customize your Samsung Galaxy S3

14 Ways To Customize Your Samsung Galaxy S3 For Incredible Experience

One of the best things about the Android OS is its customizable user interface. This is probably the most important reason why I’ve always preferred the Android OS over the  iOS. If, however, you’ve just switched to a Samsung Galaxy S3 from an iPhone, you might not be able to find all the customizable goodness on your phone. There are plenty of S3 cases and S3 accessories, but when you learn how to customize your Samsung Galaxy S3 it turns into something special.

If you’re unable to find options for customizing your phone or you’re not impressed with your Galaxy S3, continue reading to find out about the best ways to customize your Samsung Galaxy S3.

1. ZEDGE Ringtones & Wallpapers


This is my favorite customization toolkit for Android and whether you own the most expensive Android smartphone or you have a low budget Android smartphone, the ZEDGE app can take care of most of your customization needs. The ZEDGE website has been around for years, catering to the pre-Android era such as the Symbian OS.

While there are specialized apps for different customization areas like Android wallpapers and cool ringtones, ZEDGE is the perfect app if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution. You can choose wallpapers, ringtones and notification sounds from the millions available in the ZEDGE database. You can also set wallpapers and learn how to get ringtones directly from the ZEDGE app.


2. Customize Fonts

s3 fonts

Fonts are also an important part of how your phone looks and while  many users avoid the importance of fonts, you’ll be surprised at how much these fonts can change the overall feel of your phone. Changing fonts on Samsung Galaxy devices is extremely easy as this is a built-in Samsung feature.

Open the Settings app, go to Display and tap on Font style. Select your preferred font. You can also download more fonts online. To change the size, tap on the Font size option.

3. Lock Screen


No one does lock screens better than Android and you can easily set your customized lock screen. If you’re tired of the old password locks (forgetting your password all of the time) and are looking for something more unique and fun, you’ll probably enjoy the screen lock options that Android offers. Currently, you can choose from 6 different types of lockscreens.

Swipe unlock doesn’t have any security and you just need to swipe to unlock. Face unlock and Face and voice unlock are relatively new and unique lock screen options. Pattern is probably one of the most used methods, while PIN and Passwords offer the highest security. To change the screen lock, go to Security in the Settings app, tap on Screen lock and select your preferred screen lock.

4. Facebook Feed In Lock Screen

information ticker

This is another popular way to customize your Samsung Galaxy S3 as it allows users to make the most out of their lock screens. You can display your Facebook news feed directly on the lock screen so that you don’t have to unlock your phone every time you want to check Facebook.

In order to use this, you’ll need to set the screen lock as Swipe. Go to Security in the Settings app, tap on Lock screen options and enable the Information Ticker option. Change the Content type to Facebook.

5. Sort Applications

app drawer

If you have a lot of applications in your Galaxy S3, then you’ll probably find this tip to customize your Samsung Galaxy S3 useful. If you’re always browsing through your app drawer and trying to find a particular app, you can sort applications to find apps easily. You can sort the apps in an alphabetical grid, alphabetical list and a customized  grid.

For the customizable grid, you can move around apps to fit your preferences and the alphabetical order will list the apps alphabetically. In order to use this, launch the app drawer, press the Menu button and select View Type.

 6. Zooper Widget

zooper widget

Zooper Widget is a fantastic app available on the Google Play store that lets you create customized widgets. Creating custom widgets is extremely easy and you make different types of widgets using different colors, fonts and templates.

If you’ve looked at different types of widgets on the Play Store, but couldn’t find something that matches your exact needs, then you might want to try Zooper Widget.


7. Nova Launcher

nova launcher

While there are tons of launchers available on the Google Play Store, my favorite is Nova Launcher.

The problem with some customizable launchers is that they can interfere with the performance of the phone, however, this particular launcher is known for its superior performance. Rated highly by some of the most popular Android websites, Nova Launcher lets you change animations, themes, layouts and icons.


8. Arrange Homescreens

s3 homescreens

Another awesome way to customize your Samsung Galaxy S3 is to add, arrange and delete homescreens. This is really helpful if you use a lot of widgets and app shortcuts.

While on your homescreen, press the Menu button and select Edit page. You’ll now see all your homescreens together. To delete a homescreen, drag and drop it in the trash can and to add a new screen, tap on the Add or Plus icon.

9. App Folders

s3 folders

App folders are a great way to customize your homescreen by adding app shortcuts in customized folders. This can be really helpful if you want to save up space on your homescreens while having many app shortcuts as well. Basically, only one folder icon will be available on your homescreen and when you tap on it, you’ll see many app shortcuts inside.

While the traditional Android method for creating folders is quite easy, Samsung has its own way. Press the Menu button while on a homescreen and tap on Create folder. You can now edit the name of the folder and drag and drop app shortcuts inside.

11. Light Flow

light flow

The ultimate app for customizing LED notifications is Light Flow. You can easily create customized LED notifications using this app. Aside from customizing colors, the app also lets you customize the blink rate and duration.

You can customize your Samsung Galaxy S3 for almost everything including SMS, MMS, calls, emails, Bluetooth, low battery and signals.


12. Swype Keyboard

continuous keyboard

The keyboard is one of the things that all of us use a lot and getting this right is ideal if you want speedy typing on your phone. You might have heard of the famous Swype keyboard and if you’re looking for something similar, then Samsung has a built in Swype-like feature.

Basically, you swipe around the keyboard in order to type words rather than actually pressing individual keys. In order to activate this,  go to Language and input in the Settings app, tap on the Settings icon next to Samsung keyboard and enable Predictive text. Check the Continuous input option to finish off this tip to customize your Samsung Galaxy S3.

13. Lock Screen Shortcuts

lockscreen shortcuts

Another cool customization feature for the lock screen is setting up shortcuts. This is a great way to access some apps on your Galaxy S3 without actually unlocking your phone.

In order to set lock screen shortcuts, go to Security in the Settings app and tap on Lock screen options. Tap on shortcuts and enable it. Select your desired lock screen shortcuts.

14. Custom ROMs


Possibly the best way that you can completely customize your Samsung Galaxy S3 is by installing a custom ROM. All the other customization features will help you change the feel of your phone, but they’ll still be on top of your stock firmware.

In order to install a custom ROM, you’ll need to root your device first. There are tonnes of ROMs available and you can see my post on the 10 best custom ROMs for the Galaxy S3.

15. Google Now

google now

Google Now is basically a personal voice assistant that lets you do all sorts of stuff on your phone. The great thing about this is that it is extremely customizable and you can edit the settings according to your preferences. It’s one of the cooler ways to customize your Samsung Galaxy S3.

For instance, you can edit Google cards to stay updated with the latest football scores if you can’t watch the game. You can customize Google Now according to your needs so that you can get all your preferred information automatically. In order to learn more on how to set up Google Now, you can read my Google Now post.


If you’re totally new to the Android OS, you’ll find all these customization features really helpful and even if you have used Android before, the features above will help you interact better with your Galaxy S3. You might even want to further take advantage of your S3 by learning to take screenshots, resetting the phone or unlocking the S3.

After using these features, I’m sure you’ll love your Galaxy S3 even more as you’ll be able to modify it more towards your preferences. Feel free to downgrade your phone or update your S3 as well for more customization. If you have any questions on how to customize your Samsung Galaxy S3, feel free to mention them in the comments section below!

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  1. I am new to smart phones. I have a Galaxy 3, and love it. I have icons all over the place: like one or two on one screen. How do I put the icons on one page.?
    Thank you

    1. Sue
      I can’t understand your question clearly. You can hold the icons and drag them onto your preferred screen. Hope I answered.

  2. How might I add shortcut (link) to folder on my Samsung S3 home screen?
    I have a folder located in /storage/emulated/0/Pictures/kids and I would like to create a shortcut to the “kids” directory on my home screen. Is this possible?
    In Linux I would have no problem, but Android… not so much 🙁

  3. Hi there, i have a Samsung 3 , my question is, on the messaging area, when i send a text/message,on the conversation list, i used to send a text and receive a reply that will show, after my text, (like a response),but now, the reply is located before my text,making it look like is an old response and sometimes i miss it, how can i change the way of receiving my reply’s? thanks

    1. Oswaldo,
      Try clearing cache of the messaging app from Settings. I personally think this is a time issue. Make sure that your phone’s date and time are up to date. You should use automatic date and time.

  4. I have a T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S 3, version 4.3. I had an icon that took me directly to DISPLAY (settings=>my device=>display) because I change the Screen timeout all the time. Even though I have Smart Stay, it doesn’t work, (possibly because I have a light coming from behind my left shoulder), so when I’m using my phone I change the timeout to 10 minutes. When the phone will be idle, I keep it at 15 seconds timeout, where it actually only stays on for about 2 seconds – ugh!

    I can’t remember how I set that Display icon!

    I have to always keep my phone powered on because if I don’t and I get a text, the text shows the time I turned my phone back on, not the time the text was received. I powered my phone off for the first time in months, and when I turned it on, the camera icon was back where the Display settings had been.

    Can you tell me how to create the Display icon (or, even better, a Screen Timeout icon!)?

    Sorry this was so long. I have SO many problems/questions regarding my S3.

  5. I don’t have a lock screen options on my Galaxy S3 that allows me to change the shortcuts. Any ideas for how to change them now? Settings/security has nothing; settings/lock screen/lock screen widgets doesn’t have a shortcut option.

  6. I used to have an Android phone with a customizable side buttone – I set it to open the phone app. Can I customize the SIII’s side button? By the time I swipe my lock screen and get to the camera icon, the moment is often long gone!

  7. I used to have the ability to choose a couple of different ways to edit the wallpaper I’ve chosen. It would ask: ” just once”, or “always”. I must have accidentally picked always because now it no longer gives me a choice. How do I get the choices back? Also my s3 doesn’t charge the same way it used to. It takes much longer. I’ve been told it probably is not the battery, any ideas or suggestions?

    1. Bob
      Go to app manager in Settings and tap on the app that has become your default wallpaper settings app. Clear defaults of that app. For charging, try a different charger or try resetting your phone. If it still doesn’t charge properly, then it might be the battery.

  8. Good day hey !! ( yeah , I’m Canadian …:) )

    Ok , I had a LG p970 for the last 2 years … was ok , but was time to get another phone so I ended up with the Galaxy S3 … nice phone , all is great ( except for the battery life ….this thing is inssssane …I have to charge it every now and again … ) anyways , I used Zedge on my LG , and uses it on my S3 but for some reason , the notification ringtone that I choose for text is not working , the S3 always comes back to the originals default notification ringtones ….should I remove Zedge et re-download it ??

    Tks a bunch hey !!


    1. Rick,
      For battery life, maybe a third party app is messing with your phone. Try uninstalling it and remove zedge and install it back again. This might fix the issue. Let me know the feedback.

  9. I’ve had my S3 since Christmas of last year and love it. I have somehow though gotten a google based something that I have to slide to close, it’s a different photo everyday and has google app icons at the bottom. So now I have to unlock my phone with my swipe, then close this thing (I don’t even know what to call it) before I get to my home screen.

    HELP! I don’t want to have to reset to factory.

    1. Kristi,
      Does it show any name or title? May be it’s google now? You can try disabling your google search app from the app list in settings.

  10. How do I customize my side button ?
    Yes I have the S3 .. I want to customize my side button to take pictures .

    1. Hi Paris,
      What version of Android do you have?
      If you have Android 4.3 please try the following steps.

      1) Open the Camera App
      2) Tap the Cogwheel icon to go to the settings menu
      3) Scroll down and find the Volume key option and tap it
      4) Choose the camera key option
      5) Go back to the camera screen
      Please let me know if this has worked for you.

  11. I have a Galaxy S3 and wanted to change the background in my settings menu from black to white. Can this be done?

    1. Lanie,
      Good news, it can be done by following these simple steps.

      Settings>>My Device>>Accessibility>>Negative Colors.

      As soon as you activate Negative colors, the background should turn white automatically. Hope this helps.

  12. Is it able to decrease icons’ size? I don’t know it’s automatically increased even in notification panel

    1. Mathew,
      Do mean if it is possible to decrease the font size directly from the smartphone or if there is an app in the post that does that? If you want to decrease the font size directly from your S3, please review #2 Customize Fonts.

  13. JOA Team….before I loose my hair, I hope you can guide me how to put camera shortcut on home screen (I have a locked screen).
    Love my S3 4.4.2 kit kat thru Sprint and unable to get answers for my particular phone and carrier.

    1. Hi Francesca,
      So, you are unable to get into your phone? Is that what you mean when you say that you have a locked screen?

  14. Another q here..why in widget for Settings Shortcut in S3 kit kat 4.4.2 camera isn’t displayed?
    Thanks again,

  15. I have a samsung galaxy 3. Can I hide the “location” icon in upper home screen (next to wifi icon, when you browse down). Sometimes by mistake I disable it and I want it to be “on” always.
    Thank you.

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