Samsung Galaxy S3 Most Common Problems and Errors

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UPDATE: Are you getting the Play Store error 403? Read this: Galaxy S3 Play Store error 403 after 4.3 update.
UPDATE: We recently published an article about a common Galaxy S3 problem: Galaxy S3 Problem: I Can Hear Callers But They Can't Hear Me

We have a helpline open for your questions and problems. Do email us at sebertech@gmail.com and tell us about them. But please be detailed as much as possible because that’s the only way we would know how to help you.

We know that the Samsung Galaxy S3 is a great phone with lots of features and we love it. But let’s face it, it’s not perfect and since it is the most popular Android device in 2012, millions of users also reported having been able to experience a problem or two.

We did an extensive research about those problems for months now and here we are publishing a very, very long article dealing with many Samsung Galaxy S3 problems and issues users reported online.
You will see that there are numbered recommendations; each item is actually a recommendation and not a continuation of the other.

Important Note: This is an ultimate list of problems users have reported to have experienced while using the Samsung Galaxy S3 and we will update it every time we discover a new problem. So, you better bookmark this page to avoid losing it.

We also answer questions about specific problems that might be bugging you now so email us at sebertech@gmail.com and be detailed as possible.

#1. Sounds not coming out of the headphone

UPDATE (May 2, 2013): Tony just published an article on how to fix Galaxy S3 headphone jack problem.
Scenario: The loud speaker sounds off even if a headphone is inserted.
Recommendations:
  1. Try to use a different headphone and see if it works. If it does, the problem is with your headphones. You better buy another set.
  2. Try to pull the headphone jack a bit, it could just be a loose contact.
  3. Try to install SoundAbout and see if it can help resolve the issue. It is known to resolve a lot of Galaxy S3-specific headphone problems.

#2. Wi-Fi connection drops more often

Scenario: Galaxy S3 Wi-Fi connection suddenly drops without apparent reason.
Recommendations:
  1. For a Wi-Fi connection that keeps on dropping in your Galaxy S3, you need to first check whether your router doesn’t have a problem.
  2. Check if you can connect with other devices just fine without being dropped off.
  3. Connect to a network you often get internet connection from and let your device “Forget” it. Reboot your phone and let it detect the same network and reconnect. See if that works.

#3. Touchwiz keeps on freezing

Scenario: Galaxy S3 becomes so slow because the Samsung TouchWiz UI keeps on freezing.
Recommendations:
  1. Go to Settings => Application Manager => TW => Clear Data.
  2. If the first recommendation doesn’t work, you need to backup all your data and do a Factory Reset.

#4. Insufficient Internal Memory error

Scenario: You can’t download or install an app because you’re getting “Insufficient Internal Memory” error popping.
Recommendations:
  1. Transfer some of your files to your computer including music, movies, etc. Or, using your computer, you can cut them from the internal memory to the external memory (microSD card).
  2. Uninstall apps you don’t use anymore.

#5. Running low on RAM

Scenario: The Galaxy S3 is running very slow because the RAM is too low.
Recommendations:
  1. Press and hold the Home button from your home screen so the list of the running apps shows up. Swipe each app left or right to close them.
  2. Go to Settings => Application Manager => Choose Running Tab => Close Unnecessary Services.
  3. Uninstall heavy apps like games especially when you’re not playing with them anymore.
  4. Do a Factory Reset.

#6. No SIM Card error

Scenario: The phone says it doesn’t have a SIM card even if you’re sure there’s one in it.
Recommendations:
  1. Turn off your phone, open the back panel and check if the SIM card is properly inserted.
  2. Take the SIM card out and gently wipe it with a clean, dry cloth.
  3. Insert a small piece of paper between the holder and the SIM card. It’s not really an orthodox way to fixing this problem  but if the issue is with the connection, this will greatly help.

#7. Wi-Fi authentication fails

Scenario: Cannot connect to a Wi-Fi network because authentication fails.
Recommendations:
  1. If you’re not the one who made the network, ask the administrator for the password or WEP key.
  2. Check if you’ve entered the correct credentials, i.e. password or WEP key.
  3. Check if the signal is stable from where you stand. There are times with the signal drops during authentication so the process cannot go through.
  4. If you’re the one making the network, try to use an open connection first and see if you could connect just fine.
  5. Try to use WEP, it is always known to be stable than other network types.
  6. Reboot phone to refresh everything.
  7. Try connecting to other networks to see if you could connect with them.

#8. Google Play Store server error

Scenario: Every time a user downloads an app from the Google Play Store, the server error pops up.
Recommendations:
  1. Check if you have a good internet connection. The server error message may be caused by interrupted connection.
  2. Update the Google Play Store app.
  3. Try downloading a different app to see if it would go through. If it does, then the problem is with the app you’re downloading.

#9. USB Hardware ID error

Scenario: Every time a user connects the phone to a computer, the USB Hardware ID error shows up and the device couldn’t be detected by the computer.
Recommendations:
  1. Download and install necessary USB drivers.
  2. Better yet, download and install the Samsung KIES application. The USB Hardware ID error is actually all about drivers.

#10. Music pauses more often

Scenario: Users experience having the music paused midway through the track, or the player pauses in between tracks.
Recommendations:
  1. The Voice Command feature may be getting in the way for the music player to function well. So disable it to see if it works well after that. Go to Settings => Language and Input => Voice cmd for apps => uncheck Music.
  2. While this issue may be minor, if you can’t live with it, backup all your data and do a Factory Reset.

#11. Galaxy S3 shuts down automatically

Scenario: For no apparent reason, the Galaxy S3 reboots automatically.
Recommendations:
  1. Try to discover what’s keeping the phone reboots. If they are apps, then find what apps are causing the problem then disable or uninstall them.
  2. For this problem, perhaps the best thing to do is Factory Reset.

#12. Cannot play Flash videos anymore

Scenario: Users complaining not being able to play flash videos after an update.
Recommendations:
  1. Google took the Flash player out for good because Adobe didn’t want to provide support anymore.
  2. There is an .apk file you can find from the web, you can download that and install into your device. We refuse to link to sites offering unofficial Android apps; just Google it.

#13. Cannot set specific music folder

Scenario: Many users were asking how they could set a specific folder for music.
Recommendations:
  1. The Android stock music app does detect all formats or music but users cannot actually direct the app to just scan contents from a specific folder. As a workaround, you can just copy music you want to play in your device.
  2. Or, you could download and install the Mixzing music app that would allow you to set a specific folder to read music from.

#14. Galaxy S3 home screen often freezes

Scenario: Every time a user press the Home button to go back to the home screen, the phone freezes for a few seconds.
Recommendations:
  1. This problem is replicated, perhaps, because of the TouchWiz UI. So, you might as well want to clear data for the launcher. Go to Settings => Application Manager => TW => Clear Data.
  2. You can also try to stop other services that’s eating a lot of RAM so the performance would improve. The Galaxy S3 only has 1GB RAM and around 200MB have already been eaten by the OS other services for its features. So, freeing some space would surely help.

#15. Message app lags and freezes

Scenario: Users can no longer send a text message because the Message app won’t load, keeps on lagging, and even freezes from time to time.
Recommendations:
  1. Clear data of the app: Settings => Application Manager => Message => Clear Data.
  2. You could also delete some really old messages to free up some space. It has already been proven that messages accumulate, the app becomes slower and slower to the point that it will crash.
  3. The last resort would be to do a Factory Reset.

#16. Galaxy S3 won’t turn on and charge

Scenario: The phone is totally drained and it won’t charge. The user couldn’t bring it to life.
Recommendations:
  1. There are a lot of reasons why a phone won’t power on but in the case of the Galaxy S3, it is always the battery that’s the culprit. Users need to take the battery out, plug the charger in to the power source and plug the phone to the charger. They have to press the power button so the device will be forced to power on taking electricity from the charger. Once on, they are advised to turn it off and re-insert the battery then charge it normally until full.
  2. If the first procedure won’t work, try to boot the device into the Recovery Mode. If it does boot up in Recovery Mode but not in normal mode, then it’s a software problem. A factory reset via the Recovery Mode can fix this problem.

#17. Battery is drained faster

Scenario: The Galaxy S3′s 2300mAh battery powers the device for only 5 hours or less. That’s not as long as what the phone has been advertised.
Recommendations:
  1. The first thing to do is adjust screen brightness. The phone has a Super AMOLED display and it is just natural the display will eat up more power than other components. You could use a low-level brightness or use the auto-brightness feature.
  2. Stop apps running in the background. Press and hold the Home button and swipe left or right apps that’s showing on the screen.
  3. Stop unused services. Go to Settings => Application Manager => All tab => stop unnecessary apps and services.
  4. Reboot the device to clear its memory.
  5. Let the phone rest from time to time.

#18. Memory card dismounts from time to time

Scenario: The external storage gets undetected from time to time. Pictures couldn’t be loaded in the gallery, and files become inaccessible.
Recommendations:
  1. If you are using a SanDisk microSD card, then there’s nothing wrong with your phone. SanDisk already issued a statement acknowledging some of their storage devices have problems and most of the issues experienced in Galaxy S3 are thought to be caused by them.
  2. Others who have experienced the same problem attest that by reformatting the microSD card (after backing up all your data, of course), the problem will be gone.

#19. Slow battery recharge

Scenario: It would take forever for the battery to be fully recharged. Others say they left the phone plugged in over night but it still shows 80% of the battery.
Recommendations:
  1. These problems actually happened after the Jelly Bean update. Many say they have resolved the issue by clearing battery statistics. It seemed that the indicator says the battery is not yet fully charged but in fact, it is.
  2. For those using a different charging unit, make sure the one you bought is rated 2A. Anything lower than that would take longer time to charge or won’t charge at all.

#20. Galaxy S3 muted occasionally

Scenario: A user can’t hear a sound coming out from the loudspeaker or headphones from time to time. In other words, the phone is muted for a short while occasionally.
Recommendations:
  1. There could be some problems with the speaker, so try to inspect if something is blocking or corroding it.
  2. It could be a software problem so check for software updates. Many of audio-related problems were caused by a software glitch and could be fixed by an update.
More problems coming up so stay tuned.

37 comments

There is no comment yet, I'm glad to be the first, but your list of S3 issues is very friendly to Samsung as you argue that the problems are related to users configuration or users misunderstanding about phone functions.

Actually, I've been experiencing a lot of issues at S3 and after an internet research, there are a lot of problems and issues that are serious enough and you didn't mention them.

1 - S3 kills SD cards (no way to recover SD card or data on it) no matter size, manufacturer or usage of card.

2 - Poor signal - A lot of S3 I've seen have a signal strength issue that increases to user cannot make or recieve calls on the phone any more, (no matter carrier, Sim Card or country)

3 - Mute calls - users have experience their phone for about 2 months on Samsung service to fix the issue on mute calls, and Samsung couldn’t fix it - maybe related to signal strength.

4 - Memory usage: We are not talking about a Nokia N73 or something similar. It's not acceptable on a top end 2012 Smartphone that user may have to refresh memory or restart phone several times a day.

So Galaxy S3 have a lot of problems that we should not hide and I believe that Samsung should be responsible, face the facts and learn to before put a gadget on market, be sure to have fixed the bugs on it.

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When I plug it to charge in rommimg mode, it turns off the signal and you can't make calls?

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When I'm on facebook instagram etc everyone else pictures come out really blurry I can't see then clearly at all anymore its only been two weeks since I gor my phone .

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I'm having issues with my camera and stored photos. I am unable to crop and save photos or even view them for more then a few seconds before it freezes up then exist out back to my main screen. Photos are in file but while viewing by sliding them they suddenly freeze then quits. I have already cleared data and even reset my phone to factory settings recently.

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my phone turned to the unlock screen and out of nowhere this weird double tap and swipe thing somehow was put on my phone so now i can only go to things(after about an hour of trying to unlock my phone) if i select them in this really diffucult proccess of selecting the app that i want and then douple tapping it. Not only is it extremly anoying because i have no idea why it is on my phone to begin with but i can't get my phone to scroll now.

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how did you fix this problem with the double tap and swipe. my phone did the same about two days ago and its a pain

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Ill send text messages and its says message failed.. which is a lie half the time because my sister got my message when I sent it. This is the 3rd s3 I've had the problem with and no its not the signal I'm in 4g... I'm thinking I may have to go for a droid. :(

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I cannot open any links from my facebook appp..it shows an error even when different browsers are used.also some videos play on the app.

if i try accessing fb from the browser, even then some links wouldn't open..plz help~

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I'm using a samsung galaxy s3 and I adore the phone, only experiencing a very small fraction of the problems posted. My post concerns the voice cmds and their interaction with the music player. Its killing my vibe!! Lol. Out of no where it will pause a song, skip to the next song, its like it has a brain of its own...an inconsiderate, selfish, evil brain. Lol. I tried to follow your posted resolution of going into settings, language and input, and disabling the voive cmd in the music app, BUT it seems your directions are in accurate. After getting into the language and input menu from settings, there are none of the prompts you suggested. I looked several times. Am I using the same version of the OS you are using?? Please help!

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I can't unlock my phone. My swipe function does not work.

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I couldn't agree with you more...

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Have you tried checking if it was a signal reception problem rather than a charging problem?

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It may just be because of the caching of the pictures. Have you tried clearing cache and data of both facebook and instagram apps?

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I hv sm problems with my s3 too ... well mmm when I wanna share a picture with my friends throuth the attch icon, I cant gwt to choose between default appilcations.... I tried to look among the applications to "clear defaults application" but I couldn't find the right one :/... and about the camera well It used to follow my commands as "shoot cheese smile" now its gone .. how to get them back ? Anything else is so great I love Samsung and loved the article nice work.

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Please tell me what to do please and I have another problem now... the phone is asking me to download the update package .. every time It reaches 97% it says tht there's an internet problem and I should use smthng kies I dnt understand it

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I am getting the Insufficient internal memory error for the second time first time i had it i deleted everything i could and all pictures and music(only couple of albums) were moved to the memory card.Still it kept saying memory is low and wouldn't let me use the camera or open games so in the end i did a factory reset this was maybe 2 months ago.Most of my apps were re-installed automatically via my samsung account but the phone was fine again and like new,until now i'm starting getting the message again memory is low.When i goto settings/storage my device memory is showing 11.25gb free space and 25.19gb free on my 32gb memory card.I only have 209mb used up by pictures and video and 112kb for audio also my apps take up 0.94gb of memory so how the hell can the damn phone think its low on memory its driving me mad now as its the second time,i've turned off automatic updating for now on apps to bide me some time to find what is causing the problem.

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In using s3 unable to make calls all of a sudden. I had swap the sim card to another phone and it is working fine. Please help

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Constantly getting error: "google play store stopped" and then phone keeps frreezing and i cant do anything, i cant even access play store it just boots out???

please help.....

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I turn off the phone at night and plug it to the charger. In the morning, if I unplug it from the charger before turning it on, most of the times it wont turn on. If it does not turns on, I have to plug it to the charger again, turn it on and then unplug it from the charger. After the phone turns on, if I unplug it too early from the charger (I don't know, 10-15 seconds) it will turn off by it self and then I have to repeat the whole operation to turn it on again.

When the phone finally turns on it works like a charm for the rest of the day... This problem is a real pain. ¿Any ideas? ¿Any one else have the same problem?

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I am having problems with my Sprint S3 it keeps asking me to update my software, (Update Now, More Info, or Ask Later). The weird part is that I have had 3 phones in the past 3 weeks,and all of them have had the same problem. It has become very annoying. I have updated Sprint's software and Samsung software more than once too.

I have not rooted any of my replacement phones, my original phone was rooted,and I started having the same same thing just before I had it replaced. The only thing I have restored to my phones is the stuff that was backed up on Google. I downloaded a few apps that I had before, but they are all just basic apps.

Sprint tech support has no idea why it would be doing it either. I guess I am the only person who has had this problem. ??

Can you help, any ideas, I have had a soft and a hard reset done on my phone as well.

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When I go to my Gallery, I can access everything but my pictures in my "Camera" folder. It just freezes up and shuts my Gallery down. Please help me

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i want to knw when i connect ma mobile with pc :( it show only 2 GB internal storage :(
even its 16 GB :( i want 2 knw wt to do please
Thanks
Kashif

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Wow this website was super helpful! The battery advice saved my phone, and stopped me from freaking out when my week old phone appeared to be fried for no reason. Anyway, thank you for posting all this!

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Downloaded mp3 music download, its been working very well but now all of asudden there is aconnection error. Extremly frustrating. I havea16 sd card...but it has never worked since the dayi got it. If I delete the music appthen re download will I lose all my music that is on my phone? Please help.

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I am having the same issues..an answer would b most helpful

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Sounds like Talkback Service got activated. Same thing happened to me. Go to setting >accessibility >talkback. Turn it off. You will have to double tap everything to select until you get it shut off and to scroll you must use two fingers in a dragging motion instead of 1.

I found the answer to this by searching for a youtube video to fix the problem the 1st time it happened to me. Took me like an hour to figure out what was going on and I still don't know why it happened in the 1st place. I have MANY problems with my s3 though, including, short battery life, runs REALLY REALLY hot for no reason, horrible reception in areas I should have full bars, doesn't follow setting that I have made (example I turned off the setting that makes music app automatically start anytime you plug in headphones, yet anytime I plug in headphones music automatically plays anyway, super annoying since the headset I use for making phone calls in the car turn on music anytime I plug it in)

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My s3 mini showing refreshing sim data and getting freezed. Itz a brand new fone. I tried even restore factory setting. Formatted the fone but in vein. What should i do. Am using vodafone sim. Am from india and this fone is not launched here. I bought it from online. Please help me.

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My phone suddenly went off today. When I try the pwr+ vol up trick it still does nothing. This only way I get a response is by taking the battery out and putting it back in. When I do that the phone vibrates ( without me pressing power), shows the boot logo and goes back off. Anyone know anything about that?

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My s3 has taking forever to charge, I left it overnight and it only got to like 64%, I broke it in properly and everything it actually used to work really well until yesterday, I shut down and remove the battery and put it back in and power up its starts charging perfectly but after that cycle once it runs down its back to the same bs, ne1 can give me sum info as to why? (Its a couple weeks old)

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On my S3 it happens that during a call suddenly the receiving end of my conversation can't hear me. I look at the screen until it turns on, and then the sound reappears. It can happen several times during a single call.

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I just want my s3 to turn on. It shut itself off last night for no reason and now I can't get it to turn on

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my phone doesnt read my sim card!

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Husband has SS Galaxy 3 & I have Gal. Note 2..both running native email application. Both of us lose already DOWNLOADED email messages out of the blue. Phone & internet providers say never encountered.don't know what to do.Have Verizon & road runner providers. Please help...as each day deletes several of oldest downloads (which are only a few days old to start with). Have tried K9 but it didn't work any better. Does not seem to be related to internet settings on main desktop. HELP! Desperate!

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Posted problem (see below) tried to verify my email but link would not work. What do I do? I need help.

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My mistake...confirmed onto site. Still losing downloaded emails. Any solution from anyone please.

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When I am on facebook and I click on the "view full size" a little thing pops up and says 'starting download' then nothing happens???

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