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Samsung Galaxy S3 setup & user guide

The Samsung Galaxy S3 comes packed with new technology and lots of features that are designed to make our lives easier and simpler. Geek Squad are here to help you get set up and making the most of your Galaxy S3.

Please note, if you're looking for the official Samsung S3 User Guide, click here!

Galaxy S3 setup and user guide:

How to set up your Samsung Galaxy S3

  1. Using the S3 setup wizard
  2. Adding contacts
  3. Internet and email setup
  4. Social networks

How to customise your Samsung Galaxy S3

  1. Changing your wallpaper
  2. Adding apps and widgets
  3. Setting up your security
  4. Using new S3 features

How to optimise your Samsung Galaxy S3

  1. Increasing battery life
  2. Keeping things running smoothly
  3. Backing up your data
  4. Updating Android software

See a topic you’re interested in? Jump straight there by simply clicking on the above link

Using the Galaxy S3 setup wizard

Press and hold the Power button for a few seconds to power on the phone and you should shortly reach the setup screens pictured below:

  1. Choose your language and hit Start.
  2. Next you will see a list of local wireless networks. If you have a wireless router at home, choose your wireless network name from the list.
  3. Enter the security key and press connect, it should now show the status as connected. (If it doesn’t connect first time, make sure you are in the same room as the wireless router and try re-entering the Security Key).
  4. Press next and sign into your Samsung account (Don’t have one? Just press Create Account and follow the wizard to setup up your account). Enter your email address and password.
  5. Next up is your Google account (Don’t have a Google account yet? Just tap Get an account and follow the wizard to get one set up).
  6. You now have the option to backup and restore all information synced with your Google account, including your contacts, apps, setting, bookmarks, Wi-Fi passwords and more. I would recommend turning these options on, to ensure you don’t lose any data should the unthinkable happen and your phone is lost or stolen.
  7. Google also uses your location to help with navigation and information searches, it’s up to you if you want to enable this feature, but I find it useful and always have it turned on.

  1. Don’t worry we are nearly finished now, next is your Dropbox account, this service is used for storing files online (More about Cloud Storage here).
  2. If you already have an account choose I already have an account and sign in with your email address and password. Don’t have an account yet? Choose the Create option and follow the setup wizard to sign up.
  3. Once signed in, follow the Welcome wizard to sync items like photos to your Dropbox account.
  4. Finally, tap Finish to complete the S3 setup wizard.

Adding Contacts to the galaxy s3

To add contacts to a Samsung Galaxy S3:

  1. Tap the orange contacts icon at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Tap the plus button in the top right of the screen to add a new contact.
  3. Choose where to save the contact too. In this case, let’s use Google.
  4. Once you have entered the contact's details, tap save in the top right corner.
  5. The contact should now appear in the list!

Want to import your contacts from a SIM card? Once in contacts, press the menu key (bottom left) and select 'Import/Export', then select 'Import from SIM card' and your contacts will be imported.

Connecting to the internet on a Galaxy S3

There are two ways your phone can connect to the internet, the first is via a wireless network and the second is through your mobile network.

To connect to Wi-Fi

  1. Tap the 'Apps' icon in the bottom right
  2. In the list locate the 'Settings' Icon (if you can’t see it try scrolling left/right)
  3. Tap on 'Wi-Fi' to see the local wireless networks (make sure Wi-Fi is turned on, by sliding the switch at the top on the screen)
  4. Tap the network you want to connect to and enter the wireless key

To connect to mobile data (3G)

  1. Tap the 'Apps' icon in the bottom right
  2. In the list locate the 'Settings' Icon (if you can’t see it try scrolling left/right)
  3. Tap on Data usage
  4. Slide the switch in the top right to turn on mobile data access

Note: Here you can also see a summary of your usage and set data limits to ensure you don’t go over your data allowance and avoid those large bills!

Email setup on a Samsung S3

How to set up email on the Galaxy S3:

  1. Tap on the 'Apps icon' in the bottom right and locate the 'Email App' icon in the list
  2. Enter your email address and password and tap 'next', the settings should be automatically detected
  3. Set the email check frequency as required, and tap 'next'
  4. Change the 'Your Name' box to show your name and tap done, your messages should now load.

Note: If you have problems setting up your email and need to do a manual setup please call us for help.

Connecting your S3 to social networks

How to connect your Galaxy S3 to Facebook, Twitter or Google +

  1. First tap the 'lay Store icon
  2. Tap the search icon in the top right and enter the name of the social site app you want to install, whether it's Facebook, Twitter or Google +
  3. Select the app from the list and tap Install in the top right, followed by the Accept & Download button
  4. Once the app is installed, simply locate it on your home screen or in your app tray, sign in with your email and password, and you’re ready to go!

To change the Galaxy S3 wallpaper

  1. Press and hold your finger on a blank area of the home screen.
  2. Select which wallpaper you want to change (home/lock screen or both).
  3. Select where you want the image to come from (gallery/live wallpaper/wallpapers).
  4. Select the image you want to use and then tap set or done to complete the change.

To add widgets to your Galaxy S3

Widgets are apps that run on your homescreen, they can show you live weather updates, the time, news, Facebook feeds and lots more; here is how to get started:

  1. Select the Apps icon in the bottom right.
  2. At the top, select Widgets.
  3. Tap and hold on the widget you want to install.
  4. Select where on the screen to place the widget, by dragging your finger across the display.

How to set up security on a Galaxy S3

Want to make your phone more secure? Let’s start with the lock screen; this is the first screen you will see when turning the phone on.

  1. Tap Apps > Setting > Security > Screen Lock.
  2. Now choose how you want to unlock your phone.
  3. Follow the wizard to complete setting up your security choice.
  4. Press the power key to lock your phone and then the home key to test out the settings.

There are also several apps that provide additional security for your mobile phone - check out our Android app security guide.

How to download apps to your Galaxy S3

The Google Play store is the online marketplace for Android-powered smartphones and tablets, where you can find new apps, games and tools for your device. Simply follow the steps in our guide to the Google Play Store. The Play store offers a wide range of apps and it’s always a good idea to read other peoples' reviews before downloading an app, simply scroll to the bottom of the app details page to see comments, or call us for advice.

How to use new Samsung Galaxy S3 features

The S3 comes packed with new features, read our Samsung Galaxy S3 features guide to learn about using S Voice, Smart Stay and more.

How to improve Galaxy S3 battery life

Running out of battery is always annoying, but there are ways to optimise the S3’s battery life:

  1. Disable your mobile data when you don't need it (see connectivity section above)
  2. Disable Wi-Fi when you're not near a secure network (See connectivity Section above)
  3. Keep Bluetooth turned off, unless you're using it: Setting > Bluetooth > Slide switch to turn off
  4. Disable GPS when you're not using location services: Setting > Location Services > Use GPS
  5. Lower the screen brightness to a comfortable level: Setting > Display > Brightness
  6. Shorten the screen timeout to switch it off sooner between uses: Settings > Display > Screen timeout

Some of these can be disabled by dragging down the notifications bar from the top of the screen and pressing the relevant icon to toggle the service on and off. You can also check which feature is using the most battery by checking Settings > Battery.

How to keep your Galaxy S3 running smoothly

The S3 comes with a fast Quad core processor and a ton of RAM, so it should run smoothly no matter what you are doing.

If you find the phone running sluggishly from time-to-time, try closing any open apps:

  1. Press and hold the home key to open Task Manager
  2. Swipe left or right on the apps you want to close
  3. Tap Task Manager to see more options
  4. Tap RAM at the top to clear any large processes that are slowing down your phone
  5. Still running slow? Give the phone a quick restart (press and hold the power key -> Restart)

Call Geek Squad any time, 24/7, for further advice about Galaxy S3 battery saving tips.

How to backup your Galaxy S3 data

For a more complete guide to backing up your smartphone, check out our smartphone to PC backup guide

To turn on an automatic backup of your S3, go to Settings > Back up and reset.

Here you can choose to:

  1. Turn back up on/off
  2. Select which account your data is backed up to (default is Google)
  3. Turn automatic restore on/off

To ensure your contacts are backed up to Google, select contacts > menu key > import/export > export to storage. Your Galaxy S3 will inform you of the location and name of your contacts backup file, which should be on your phone's SD card. Press OK to confirm. Once exported, press the menu key once again, tap import/export and this time choose import from storage. This time, your phone will ask you where to import your contacts to. Make sure you're connected to the internet, then choose to import to your Google account. You will now have a backup of your contacts stored on your memory card, and your phone will be synchronising your contacts to your Google email address! To check that your contacts have finished uploading, visit and sign in if prompted. If everything was successful, your contacts should start appearing within a minute or two.

You can backup your photos in several ways:

  • Connect your phone to a PC and copy the photos onto your computer
  • Sync your photos with the Samsung Kies software on your computer
  • Upload your photos to an online storage account like Dropbox or Google Drive
  • Download the Google Plus app and turn on instant upload. All your photos are saved to your Google account as soon as they have been taken

Note: Call us for help with any of the above.

How to update Galaxy S3 Android software

With Android 4.0 (Ice-cream Sandwich) it’s easy to keep up-to-date with the latest Android software.

To check for updates go to Setting -> About device -> Software Update -> Update. When checking for the first time you will need to register the device with Samsung, simply follow the wizard.

Before updating your software:

  1. Ensure that your phone has at least 50% battery left, or that it's connected to a power source
  2. Connect your phone to a secure wireless network
  3. You data is backed up.

You can also check for the latest update by connecting your phone to a computer and loading up Samsung Kies (Free Download). Updates are often available through Kies first.

Well that’s just about everything, if you need any help setting up your devices, Geek Squad are available 24/7 to assist via our UK freephone number.

If you need help configuring your computer, phone or tablet Geek Squad can help. We offer malware removal, device set-up, software installation and more. Learn more.

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