Wi-Fi

Fix the Samsung Galaxy S III Wi-Fi connection

If you have a Samsung Galaxy S III with poor Wi-Fi connectivity, you can perform a quick fix before an official update is released. Here's how.

The Samsung Galaxy S III is one of the most powerful smartphones on the market. But some users have reported that, at any given moment, the Wi-Fi connection speed can drop to near useless levels. Even with solid networking hardware, the Galaxy doesn't seem to quite know how to consistently play well with wireless connections. Unfortunately, Samsung is not terribly forthcoming with either admitting there's an issue or solving the problem. However, if you happen to have one of the Galaxy S III devices with this issue, there is a fix.

Understand that a fix could come down the pipeline at any time. But for those who do not want to wait for said update to arrive, I'll explain how you can resolve this issue.

What's the problem?

Ultimately, the problem lies in the Wi-Fi Power Save Mode, which turns off wireless whenever the phone goes to sleep. For some of the Galaxy S III units, this seems to negatively effect the Wi-Fi when the phone is awakened.

Now, on the Android Samsung Galaxy Tab, you can actually (and easily) set this feature in Settings | Wireless and network | Wi-Fi settings | Wi-Fi sleep policy. On the Galaxy S III, you won't find this setting. In fact, if you go to Settings | Power saving (Figure A), there isn't even a reference to Wi-Fi (or networking at all). Figure A

Here you see the Power savings settings on a Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S III.

If you don't want to wait for Samsung (or your carrier) to release a fix, you can do the following with the assurance that it will not effect future updates. Here's the steps for the fix.

  1. Open up the Galaxy S III phone dialer
  2. Dial *#0011#
  3. When the new screen opens, tap the menu button
  4. Select WiFi
  5. The WiFi Power Save Mode button should be set to ON (Figure B), so tap the ON button to set it to OFF
Figure B

Set the WiFi Power Save Mode to OFF.

Just a couple more steps. You'll need to have the Galaxy S III forget all of the wireless networks you connect to. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the menu button
  2. Tap Settings
  3. Tap Wi-Fi
  4. Long press the wireless network you want to forget
  5. Tap Forget network

As soon as the network is forgotten, if it's within range, it will immediately appear. Tap the new wireless connection and connect. The issue should now be permanently fixed.

A couple words of warning: This solution will drain your battery faster. Why? Because Wi-Fi isn't going to shut off when the phone goes to sleep. But if you're having this particular problem with wireless, it's a trade off you might have to make until Samsung officially released a fix. You might also find that this setting resets to the default should your phone restart. Yes, this is a bit of a kludge for an issue Samsung should have addressed long ago, but it should get you by until the real fix comes out.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

14 comments
ironjack
ironjack

Didn't work for my s3. Please help!

grzoff
grzoff

I can not get Skype, when connected it scans for several minutes to say ' out of range'.


The internet works but the connection says out of range.


 The local australian hotspot Geelong, is in Connecticut. 

barbara_cooley1
barbara_cooley1

I do not have an advanced button on my Samsung galaxy s 3 phone and I would like to have wifi buit without the advanced button how can i

ShanghaiGuy91
ShanghaiGuy91

Look at the instructions very closeley * precedes the #0011# , apart from that and as I experienced mine with this fault ( Wfi not truning on)  I also noticed that Bluetooth did not turn on at the same time - it actually would work soemtimes and stop other times then after the last update from Samsung - Wifi and bluetooth  stopped alltogether , I took it to Samsung repair agent - and it  looks as if there is a hardare fault , believe me I was one of many with same fault. So they need to order part as out of stcok locally .. I have to return in one week. I suspect the WIFI & Blue tooth module ( located at the lower bottom ( backside) of phone is the culprit .. Good louck with yor units..

jmaldrich
jmaldrich

With the latest Android update, it has started giving me this error. Unfortunately, when I try #0011# on Verizon Wireless, it gives me a message "Welcome to Verizon Wireless. Your feature update could not be completed.." :( Any suggestions????

jroth420
jroth420

My phone doesn't do anything when I input *#0011#. Am I doing something wrong or is it locked out or something along those lines? i would really like to get this fixed.

BSotoSF
BSotoSF

Maybe the most useful article I've read in the past year. This saved my phone from an "Office Space" fate, and me a lot of headaches trying to keep my Samsung Galaxy S3 from incessantly bonking out of Wi-Fi. Thanks for this.

seletar69
seletar69

Samsung galaxy s3, see's my home router really well and shows full signal strength, but my phone goes to disabled default, what occurring?

ZZR Puig
ZZR Puig

The Galaxy S III does have Wi-Fi Power Saving settings, it's just that they are located somewhere else. If you go to the Wi-Fi menu, where the list of available Wi-Fi networks to chose from is shown, you'll see that on the bottom right there is an "Advanced" button. Inside this menu you will find the setting "Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep", where you can select between "Always", "Only when plugged in" or "Never". I hope that helps.

JohnAMac
JohnAMac

Strange - on my phone it has the option to turn on or off the WiFi when sleeping. Tap on Wi-Fi which takes you to the screen which lists all the networks you can join, then tap on Advanced and there you have the option 'Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep' which has 3 sub options, 'Never', 'Only when Plugged in' and 'Always'.

jeb.hoge
jeb.hoge

That's where it was located in Android 2.2 and it's where it's located in Android 4.1.

Gisabun
Gisabun

So the court will ban the S III because it has the same problem as an iPhone. You mean the iPhhone has problems? Say it ain't so!

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