The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop update still hasn’t hit the United States though it’s expected to roll out in the weeks ahead. Ahead of the Android 5.0 Lollipop update, we want to take a look at some common Galaxy Note 3 KitKat problems and offer some potential fixes so that the device is ready for Android 5.0’s arrival.
In 2013, Samsung took the stage in Berlin, Germany to announce its third-generation Galaxy Note, a device that’s more commonly known as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3, like all new Galaxy Notes, came with an assortment of upgrades including an improved display, new camera, faster processor, and also brand new software.
When the Galaxy Note 3 first arrived, it was running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. A few weeks later, Samsung updated the Galaxy Note 3 to Android 4.4 KitKat. It was the first Samsung device to receive the KitKat update. Most Samsung Galaxy Note 3 users are currently on Android 4.4.2 KitKat while some in the United States are on Android 4.4.4 KitKat.
Many Galaxy Note 3 users are enjoying a stable experience on Android 4.4 KitKat while others are running into Galaxy Note 3 problems on Google’s old OS. Samsung and its carrier partners have spent the better part of a year rolling out bug fixes and enhancements to help stabilize the software but carrier forums continue to fill up with complaints about Galaxy Note 3 KitKat problems.
Android 5.0 Lollipop is expected to tackle some of these issues though many users either won’t want to wait or simply can’t wait for Google’s latest update to arrive. Fortunately, there are a number of temporary and potentially permanent fixes for the Galaxy Note 3 problems that users should be aware of ahead of their next big update.
With that in mind, we want to take a look at some of the Galaxy Note 3 problems that have popped up for us (and other Galaxy Note 3 users) and offer some possible fixes for these issues. It’s important to note that while these fixes apply to Galaxy Note 3 models running KitKat, they could also work for issues that arrive with Android 5.0 Lollipop.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 3 Battery Life Problems
Battery life issues are among the most common afflictions plaguing smartphones. Even now, with batteries the size that they are, people have issues. And that includes owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. While there are no guaranteed fixes for Galaxy Note 3 battery life problems, there are some things that users will want to try if the battery stops working normally.
Third-party applications have a habit of wrecking battery life. This isn’t an Android problem, it’s a problem across all mobile operating systems. So one of the first steps that we recommend is booting a device into safe mode. Booting the Galaxy Note 3 into safe mode will disable third-party applications and that will allow users to identify potential culprits. Isolating applications will take a lot of time (users will need to do some uninstalling) but it’s worth a try if the battery isn’t holding up.
Here’s how to boot the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 into Safe Mode:
- Power down the device. Then, press & hold the Power button and volume down key.
- Once it boots up, you can let go of the power button but keep the volume key held down.
- When you have successfully entered into Safe Mode, you will notice the text ‘Safe Mode’ at the bottom left corner of the screen.
There are some additional steps to take. It’s worth restarting the Galaxy Note 3 to see if that will dislodge the problem. This has worked for us in the past. This reboot will clear the cache and kill off services that might be eating away at the battery.
Disabling NFC connectivity, Bluetooth, GPS, Air View, and any other unnecessary features could have a positive impact on battery life as well. Users that love live wallpapers might also want to think about switching to a static wallpaper to see if that helps. These tend to have a big impact on performance and so we never recommend using them on Galaxy smartphones.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 3 Wi-Fi Problems
Wi-Fi problems are also among the most common smartphone problems. Many Samsung Galaxy Note 3 users we’ve spoken to over the past year or so have run into these and we’ve seen the occasional hiccup on our models as well. Sadly, there’s no guaranteed fix for these problems either. And that means that users will simply have to use trial and error to see what fixes work.
The first thing Galaxy Note 3 users will want to do is reboot the device. Users will also want to try rebooting your router if that hasn’t been done in awhile. We recommend unplugging the router for a good 30 seconds and then plugging it back in. You can do the same for the modem as well. Galaxy Note 3 owners experiencing Wi-Fi difficulties might also consider updating the routers firmware. If those simple fixes do not work, it’s worth heading into the device’s settings.
First, force the Galaxy Note 3 to forget the Wi-Fi network that’s posing problems. Head to the desired connection in Settings and select the Forget Network option. Users will then need to reconnect to the Wi-Fi network. This process wipes out passwords so users will need to ensure that that is readily available before performing this potential fix.
It’s also worth going into Power Saving Mode to see if restrictions are in place. To access Power Saving Mode, head into Settings and then into the Power Saving Mode option. This is a known fix for Galaxy Wi-Fi issues and it could help here with the Galaxy Note 3.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 3 Bluetooth Issues
Bluetooth problems are also extremely common on Galaxy smartphones and tablets so it hasn’t been surprising to hear and see complaints about Bluetooth connectivity in the Galaxy Note 3’s first year of existence.
The first fix to try is simply toggling Bluetooth on and off. To do this, head into Settings and then Bluetooth and toggle the service off and then back on again after a few moments. If that doesn’t fix the problem, it’s time to forget the connection. Head into Bluetooth and forget the connections that are causing problems. Then, reconnect.
Galaxy Note 3 users trying to connect to a car will need to consult the car’s manual. There should be a way to reset Bluetooth though the process is going to be different for each make and model. Once the car’s Bluetooth has been reset and the connection has been forgotten on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, try reconnecting to see if it works.
If that doesn’t work, we also recommend booting into Safe Mode (the instructions can be found above) which will disable third-party applications. This will allow users to check to see if apps are causing the problem.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 3 Performance Issues
We’ve spoken to a number of Samsung Galaxy Note 3 users who have started to see abnormal lag and sluggishness emerge. The Galaxy Note 3 isn’t getting any younger so it was only a matter of time before we started hearing more about performance problems. While there isn’t a cure-all fix, Galaxy Note 3 users will be happy to know that there are a few things to try to help improve overall performance.
The first potential fix that we recommend is a process that will clear the cache partition. To clear the cache partition on the Galaxy Note 3, follow these fairly easy steps:
- Turn the Galaxy Note 3 off.
- Press and hold Home, Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously until the device vibrates.
- When the Samsung logo appears, release them.
- Tap Volume Down repeatedly until you Wipe Cache Partition. Select it with the power button. Select Yes.
- Wait for the process to complete. It could take awhile.
- Reboot your Galaxy Note 3.
We also recommend halting the use of live wallpapers as they can negatively impact performance. Galaxy Note 3 users can also try toggling NFC off. This has proven to be a solid fix in the past though we recommend using it in conjunction with others.
We also recommend turning off animations but only if things really go south on the Galaxy Note 3. To do this, hold down on a blank space on the screen, go to your Home Screen Settings then Transition effect and select None. Users can also try disabling some applications through Application Manager in device settings.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 3 App Problems
Galaxy Note 3 users experiencing issues with third-party applications can try a few things to improve performance. First, try updating the app. There’s a good chance that the developer’s recently rolled out a bug fix. You’d be surprised by how many people actively avoid installing new updates. Galaxy Note 3 users can also try reinstalling the application. We’ve seen success with this method several times in the past.
If the problems continue, we encourage Galaxy Note 3 users to reach out to the developer and alert them to the problem. This will help them identify the problem and potentially fix it in a later update.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 3 Charging Problems
We’ve also heard from several Galaxy Note 3 users who claim to have problems with charging. This isn’t new to Android smartphones as its been a problem through several iterations of the Android operating system. As is the case with many common Android issues, there are a few fixes to try should you run into problems on the Galaxy Note 3.
First, make sure you’re using the charger that came with the Galaxy Note 3. If it still doesn’t work, try using a charger with the same voltage rating as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3’s. If nothing else works, try ditching the wall charger for a USB cable. Plug the Galaxy Note 3 into a computer to see if that helps. Charging this way is slower but it could save you some money and a few headaches.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 3 Random Reboots
Galaxy Note 3 users have complained about the device randomly rebooting for no reason. This is a common problem that affects Android smartphones. Fortunately, there are a few things to try in an effort to fix the issue.
First, we recommend booting into Safe Mode. We outlined the steps to take above. An application could be the source of the problem and Safe Mode will allow Galaxy Note 3 users to isolate the issue and move on. Also, make sure applications on the Galaxy Note 3 are up-to-date as well.
If that doesn’t work, try removing the microSD card. In our case, removing the microSD card stopped the random reboots from happening on the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4. Some microSD cards simply don’t get along with Samsung’s hardware.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 3 Problems if Nothing Works
If nothing here works, it’s probably time for a factory reset. This is a time consuming process and Galaxy Note 3 users need to ensure that files have been backed up before going down this road. It will wipe everything on the device.
To do this, go into Settings, User & Backup, and select Backup and Reset. From there, select Factory Data Reset. From there, select Reset Device and then Delete All.
If for whatever reason that doesn’t work, you can also factory reset using the hardware keys on your phone. Here’s how to do that. It’s a far more difficult process. We recommend the above route if possible.
- First, you’ll need to turn the Galaxy Note 3 off.
- Once its off, press and hold the Volume up button, the Home button, and the Power buttons together until you see an Android appear on the screen.
- Once you see this, use the Volume down key to highlight the Wipe Data/Factory Reset option. Use the Power button to select it.
- Use the Volume down key to select Yes – delete all user data and then use the Power button again to select it.
- When you see the Reboot System Now option, you’ll know you’re on track. Use the Power button to select that option.
- This will erase everything on the Galaxy Note 3 bringing it back to the state it was in when you first bought it. It also might fix the problems you’re having.
Sometimes, unorthodox fixes will work where common fixes fail. We also recommend taking a look at Android Central’s forums, one of our favorite Android-centric forums. Those who are still unable to find a fix should get in touch with their service provider or with Samsung itself.