To our valued readers, Merry Christmas and welcome to the 53rd part of our Samsung Galaxy S3 problems troubleshooting series. Those who’ve been following this series know we already addressed hundreds of problems that were sent to us by our readers. Links to our previous posts as well as the index to issues we already addressed can be found on our Galaxy S3 Troubleshooting page.
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Problem: Hello. I am in need of assistance. I currently own a Samsung Galaxy S3 on straight talk. However, I am not receiving, nor have received, the android 4.3 update. This troubles me as I have seen older android phones with 4.3 or higher on them. Every time I go to update my phone, it tells me that it is up to date. The current version software on it now is android 4.1.2. How can I get the much needed update? — Austin
Suggestion: Hey Austin! Android 4.3 is the last update non-LTE Galaxy S3 will ever receive, at least, officially, LTE variants get 4.4. I think your phone is a non-LTE variant and sad to say that Straight Talk hasn’t released an update and it’s not clear whether it will roll out one. What’s worse is that the company doesn’t support firmware upgrades.
I understand why you have to upgrade your phone’s firmware but I think having a provider that doesn’t support firmware updates isn’t all bad news after all considering hundreds of complaints we received because of the 4.3 update. There is a possibility that you may encounter a lot of issues with your phone if you update it to 4.3. But of course, it’s your call if you really want to have the most “recent” firmware for your device. Try using Samsung KIES to see if it can pull down an update, if not, call Samsung.
Multiple Issues With Galaxy S3 With Android 4.3
Problem: Hi! I am sorry for sending you an email on Christmas eve but I have some serious problems with my S3 and I hope you can help me. During the last few days I got several problems that I suspect are linked:
first the hands free mode and car mode started to turn on automatically during charging
next when I tried to turn off the phone it doesn’t work, it just reboots and start up automatically
next time I try to turn off the phone it goes to the screen (something like) “downloading – do not turn off target”
removed the battery and put in again but still the same screen comes back
now I push in the start button for long time and then it reboots and starts up
last devastating fault (today) is that it does not take charging anymore from wall plug (all original)
Hope you can help. Merry X-mas, Toby.
Troubleshooting: Hey, Toby! Merry Christmas to you, too. Usually, I would recommend having to perform master reset as soon as there are more than 3 issues but in your case, I won’t…at least, not until you checked a couple of things.
First off, I’m more concerned about the phone’s behavior of automatically rebooting and going into a screen with “Download – do not turn off target” message. By the way, the phone is in Download Mode if you see such message. That said, check if the Power key and the Volume Down key are stuck. The phone will go into download mode if Vol Down, Home and Power keys are pressed during boot up.
The second thing I want you to check is the USB / Utility port. Try to see if pins are well-aligned or if there is no liquid elements present. If one pin touches the other or if the port is wet, the most common result is that the phone will automatically turn on and off hands free mode or car mode.
If these problems happened out of the blue without apparent reason, there is a possibility the phone has liquid damage. To verify that, remove the battery and check if the LGI (liquid damage indicator) turned red, pink or purple. If it stayed pure white, then it must be a hardware issue. In this case, you will need help from a technician.
Galaxy S3 Won’t Turn On After Being Dropped
Problem: The other night I was at a party in my son dropped my phone on the floor. When I realized it I picked up my phone and tired to turn it on and it came on but only to the first screen, then it turned right back off. I had to take my battery out for it to come on. Then I plugged it into my computer and took my SIM out and put the battery back it turned on and stayed on. But when I put my SIM back in it turned off. Any ideas?
Troubleshooting: Honestly, we couldn’t know for sure if the SIM is the problem here or not because we don’t know the extent of the damage due to the fall or if there were damages at all. For this issue, though, I want you to follow this simple troubleshooting guideline I outlined for you:
Remove the battery then press and hold the power button for a minute.
Place the battery back in and attempt to turn the phone on.
If it won’t turn on, plug it to a charger and turn in on.
In case the phone still refuses to turn on, remove the battery and then the SIM card, place the battery back and turn the phone on.
If the phone turns on without a SIM card, try inserting your SIM to other phones or user other SIM on your phone.
If your phone turns on with another SIM card, then it’s apparent a SIM card issue. Otherwise, continue troubleshooting.
Assuming your phone turns on without a SIM card, disconnect it from a charger to see if it stays on. If it turns off, check battery connectors and pins or try a different battery.
If the phone stays on even with the charger unplugged, try rebooting it if it can. If not, then the battery or the USB charge port may be the problem.
Seek help from a technician.
Galaxy S3 Saved Pages Gone
Problem: I am hoping that you might be able to help me. I purchased a new battery for my Samsung Galaxy S3 (sprint) last week and just now noticed that all my saved pages under the default android browser are gone. The list is empty.
Is there a way to recover these saved pages if I somehow accidentally deleted them? Any help would be very kindly appreciated. Thank you, Fern.
Troubleshooting: Hi Fern. Please try to double-check if they’re really gone and the first thing I want you to do is reboot the phone to make sure everything runs well the phone it’s back up. Then, launch the Internet app and tap the Menu key and tap Saved pages. If those pages aren’t listed, then there’s a chance they have been deleted. Check if you can find traces of those pages in this directory: “/data/data/com.android.browser”. If you can find a text file, copy-paste it to any apps used for taking notes. However, if there is no text file in that directory (or if it’s empty), there’s no way you can recover those pages again.
Galaxy S3 Settings Has Stopped Error
Problem: For the last number of days when I try to enter into settings on the phone I get an error message ‘Unfortunately, Settings has stopped’. I could not find any way to get into settings to uninstall apps etc so ultimately I did a factory reset and cleared the cache.
Now when I boot up the phone it will only me to enter my pin but it repeats this message about the settings over and over and will go no further. Even booting the unit up in safe mode results in this message and being unable to go no further. Any ideas? Regards, Claire.
Solution: Hi Claire. This is a firmware issue. There’s no troubleshooting procedures we can do and we don’t have to do anything to know what the problem is. If this phone is still under warranty, let your provider fix it for you. The technician will just have to re-flash the firmware and the problem will be gone. Or, if you are savvy enough, you can download it’s firmware online and flash it using Odin.
Galaxy S3 Play Store and Email Stopped Working
Problem: Hello, My S3 wouldn’t allow me to access play store or email. It always say “Unfortunately, Google Play Store has stopped” or Unfortunately, Email has stopped” and I’ve tried to clear cache and force stop but it didn’t work. Then I did a hard factory reset and performed the cache clearing and force stopped but still it didn’t open and the same messages keep showing up. Can’t you help me please resolve it? — Katia
Solution: Katia, just like the previous problem, this is a firmware issue. I don’t know the setup of your phone or when and how this problem started but it happened shortly after an update, then try to do master reset via hardware keys. That way, the data partition will be reformatted properly.
Turn the phone off completely.
Press and hold the Volume Up, Home, and Power
When the phone vibrates, release the Power button but continue holding the other two until Android System Recovery screen appears.
Use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power button to select it.
When finished, use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’ and press the Power button to select it.
Still use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘delete all user data’ and press the Power button to select the option.
Once the master reset is finished, highlight ‘reboot system now’ and hit the Power button one more time.
If master reset can’t fix this, re-flashing the firmware will. However, if you don’t have previous experience with flashing firmware, find someone who knows or let your provider’s techs do it for you. Flashing of firmware may brick your phone if done incorrectly.
Galaxy S3 Won’t Boot Up Completely, Turns Off and Vibrates
Problem: I have an AT&T unlocked Samsung Galaxy S3, and recently it won’t stay on. it will start to boot, but when it gets to loading the Samsung logo, it fails and turns off again. Every few minutes it will vibrate like the it’s trying to turn on, but nothing will come of it. I’ve tried what you said in previous trouble shooting posts, but I am unable to start my phone in either safe mode or download mode. Do you have any other suggestions that I could try, or at least some way that I can recover that data that was on that phone to begin with? Thanks for your help. — Dannie
Related Problem: Hello, I have a problem in my phone Samsung galaxy s3 GT-I9300 it’s turn on for few seconds then shuts off when I Press and hold the Power button + press and hold the Volume Down button until Safe Mode appears on the lower-left corner of the screen. it’s restart again for few seconds I want to solve this problem. I can’t to install android system to it. can you help me!
Solution: Hey Dannie, based on your description, it looks like the Power key is stuck or damaged. Stuck keys can usually be fixed by pressing them multiple times, so please do that. Press the power key as many times as possible and if the problem persists after that, it’s time you brought the phone to a technician and have it checked. So far, that’s the only issue I can see based on your description.
Galaxy S3 Won’t Boot Up Unless Charger Is Connected
Problem: Hi, I saw your webpage and thought I would write about my issue. My phone acts as though the battery isn’t connected, or something similar. It will not do anything unless the charger is connected. When the charger is connected, the phone starts to boot for about 10 seconds, then shuts off. I have tried 2 new batteries with the same results.
I had upgraded to Android 4.3 a couple of weeks earlier. By the way, I do not like that upgrade (downgrade is a better term). Thank you for any insights you may have. — Mark
Troubleshooting: Since you mentioned the 4.3 update, let me ask, did this problem start after an update? If the answer is yes, then try wiping the cache partition via recovery mode. Otherwise, you need to troubleshoot to know what the problem is.
Now, the next question is, does the phone vibrates after it has turned itself off? If yes, then the problem is with the Power key–it’s stuck. If no, try a different battery. If the phone turns on properly with a different battery, then problem solved, otherwise, let a technician take a look at it as it is obviously a hardware issue. Probably, the USB charging port is busted.
Galaxy S3 Will Not Power On
Problem: Hi, I am having a unique issue with my S3. It was running fine, then I put it down for a while. When I next picked it up, it would not turn on. I thought the battery was dead so I plugged it in. Nothing. No charging lights or signals at all. I unplugged it, opened it and checked all the connections, plugged it back in. Still nothing. I thought it was the phone that was broken. Then, I took the battery out while the charging cable was in and the red light came on. What does this mean? Is my battery just fried? Thanks. — Stephan
Troubleshooting: Well, that’s a possibility! But before you do anything else, try to remove the battery from the compartment and then press and hold the power key for a minute. This will drain stored electricity in capacitors and other electronic components inside the phone. In other words, it will refresh the device’s memory. After that, replace the battery and then attempt to charge. If the LED indicator won’t light up, it’s time you tried a different battery.
Galaxy S3 Number Blocking Question
Question: I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 and a former friend will not stop texting me. If I go and block him on my phone from sending messages, does he get any sort of message such as “delivery failure”. I don’t want to change my number but I would like them to think the number was disconnected. Thanks. — Jason
Answer: Well, if you let your phone handle the blocking, the message will still be seen as “Sent” on the sender’s end but the supposed recipient won’t get it nor notified about the message. Some carriers, like VZW, has a 90-day plan for blocking numbers you don’t want to get messages or calls from and the sender will be notified that the delivery failed or something like that.
If you don’t want to pay extra bucks for it, then reply to the sender telling him/her that his/her number will be blocked and that future messages will not be delivered. And then, add his/her number to the blocking list.
Galaxy S3 Can’t Send/Receive Texts and Calls
Problem: My friend’s phone has not been able to receive any texts nor is he able to send them. He also cannot phone and cant be phoned as when I tried it went straight to voicemail. he has a Samsung Galaxy S3 and has tried taking out the battery and essentially everything to try and get it to work. I don’t know if it is because he recently went to the states from Canada but the last time he did there was no problem. — Celine
Troubleshooting: Hi Celine. I think it’s more of a network issue than a phone problem. During my tenure as a tech support for one of the wireless companies in the U.S., I’ve encountered problems related to the one your friend is currently experiencing. For example, if calls go straight to voicemail, the number needs to be reactivated and it can be done with a single click of the button from provider’s side. For issues like the phone can’t send text messages or make outgoing calls, still, intervention from the provider is needed to get those services working. I’m not sure if your friend’s phone is a GSM or CDMA but if it GSM, he might be sent a replacement SIM card. Tell him to call his provider.
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