail and almost no current at the other rails).

  21. Thanks for your help.I’ve tried all the tips but could not get past the s3 screen. Once i saw i couldn’t get in any of those modes i tried pressing the power button one last time and surprisingly it started!

  22. Hi. I have this same power button reset issue on battery insertion. To get the gs3 to stay on in download mode without resetting:

    – connect the phone by usb to the computer
    – enter download mode by pressing home and the volume down button
    – once the download screen appears, immediately remove the battery
    – the phone should stay in download mode without the battery inserted

    i cant access recovery mode because the phone resets too quick. hopefully flashing will finally fix the reboot.

    just another minor workaround

  23. I’m having the same issue, except that the phone does turn on but the screen stays black. Don’t know what to do. It simply fell off my lap while I was seating at work, onto a carpeted floor about 2 feet down.

  24. What worked for me… I got a new SIM card from Verizon. Then I removed my SD card. That was causing problems for me.

  25. none of these steps are working, my phone just died and it doesnt react for anything, would the technicans fix it without deleting all of the informations? I am really concerned about that… I need actually everything whats on my phone, Ive treated it like my calendar, all my contacts and everything is there, cant leave it like that, please help

  26. The best answers of all! I was stuck in boot loop and read this site first, then proceeded to read many others… Bad power switch, hard reset, reset to factory default etc. etc. Did everything else first and none of it worked. Put the battery from my wife’s phone in mine… and guess what? IT WORKED! Should have just done that first. Thanks for the great advise. You are the most knowledgeable out there. Thanks for the help.

  27. Thank you. My phone suddenly died and was not coming back on. Plugged it into the charger but no sign of life. Then I tried your troubleshooting step 2 : Remove the battery and press the power button – and Presto!! Thanks a bundle, you guys rock.

  28. Thank you for your site this is second time this week your site was able to help me fix my Galaxy. I now have you bookmarked on my laptop.

  29. Thank you thank you thank you so much! This article helped a lot. Safe mode fixed the problem. I no longer want to pull my hair out or throw my phone across the room.

  30. Thank you for this info. My phone began doing everything stated here. It would randomly shut off and I had the worst time getting it to turn back on. Eventually, I was no longer able to turn it back on. I completed all 5 of your steps above and it would not work. I never could get past the white samsung logo. So, I thought all hope was lost, but I gave my phone to my techi husband and he litterally performed surgery on my phone. He pulled up an antomoy chart of the phone and was able to remove the power switch from the phone. Once he removed that little switch, the phone works great now. I just use an app to close and lock the screen. Thank you for suggesting that it might be a power switch issue, b/c in my case, it was!

  31. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am going to replace this @#$%!#@!$% as soon as I can. I have never had so much trouble with a phone. You just made my day!!!!

  32. I tried all of these but none of them have worked i’ve tried a new charger&battery but still got nothing it ont even start to turn on the screen just stays black

  33. I’ve tried all of this, as well as the infamous jig method. The most activity I can get out of my phone is plugging it in (USB) to my computer w/o a battery. Then, the LED turns red. It goes away after a few seconds, whether I put in my battery or not.

    I tried purchasing a $3 jig that is suppose to force it in to download mode, and that may work for semi-responsive phones, but not for this device.

  34. I have my S3 since last June. From beginning, it turns off automatically from time to time, once a week or 2 a day. When, it happens, I just hold down the power button for over 10 seconds and release and hold down again until it vibrates, then it starts booting. However, this morning, it refuses to start up. If the battery is on, and I hold down the power button, it vibrates quick every few seconds, but no booting sign at all. I tried all the suggestions here, but nothing works.

  35. I tried literally every tip out there, then I got frustrated and started to hit power button repeatedly like 50 times, and it started!

  36. amazing!! got to the bit where i take out the battery and hold the power button and after replacing the battery and holding the power button it turned on!! thank you so much!

  37. I’ve had a Galaxy 1 now a Galaxy 3. The first Galaxy 3 would no longer charge after 18 months. I’ve been paying a warranty so Tmobile sent me a “new” phone, no questions asked. This phone worked fine for a few weeks, then froze one day. I got it back on but after that it would turn itself off. I finally deleted all apps (145 of them) but a few of my original ones that have never caused any problems. The phone stopped turning itself off, but I didn’t trust it anymore. Call Tmobile and asked for a *new* one not a refurished one. The guy claimed there were no more new ones and it would take a week to get another. Shortly after, a shipment was made of what I assume is supposed to be a new one. Loaded it back up. Turned it off. And now it goes through the whole cycle of starting up (i.e. vibrates, Samsung log, Samsung Galaxy SIII logo, blue circle with Samsung logo, little android rocket, Samsung logo, and then stuck on Samsung), blue light is on as well. No problem with the power button as it will start the rebooting cycle and freeze. I’ve tried troubleshooting by powering on (6-7 times); removing the battery and pressing power button to discharge, then powering on; and each of the steps you’ve outlined above and all it does is go through the same powering on cycle and then freezes. I’m not home where I have extra batteries (but this morning it showed fully charge). The next step is stopping off at a Tmobile store, but I don’t have high hopes. Meanwhile, I have the old glitchy phone sitting in the box (which I’ve already sealed) waiting to be shipped off. Oh and to add insult to injury, they forgot to give me a prepaid shipping label and are now sending me reminders to get the phone back to them in 7 days or they are going to charge me for this brick.

  38. Most likely this is a SDS (Sudden Death Syndrome), because of a malfunctioning chip in the phone. Yes, this is Samsung’s fault, and if you are still in warranty, then you are extremely lucky. Took me a long time to figure out this. Tried all kinds of troubleshooting steps in vain. I had to finally pay a tech $150 to get the eMMC chip replaced, and the phone worked just fine after that. Someone should start a class-action law suit against Samsung for this!!

  39. I had this problem and actually tried all that, would never boot part the Samsung screen. Finally got the phone to boot by removing the SIM card and booting without. Powered off, reinstalled the SIM and it’s working fine.

  40. Wow! So I wasn’t alone! Good to know lol.
    This happened to my S3 two months ago and it took me almost 5hrs to get my phone back on. I figured a way to turn it on by pressing the power button every time the Samsung logo flashed since if I pressed the power button once to turn it on, I was brought to the Samsung galaxy S3 and then it shutdown again. I was able to stay on for a minute before it turned off again but it eventually stayed on for the next few days and goodbye again. The first time I took it to AT&T device support and they reset my phone and it worked fine for a month until it happened again. I was lucky enough to actually get a phone replacement after it happened again!
    Still not sure what happened though. Think it might have been the power button for me.

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