How to fix your Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) that became very slow [Troubleshooting Guide]

  • Read to understand why a supposedly fast entry-level device like the #Samsung Galaxy #J3 (2016) becomes so slow after a few months of use and what you should do to make it run faster again.

Samsung Galaxy J3 running very slow

Performance issues are among the things you may experience if you own a smartphone. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy J3, the problem might be due to some factors which may have something to do with its technical specifications and the apps the owner used when the issue occurred. It’s also possible that some of the apps crashed to the point that the operation of the firmware got affected or it could be an issue with the firmware itself.

In this post, I will tackle this issue as we’ve received quite a lot of complaints from Galaxy J3 owners who reportedly experienced having their device run very slow. There could be other performance issues you may encounter and we will have to tackle them in our future posts. Now, for owners who have the problem, continue reading as this post may be able to help you regain the original performance of your device.

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’s running very slow

The purpose of this troubleshooting guide is for you to know what the problem is all about, why it occurs and how to get rid of the error message. There’s no guarantee of a fix especially if the problem is caused by a serious firmware or hardware issue, however, don’t let it stop you from doing what you can in bringing your phone back to its original performance. Now, before we go to our troubleshooting, here’s one of the messages we received from our readers…

Problem: Hi guys. My phone is the Galaxy J3 and recently I noticed that it doesn’t load apps as quick as it once was. For instance, before when I open view my text messages, it only takes a second or two to open the app but now it takes forever and when it finally launches, the phone seems to lag. It also happens to other apps like the Gallery and Camera and others. I’m not really sure what the problem really is but my phone annoyingly slow and I just want it to run like before. Can you help? Thanks.

Now that I’ve shown you how this problem happens, it’s time we jumped right into our troubleshooting and here are the steps:

Step 1: Reboot your Galaxy J3 in Safe mode to see if performance improves

Before we actually do some troubleshooting procedures that may have direct impact on your phone’s overall performance, it’s better that we try to see if the third-party apps installed on your phone have something to do with the problem because if they do, then we’re already halfway through solving the problem.

This is how you start your phone up 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’.

While your device is in this mode, continue using it and compare its performance when it’s in normal mode. If there’s a noticeable difference, that is if it executes commands quicker, then the problem is caused by one or some of the third-party apps.

Find the culprit and then try to clear its cache and data to reset it and if that won’t work, you have no other option but to uninstall it.

This is how you reset an app on the J3:

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

To uninstall an app, just follow the same procedure but hit uninstall.

I understand that it’s easier said than done, so if it’s difficult to pinpoint which app is causing the problem and if you think backing up your files and data would be quicker than finding the culprit, then I suggest you do the reset instead. But please note that you only do this if the phone’s performance in safe mode is better than when it’s in normal mode because it’s apparent that it’s a third-party app that’s causing the problem and the reset should fix it.

  1. Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Google account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Google credentials to finish the Master reset.
  2. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap Backup and reset.
  5. If desired, tap Back up my data to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  6. If desired, tap Restore to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  7. Tap Factory data reset.
  8. Tap Reset device.
  9. If you have screen lock turned on, enter your PIN or password.
  10. Tap Continue.
  11. Tap Delete all.

After the reset, don’t install anything yet and continue your observation to know if the phone works properly now. After which, restore your data and files but continue to observe the performance of your device.

However, if the performance of your phone still sucks while in safe mode, then it’s possible that it’s experiencing a firmware issue, so move on to the next step.

Step 2: Delete the system caches as they may have been corrupted

There are always times when system caches get corrupted and when the firmware continues to use them, there would be adverse effects on your phone’s performance. A system cache is a temporary file created by the system for each service or app that runs. It helps to make everything buttery smooth but when it gets corrupted, errors may occur or your phone may suffer from freezing, lagging, slowing down, rebooting or even shutting down without apparent reason.

It’s better that you have to delete the caches from time to time so that the system will replace them with new files but since you don’t have access to individual caches, you would have to delete the entire content of the cache partition and you can do that by booting your phone in Recovery 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 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 your phone to reboot after clearing the cache partition but just wait for it to become active and then continue your observation if there’s an improvement in the performance. If it’s still slow, then the last step should take care of the problem.

Step 3: Master reset your Galaxy J3

At this point, it’s better to resort to a more general troubleshooting procedure as you’ve already done the basic but to no avail. This procedure will reformat the cache and data partitions as well as delete all your files and data and bring the phone back to its default factory settings. So, make sure you make a backup of your important files, pictures, music, etc. as they will be deleted and can no longer be recovered after this:

  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.

I hope this guide can help you make your phone run faster again.


We are always open to your problems, questions and suggestions, so feel free to contact us by filling up this form. This is a free service we offer and we won’t charge you a penny for it. But please note that we receive hundreds of emails every day and it’s impossible for us to respond to every single one of them. But rest assured we read every message we receive. For those whom we’ve helped, please spread the word by sharing our posts to your friends or by simply liking our Facebook and Google+ page or follow us on Twitter.

One Comment

  1. My J3 had started lagging so badly to the point that I couldn’t use it. Step # 2 fixed it. Thank you

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