How to fix Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) screen flickering issue [Troubleshooting Guide]

While the screen flickering issue with the Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) seems like a hardware problem, there are times when it’s due to some problems with the firmware or even glitches with the apps. But the thing is, we really can’t be sure which is which that’s why we need to troubleshoot to simply have an idea what the problem is all about, what causes it and what needs to be done to fix it.

Samsung Galaxy J3 screen flickering issue

Below is our troubleshooting method that addresses this specific problem with the Galaxy J3 being our subject. So, if you own this device and are currently experiencing problems involving the screen that might be flickering, turning on and off, changes brightness from time to time, etc., read on as this post is written to address such issues.

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 with screen flickering issue

The purpose of this troubleshooting is for us to know why the problem is happening and what has to be done to fix it, although we don’t guarantee an absolute fix especially if the problem is due to a hardware issue or somewhat related to the display panel. But before we jump into our troubleshooting, here’s one problem from our reader that best describes this issue:

Problem: Hi guys. I bought this relatively cheap smartphone called Galaxy J3 and recently it seems the screen started to flicker changing brightness intensity when it wants to. It’s kind of annoying that a brand new device is acting like this. I hope you guys can shed some light to this kind of problem. Please help me.

Troubleshooting: Let us now proceed with our troubleshooting and I hope you can follow because the steps here are very easy to understand and do. While we don’t suggest procedures that can potentially ruin your phone, things can still happen so please proceed at your own risk.

Step 1: Reboot your phone in Safe mode right away

This doesn’t fix the problem but will surely give us an insight as to whether third-party apps have something to do with the issue because if they do, then the screen won’t flicker when in this mode. Here’s how you boot your device 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’.

If you’re convinced that third-party apps are causing this problem, then while in this mode, try to find the apps that cause the issue. If you suspect some, try to clear their caches and data or even uninstall them one by one and then reboot your device in normal mode to see if the screen still flickers. You may want to begin your search for the culprit with apps you installed around the time the problem started.

Here’s how you  clear the cache and data of suspected apps:

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

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

When you delete system caches, it doesn’t actually affect the performance of your phone simply because the moment the phone boots up, they will be replaced with new ones. However, that’s not the case when a cache is corrupt or obsolete. The system will still continue to use it but there’s would be some adverse effects on how some services work. Therefore, I suggest you delete the system caches so they will all be replaced including the corrupt ones:

  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 reboot but just wait for it. Once active, continue using it like you normally do but be keen as to whether the problem still exists or not and if it still does, then move on to the next step.

Step 3: Do the master reset on your Galaxy J3

After doing the first two steps and the problem still exists, then we can say at this point in our troubleshooting that the problem might be due to a firmware issue. Or perhaps, some of the system files and data got corrupted, or there might be some misconfigurations with your phone. We will have to rule these possibilities out by doing the reset. However, make sure you backup your files and as they will be deleted. After which, disable anti-theft by following these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Accounts.
  4. Tap Google.
  5. Tap your Google ID email address. If you have multiple accounts setup, you will need to repeat these steps for each account.
  6. Tap More.
  7. Tap Remove account.

And then, follow these steps to finally reset your device:

  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.

After the reset, don’t install anything yet, instead observe your phone for the same problem. If it still occurs, then it might be a hardware issue and you need a technician who will perform more tests to determine what the problem is all about.


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Harold Hisona

Harold has been in the tech industry since 2008 when he started out as a tech support for companies like Time Warner, Comcast and Tracfone. He’s been troubleshooting phones when the smartphone industry started booming. During his tenure as a tech support, he’s already been writing for various tech blogs and doing some freelance SEO. In 2012, he joined a small team of bloggers to write for The Droid Guy, and he has been with the company ever since. Today, he doesn’t only write tutorials and troubleshooting pieces but also shoots and edits videos for The Droid Guy channel while trading stocks on the side. Contact me at Email

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