“Please help, my Galaxy S3 automatically shuts off without apparent reason. It started when I got an error message like ‘google process stopped working’ last week. I don’t know how to fix the problem so I need your help or suggestions on this matter. Thank you and more power to The Droid Guy.”
That’s apparently one of the emails we received from our readers citing a problem that seems common to Samsung’s flagship phones. The new Galaxy S4 also has this issue and many early adopters already turned to forums to seek help.
Because the problem is common, there were already procedures pointed out by some techie people on how to fix, remedy or work around it. In this post, I will cite a troubleshooting procedure that might be helpful in solving Galaxy S3 problems like this. But before that, here is another email from our reader that describes a problem related to the problem already cited at the beginning of this post.
“My Samsung Galaxy S3 is having some problems. It will charge. The screen will turn on for a few seconds and then the phone will shut off. Also whenever I put the battery in it instantly turns on. And if I keep the battery in it will keep restarting and powering up. Sometimes when it powers up it gets past the Galaxy S3 initial screen but not past the screen with the blue animation. It sucks because I am in a foreign country for another month. Any info will help. Thanks!!!”
Solving The First Problem
Basically, the first issue is related to a software glitch, specifically a Google service. What our reader was saying about was com.google.process.gapps process, which covers almost all of Google apps installed and running on Galaxy S3 on top of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. Knowing what the error message was all about will help solve the problem reported by the reader. That said, there’s no need to go into more technical troubleshooting procedures and there’s no point in trying to look for a solution someplace else because the email already told us what to do.
Actually, the complete error message our reader encountered was “Unfortunately the process com.google.process.gapps has stopped working.” As I said earlier, this was caused by a glitch with any of the Google services especially apps that the phone uses almost every time.
Many of our readers who have encountered this kind problem said that it’s either the Play Store that’s having the problem or Chrome. One way to fix it is to clear data and cache and here’s how to do it:
NOTE: Clearing data will delete all your personal settings including email accounts, passwords and other personal information.
From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
Choose Applications Manager.
Scroll to and tap Google Play Store.
Tap Clear Data button.
Tap Clear Cache button.
Go back to apps list.
Find Chrome and clear both cache and data.
This should fix the problem and prevent the phone from randomly rebooting. In case it persists, try to clear the cache of Google Framework Services and reboot the phone.
Solving The Second Problem
The second problem I cited here is obviously more complicated than the first. Basing on the number of problems mentioned by our reader, it seems like the phone is already fubar. But let’s try to break down the problems one by one:
The phone’s screen will turn on for few seconds then shuts off.
Whenever the battery is inserted, the screen instantly turns on.
If the battery is kept inserted, the phone keeps rebooting.
The phone boots up past Galaxy S3 initial screen but not the blue animation.
Having all these problems with your beloved phone is depressing. I’m not sure how long it has been since the owner bought the phone or if he already updated its firmware as well as necessary apps.
At first, it would seem like the first problem was caused by a defective battery but looking into the second and third problems you would know the issue is with the main unit. Secondly, you would think basing on the first three problems that it could be because of a malfunctioning hardware but the fourth problem would suggest it’s with the software, although we really can’t be sure. So, here’s our recommendation on what to do:
Boot the phone into Safe Mode. Doing this will first answer the question “Can the phone finish the boot up process?” although it is apparent it can’t in Normal Mode.
Turn the phone off.
Press and hold the Power button until Samsung logo appears.
With the logo on the screen, press and hold the Volume Down button until Safe Mode appears on the lower-left corner of the screen.
If the phone boots up in Safe Mode, it would confirm the theory that the problem was caused by a software glitch. It could one of the recently installed apps that’s causing the problem or the recent updates you applied. If this was the case, try to uninstall the apps you installed recently to try to isolate the problem. If it won’t work, backup your data and reset the phone to its factory settings.
Let a tech check the phone. If the phone won’t boot up in Safe Mode, it could be a hardware issue. Since it has already been released last year, odds are it is still covered by warranty (unless you have rooted it) so you need to bring it to a technician to be diagnosed. If it phone is messed up beyond repair, your provider may replace it with a new one so you could continue with your plan. The point is, it is safe to have an authorized tech have a look at the problem rather than popping the unit open that may even put it at a greater risk.
Are you experiencing this problem, too?
Email us at email@example.com and tell us about it. Please be detailed as much as possible so we would know where to start. We don’t just troubleshoot Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4, we are also open to questions about other brands of phones.
If you find this post helpful, please share it to your friends who may also be experiencing the same problem.