How to Troubleshoot Your Samsung Galaxy Note 3 - dummies

How to Troubleshoot Your Samsung Galaxy Note 3

By Dan Gookin

Things aren’t as bad as they were in the old days to troubleshoot your Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Back then, you could try two sources for help: the atrocious manual that came with your electronic device or a phone call to the guy who wrote the atrocious manual. It was unpleasant. Today, things are better. You have many resources for solving issues with your gizmos, including your Galaxy Note.

How to use the Help app on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3

The Galaxy Note features a Help app. It’s found on the applications screen, and it actually contains information. Whether you find that information helpful is left to be determined; the actual Help files must be obtained over the Internet, so whenever you run the Help app, ensure that your phone is connected via Wi-Fi so as not to incur any data surcharges.

  • In addition to the Help app, many apps feature the Help command: Press the Menu button and look for the Help item. Choose it to coax the phone into helping you.

  • Some items in the Settings app, particularly on the Controls tab, feature the Try It button, which lets you demonstrate particular phone features.

How to fix random problems on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Aren’t all problems annoying? There isn’t really such a thing as a welcome problem, unless the problem is welcome because it diverts attention from another, preexisting problem. And random problems? If problems were predictable, they would serve in office. Or maybe they already are?

Here are some typical problems and suggestions for a solution:

Your phone has general trouble. For just about any problem or minor quirk, consider restarting the phone: Press and hold the Power/Lock button to summon the Device Options menu. Choose the Restart command. The phone turns off, solves the problem, and then turns itself back on again.

When restarting doesn’t work, consider removing the phone’s battery. Wait about 15 seconds, and then reinstall the battery and turn on the phone again.

The data connection needs to be checked. Sometimes, the data connection drops but the phone connection stays active. Check the status bar. If you see bars, you have a phone signal. When you don’t see either the 4G LTE, H+, H, 4G, E, or Wi-Fi icon, the phone has no data signal.

Occasionally, the data signal suddenly drops for a minute or two. Wait, and it comes back around. If it doesn’t, the cellular data network might be down, or you may simply be in an area with lousy service. Consider changing your location.

For wireless connections, you have to ensure that the Wi-Fi is set up properly and working. Setup usually involves pestering the person who configured the Wi-Fi signal or made it available, such as the cheerful person in the green apron who serves you coffee.

An app has run amok. Sometimes, apps that misbehave let you know. You see a warning on the screen, announcing the app’s stubborn disposition. Touch the Force Stop button to shut down the errant app.

When you see no warning or when an app appears to be unduly obstinate, you can shut ‘er down the manual way, by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Touch the General tab.

  3. Choose Application Manager.

  4. Swipe to the Running tab at the top of the Application Manager screen.

  5. Choose the app that’s causing you distress.

    For example, a program doesn’t start or it says that it’s busy or has some other issue.

  6. Touch the Stop button.

    The app stops.

After stopping the app, try opening it again to see whether it works.

If it continues to run amok, contact the developer: Open the app’s description screen in the Google Play Store app: Choose my Apps from the sidebar, and choose the app from the list of apps you’ve installed. Scroll down to the bottom of the description screen, and choose the option Send Email. Send the developer a message describing the problem.

The phone’s software must be reset (a drastic measure). When all else fails, you can do the drastic thing and reset all the phone’s software, essentially returning it to the state it was in when it first arrived. Obviously, you need not perform this step lightly. In fact, consider finding support before you start:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap the General tab and choose the item Backup and Reset.

  3. Choose Factory Data Reset.

    Nothing is wiped yet.

  4. Touch the Reset Device button.

    Nothing is wiped yet.

  5. Touch the Delete All button to confirm.

    All the information you’ve set or stored on the phone is purged.

Again, do not follow these steps unless you’re certain that they will fix the problem or you’re under orders to do so from someone in tech support.

You can, however, follow these directions if you decide to sell, give away, or return your phone. In that case, erasing all your personal information makes a lot of sense.