Samsung Galaxy Note 3 User Guide

Features to Enable and Disable

With millions of dollars invested in R&D, you'd think that Samsung would have its flagship Galaxy Note 3 smartphone optimally configured right out of the box. However, working in concert with some clueless carriers, Samsung has made some awkward choices when it comes to factory settings, disabling several key features and enabling others that aren't as useful. While your Galaxy Note 3's defaults may vary from our T-Mobile model, these are the features you want turned on and those you want turned off. — Avram Piltch

Galaxy Note 3 Features to Enable

1. Multi Window Mode

Arguably the best of all of Samsung's proprietary features, Multi Window mode allows you to view two different applications or two instances of the same application side-by-side. Better still, you can drag and drop content from one window to another, provided that both apps support the data transfer. Yet for some strange reason, this very-useful feature may be disabled by default. To enable Multi Window mode, toggle it to on in the Device tab under Settings.

2. Lock Screen Shortcuts

By default, the Galaxy Note 3's lock screen is just a boring wallpaper that does little more than show the time. However, you can put up to five app shortcuts on it that allow you to unlock your phone to your camera, email or dialer in one simple swipe. To enable and configure lock screen shortcuts on the Galaxy Note 3, tap Lock screen under the Device tab in settings, toggle Shortcuts to on and then tap Shortcuts to add or remove apps from the list. By default the five shortcuts are phone dialer, SMS messaging, Google search, email and camera.

3. NFC

Your phone's Near Field Communications (NFC) radio allows it pair with a number of NFC-enabled gadgets with a tap, including the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch. It's also very required for sharing files and photos with a tap and for mobile payments via Google Wallet. To make sure your your Note 3 has NFC enabled, look under the Connections tab in Settings.

4. S Beam

Samsung's S Beam feature uses its NFC radio to share files, particularly photos and videos, even more quickly than traditional Android Beam. Appropriately, the toggle for S Beam is located directly below the NFC switch in Settings.

5. Air View Mode Finger Support

The Galaxy Note II introduced Samsung's Air view, a feature which shows you previews of content such as images in the gallery or the text of emails in your inbox when you hover over on-screen items with your pen. The Galaxy S4 added the ability to get Air view features with your finger instead of a pen. Conveniently, the Galaxy Note 3 can detect either the pen or your finger for Air view, but by default, it only recognizes the pen.

To enable both finger and pen support for Air view, tap Air view in the Controls tab of the settings menu, make sure Air view is toggled to on and then select Auto from the Air view mode menu.

6. Show Battery Percentage

The Galaxy Note 3 lasts a long time -- over 11 hours on our tests -- but when you're in the middle of a long day, it's important to know just how much juice you have left. By default, the phone just shows a green battery icon that looks less and less full throughout the day. However, you can see the exact percentage in the status bar by tapping Display under the Device tab in settings and checking "Show battery percentage."

Galaxy Note 3 Features to Disable

1. Unlock Screen Ripple Effect

The default lock screen effect, which looks like rippling water is flowing over the screen when you swipe up, is fun the first 10 times. After that, it just slows down the unlock process and annoys you. Disable the ripple effect by tapping Lock screen under the Device tab of the Settings menu then tapping Unlock effect and selecting None.

2. Pen Attach / Detach Sound

Your stylus may seem like the king of your Galaxy Note 3, but there's no need to trumpet its arrival every time you detach it from its holder. Disable this annoying noise by tapping the Sound menu under the Device tab in settings, tapping on Pen attach / detach sound and selecting Off.

3. Air Command Menu Pops Up By Default

The Air Command menu is a small dial-shaped overlay that pops up on screen and lets you quickly open several pen-enabled functions. It's really useful much of the time. However, by default, the Galaxy Note 3 launches Air Command every time you whip out the stylus, even though you might want to use the stylus for something that isn't listed on its menu such as the S Note note-taking app, the SketchBook drawing app or the handwriting recognition keyboard.

Considering that you can launch Air Command on your own by pressing the stylus's button while hovering it over the screen, you should stop Air Command from launching automatically by tapping S Pen under the Controls tab in Settings then selecting None from the Pen detachment options menu.

4. Smart Pause

An annoying gimmick that gets in your way, Samsung's Smart Pause feature pauses videos when you look away from the screen. So if you were just glancing off to the side to see what your toddler did, your whole movie stops. Thankfully, this feature was disabled by default on our T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3, but you'll want to make sure it's not running on your phone. Disable Smart Pause by tapping Smart Screen under the settings menu's Controls tab and making sure there's no check in its checkbox.

5. Air Gestures

Samsung's gesture controls are fun to show off at parties, but they're not necessary to have on all the time. To perform simple actions like browsing a gallery or answering a call, you have to place your hands pretty close to the phone and wave them in just the right manner so why not just extend your finger another inch and touch the screen? Thankfully, on our T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3, Air Gesture is disabled by default, but you'll want to make sure it's turned off on your phone so it doesn't waste system resources checking to see if there's a hand moving in front of the screen. Toggle Air gesture to off under the Controls tab in Settings.

6. Smart Scroll

Unless you want to give yourself whiplash, don't bother using Smart Scroll, which scrolls up and down in the Samsung web browser (not Chrome) by following your eye movements. Unfortunately, you need to crane your neck up or down to make Smart Scroll recognize your movements, which makes touching the screen a much better option. This feature came disabled on our T-Mobile phone, but to make sure it's off on your Galaxy Note 3, tap Smart Screen under the settings menu's Control tab and then uncheck Smart Scroll.

Root Your Phone (Advanced Users Only)

By rooting (aka gaining admin rights) your Galaxy Note 3, you can not only uninstall bloatware, install a custom ROM and run rooted apps, but also allow additional apps to appear in Samsung's floating "pen window." Fortunately, if you have the T-Mobile or Sprint version of the Galaxy Note 3, you can root your phone in just a few simple steps. — David Cogen

You must use a Windows computer to complete this procedure.

1. Download the root package you need from the XDA Developer's forum and save it to your Desktop. At present, there are packages for international versions or T-Mobile and Sprint in the U.S.

2. Extract the .zip file.

3. Open Odinby right-clicking and selecting Run as Administrator from inside the extracted folder.

4. Click on PDA and select the .tar.md5 file inside the extracted folder.

5. Turn of the device and turn it back on by holding down Volume Down, Power, and Home at the same time until the screen comes back on.

6. Plug in the device via USB

7. In Odin, click Start and wait for it to finish. The device will reboot and you'll be all set.

David Cogen is a founder of, the popular site for rooting, jailbreaking, hacking, modding, and other how tos to show you how to unlock your device’s true potential.

Use Pen Window With Any App (Advanced Users)

The Galaxy Note 3's Pen Window feature allows you to launch an app in a floating window, just by drawing a box on the screen. Unfortunately, by default, the feature only supports a handful of apps, and excludes some of those you'd want most like the Chrome browser, Twitter and Facebook. However, if you have rooted your Galaxy Note 3, you can add any app you want to the Pen Window menu, allowing a whole world of floating applications. Here's how to make any app work in Pen Window on your Galaxy Note 3:— David Cogen

1. Root your Galaxy Note 3 if you have not rooted it already.

2. Download Pen Window Manager apk from the developer's page and save it to your Desktop.

3. Plug in the device via USB.

4. Copy the APK to the device's internal storage.

5. Go to Settings > General > Security and Turn ON Unknown Sources.

6. Install ES File Explorer from the Play Store.

7. Open ES File Explorer and tap the APK file we downloaded earlier.

8. Open the Pen Window Manager App and tap to select the apps you want to enable (you can also tap them again to deselect them).

9. Tap the Save icon at the bottom when done choosing the apps.

10. Reboot the phone.

David Cogen is a founder of, the popular site for rooting, jailbreaking, hacking, modding, and other how tos to show you how to unlock your device’s true potential.

Best Cases for the Galaxy Note 3

Samsung’s successor to the Galaxy Note 2 is coming. And it’s coming in a big way. The Galaxy Note 3 features a large 5.7-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel Super AMOLED  display and a powerful 2.3-GHz Samsung Exynos quad-core processor with 3GB of RAM. Plus, this smartphone will feature a ton of new features such as Smart Scroll, Story Album, Group Play, S Health, S Voice and more. All that Galaxy goodness needs your protection. When you bring home this new phablet, wrap it up in a stylish and functional case. We’ve rounded up five of our favorites here, to help you narrow the hunt.  — Anna Attkisson

Samsung S View Cover

Use Multi-Window Mode

Samsung's Multi Window mode is one of the best features of the Samsung Galaxy phone and tablet lines. The dual-screen mode lets users open two adjacent windows, allowing for seamless multitasking. Samsung has refreshed Multi Window mode, adding several helpful new features in time for the Galaxy Note 3 and Note 10.1 - 2014 Edition launch. Now users can run the same app simultaneously in both windows, drag and drop content from one window to the other, and quickly navigate recent apps when in Multi Window mode. Here’s a quick walk through of each of the new features and how to use them. — Sherri Smith

Launch Multi Window Mode

Multi Window mode has proven itself to be a very useful multitasking tool, allowing users to perform two tasks at once on a phone or tablet without having to switch between display.

1. Make sure Multi Window Mode is enabled. Simply pull down the Notifications shade at the top of the display and tap the Multi Window icon.

2. Long-press the Back button to launch Multi Window Mode. A small tab or the Multi Window strip will appear on the left side of the phone/tablet. If you get the tab, tap it to extend the Multi Window menu and drag your two selected apps onto the display.

Running the same app in two windows

One of the Samsung's biggest improvements to Multi Window mode is the ability to run the same app in both windows. However this feature only works with email, ChatOn, the web browser, My Files, Hangouts and YouTube. From there, you can queue up any app by selecting in the Multi Window mode.

Create Paired Window

Paired Windows allows users to create a custom pair of windows that can be accessed via the Multi Window mode strip.

1. Open a pair of windows in Multi Window mode.

2. Press the gray arrow located at the bottom of the Multi Window mode stripto reveal three options (Create, Edit and Help).

3. Hit Create and name your new window in the pop-up box. From there, the window will live at the top of your Multi Window strip.

Edit Multi Window Strip

Users can switch out apps to create their own custom their Multi Window strip. In addition to the 16 standard apps, there are an addition 12 apps to add including Calendar, Twitter, Play Store and Samsung Apps.

1. Launch the Multi Window strip.

2. Hit the gray arrow at the bottom of the strip.

3. Press Edit.

4. Drag and drop your selected apps onto the strip. You can remove extraneous apps by dragging them over to the right side of the display.

5. Hit Done to save your changes.

Accessing the Context Menu

Once Multi Window mode has been launched, there's a blue button located in the center of the screen. Pressing the dot launches a context menu with four features: Drag and Drop Content, Switch Applications, Switch Window and Exit Application. The menu can only be used on one window at a time. To switch menu orientation, just click tap the window you want to use the menu with.

Drag and Drop

Users can drag content such as text or an image from a website or the gallery into an email. Images will automatically be added as an attachment while any added text will fall into the body of the email.

1. Press the blue button to launch the context menu and select Drag and Drop Content button.

2. Select the content using the S Pen or your finger and drag it into the email.

Switch Applications

It's now possible to open multiple windows in Multi Window mode. Switch Applications lets users browse recently opened apps in each window.

1. Summon the context menu by clicking the blue button.

2. Select Switch Applications in the menu.

3. Scroll through animation and select desired app.

Switch Window

This feature lets users quickly change window position.

Click the blue context menu button and select Switch Window.

Close Application

Provides a way to close out all your apps in Multi Window mode.

Hit the context menu and select Close Application.

Disable Emergency (AMBER) Alerts

It's raining, it's pouring and your smartphone is whining. Like all smartphones, the Galaxy Note 3 will make an audible tone and pop-up an emergency notification for dangerous weather, national emergencies or AMBER alerts. These come courtesy of government groups such as the National Weather Service, FEMA or the Department of Homeland Security. While some of these alerts are helpful, many are not and disturb you unnecessarily. Here's how to change which types of alerts you receive, if any, on your Samsung Galaxy Note 3. — Avram Piltch

First, check to see if you have the Emergency Alerts app. You'll find it in the app drawer with an inverted triangle icon. If not, follow the second set of steps below.

How Disable Alerts with the Emergency Alerts App

1. Launch the Emergency Alerts app.

2. Tap the menu button and select Settings.

3. Select Alert Types. You will see a list with different types of emergency alerts.

4. Uncheck the alert types that you want to avoid. See below for an explanation of what the four alert types mean.

How to Disable Alerts with the Messages App

If you don't have the Emergency Alerts app on your Galaxy Note 3, follow these steps.

1. Launch the Messages app. You can find it in the app drawer or on your home screen.

2. Hit the menu button and select settings.

3. Select Emergency Alerts.

4. Toggle unwanted alert types to off.

What the Alert Types Mean

  • AMBER alerts involve missing children.
  • Severe Alerts warn of flooding and dust storms
  • Extreme Alerts include hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis and extreme winds.
  • Presidential Alerts involve national emergencies and cannot be disabled
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