How to fix a Galaxy J3 that turns off on its own and won’t charge while in use

Although not considered a flagship, the Samsung #GalaxyJ3 is actually a decent smartphone with millions being actively used at this time. Like its high-end cousins, the J3 can also have similar issues so today we cover two commonly encountered problems. We hope you’ll find this article helpful.

Problem #1: Galaxy J3 opens folders and apps on its own (screen issue)

Hello. So, something very unexpected happened today as while I was just watching YouTube when all of a sudden the app just closed. So I tried to open  it again and I only got past the logo with the rest of my tries! And then it just starts doing random things like opening folders and apps like someone else was controlling my phone at the same time! Nothing like this has happened before and I’ve had a app called Lucky Patcher for months and nothing like this has happened before. I’ve uninstalled Lucky Patcher, I got an anti-virus, I’ve uninstalled the hacked apps, I deleted my browser history and cookies, I took out and re-put in the battery forever and it’s no use. I haven’t gone to safe mode or a factory reset yet and I don’t really want to. Please help. — Jacob Martinez Jacob Martinez

Solution: Hi Jacob. While it’s possible that a malicious app may be cause the situation you describe here, there’s also a chance that the problem may have something to do with the screen. To see where the problem lies, these are the troubleshooting steps that you can try:

Force restart

Before you do other troubleshooting steps, the first basic one that you would like to do is to ensure that you refresh the system by restarting it. We don’t know if you can restart your phone normally or not but we highly recommend that you try the steps below to do it:

  1. Press and hold the Power + Volume Down buttons for approximately 10 seconds or until the device power cycles. Allow several seconds for the Maintenance Boot Mode screen to appear.
  2. From the Maintenance Boot Mode screen, select Normal Boot. You can use the volume buttons to cycle through the available options and the lower left button (below the volume buttons) to select. Wait for up to 90 seconds for the reset to complete.

If your phone won’t restart normally or if you find the steps above too much to do, simply remove the battery, wait for a few seconds, then put the battery back in.

Observe in safe mode

To check if the problem is being caused by a third party app, you can run your device to safe mode and see how the screen behaves. If the phone works normally and screen won’t go crazy, that means the cause of the problem is one of the apps.

To boot your J3 to safe mode:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen appearing on the screen.
  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. When Safe mode appears in the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume down key.
  7. Allow your phone to run for a few minutes and check for the problem. If everything looks normal including the screen, it means you have a bad-app issue.

To identify which of your apps is causing the trouble, you should boot the phone back to safe mode and follow these steps:

  1. Boot to safe mode.
  2. Check for the problem.
  3. Once you’ve confirmed that a third party app is to blame, you can start uninstalling apps individually. We suggest that you begin with the most recent ones you added.
  4. After you uninstall an app, restart the phone to normal mode and check for the problem.
  5. If your J3 is still problematic, repeat steps 1-4.

Access service menu

If your continues up to this point, the most likely reason for it may be hardware malfunction. Before we can say that with enough certainty though, you need to do at least 2 more troubleshooting steps. One is to check if you are able to access your device’s service menu and check if the digitizer is fully responsive. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open your Phone app.
  2. Pull up the dialing pad.
  3. Dial “*#0*#” (without the quotes).
  4. Tap Touch.
  5. Draw lines in areas of the screen where you suspect may be damaged. If you can’t trace a line in a particular spot, the digitizer must be malfunctioning or damaged. If all areas are responsive and working, then the cause of the issue must be an unknown software bug.

Factory reset

The most that you can do in terms of software troubleshooting is factory reset. As you may have already known, this potential solution works by wiping all user data from a device and returning all software settings back to their defaults. It’s an effective way to deal with all sorts of software bugs so you want to make sure that you do it at this point. Here’s how to factory reset your J3:

  1. Make a backup of your personal data.
  2. Turn off the device.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the green 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 to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’.
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  8. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  9. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  10. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Contact Samsung support

Should the problem remain after doing all our suggestions above, you can assume that your J3 has a hardware problem. We’ve observed an exact likeness to your situation before for devices with broken digitizer. Unfortunately, a bad digitizer means that you need to replace it or the entire screen assembly to have it fixed. If still covered by a warranty, we recommend that you let Samsung do the repair for you.

Problem #2: How to fix a Galaxy J3 that turns off on its own and won’t charge while in use

Hi there. My J3, used for 6 months but it’s second hand, anyway, been behaving quite good a part from a few unexpected shut downs in my pocket. I could count maybe 5 in 6 months, then sometimes I would put it on charge in the night only to find it off in the morning, drained, not to worry I said, may be the charger, I guessed it was till a few days ago when while I was playing a game as I normally do and was on charge in the same time, it drained in my hands, I have the flash on the battery, saying it’s charging, but instead of going up, goes down, slowly but surely, then I do a normal restart and all goes back to normal,( charging while playing) but if I don’t, it won’t charge not even if I stop playing, will keep losing battery, didn’t get new apps or updates right before all this happened, so the issue I’m trying to solve is why it is not charging while in use anymore? Not without a kick off/on? — Mady

Solution: Hi Mady. It is hard to know for sure what may be causing your problem but one thing that we can possibly blame is software and battery calibration. When used for a long stretch, Android may lose track of the true battery levels causing random shutdowns, charging issues, or erratic phone behavior. In order to ensure that your phone’s operating system is constantly calibrated to detect your battery’s power level, you need to regularly calibrate it. Here’s how to do that:

    1. Drain the battery completely. This means using your device until it powers down by its own and the battery level reads 0%.
    2. Charge the phone until it reaches 100%. Be sure to use original charging equipment for your device and let it charge up completely. Do not unplug your device for at least two more hours and also don’t use it while charging.
    3. After the elapsed time, unplug your device.
    4. Perform a warm restart by holding the Power and Home buttons simultaneously until the startup logo appears.
    5. Use your phone until it completely runs out of power again.
    6. Repeat steps 1-5.

Should battery and Android recalibration won’t help, do a factory reset and see how your J3 charges afterwards. Refer to the explanation about factory reset above and how to do it.

If nothing changes after doing a factory reset, consider replacing the battery to fix the issue.


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Harvey is keen with mobile technology and loves writing about all things mobile. He is passionate in helping technology-challenged people by finding resolution to their issues.

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