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How to fix Samsung Galaxy J3 that shows “Warning: Camera failed” error [Troubleshooting Guide]

  • Read and understand why a well-designed entry-level phone with impressive specs like the #Samsung Galaxy J3 (#GalaxyJ3) will have issues with its camera and shows the error “Warning: Camera failed.” Also learn how to troubleshoot your device when this problem happens to you.

One of the busiest features in your Android phone is the camera as it requires the app, firmware and hardware to work simultaneously and in-sync to be able to capture that perfect still or record a video with good quality.

There are, of course, times when the synch is interrupted, the app fails to initialize or the hardware encounters a glitch. When things like these happen, you can expect your phone not to work properly but all of these happen in the background and so fast you won’t notice what’s happening until your phone displays an error to notify you of the problem.

In this post, I will tackle one of the most common camera-related errors–”Warning: Camera failed.” You may experience lags or your device may freeze for a few seconds before the error shows up as apparently, there’s a problem somewhere and knowing what it is  will help you fix it quickly. Read on to learn what to do if this problem happens to you. Our troubleshooting guide may work for you, after all, it’s not the first time we encountered this problem as it’s been happening to other Galaxy models way before the J3 is released.

Before we jump right into our troubleshooting, if you have other issues, drop by our Galaxy J3 troubleshooting page for we have already addressed many issues with this phone since we started supporting it. Try to find problems that are similar with yours and use the troubleshooting procedures or solutions we suggested. Should you need further assistance from us, fill up our Android issues questionnaire and hit submit. Don’t worry, it’s free.

Troubleshooting Galaxy J3 that shows “Warning: Camera failed” error

It’s obvious the error message is talking about the Camera that doesn’t work the way it should but it’s not really clear what the problem is all about since it only said that it “failed.” There’s another error you may encounter if you have issues with the camera of your phone and it would display “Unfortunately, Camera has stopped” and between these two errors, the former is more serious since it’s more of a hardware problem than an app or firmware issue.

Now, before we proceed, here’s one of the messages we received from our readers that best describes this problem.

Problem: Hi guys. I have a problem with my phone and I hope you can help. First off, my phone is a Samsung Galaxy J3, I hope you’re familiar with it. While it’s just an entry-level phone (well not as expensive as my brother’s S7 Edge), it’s one of the smartphones in the market that gives you more than what you’ve paid for design- and performance-wise. Anyways, the problem is that every time I open the camera, there’s a warning that says “Warning: Camera failed” and the camera won’t continue to open up. Needless to say, I cannot use it to take pictures or record videos. This problem started about a couple of days ago and now I’m kind of panicking because it’s not working the way it should. What can I do to fix it? Thanks!

Troubleshooting: Now, let’s try to troubleshoot the problem to see if we can get the phone to open the camera app without displaying the said error. Here’s what you have to do…

Step 1:  Soft reboot your phone to see if the error goes away

While it’s basically just a reboot, it’s kind of special in a way that it refreshes the phone’s memory. All you have to do is remove the battery while the phone is still powered on. The phone turns off naturally, now press and hold the Power key for a minute while the battery is still out. After that, replace the battery, place the back cover on and then turn the phone on. Now try to open the camera all to see if the error still shows up and if so, move on to the next step.

Step 2: Reboot your device in safe mode

We often call this a safe mode remedy but it doesn’t actually fix the problem, it just gives you an idea whether the problem is caused by one or some of the third-party apps installed on your phone or not. When the device is in safe mode (diagnostic state), only the pre-installed applications are left running as third-party apps are temporarily disabled. Therefore, if the problem is caused by one of the downloaded apps, then your camera should work without a hitch while your device is in this mode. This is how you boot your Galaxy J3 in safe mode:

  1. Power off your Galaxy J3. Press and hold the Power key, tap Power off and then touch POWER OFF to confirm.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the screen with the device name.
  3. When ‘SAMSUNG’ appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  4. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  5. Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  6. Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  7. Release the Volume down key when you see ‘Safe Mode’.

After booting in this mode, there will be two scenarios; either the problem continues or gets fixed.

If the problem continues, then we might be facing a firmware-related issue and you will have to continue troubleshooting your phone. Move on to the next step if this is the case.

On the other hand, if the problem got fixed while in this mode, that is if the error message doesn’t show up anymore when you use the camera, then it’s confirmed that the issue is caused by one or some of the third-party apps installed on your device. You need to find the app, clear its cache and data and then try to trigger the error again. If the problem still continues, then you have to uninstall suspected apps. You may have to reboot your phone from safe mode to normal mode and back to further test if the problem remained or not.

Step 3: Clear the cache and data of the Camera app

After ruling out the possibility that the problem is caused by a third-party app, it’s time you troubleshoot the camera app itself and the best thing to do about it is to reset the app. You can do so by clearing its cache and data. Don’t worry about your pictures and videos as they won’t be deleted, however, if you’re set the camera to work the way you want, such preference will be gone and you will have to set the camera again.

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Applications.
  4. Tap Application manager
  5. Tap the Camera.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap Clear data and then tap OK.
  8. Tap Clear cache.

You cannot uninstall this app since it’s pre-installed, well, not unless you have root access, which we don’t recommend as it would void the warranty of your phone. If the problem still persists after this procedure, then it’s time that you move on to the next step.

Step 4: Delete the system caches as some of them may have already been corrupted

Caches don’t actually cause adverse effects on your phone’s performance when deleted, however, if they become corrupt and the firmware continues to use them, that’s when problems like this happen. We need to rule this possibility out as many of our readers before reported having experienced similar issues and were able to fix them by deleting the system cache.

You’re not actually just deleting the caches, you’re forcing the new system to create new caches and replace the old and corrupt ones. In other words, there’s a high probability that this problem will be fixed by this procedure not to mention the performance of the device may be improved. Here’s how you do it…

  1. Power off your Galaxy J3. Press and hold the Power key, tap Power off and then touch POWER OFF to confirm.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the device logo screen displays, release only the Power key
  4. When the Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times key to highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  6. Press the Power key to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key to highlight ‘yes’ and press the Power key to select.
  8. When the wipe cache partition is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  9. Press the Power key to restart the device.

It may take a little longer for the phone to finally reboot after wiping the cache partition but just wait for it. After which, when it’s up and running, try to open the camera app again to see if the problem still continues and if so, then you have no other option but to do the next step.

Step 5: Master Reset your Galaxy J3

We are now at the stage of ruling out the possible firmware problem. We’ve already tried going after the caches to no avail so you will have to bring the phone back to its factory default settings not to mention delete everything in the phone’s internal storage except system files. So, make sure you make a backup of your important files and data as you can never restore them once deleted. After which, follow these steps:

  1. Power off your Galaxy J3. Press and hold the Power key, tap Power off and then touch POWER OFF to confirm.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up button and then press and hold the Home key. While holding both, press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Android logo appears on the screen, release all three keys. It may take a minute before the Android recovery screen appears.
  4. While on Android recovery screen, use the Volume Down key to highlight options, in this case, highlight the option ‘wipe data/factory reset.’
  5. Press the Power key to choose the highlighted option.
  6. Press  the Volume Down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ option is highlighted.
  7. Press the Power key to confirm the reset.
  8. Once the reset is complete, press the Power key to choose ‘Reboot system now.’
  9. The phone will restart a little longer than usual and the reset is finished.

If the problem still continues after this procedure, then we can say at this point that it’s a hardware issue. That said, it’s time you sent it in for checkup and/or repair.

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2 Comments

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  1. I started going through a couple of steps, then decided to try changing my storage area to my device instead of my storage card. Pictures took and stored just fine! The SD card isn’t even half full so I have to think it may have become corrupted. Your readers might be interested to try this first before fully restoring the phone to factory resets.

  2. Thank you so much!!! I had to get my camera fixed and the soft reboot did the trick. Y’all are awesom

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