Galaxy J3 Back and Recent Apps buttons not working, how to remove malware, other issues

Hello and welcome to today’s #GalaxyJ3 troubleshooting article. This material covers three distinct issues some J3 users have encountered. They’re not the most common issues for this device but we think this post can still be a good reference for those looking for solutions to similar troubles.

If you are looking for solutions to your own #Android issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page.

When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Below are specific topics we’re bringing for you today:

Problem 1: Galaxy J3 Back and Recent Apps buttons not working

My Samsung Galaxy J3 Luna pro android version 6.0. I just bought this phone and at first I noticed the “back” and “recent” touch buttons stopped working. I called Samsung and they said to do a factory reset and after I did, it worked. After some time it stopped working again (1 day). I have tried looking up answers and have found none. Please help I love this phone and I want to keep it. Not 100% sure but I think the buttons stop working after the battery hits under 15% battery. When this problem happens all other touch screen works and all hard buttons work just not the 2 I spoke of earlier. — Bri Walker

Solution: Hi Bri. Both Back and Recent Apps buttons are considered hardware components although their functions can also malfunction due to software or content/app issue. If the problem with them was resolved by a factory reset, but then eventually returned a day after, that can hint of a possible third party issue.

Observe the phone in safe mode

We suggest that the first troubleshooting step that you want to do here is to rule out third party app involvement. To do that, you want to restart the phone to safe mode first. Safe mode blocks third party apps and services so if the problem won’t occur, our suspicion is right. Below are the steps on how to restart the phone to 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’.
  8. Observe the phone for at least 24 hours. This should give you enough time to notice any difference.

To boot the phone back to normal mode, just restart it.

Factory reset to return all settings back to defaults

Another good thing to do, if you can’t get a conclusive proof about possible third party app issue, is by doing another round of factory reset. This should be the only other troubleshooting step that you can do. If you’ll get the same result as before, with both Back and Recent buttons working normally immediately after a factory reset, that’s clear proof that you an app is to blame. To identify which of your apps is causing the problem, make sure to install apps one by one and observe how the phone works afterward. Install then observe. Repeat. This will be the only way for you to pinpoint the culprit.

Remember, some apps may change drastically after it’s been updated to their new version. It is in this transformation that problems may occur. If the problem returns after updating an app, the new app update may be affecting these buttons. Be sure to uninstall the app and never install it again.

Problem 2: Galaxy J3 is locked due to Factory Reset Protection

I bought a Samsung Galaxy J3 (6) second hand that had been factory reset. It now will not allow me to log in to wifi. It gives me this message: unable to access web browser for the wifi sign in due to an unauthorized factory reset.

It is also logged in to another Google account and when i get that far i do not know the account information. They didn’t unlock it and now i can’t use it. i’m homeless on the street and i need a phone to get of hold of family. Please tell me you can help and i can’t find the people that i bought the phone from. — Lillian Lesueur

Solution: Hi Lillian. At this time, the only official ways to allow you to use the phone is by either asking the previous owner for his/her Google account credentials, or by asking Samsung to unlock the device. Both options must be out of the question though since you have no contact with the seller and Samsung will only unlock the device if you can produce documents showing that you are the owner (proof of purchase).

If you have a computer, you should try checking some Youtube videos that claims to be able to bypass Factory Reset Protection (FRP). We haven’t tested any of these videos ourselves so we can’t recommend which particular one is still working at this time. If none of them works at this time, that means that Samsung has already patched the vulnerability of their devices, which unfortunately means you’ll have to wait again until another effective workaround can be found.

Problem 3: How to remove malware from your Galaxy J3

Unfortunately I did click-on the “OK” tab after receiving one of those pop-up virus ads. The phone beeped for a moment. A beeping I’ve never heard before! Then I was taken to a website where I did nothing. I closed the tabs and returned home. I seem to have stopped the pop-up virus warnings when I open the internet. Regular internet and Google Chrome. Though I’m extremely concerned that it’s too late and I’ve allowed malware into my phone. Should I just go to a Sprint store and have them check on this? Thank you! — Floydnyc

Solution: Hi Floydnyc.  If you suspect that you may have fallen to a malicious trap, these are the things that you must do:

  1. Create a backup of your important files such as photos, videos, etc. You can either use any cloud service like Samsung Cloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. Alternatively, you can try to use Smart Switch if you want to create copies of them in your computer.
  2. Remove your Google account from the device. Make sure that you know your username and password before doing it. This will prevent locking you out later on due to Factory Reset Protection.
  3. Once, you’ve copied all important data to another device and removed your Google account, wipe the phone clean with factory reset. Here’s how:
    • Power off your Galaxy J3. Press and hold the Power key, tap Power off and then touch POWER OFF to confirm.
    • Press and hold the Volume Up button and then press and hold the Home key. While holding both, press and hold the Power key.
    • When the Android logo appears on the screen, release all three keys. It may take a minute before the Android recovery screen appears.
    • While on Android recovery screen, use the Volume Down key to highlight options, in this case, highlight the option ‘wipe data/factory reset.’
    • Press the Power key to choose the highlighted option.
    • Press  the Volume Down key until Yes — delete all user data option is highlighted.
    • Press the Power key to confirm the reset.
    • Once the reset is complete, press the Power key to choose ‘Reboot system now.’
    • The phone will restart a little longer than usual and the reset is finished.
  4. An even better option is to bring the phone to your carrier’s store so you can ask them to reflash the firmware. This is a more effective method of removing potential malware that may remain after a factory reset.


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