Samsung Galaxy S3 – Shortcuts & Tips

Some tips, shortcuts and stuff you won’t find in the manual, collected from different forum and personal experimentation. Please use only tips you understand – if you don’t know what a factory reset means, you do not want to find out :)


„Pinch“ means using 2 fingers to zoom in our out (Google it if you don’t know the word). The buttons are depicted here:
Samsung S3 buttons

Swype keyboard

The Samsung stock keyboard has a Swype-like feature. You can enable this via: “Settings” > “Language and Input” and then click the wheel next to “Samsung keyboard” and check “Continuous Input”.

Lock screen shortcuts

Customizable lock screen

Go to Settings > Security, enable “With swipe lock” and then click on “Lock screen options”. There you can enable different shortcuts for the lockscreen and modify them, display a clock, current weather and you can enable a nice shortcut for quick camera access [holding the device straight, tapping and holding the screen and then rotating the device].

Use S-Voice to unlock the phone: Choose “Wake up in Samsung Unlock” in the above menu.

Battery percentage display

Go to “Settings” -> “Display” -> “Display battery percentage” to show an additional percentage display next to the battery icon.

Application drawer by alphabet

App drawer grid view

In the application drawer you can choose an additional view setting: “Alphabetical grid”. Open the app drawer, click menu, then “View Type”.

Disable shutter sound [root only]

If you don’t like the camera shutter sound you can disable it by renaming the following file: /system/media/audio/ui/Shutter.ogg – therefore root access is required. I haven’t yet found out how to disable the shutter sound for burst shots.

Additional free apps from Samsung

There are some additional apps from samsung which can be installed for free: Start “Samsung Apps”, click on “Category” and then choose “More Services”. Apps I found useful:
“Flipboard”, which is a very nice looking news reader – including Google Reader, Twitter and Facebook integration.
“Photo Editor”, a good picture editing app.

Custom vibration patterns

Create your own vibration patterns

You can create your own vibration patterns here: “Settings” > “Sound” > “Device Vibration”. Then click “Create” and press the wheel to create patterns.

In Call EQ

A bit hidden: Open keypad, press menu, choose “Call settings”, “Additional settings” and scroll down. There you can select different equalizer settings for calls and create a personalized one.

User interface

Home screen

Android Apps

Miscellaneous hints

Force TW Launcher in memory [root only]

If done wrong your phone might be unusable.

Open /system/build.prop as root with a text editor. Add following line at the end:


Make sure the last line has one empty space, reboot.

xda-forum discussion

Factory reset (Everything will be deleted!)

Via these three ways:

  • Turn phone off, press and hold: volume Up + home + power. Use volume keys to navigate up/down, home to execute.
  • In the phone keypad: Enter *2767*3855#
  • Menu: Settings > Back up and reset > Factory data reset.

Codes (enter via phone keypad, the ones below work for me)

*#0**# LCD Screen test *#06# Show IMEI Number *#2222# HW Version *#1234# Phone info/Firmware version *#34971539# Camera Firmware settings *#9900# Sysdump (Logfiles etc.) *#0228# Battery diagnostics *#7353# Function testing *#9090# Service Mode *#197328640# Service Mode Menu *2767*3855# Factory Reset (not tested.. :) ?

German tips & tricks list

97 Replies to “Samsung Galaxy S3 – Shortcuts & Tips”

  1. Hi,
    Is there a way to keep the lock screen visible, with time and weather, while it’s in a docking station?



    1. Not exactly but you could disable the screen timeout. But a better way is to use apps that provide this feature. The one I use personally is GentleAlarm (search on play store).

  2. This is really great of you, to spend the time helping those of us less S3 savy figure things out! I have to forward my calls to my office on a daily basis (can’t take my cell into the office), and it is a real pain to click on (phone/call settings/call forwarding/voice call/always forward) before I can enable it … do you know how to put a short-cut for this feature on my home page? Thanks again for your tips!

    1. I use Apex Launcher – there you can add a link to any activity an application provides to the home screen. So with Apex you long click the screen, select “shortcuts”, then “activities”, choose the phone app (the one with the green handset icon) and then “”.

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