I have a vanilla Samsung Galaxy S3, and just a month or two ago the back camera won't work. Whenever I use the default Jelly Bean camera app, it just pops up a message saying: "Camera Failed." then closes the app.

I downloaded a third party camera app to use the forward-facing camera, which works fine. This happened very recently after I got the phone (it was a replacement) and has been in a rugged case the entire time. I don't recall any trauma to the camera itself, either.

Any fixes or what I might be doing wrong?

  • 2
    This is very likely a software problem. You can try to clear the camera app's data and see if it helps (Settings -> Apps -> "All" tab -> Gallery -> clear data).
    – ce4
    Jun 18, 2013 at 7:37
  • Nope, I tried to clear data for the Gallery and for Camera. Jun 19, 2013 at 2:00
  • You mentioned using a 3rd party app, but only saying it worked with the front-facing camera...Does it work with the rear-facing camera as well?
    – Namuna
    Jun 19, 2013 at 14:11
  • @namuna, no. The actual Camera app won't initialize enough for me to switch the cameras, so I used that app to switch to the forward facing camera. When I use the main camera, it just freezes (CameraMX). Jun 21, 2013 at 7:40
  • Sounds like your camera app became corrupt. At this point if you still want to try to fix it, I'd suggest backing everything up and then doing a factory reset. Otherwise a trip to the carrier store is in order and let them fix it.
    – Namuna
    Jun 21, 2013 at 18:31

4 Answers 4


I have had my gs3 with T-mobile for about 11 months. Two days ago I began receiving "camera failed" warning. I was beginning to think, after researching this issue, that my phone would need to be replaced if I wanted a functioning camera again. But moments ago, with the "camera failed" warning showing on my screen, I started squeezing the top of my phone between my fingers in different places, and suddenly my camera started working again. I'm a bit afraid that it is going to stop working again, but at least I know this is a mechanical error. I'm thankful I didn't reset my phone for no reason. I have never posted to any site before this, but if this can help anyone else having this problem, I thought I should mention it. I do hope it helps.

  • After a month of tracking it down, I realized that it was part of my secondary camera's cable that was disconnected, although I still can't pinpoint when it went bad. Thank you for providing a similar experience, it helps me to determine the probability of this type of problem occurring.
    – Kargath
    Nov 22, 2023 at 16:24

Power off phone. Take out battery for 30 seconds. Power back on phone. Camera app worked again for me.


This is a pretty common problem on the Galaxy S3. If the phone has been dropped or the camera has been bumped hard enough the connection to the back camera may have come loose. My suggestion would be to take it to a repair shop and have them open it up or open the phone up yourself.

If the phone is under warranty I would file a claim with Samsung.


I turned my Galaxy S3 off and turned it back on again. It fixed itself; no need to clean or wipe your Gallery or phone.

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