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How to fix camera failed on Samsung Galaxy S3

The most annoying thing is when apps close suddenly or display an error message. I think that they should integrate a better user-friendly help system, especially on Samsung devices, to fix these problems. There is a Samsung app called Samsung Cares that you might want to consider installing. In any case, this is how to fix the annoying camera failed problem on the Galaxy S3.

AndroidPIT Galaxy S3 Side
© Samsung

Wipe cache and data

There are a few standard things that you can do, and some of them are pretty easy. First off, you can clear the camera cache and data. This won’t erase your images, but it will wipe any preloaded data that help the app to load quicker when starting it up. In most cases, this data is corrupted, so you need to wipe it clean. Doing this won’t have a noticeable effect on your camera’s speed, but it may clear up the camera fail problem.

  • Tap on the menu button when on the home screen and select Settings.
  • Tap on Applications Manager and swipe to left to find All apps.
  • Scroll down and select the Camera app.
  • Once in the Camera app info, tap on force close, then clear cache and finally clear data. Settings that you may have saved will now be wiped, but you can easily set them up again. No pictures will be deleted.
  • After this is done, restart your phone (press on the power button and select restart).
androidpit factory reset
Menu button, Settings, Applications Manager, All, Camera app info! © AndroidPIT

Did this work for you? If not, there are some other solutions to consider. You might want to do this for the Gallery app as well.

Clear cache partition

If this is still causing your problems, you can also clear the cache partition for the Galaxy S3. This, again, is quite simple to do, but might seem scary if it is your first time. Never fear! You can do it. Here’s how it is done:

  • Turn off your Galaxy S3
  • Press the Volume Up, home and power keys and hold them.
  • Once the phone vibrates, let go of the power button but keep pressing on the volume up and home buttons. Soon enough, the Android System Recovery screen will be displayed.
  • Navigate to the Wipe cache partition using the volume down key and then press the power button to select.

This is not a factory reset, it won’t delete your data, but it will wipe app cache contents, which will alleviate the problem (hopefully).

Factory reset

If the problem is still here (gosh darn it!) there is yet another few solutions. The next consists of doing a factory reset, which you can learn on how to do in our forum tutorial how to factory reset the Galaxy S3

Alternative apps

If all else fails, you might want to consider using a 3rd party app, and there are a bunch out there, like the Google Camera app for example, which is an awesome app everyone should be using. Install the Google Camera app for free from the Google Play Store.

 © Google Play

Defeated? Get a new phone

If you don’t want to settle for an alternative app, then it would be a good idea to bring it back to a Samsung or Best Buy mobile shop, or wherever you bought it. A representative will likely try to flash factory binaires from an image factory reset and if you still get the camera fail message, you could be in line for a new smartphone.

I hope you found a solution that works for you! What do you do when this happens?


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  • Bob Nick 3 months ago Link to comment

    After all this sworsked for messss. Thx.

  • The first remedy offered worked for me lickety-split. Thank you.

  • message not sent in my samsung s3 it shows emergency calls only

  • This was driving me mad, doing all the reset stuff but nothing happening. Then I read that its just a sticking stutter. So open the camera app then tap (lots of times) on the camera lense quite hard with your finger. Then, hey presto, the camera starts working again. Took a couple of tries but fixed it fine.

  • R0mal 10 months ago Link to comment

    search on google
    "Camera suddenly closing without any error message"
    "How to Fix camera screen black"
    "Phone Camera failed message"

  • First tip worked as advertised Thanks

  • First tip worked for me. Thanks!

  • tried many times but it still did'nt work :(
    Google cam is not compatible with my phone..

  • Tans Jun 11, 2015 Link to comment

    Thank you so so much!

  • AJ Small Mar 26, 2015 Link to comment

    I found, when I got the errorCallBack on my rear facing camera, that the issue is the shutter getting stuck. A few hard knocks near the camera normally fixes it. Temporarily at least. I have yet to find a proper fix for it But hopefully someone more tech savvy than I will find a solution.
    Also using *#0*# and testing the rear camera it gives the error "Data Line Error". Since hitting the camera a few times seems to "unstick" the shutter, I would assume that it is a hardware fault and not the software.

  • Works! Thank you!

  • pammy_p Nov 17, 2014 Link to comment

    All fixed! The first suggestion worked perfectly! Thanks.

  • Luna Nov 12, 2014 Link to comment

    I don't know if anyone is still having an issue with this "camera Failed" error but I just fixed a colleague of mine's Samsung S3 mini. He spilled some coffee on his speaker and opened his phone in hopes that drying it would help (it didn't) but when he opened his phone, the small flap where the camera 'connection' is held was opened too and the camera was therefore disconnected. The error only occurred after he opened it and never happened before so I opened the phone again and found the problem. Make sure the little connection is securely fastened over the camera cable (more like a little flat film) and then put your phone back together. It worked where as the resets (factory and battery pulls) as well as the cache/data clearing did not.

    Just something to look at if you opened your phone before and the camera is now giving you that error.

  • Thank you so much. I had tried rebooting the phone, clearing the cache and clearing the data multiple times. When I wiped the cache partition, it worked like a charm.

  • 1) If it is showing you camera failed on inbuilt camera app then most probably it will show you camera failed no matter whichever app you use. Not 100% sure about this but this happens when I am playing with custom roms on my note 2 and s2. No app can make the camera work.
    2) Sometimes when your internal memory gets full, it shows camera failed. At such time, you will have to remove your data and then clear cache and data for the camera to work.

  • Google camera is a great suggestion, but noteworthy is that KitKat is a prerequisite :'(. and if someone is savvy enough to install KitKat, then they have probably covered the other suggestions already. ;-)

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