Samsung Galaxy S3 Problems, Errors, Glitches and Ways to Fix Them [Part 58]


Welcome to the 58th installment of our Samsung Galaxy S3 Problems troubleshooting series! We started our support for this device in 2012 and still can’t stop knowing there are still hundreds of emails from S3 owners that are yet to be addressed.

In this post, ten issues were addressed so if you sent us an email, try to browse this page to see if your concern is one of problems I answered here. If not, then please bear with us as we’re supporting several devices but rest assured we’re doing everything we can to help you. For those who have just tuned, I suggest you visit our Galaxy S3 Troubleshooting page as we listed all problems we already addressed.

If you can find issues that are closely related to yours, please try to follow the solutions or troubleshooting procedures we provided. If they didn’t work for you, feel free to email us at [email protected] and provide all necessary details so that we can accurately assess your concern. Bear in mind that all our troubleshooting procedures are based on the details provided to us. Thus, there are times when two identical issues are addressed differently. Moreover, we use our Facebook and Google+ pages to help our readers. So, feel free to post your concerns there but still, you need to be more specific about the problem.

The following are issues I cited in this post:

  1. Won’t Turn On (Hard Bricked)
  2. Screen Flickering and Freezing
  3. Performance Is Very Slow
  4. Stuck At Samsung Logo After 4.3 Update
  5. Stuck During Boot Up After Factory Reset
  6. Can’t Send / Receive MMS Messages
  7. Won’t Turn On Due To Physical Damage
  8. Won’t Stay On But Vibrates
  9. Using USB OTG and HDMI Simultaneously
  10. Can’t Access Viber

Galaxy S3 Won’t Turn On (Hard Bricked)

I personally communicated with Mr. Thompson. In his first email, I thought the problem was minor (well, we always assume all problems are minor at first) but I was. His second email revealed that the phone was actually hard-bricked. The following were our actual conversation:

Mr. Thompson: TDG, my phone died back in Sept and I have gone around & around with the formal people (At&t and Samsung) in an effort to resolve my issue. My phone simply turned off one day and will not power on.

I found your article (here) and it spelled out my exact situation. I went all the way through Step 5 without success….still no powering on. I need help identifying someone that falls into Step 6. There HAS to be some high school whiz that can work this out for me.

My situation is this, I thought I was saving pics to the micro-sd, but it was set to the internal memory. My wife passed away in June and I am trying to retrieve pics from her last days. Contact can be replaced, but I would like to exhaust all options to retrieve those images. Thanks, Mr. Thompson.

My Reply: I am sorry to hear about your wife, sir.

Does the phone display the usual charging icon or does the LED glows red or green when you plug it in to charge? If so, there’s a chance that it can be fixed by basic troubleshooting, otherwise, a technician will have to open it.

Also, I would like to ask, what was the behavior of the phone before it decided to turn itself off?

Lastly, I am more interested in what AT&T tech said about the problem. Samsung techs will almost immediately tell you to get a new one. — Harold

Mr. Thompson: Harold,

THANK YOU for getting back to me and for your compassion. You are already LEAPS ahead of all other routes I have taken.

The LED glows red for a few moments while charging, but then turns off. The phone wasn’t acting any differently before it decided to go into a coma. I was on it during my commute home and then resumed browsing once I returned….that’s the extent of it.

Opening it to obtain the info is fine by me. Sure, if it could be salvaged, great. If not, I am not worried about the device itself.


I approached AT&T and they directed me to one of their service centers. When there, the rep tried a new battery and also tried to charge my existing battery. She was stumped, offered no additional assistance, and suggested that I take the phone to a local, independent phone repair shop. I took the phone there and they were able to identify an error code (Qualcomm HS-058 QDLOADER9008). Still, though, the phone wouldn’t power on. I decided to go to Samsung and chatted with a few reps. All they wanted to do was reset the phone to factory defaults. I explained my situation and they suggested that I go to their “store within a store” at a Best Buy. These representatives were as helpful as the initial AT&T representative. Just this last Sunday, I decided to chat with Samsung again to ask if there is second level support for more technical issues. After a bit of back and forth, the rep asked me if my charger was plugged into the wall correctly. Realizing that I was again spinning my tires, I left the chat session and found your website. I need a technical, hacker-type to address my need. Thanks, Mr. Thompson.

My Reply: Mr. Thompson,

Thank you for providing all those details (especially the Qualcomm HS-058 QDLOADER9008 error). It is clear now that your phone is “hard-bricked” and while it can be fixed, the process is pretty difficult not to mention risky. Samsung and AT&T techs may not be able to help you with it so you really have to find a technician who knows how to JTAG (refer to this page for more info on JTAGging), or can meticulously follow the steps in this guide (this link will bring you to XDA Developer forums).

Sir, I really feel bad not being able to help you fix this problem. I hope you can understand that we are limited to “instructing” our readers what and how to do some “safe” troubleshooting procedures.

One more thing, there’s always a possibility the data in your phone will be wiped out. So, don’t forget to tell the tech that may be able to handle this case that the contents are more important than the device itself.

Sir, good luck in finding a technician who is willing to take the risk! There’s only a few of them out there!

Have a great day! Sincerely, Harold.

Galaxy S3 Screen Flickering and Freezing

Problem: Hi, I am having major dramas with my 1 year old Galaxy S3. It has not been dropped or wet. These issues started randomly about 2 weeks ago. It began with the screen freezing and turning purple with four black lines horizontally across it. It did this repeatedly one day and then it randomly started working again the following day although the colors on the screen were much lighter then normal it seemed to work just fine. Since then the top of the screen has flickered regularly, the screen often freezes and fades gradually to black. If I hit the power button off then straight back on it usually works again. One day the screen wouldn’t work at all. It was completely black all day although the phone was on. It still rang and vibrated when I received a message or call and the notification light still worked. I obviously couldn’t read or reply to messages with a black screen but I could still answer calls by swiping my finger across the screen as I normally would. I could even put the phone on speaker by guessing where the speaker button would be on the screen. The strange thing about the problem I’m having is it isn’t constant some times it works, sometimes it doesn’t although the time we’re the phone is playing up is becoming more and more frequent. I tried putting it in safe mode today. It didn’t help. In fact it may have even been worse! I have no idea what the problem is or how to fix this! Thank you. — Natalie

Troubleshooting: Let’s make things simpler here, Natalie. Booting in safe mode will temporarily disable third-party apps and services. That’s what it does, no more, no less. So, the assumption that the problem may have gotten worse when you booted the phone up in safe mode, let’s stop that. There’s one apparent problem with your phone and it’s the display. The reason why it’s still functioning even if the display is black is because the digitizer (the outer glass on top of the screen) is working fine and any other components except the display are running as they should.

Obviously, this is a hardware issue. You already tried booting in safe mode and the display remained black. I don’t think factory reset will fix the problem as well. So, the best thing to do is send the phone in for repair. It could be just a loose connection issue. The worst case scenario is that the display may have been busted for some reason and may need to be replaced.

Galaxy S3 Mini Performance Is Very Slow

Problem: Hi Droid guy, I hope you can help. I bought a new Samsung s3 mini from Amazon for my daughter. We just got it and it is so slow it will hardly load any apps. We added her to our At&t network so she should have a great signal but it seems to go in and out where our other phones dont. I would really hate to return it if the solution is easy. Like I said the phone is new hardly any apps on it cause they take so long to load any ideas how to fix would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. — Heather

Suggestion: Hi, Heather. You know, we really can’t do something if the phone already has a problem since day 1. The best thing to do as early as now is to perform Master Reset and observe closely if the performance of the phone improved. If not, then you really need to return it and have it replaced.

Master Reset

  1. Turn the phone off completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home, and Power
  3. When the phone vibrates, release the Power button but continue holding the other two until Android System Recovery screen appears.
  4. Use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power button to select it.
  5. When finished, use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’ and press the Power button to select it.
  6. Still use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘delete all user data’ and press the Power button to select the option.
  7. Once the master reset is finished, highlight ‘reboot system now’ and hit the Power button one more time.

Stuck At Samsung Logo After 4.3 Update

Problem: Hello from the UK.

My phone recently updated the firmware to 4.3. Since then it started erratically restarting itself for around a few days. After that it would not boot. I have never had any other problems with this phone since new.

I have tried wiping the cache and resetting the phone but it only worked once for me and even then it still froze on boot with the Samsung logo and led glowing. Since then the Samsung logo just stays on whenver I start the phone.

If I try and hold the Vol up, Menu, and Power buttons all I get is the Samsung logo and no longer get the boot menu.

I have taken out the battery as per your suggestion in your thread and pressed the power button and then tried the above but it still does not work.

I am stuck now and am at a loss because the suggested procedure seems to be the only solution.

Is the phone now ‘bricked’ ?

Do I take it to a Samsung store and they should fix it free seeing as though it is their software update has caused this problem ?

I appreciate your advice and anxiously await your reply.

Kind regards, Saeed.

Troubleshooting: Hi Saeed. I understand you already did a few troubleshooting procedures yourself including a “reset.” However, I suggest you perform full hard reset just to verify if the phone has been soft-bricked. Follow these steps:

  1. Turn the phone off completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home, and Power
  3. When the phone vibrates, release the Power button but continue holding the other two until Android System Recovery screen appears.
  4. Use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power button to select it.
  5. When finished, use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’ and press the Power button to select it.
  6. Still use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘delete all user data’ and press the Power button to select the option.
  7. Once the master reset is finished, highlight ‘reboot system now’ and hit the Power button one more time.

After the full reset and the phone is still stuck at the logo, it’s time you had a tech take a look at it. This problem can be fixed by manually re-flashing the firmware.

Galaxy S3 Stuck During Boot Up After Factory Reset

Problem: Hi there, I bought an s3 off a friend yesterday. She said she was going to do a factory reset to wipe all pics and messages, and I’m not sure exactly what she did, but now the phone won’t boot.

It powers on, says Samsung, then goes to the Samsung galaxy s3 screen, but then just goes back to saying Samsung.

I looked through your page for an answer, but there was a lot there and I didn’t know exactly where to look. I tried booting and holding down volume down, I tried booting holding volume up and home and power, I tried every solution I could find. Can you help?

Thank you for your time, Missa.

Troubleshooting: Hi Missa. I think she did what she said she would do. I’ve encountered a lot of issues wherein the phone is stuck at the boot up screen after the reset. However, this behavior will only happen if she reset the phone through Settings menu.

The procedure will actually delete all files stored in the phone’s internal memory as well as all downloaded apps. However, it doesn’t thoroughly clean the data partition. Thus, some corrupt data may be left behind after the reset and that will create conflicts to the system. At this point, we don’t for sure if it’s corrupt data that’s causing the problem or corrupt caches. Taking the safest troubleshooting route, I suggest you wipe the cache partition first. Please follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the phone completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home, and Power
  3. When the phone vibrates, release the Power button but continue holding the other two until Android System Recovery screen appears.
  4. Use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power button to select it.
  5. Highlight ‘reboot system now’ and hit the Power key.

If, however, the wiping of the cache partition wasn’t successful, then you must proceed to performing full hard reset. It’s basically just a factory reset but it will reformat the data partition leaving no trace of corrupt data.

  1. Turn the phone off completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home, and Power
  3. When the phone vibrates, release the Power button but continue holding the other two until Android System Recovery screen appears.
  4. When finished, use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’ and press the Power button to select it.
  5. Still use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘delete all user data’ and press the Power button to select the option.
  6. Once the master reset is finished, highlight ‘reboot system now’ and hit the Power button one more time.

Galaxy S3 Can’t Send / Receive MMS Messages

Problem: Hello Droid Guy, my Samsung Galaxy S3 from Sprint but on MetroPCS service does not allow me to send picture attachments to text messages or download and see them that are sent by others. For received pictures, it shows a download button but when tapped it only tries and fails.

When the phone was on Android v4.3 Jelly Bean I had rooted it and installed some package to resolve the issue. But now as I needed to update the Android to the latest version 4.4.2 Kit Kat I had installed original factory stock ROM for v4.3 and then upgraded it to the v4.4.2 but obviously lost MMS capabilities.

Therefore, I was wondering if there are other new solutions to the issue without having to root the phone and install that old package (not sure if it works on Kit Kat as that was for Jelly Bean and there was another for earlier Android version)?

Troubleshooting: Actually, there’s nothing wrong with the phone and you don’t need to root it so it can send/receive MMS. This problem, however, is common to phones that were bought from one carrier and then brought to another service provider. Your phone was initially set to work with Sprint’s mobile data and cellular networks. When MetroPCS provisioned it to work in its network, new settings were added but there is always a tendency the phone will revert back to original settings and it often happens after an update.

The best thing for you to do is call MetroPCS and ask for the correct APN settings for your phone. Then, have the representative that could handle your call walk you through adding the APN to your phone. That’s it! The phone should be working after that. Make sure, however, that before you call, mobile data is enabled in your phone because that could the issue here.

Galaxy S3 Won’t Turn On Due To Physical Damage

Problem: Hi! My Samsung galaxy s3 was working fine on Friday morning. It fell from my hand and won’t turn on. Once I remove the battery and put it back in it will turn in long enough to see the word samsung but then it immediately shuts off. The same thing happens when I try to charge it. Either nothing happens or if I take out the battery then The red light goes on for a second and then it shuts off. If I cant save the phone is there a way to retrieve the data without it turning on? — Miriam

Troubleshooting: Hi Miriam. If the phone won’t boot up completely, you can only do so much to salvage your data in it. But you know what, based on your description, it seems like the problem is the Power button. Either it’s just stuck or was totally damaged due to impact when it slipped off your hand. Try to remove the battery first and then press the Power key multiple times, then put the battery back in and attempt to turn the phone on.

If the phone automatically powers itself on after while you were inserting the battery, then the Power key is still stuck or something. There’s nothing else you can do about it but bring it to a shop and let a tech take a look at it. If only the Power key was damaged, it can be replaced. If there’s more, then ask the tech if he can turn the phone on long enough for you to backup your data.

Galaxy S3 Won’t Stay On But Vibrates

Problem: Hello, I have a Samsung Galaxy S3. Last week, it was plugged in at work to charge. The power went out and came back. I don’t remember if the phone turned itself off when this happened, but I remember, but I remember that it did turn itself off a few times and I had to restart it. This happened maybe 2-3 times that it would shut off on its own. Then it just stopped turning on.

Currently, I feel a vibrate (the one you feel when the phone turns on) when I hit the power button. Sometimes, that’s all I feel, sometimes it does this 2-3 times and nothing happens. Othertimes, it stays on till I see the SAMSUNG logo. The farthest I’ve gotten is to the The Galaxy S3 logo, it doesn’t stay on further then that and shuts off. I tried holding the home, power and volume down button, sometimes I just feel a vibration other times I actually get to see the reboot option screen.

The phone simply does not stay on! Screen is not faulty, tried a different battery, same issue. I don’t know how to fix it. Any pointers will be most helpful. It was a great phone, replacement would be costly, plus I have some pictures of a lot of sentimental value in there that I really want to retrieve. Thanks and regards, Shefali.

Related Problem: Hi, I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 and lately it had gotten a bit slow (i hadn’t turned it off in awhile and i had been using it a lot. It’s also year and a half old, not that’s any excuse!), but it wasn’t too bad. Today I was using the app snapchat in the chat, and I locked the screen. I went to unlock the screen and nothing happened, it remained black. It wasn’t turning on when I tried, so I took the battery out and let it sit for a minute before putting it back in. As soon as the battery is fully in, without me pushing any buttons, the phone boots up and gets to the SAMSUNG screen, before staying black. There’s no lights, no sound, only a vibration when it boots up. I tried charging it, because I thought it died, but nothing indicates that it’s charging. I just had the screen fixed a few weeks ago because it cracked and stayed black, and I cracked it a little bit yesterday, but it was working up until 8 this morning (it’s 9:32 now).

I’ve tried searching for ways to fix it, but nothing is identical to the problem I’m having. I don’t have access to another battery, a computer (I have a chromebook) and I have no way to get it fixed. Please help. Thank you, Kiley.

Troubleshooting: Hi Shefali. If this problem occurred without apparent reason, then it’s not that serious. Actually, these symptoms show up if the Power key is stuck and I think that’s the only issue here. You can fix the problem by pressing the Power button many times. If you have a case, then I suggest you remove it first. Also, try to pull the battery out before you begin pressing the power key to prevent corruption of some data.

Using USB OTG and HDMI Simultaneously on Galaxy S3

Problem: Hi, I think I found half of my answer on your page but I want to confirm that this will work for what I need before I spend any extra cash.

My wife has a Galaxy S3 that sat out in the rain for too long one day after she thought she lost it. It turned up again, we tried to dry it off, but the screen went dead and every repair place we took it to said it wasn’t going to be fixable. The phone still turns on, but she had the pattern-password-lock on it. Its a simple enough pattern, but the screen wont respond to touch anymore. I bought a micro-usb to usb adapter so I could plug in a mouse to the device and try to click through it. Problem is, since I cant see the pattern, I have to rely on the haptic feedback buzz/clicks to tell me when I pass over each point in the pattern.

Since the phone still works, I imagine it should be able to show the screen on the tv from the get-go. But, is there a way to use the Samsung HDMI adapter as well as have a mouse plugged in? Is there some sort of splitter device to have a USB input to the phone as well as micro-usb output to the TV? Thanks for any assistance you can provide! — Danny O

Troubleshooting: Hey Danny. First off I want to say that may be only the display that has issues but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s busted. I am not trying to discredit what the techs said but if the phone turns on and assuming the display is already damaged, the easiest way to fix it is to replace the display. Yes, it’s replaceable and any technician can do that.

About your other question, I think there’s an adapter that would allow you to use a mouse or keyboard while screen mirroring to your TV. Please take a look at this adapter from Amazon [link].

Can’t Access Viber on Galaxy S3

Problem: Hello, I have been using a Samsung S3 device sine 2 years now… Luckily till recently I had no problems (except slow contact file).

I have been using an app called VIBER since more than a year till yet. In late December, all of a sudden I was asked to open a new account with viber.. All my past data on Viber is inaccessible…!!

I have regularly tried to enter my country (India) and phone number details, however an Error message pops up! There have been a few occasions where I have been informed that the app will send me a code via sms, but I have not received it as yet. Please advise, as a lot of my communication was via VIBER. Thanking in advance. Best Regards, Sameer.

Troubleshooting: Hey, Sameer. It could have been more helpful if you included the actual error message you were getting when you enter your country and phone number. I don’t really know where to start here since I don’t know what the issue is but if it so happened that it was a phone number issue, just double-check you entered the correct one. Remember, you don’t have to enter the Country Code in the Phone Number field.

About your Viber data that is inaccessible, well, it’s because you couldn’t log in to your account. Just pass the initial requirements (Country and Phone number) and you’ll be good to go. Viber has a very straightforward registration process and I don’t know where did you go wrong.

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