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How to: Turn Off 4G on Verizon’s Galaxy S3

 

For whatever reason, turning off 4G LTE on Verizon’s version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 has been made extra difficult. The menu under Settings>Wireless and network>More does not include the old toggle that we use on devices like the Galaxy Nexus. You are also unable to type in *#*#4636#*#* to get into the phone info menu and change it manually through there. I even downloaded the Thunderbolt LTE toggle, which works on the RAZR running Ice Cream Sandwich, and found nothing but force closes.

Thankfully, this app called Phone Info works like a charm. Install it, open it, and head into “Device information.” From there, you’ll need to scroll down to the pull down menu which probably says “LTE/CDMA/EvDo” and choose “CDMA auto (PRL)” to turn your phone into a 3G, battery saving machine.

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Cheers @a_ale_z!

  • Nixican

    Is there a way to do this on the t-mobile galaxy s II? The instructions above does not work. Please help….thx

  • phil

    i have tried this, but when i click on CDMA auto (PRL) nothing changes it stays on“LTE/CDMA/EvDo

  • Pinak Lonkar

    Good post – I installed the Phone Info and will go through a couple of charge cycles (new phone) to see if my battery life improves. I am on the first cycle and battery is down to 35% in 9 hours. No calls. Just a lot of tinkering around. Wifi On, 4G on, etc.

  • http://twitter.com/ddschneider1972 Daniel Schneider

    This is great news. Thanks a LOT. I’m working late trying to listen to the Reds game and the building has an internal VZW 3G antenna but for some reason, my phone decides it want’s to stay on the faint 4G and kept cutting out…now I have a full 5 bars of 3G.

  • jaybird

    ShowServiceMode from the market (or get the free beta version from the dev web site)
    https://github.com/jakenjarvis/ShowServiceMode-For-Galaxy-LTE/downloads

    makes turning LTE on and off eaiser. and keeps it off until u enable it or reboot. unlike PhoneInfo where it gets re-activated as soon as u disconnect and reconnect mobile data.

  • This Guy

    What was the default “set preferred network type” before I switched it to CDMA auto (PRL). I read the above article but he says probably. Anyone have a more confident answer?

    • Tina

      The default one is “LTE/CDMA/EvDo”

  • Maduser

    Now I’m stuck on 3g no matter what I do… App fails to switch back

  • Steve

    I just found an undocumented use for this program! I travel to Europe extensively and have a SIM card from one of the providers in Spain (Orange). After setting the phone to Global, I was actually roaming on T-Mobile’s network via Orange (the two companies have a roaming agreement). Bottom line — no need to wait for Verizon’s firmware update to unlock global capabilities! Also, the phone appears to be unlocked … unlike my prior iPhone 4S, I didn’t have to do anything to get it to work. I called my Spain number from a landline here in California, and it worked perfectly!!!! SWEET!!!

  • Chris

    After doing the switch(either way), does anybody have a problem with not receiving phone calls? I found that when I toggle using this, I can’t receive any phone calls until I make 1 outgoing phone call. Otherwise people who call me go straight to voicemail. Is this a known issue?

    • Jamie Rivera

      Yeah it actually happened to me. Had to factory reset it.

  • Bill Pierce

    Nice fix. Worked fine. When 4G is in my area, how will I reverse this? Thanks a lot.

  • nahum

    Awesome!!!! Thx much for the help

  • Corkis84

    This works great. Thanks Kellex. I now have it on my home screen and i dont put much on my home screen.

  • Winston

    Thanks!!!!!!!!!!! I live in an area where the 4G is low signal and the internet does not always connect. Could not figure out hoe to switch to CDMA as I did on my RAZR. This app works wonderfully!!!

  • http://twitter.com/steveg138 Steve-O

    Why do we have to install Google play apps just to get this damn phone to function the way we want? Right out of the box the SIII needs tweaking and has a locked bootloader. All hail the Nexus!

  • Dan

    Now I just need one.

  • Superguy

    So is this phone actually a global phone then, or is that just a generic menu?

  • Jon Edge

    Does anyone know what the “Turn on SMS over ICS” means/does?

  • http://www.vgchartz.com SuperChunk

    When I first got my Gnex I heavily controlled 3G/LTE data…. now I leave it on LTE full time. Once my city become very well blanketed it just hasn’t been an issue. If I’m playing with my phone at work… I have a plug. If I’m listening to music in my car… I have a plug. If I’m playing with my phone at home… I have a plug. Otherwise, if its a low use day, it lasts all day without issues. YMMV but its just not an issue for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=75200646 Stephen Cox

    This is why I use CyanogenMod on my phones. Pull down notification… oh look, LTE toggle! Click, done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.capodice Scott Capodice

    I was looking for this earlier…I thought you guys already posted it. Is it a repost? Either way…thanks DL. Battery life seems good right now, but I’m on WIFI mostly right now…we’ll see how it goes today when I travel!

  • Br_d

    The old code looks like a masked swear. For example, “I’m trying to turn off 4G on this phone but the *#*#4636#*#* menu isn’t there!”

  • Texas

    Exactly what I was looking for, thanks.

  • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

    “How to: Turn Off 4G on Verizon’s….”

    Get a Nexus, done.

  • JohnPA2006

    I owned a Verizon Galaxy Nexus for about 2 months, and sadly got rid of it on ebay.
    Due to the horrible battery life, even with a 3800mAh extended battery on it lasting only 15 to 18 hours.So my question is, has the battery life been any better or worse on the Galaxy S3?I know all 4G Verizon phone are battery hogs but has the Galaxy S3 been any better?

    • JoshGroff

      It should be, the S4 is supposedly more efficient because the LTE modem is built into the SoC. Or something along those lines.

    • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

      I think I saw a battery test that showed the SGSIII had the best battery life of any smartphone right now.

    • Trevor

      I have my 4G on all day long and lots of texting and phone calls, so screen is on a lot too. I have had my phone 3 days now and i have been able to get a solid 10 hours out of my stock battery. This is also including streaming over an hour of netflix on 4G. Dear verizon,
      I love my unlimited data that you hate so much. 3.5GB since monday afternoon.
      Sincerily,
      Out_to_abuse_your_data

      • Max

        I’m with you Trevor… unlimited data is wonderful!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jakob.klein14 Jakob Klein

    thanks for the artilcle! ive been trying to find something like this, now do you know how to turn off the countless wifi notifications on the vzw gsIII? like the one in the notification bar or the ones that pop up when opening an application?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jakob.klein14 Jakob Klein

      nvm i just found your other article thanks!

  • Guest

    Can someone test how much battery this saves? (Something simple like 5 hours streaming with and 5 hours streaming without 4G)

  • linli574

    tinyurl.com/cozaa3k

  • Guest

    Guest • 3 minutes ago
    The battery life appears dismal. This is why i returned GNex. Samsung’s 2100 ma battery is simply not enough for a moderate user. There will be no fix or modification and you will spend hours on blogs trying to find a magic bullet. You will simply end up turning data, wifi, screen brightness, gps, and mabe even the phone off to get through the day. If motorola is smart its Verizon Razr HD will come out with a 3300 ma battery like the Maxx and they wont fiddle with the 1750 ma battery of the Atrix HD. SmartActions did not help the Razr and wont help an HD model with a bigger screen.

    • njbuzz

      In one day(I know, small sample size) my S3 got 3.5 hours of Screen On Time using only 3g and VERY little 4g(just wasnt in the area). This is compared to 2, 2:10 screen on time that i would get with Galaxy Nexus in the same area. VERY happy with the battery so far on the S3.

  • Aardvark99

    What is the correct setting for “Turn ON/OFF IMS registration required”> I accidently hit this button and now I’m not sure what the correct default setting is.

  • wickets

    Sorry for noob question, but whats the point of having super fancy phone on super expensive fancy network if you arent going to use 4glte? One might as well sign a contract with sprint and use an iphone!

    • Guest

      4G isn’t always needed and it drains the battery faster than 3G. There are instances where the possibility of charging might not be available for a while, so it’s best to switch to 3G to save battery. Better a slower phone than a dead phone! :)

      • wickets

        Thanks……never been that far away from an outlet, but I get the gist now

        • JoshGroff

          Also, for those of us in 3G only areas, or bad 4G reception, the constant searching for 4G slaughters the battery.

          • wickets

            thats me!!!! But i leave it on because a few feet away from my home 4g is strong however I am b12 deficient and can never remember to turn it back to lte and so i just leave it and resign myself to being ‘plugged’ in plus it irks that I pay for it so why not ‘try’ using it; battery be damned

          • JoshGroff

            Stuck with 3G here, but a 20 minute drive away, there’s solid 4G reception. >.>

    • cruzfl0w

      Another reason can he that people may not live in a 4g area (like me). When I first got my phone it was constantly looking for 4G and my battery died like crazy. I even called customer service and they were clueless!

  • http://twitter.com/iklx125 klx125

    My S3 seems to randomly stop loading things on WiFi every now and then. It usually takes a few seconds or minutes to correct. Any suggestions? Anyone else having this problem? My WiFi is very stable and other devices do not have this problem.

  • yarrellray

    Honestly this is nothing more than another ”Sad Conclusion” Verizon could care less about it’s customers. I can’t see what I was smoking by purchasing the Verizon Galaxy Nexus I had from December 15th 2011 to June 28th 2012. Guess I was temporariliy out of my mind. Plus it’s LTE network became slower and slower as all those devices arrived by June which is expected. Droid-life has always done there very best to help out the android community regardless of carrier and for that it’s so much appreciated. Glad I kicked ”Big Red” to the curb I am perfectly fine now I can use my device as it is intended with great reception perfect signal strenght and great speeds. People will become wise sooner or later and will leave Verizon just as I did.

    • JoshGroff

      Do you have that $30 T-mobile 5 GB plan or Simple Mobile’s full unlimited?

  • mickyimp

    does anyone have an idea of what size the wallpapers are for gs3 i dont want the scrolling wallpapers i like the one screen wallpaper. I just cant figure out the wallpaper size or a place to find them at.

  • majormudafuckinhun

    4G all night long! Say what??

  • FortitudineVincimus

    As long as I/we have unlimited data, I don’t give a fu** about this as I plan to push 4G hard and fast and as much as possible.

    • http://twitter.com/sugashane23 Shane O’Neill

      Hey Verizon, ever have your 4G pushed in?

  • Droosh

    It seems to me that you are leading people to think that LTE or switching back and forth causes a huge battery hit. This not the case with the S4 SoC since the LTE radio is fully integrated. Please reference a decent study or review that shows otherwise.

    Although I agree that Verizon shouldn’t impact OEM software and we should all have the choice, I do think that the battery life and power management, is good enough on the GS3 to leave everything on and just enjoy it without worrying about toggles too much. I am wWe got rid of task managers, and maybe these toggles are losing their value as well.

    • Speedyrulz8

      I thought the whole reason LTE uses more battery is because when you can on LTE you are still using CDMA too for voice so you have 2 radios running at the same time? Is that the case or am I wrong? If I’m right the only solution is going to be when you can start using LTE for calls and drop CDMA completely from your phone. If I’m wrong than I guess LTE just sucks up a lot of juice.

      • Droosh

        Honestly, I don’t know. What you are saying is probably true. However, that fact remains that since the LTE radio is on the same SoC (and a 28nm one at that), the power savings would be likely unnoticed according to sites like Anandtech. Now on my Galaxy Nexus, turning off LTE does make a big difference. I think the author should have made the difference more clear and is leading people to think that this LTE is the same as the LTE on all the previous devices when it’s not.

  • http://twitter.com/ThePhillipBee Phillip Bee

    I got a belly full of white vzw dog sh*t and now u lay this on me ?!?!?

  • zone

    help – I try to turn it to CDMA auto prl and it doesn’t stick, just goes right back to lte

    • http://www.facebook.com/Mr.Deepak.Sharma Deepak Sharma

      same in my case.

  • r0lct

    Can’t move to Voice over LTE while people are still using 3G, I’m assuming that”s their thinking.

  • http://twitter.com/WetNilly Jared N

    Will this get me better battery life even if I’m in an area that does not have 4g coverage?

    • zepfloyd

      Actually on these devices now, no, they really won’t. Older devices had to actually switch radios, these are integrated together which is why the options have all changed. The only benefit is for fringe 4G areas where its switching a lot. If you’re in a big 3G only you won’t see much difference on the S3

      • Doan

        Any improvement is enough reason for me to do it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/billyNOTnice Billy Gladfelter

        thanks, I wasn’t aware of that

      • Mike

        I agree. I’m in a fringe 4g area and the switching occasionally causes issues with data. By changing to 3G only it solves this.

      • zUFC

        Are you sure about that zepfloyd? I didn’t think that happened yet? No doubting you just making sure. I could have sworn that the integrated radios was a while away.

    • LionStone

      Yes, because it will ‘lock’ you on 3G and your phone won’t try to search for any 4G.

    • http://twitter.com/WetNilly Jared N

      Thank you both for your replies. I think I’ll leave it as is for a few more days (since i just got my gs3 yesterday) to try and get a better idea of what current battery life is. Then I’ll give this a shot and see if I notice a difference.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1644265579 Austin Ochoa

    my phone is having trouble staying in 4g, and when I do I have like 2-3 bars… not really sure what’s wrong. any help would be amazing

    • LionStone

      You need to find out if other 4G phones are dropping off 4G too in the area you are at. Or is the area you are dropping signal confirmed to have 4G? Have you gone to another area that is confirmed to have 4G to see how your device holds up? You may be in a ‘fringe’ area (and using the tip posted will help you) or the network may be upgrading and it will be spotty coverage for a bit, usually late at night.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1644265579 Austin Ochoa

        thanks man! ill have 2 check with some of my friends

  • http://twitter.com/rbrtwillis Robert Willis

    Anyone ever think about what happens at VZW internal management meetings?

    Meeting Agenda
    1) Brainstorm ideas to screw over our customers.
    2) Determine new phones to lock bootloaders.
    3) Repeat.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Karl.Espinoza Karl Espinoza

      you forgot 4. threw our money in the air and go weeeeeee

  • manny108

    Finally.

  • Kevin McClain

    Edited

  • J_Boch

    Awesome! Really need my phone to have good battery life and I don’t always need 4g (and dead phones don’t go very fast). I was incredibly pissed to find out Verizon removed the old method (on top of everything else) so this is a HUGE lifesaver.

  • CR

    I used this app with Bionic ICS leak 6.7.2231 which has the same 4G/3G toggle issue. I turned on “CDMA auto (PRL)” and it switched to 3G perfectly. But, tried to switch back to “LTE/CDMA/EvDo” and now 4G appears broken. The only radio setting that will work in any capacity is “LTE/CDMA/EvDo.” Just a warning – be careful with this app and changing your radio settings.

    • CR

      Sorry – meant to say the only setting that works is “CDMA auto (PRL)”

    • FurthestPrism

      I had to go into Settings, Wireless/Networks > More > Mobile Networks > Network Mode. You can get your LTE back there.

      • CR

        That setting currently shows LTE/CDMA but its greyed out and can’t be changed

        • FurthestPrism

          Ah. I have a Razr on the OTA ICS and that’s where I had to go to get mine back.

    • Dman786

      Hey CR, just ran into this as well. Try this.

      1. select LTE/CDMA/Evdo
      2. select turn off radio
      3. wait a few secoonds…turn on radio
      4. exit program
      5. turn off phone
      6. reboot

      This allowed the selection to remain selected for me.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Mr.Deepak.Sharma Deepak Sharma

        not working. Now what to do?

  • InyRules

    Verizon just wants to make sure to stay on 4G as long as possible, download stuff really fast, then go over your data limit. I’m grateful for sites like this one that are out to keep the consumers informed and find solutions to the douchebaggery carriers like to impose on us.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Glad we can help. :)

    • J_Boch

      Verizon doesn’t know what it wants other then to be evil. They put that annoying WIFI reminder up to tell us NOT to use their fancy network, then they make it impossible to turn OFF their fancy network…

    • Chris Gustafson

      You’re right about one thing, they want you on LTE as much as possible. But not for that reason.

      • mfzero

        Go on.

        • Chris Gustafson

          Simple. The 3G network is over capacity in many areas and they want to free up bandwidth. Best way to do that is to switch customers to 4G. Which is well under capacity and can support many more connections. Double the data promo was just an incentive to get customers to switch.

          Besides, on the GSIII it’s not a big deal. It gets fantastic battery life on LTE. Almost as good as the DROID RAZR MAXX.

          • Trueblue711

            How do you know that their 3G network is over capacity? I have yet to experience or read about capacity issues with Verizon.

          • ArnoldFacepalmer

            Really? Because I read about all the carriers being over capacity on 3G all the time.

    • cruzfl0w

      Yes, honestly, droid-life is a life saver thank you so much!

  • EC8CH

    Hey Vzw…

    Thanks for effing up the GSIII.

    You suck

    • http://twitter.com/RitaKHealey Rita K. Healey

      Anyone ever think about what happens at VZW internal management meetings?..MayorMoney.blogspot.com

  • Mapekz

    It shouldn’t be difficult to make the LTE Toggle widget/app like for the T-Bolt/Charge/etc.

    But yeah the network selection option should have been under mobile networks as it is in stock ICS. Bad omission on Samsung’s part, probably due to porting TouchWiz over.

    • http://TransientTangent.com/ Blake Mitchell

      It is more likely that it was left out intentionally at Verizon request. They apparently have decided to take out of some phones that already had it in older software versions.

      • Mapekz

        Oh I did not know that. Then only one conclusion really remains: Verizon is pushing people to the LTE network wherever it is available (even if it drains battery like a beeyotch) to help manage their bandwidth. It makes sense and is a more user-friendly approach to the problem, but it’s to the detriment of the customer until LTE is literally all over the place and the radios are optimized well enough that it doesn’t drain battery that much more than 3G does.

        • http://TransientTangent.com/ Blake Mitchell

          Exactly. They don’t trust us to be able to decide if we should have cdma or lte turned on apparently.

  • gokusimpson

    I wonder if people with the s3 on the other carriers are having as many problems as the Verizon one.

    • Tommy Thompson

      Nope, my bootloader is unlocked, and turning off LTE is as easy as going to Mobile Network under settings.

    • nsauce7

      T-Mobile S3 is equally hard to turn off 4g.

      • yarrellray

        Tmobile is not equally hard to turn off 4g. All you have to do is go into settings, then go to more setting, and go all the way down to the bottom to mobile networks and tick off use packet data. That will turn off your 4g and you will better control your device. I get daily heavy use 13/14 hrs and light use 18 to 22 hrs easily on my Tmobile Galaxy S3. Heavy use is when I am at home Light use is when I am at work plus I have wifi at work so I give my 4g network the ebst chance to be turned off. The Tmobile version of the Galaxy S3 probably will have the best battery life because it runs HSPA PLUS on tmobile’s 42mbps network. It’s not full fledge LTE like Verizon or At&t but one thing is for sure it’s just as fast on the download. Upload is much slower but 2 to 3.5 up is more than enough to do what needs to be done.

        • squiddy20

          1. Ummm… “packet data” is not “4G” you dope. Here, http://lmgtfy.com/?q=4g+packet+data. You’ll want to read post #3 in that first result. Educate yourself for once in your miserable little life. And if you’ve got Wifi on, there’s no need to manually turn of cellular data (aka “packet data”) because Android does that automatically. Surely someone “in the know” about “all things Android” would know this by now?
          2. *You* don’t have a 4G network. You have *access* to a 4G network now provided by T-Mobile. But of course, T-Mobile doesn’t have anything close to a real 4G network because this HSPA+ crap is nothing more than beefed up 3G. Don’t you know this? Or are you just too delusional to think straight?

        • nsauce7

          Unfortunately those turns off data completely.