Welcome to the 32nd segment of our Samsung Galaxy S3 Problems series. There are, at least, 15 problems I addressed in this post, so feel free to browse through it and find a problem related to yours. If you cannot find your problem here, I strongly suggest you browse through the previous parts we published in this site. Just visit our Galaxy S3 Troubleshooting page and you’ll find the index of all problems we already addressed.
Click on any of the links below to go to that problem:
Galaxy S3 Won’t Power On: Workaround
One of our readers emailed us saying he has a different approach in working around the Samsung Galaxy S3 that won’t turn on. You can read the actual email below…
Email: My daughter’s S3 wouldn’t power off yesterday so as a last resort she took out the battery. When she reinstalled it the phone would make a short vibration but wouldn’t turn on. It would repeat this vibration about every 5-10 seconds. I tried all the suggestions I found online such as forcing a reset, etc. Absolutely NOTHING worked, the phone simply would not turn on. After leaving the battery out all night and finding that it still wouldn’t turn on this morning I figured it was time to get creative so I took out her SIM card and SD card and started “tapping” the battery contacts against the phone’s power contacts and found that after about 10 taps the phone would power on.
After performing a full back up via USB I found the phone wouldn’t power down so I went into the settings and did a basic reset….the type of reset that only changed the basic settings like ringtone, etc because I figured it would cycle the phone which it did but to my dismay it powered down and stayed off. I put back in the SIM card and attempted my battery tapping trick but it wouldn’t work this time, then I remembered that when I did it before I had the SIM card out so I took it out and after about 7 taps the phone powered on and I quickly put in the SIM card while it was still on the first boot up screen. It still won’t power down but at least my daughter can use her phone. After not seeing this fix anywhere online I figured you guys would probably be the best ones to email it to. Figured it might get someone out of a bind if they hadn’t done a recent backup and didn’t want to just toss the phone and lose everything. Best regards, Andy.
Galaxy S3 Lock Button Doesn’t Work Properly
Problem: Hello, when my phone rec’d the latest software update at the end of June, I encountered a problem with the side lock button. The problem went away after day, for some unknown reason, and now it’s back. I don’t know why it went away and came back a few days ago. Here is the issue:
When I press the side lock button, the screen goes dark only for a second, or not at all, then I’m back to an active phone. About half the time, the power down option comes up on the screen, which would normally happen only if you press and hold the side lock button. Often times, this will happen when I don’t touch the phone at all. So basically, I can’t easily lock my phone, it’s almost as if I just glance the side lock button and it’s super sensitive, registering a press or a press and hold when there is none. I have rebooted many times, and pulled out the battery, doesn’t help. When I restart the phone, it will shut down normally, and then stay dark and buzz every five seconds or so, as if it’s trying to reboot but is unable. Usually, eventually, it’ll reboot, but sometimes I have to press the side lock button a few times to get it going, bc it won’t easily reboot on its own, though it should. Any ideas on how to fix would be appreciated! Thank you, Jared.
Solution: It sounds like the button is either stuck or damaged. If you’re confident enough, you can try to open your device and inspect the button. Otherwise, I suggest you bring it to a technician to be checked. It may seem like it’s a firmware issue because it started to manifest after the recent update but it’s not.
Galaxy S3 Phone Call Issue
Problem: Hi Droid Guy! I am facing a problem with my Samsung Galaxy S3 i9300. Sometimes when called on it says the phone is switched off, though it is always on. I have to switch off my phone and switch it on to receive calls or messages again. Please help me to know how can I get this sorted? Thanks and regards, Arpita.
Solution: I don’t know how frequent your ‘sometimes’ is but it seem like a network or signal reception problem to me. If there were times when rebooting didn’t fix the problem, it’s a network problem and it is wise to call your service provider and inquire about it. However, if the problem seem to disappear every time you reboot the phone, it’s a reception issue. Perhaps, you’re in an area where there is bad coverage.
Galaxy S3 Returns Error 914 When Opening Play Store
Problem: Hello, I have recently started using an S3 and while trying to have a look at some apps to try out I get the error message 914 ( or it could be the other way around) and no matter where I look I cannot find a list of what this means. Also it doesn’t want to go into Google play to look for apps. Do you think a simple taking the battery out will solve this? Thank you. Kind regards, Ria.
Solution: No, soft reset will not fix this problem because, apparently, it is Play Store problem. I’m not sure if you’re still running the stock firmware on your phone or a custom ROM but this error indicates some resources needed to run the Play Store cannot be found. So, basically, there’s a problem with the firmware since Play Store app comes pre-installed.
I don’t know if there was a time when you’ve successfully downloaded an app or not but if there was, then there could be just some corrupt data or files in the phone. Backup your data and perform factory reset. However, if the problem comes with phone and there was never a time you’ve successfully installed an app due to that error, then it’s a firmware issue.
Downloading the firmware with exact same baseband and flashing it to the phone using Odin may help resolve this problem.
Screen Flickers, Network Connection Drops
Problem: I have been lately facing this issue with my Samsung Galaxy S3 mobile while browsing on 3G networks my display screen starts to flicker when the battery is down to 50%, the network is switched off and the mobile hangs, and it only responds after I connect to a power source. I have tried to start my mobile in safe mode but the same is happening, please suggest.
Suggestion: Based on your description, it seems like the power saving mode is interfering the phone’s normal operation. Please go to Settings > My device > make sure Power saving mode is disabled or Off. If is originally off, tap the slider to turn it On and then tap it again to turn it Off. After doing that and while the phone is on, remove the back cover and pull the battery out. While the battery is out, press and hold the power button for a minute. Once finished, place the battery back and turn the phone on. At this point, please closely observe if the phone would still exhibit the problem.
You said you already booted the phone to safe mode and the problem is still present. At least, we know that it’s not a third-party app that’s causing this. But if the problem continues after the above procedure, there’s no other option but to do master reset (backup your data first). If the problem still persists after that, bring your phone to a tech and have it checked as it is obviously a hardware problem.
Clearing Voicemail Notification on Galaxy S3
Problem: Droid guy, I tried all of your suggestions to clear the icon on my S3, from your post of 371 days ago (about 1 year ago). I went into call settings, but I don’t have the “clear voicemail notification” option. I also went into the app manager and did a “force stop” on the voicemail app. This didn’t work either. Help! — Linda
Solution: If your problem is that the voicemail icon shows your have unread (or unheard) messages, then we have a fix for that. It’s actually just a simple glitch and can be fixed easily. You just have to find the right service that handles the counter and clear its data and cache. In this case, this is what you have to do:
- From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
- Touch the More tab.
- Tap Application Manager.
- Swipe left to display the All tab.
- Scroll down to find BadgeProvider.
- Tap Clear Data button.
- Tap OK.
- Now, reboot your phone.
If you’re having a different issue, however, then please email us back and be more specific.
Galaxy S3 Network Coverage Issue
Problem: Hello my girlfriend recently purchased a supposedly new Samsung Galaxy S3 from ****** ****** [name of store withheld], when we got home we noticed the box was tampered with and there was no earphones with it. We had to take it back and get the earphones. A week later she noticed a symbol on the screen that was a circle with a diagonal line through it, she couldn’t make or receive calls/text messages so we went back again. They told us that the phone wasn’t blocked and that she had downloaded something that had corrupted the data causing it to in effect block the phone and that they would have to send it back to Samsung to be fixed and as the warranty doesn’t cover it she would have to pay £40. They wouldn’t tell us what it is she is downloaded that caused the problem but all she downloaded was Facebook, WhatsApp and a few games, nothing dodgy. I was just wondering if you had come across this problem before. Any feedback would be well appreciated. Thanks. — Adam
Solution: First of all, you said the box was already tampered with. So, when it comes to the integrity of the device, there would always be doubts. But let’s leave that aside for now.
So, the store said your girlfriend downloaded something that may have messed up the device’s capability to detect radio signal. I’m sure you’ve sensed that that was a phony excuse, otherwise, you wouldn’t us about it. The fact is, there is only very few apps that could interfere with the phone’s capability to connect to a network and based on the apps you mentioned, nothing seems suspicious. But given a third-party app is causing the problem, a factory reset or master reset would surely fix it.
The icon that you’re seeing actually means “no network” or the phone cannot detect cellular signal at all and there are a lot of reasons why it happens. Two of the most common reasons are:
- There’s a network interruption in your area. The best way to know if it’s the case is to call your service provider. If you haven’t done so already, please do.
- Damaged SIM card. You need to have the SIM card replaced if this is your case. Of course, you can do so by calling your service provider. But I suggest you try cleaning the SIM card’s connectors and see if that helps.
If all these fail and the store was quick to recommend you send your “brand new” phone for repair, then the phone may already be problematic when you bought it.
Galaxy S3 Became Slow After The Update
Problem: I am having multiple problems after updating my S3 to 4.3.
1. It has become very, VERY slow, I have done factory reset, but still after one day after installing apps it has become too slow. It even takes 3 to 4 seconds to Unlock, I have swiping lock, and after I wake it by pressing power key. It takes 3-4 seconds to come onto swyping screen.
2. Opening any app it opens slow, I keep on clearing RAM but its not helping.
3. Before I had problem my phone was not charging, but it was hardware issue , i got it fixed but. Now along with that, my phone is draining very fast. Even if its idle, it is discharging fast. Like if i am not touching it, 20% of batter will drain out in just 2 hours. That’s much faster then before and if i start using it in 2 Hours it will be drop down to 50%, don’t know its batter problem or due to update.
4. When is 4.4 update expected. My wife updated her Note 3 to 4.4 and its real fast and responsive. Please let me know. Thanks, Obaid.
Solution: Based on your description, it seems like there’s an app that’s making your phone really slow and draining your battery really fast. Of course, the most logical thing to do is find that app and uninstall it. However, if you have a lot of apps and have no clue which one is causing it, then I suggest you do the factory reset one more time and install those apps one by one. Observe closely after every installation which app makes the phone slow. If you can find the culprit, I’m sure you’ll solve the problem.
Galaxy S3 Has Blank White Screen With White Lines
Problem: A couple weeks ago there was some kind of update sent to my phone and since then my phone got slow and sluggish and occasionally turning off to 0% battery once my battery got below 20-30%. then eventually, after one of its shutdowns last week, I just got a blank a white screen with some lines (kinda looking like a poor tv signal except no movement).
Battery pulls stopped workin too, and one time the screen stayed frozen ON like that (white screen) even after i pulled the battery out – most confusing behavior! One tech told me the phone couldn’t be saved or repaired! PLEEEAASE say it aint so?
Solution: I’m sorry to break it to you but unless there’s someone in your area who knows how to JTAG the phone, you’ll need to buy a new motherboard to make it work again. Buying a new motherboard is almost the same as buying a new phone if you know what I mean.
Basically, this is a hardware problem. Are you familiar with “sudden death?” Well, this is one version of it. I’ve talked with an authorized Samsung tech last year regarding this issue and according to him the problem is with the eMMC controller getting busted.
This is a problem you can’t fix on your own and if you want it fixed, you need to have an expert tech to take a look at the phone.
Galaxy S3 Keyboard Lags
Problem: Hi there I have a small problem with my phone. I have a stock S3 with KitKat on the boost mobile network. After receiving the KitKat upgrade the keyboard lags while typing, I have tried a few different ones (Swiftkey, google, flesky, and the Samsung keyboard) but they all lag while typing. I can type out whole words before anything shows on the screen. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks for you time and knowledge.
Solution: Please try composing an email message and observe closely if the keyboard lags while doing so. Or, you can try using other apps wherein you need to use the keyboard to type something. If the keyboard lags in all those apps, then it’s a keyboard problem. But since you said you’ve tried different keyboard apps and they also lag, then the problem could be in your messaging app. You didn’t specify what app you used the keyboard for so I assume it would be the messaging app. Try clearing the cache and data of the messaging app and see if that fixes it.
Water Damaged Galaxy S3
Problem: Hello I really hope you can help me out with my Galaxy S3. I dropped my phone in the toilet like 2 months ago and when I dropped it I took the battery out and tried powering it on and make a long story short. ..until this day it will power on and I hear notifications and also could hear it ring but when I answer you can’t hear me but I could hear the caller.my screen also is all black can’t see anything. I’m just wondering if I need a new LCD or a new motherboard. Please help if you can!
Solution: I’m sure it’s a motherboard problem because if it were, then the phone wouldn’t power on whatever you do. At this point, we really cannot pinpoint what the problem is. The best thing to do is to have the phone checked by a tech because maybe it just needs general cleaning. I mean, the phone powers one, radio communications are working and probably everything except the microphone and the display. Although, there is also a possibility that water damaged non-critical areas of the circuit and some electronic components especially the ones that make the display and mic work. Again, have it checked.
Galaxy S3 Won’t Accept SIM Card
Problem: Hi I’m Allison I have two Samsung S3`s that I’ve purchased over the last month or two that will not accept my family mobile SIM. One phone is AT&T the other is a T-Mobile. Generally T-Mobile will accept family mobile SIMs no problem but not the S3 I cannot even access mobile networks it says I need to insert SIM. I Have tried unlock codes online and some come back with saying they could not find a solution, or they just took my money the network holder on the phones just tell me I have to have account the them to unlock network providers. I’m irritated and broke from these phones but still determined. If you can help any way please email me with some instructions to do so. Thanks for your time.
Solution: Hi Allison, your Galaxy S3s need to be unlocked before they can be used under other networks. I understand you already paid for some unlocking services online but since you’re still having problems with it. I suggest you call the service provider you want these phones to work with. They may have a different way of unlocking the phone. And since you’re “bringing your own phones” to their network, you need to have those phones added to your account to work. Lastly, they may even send you different SIM cards to work with those phones.
Can’t Download MMS Messages On Galaxy S3
Problem: I have a Samsung S3 through Straight Talk. Recently, every time I get a MMS, it says unable to download. I can send them and all other stuff works fine. But it won’t allow me to download MMS and sometimes it does. Even turnin the phone off and on doesn’t help it when it acts up. Whatcha think? — Zach
Solution: If your Samsung Galaxy S3 is a Straight Talk variant (not BYOP), then it originally had the correct APN. The reason why you’re not able to download MMS is because the company may have recently changed their APN settings. The best thing to do is call Straight Talk’s tech support hotline and instead of letting the rep troubleshoot your issue, ask him/her to send you the most recent and correct APN.
Galaxy S3 Slow and Freezing After An Update
Problem: Hi, I have an s3 that was working fine. I was prompted a few times to update to the 4.3 or something but i didn’t bother. A few days back when I was using my phone when I just woke up, I was so sleepy I accidentally clicked the update button. Since then I kept getting the “process system is not responding” message. There were two options, which were WAIT and OK. When I clicked both, nothing would happen.
My phone keeps freezing like every 5 mins and I swear in a day I have to take out my battery and put it in again for like 50 times at least? I then did some research and did a factory reset for my phone. But it was the same. It got worst actually. Now the keyboard will just come and go randomly. Like it will be there and i can use it. Then when the phone freezes and I take out the battery and put it in again, when the phone starts, the keyboard won’t be there.
I did a research on that and people were saying I should go to the application manager and clear the cache and stuff but all the buttons in all of the applications can’t be clicked. It will just say computing. I then researched on that too and they said there was an app which I could download to clear all the cache but when I went on Play Store, it would say “unfortunately google play store has stopped.” It’s like there’s a solution to all the problems but the solutions themselves have problems! I’m really desperate please help me!
Solution: I was thinking that since you said you accidentally hit the update button you tried to stop the update like turn the phone off and stuff like that but when the phone booted up, it continued downloading the update. If this was the case, then flashing the previous Android (the stock, of course) would solve this problem.
However, if this problem happened even after a successful update, it could be that some data became corrupt during the update process. It can be fixed by wiping the cache partition via the recovery mode and doing the factory reset from there as well. If those procedures fail, then flashing the stock ROM would also fix this problem.
But I suggest you remove the microSD card and SIM card first before doing the factory reset. This will prevent the phone from reading from your external storage and searching for network signal.
Galaxy S3 Negative Email Counts
Problem: Hello, I am still having the most frustrating and aggravating problem with the stock email on my T-Mobile Galaxy S3 T999 with negative email counts, and the negative number just keeps growing!
I only started encountering this problem for about 4 months. I have reset the phone twice. I brought it to a “Samsung Experience” at Best Buy, and even shipped my phone to Samsung in Texas where they kept my phone for 17 days and charged me with no answers or solutions!
I have followed your instructions to clear cache and date on Badge Provider, and have cleared and reinstalled my email accounts numerous times! Can you help? Thank you, Noreen.
Solution: I think the problem is with the firmware itself. If there’s an available update for your phone, Noreen, please update it. After the update, perform factory reset and try to see if the problem persists. If this were my phone, I would root it and probably install a custom ROM. But I’m curious, were you also getting negative email counts when you used a different email app? Or, have you tried that already? I understand that’s not the fix to this problem but it’s a good workaround.
What saddens me, though, is the fact that Samsung techs weren’t able or didn’t fix the problem for you. They sure know their devices and could probably solve every problem a device may have in its lifetime. Well, of course, the company earns big in sales but not in after-sales.
So, that’s it. If there’s an available update, download and install it. Or, if there’s someone in your area who knows how to root and flash a custom ROM, then that’s another option to get rid of this aggravating problem.