SOLVED: Samsung S3 Android 4.3 Camera Flashes on New Email or Phone Calls

If you have upgraded your Android device (in my case a Samsung S3) to Android 4.3 you likely have found that the camera flash goes off randomly.  Well, it is not so random after all; I found that on the 4 Galaxy S3’s that I experienced this problem, the camera would flash on inbound phone calls and emails.  This got me to thinking about notifications… ya, its not there.  However it IS under ACCESSIBILITY OPTIONS.  This makes sense, if you are near blind or deaf or … having a flash go off when the phone rings might be very useful.

Oddly, in all of my 4 cases the FLASH NOTIFICATION setting was turned OFF, so I clicked it on and then immediately clicked it off and BINGO, the problem was solved.  I did not even have to reboot.


  1. Swipe down from the top of your device to bring up the status windowandroid-4-3-camera-flash-accessibility
  2. Click the round cog near the top right corner of the screen
  3. Click the MY DEVICE button at the top right corner of the screen
    1. Scroll to the very bottom of this list
  4. Click ACCESSIBILITY (in the middle of the screen on my Samsung Galaxy S3)
    1. Scroll to the very bottom of this listandroid-4-3-camera-flash-notification
  5. Click FLASH NOTIFICATION so that it has a check mark  (i.e. turn it on… .ie. the opposite of what you would expect)
  6. Click FLASH NOTIFICATION so that it does NOT have a check mark (i.e. turn if off… i.e. what you expect)
  7. Have a nice day



  1. Avatar
    Ralph Panella June 19, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Thanks- My setting was disabled – I had to enable and then disable to get this fix to take.

  2. Avatar
    Alen Wong June 9, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    My 4.3 does not show “Flash Notifications” , same with PAM Krantz

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    Pam Krantz May 7, 2014 at 10:35 am

    My 4.3 does not show “Flash notifications” under ACCESSIBILITY/HEARING, only Sound balance, Mono audio, and Turn off all sounds. Then the MOBILITY section. Now where do I look?

    • Ian Matthews
      Ian Matthews May 11, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      That is super strange. I have not seen a Samsung S3 without that setting. I would print off this post and go to your local reseller for more assistance.

  4. Avatar
    Darren February 5, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    You be da man! Thanks for the fix. My wife was the one getting paranoid here.

  5. Avatar
    Amy February 1, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Thank you!

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    Kristine January 10, 2014 at 6:09 am

    My S3 has been recently updated to 4.3 I never considered this. I have been hunting for spyware. So I just turned the flash on then turned it off like you suggested. I will see if this is the problem but it does seem to be when an email comes in. I had not thought about that before. I have notifications muted; i wonder if that forced the flash to take over? Thank you for the help.

  7. Avatar
    Chen January 9, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Thanks. It worked. I thought mine was hacked too.

  8. Avatar
    Jim January 8, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Thanks! The flashing was very annoying, your solution is amazing as you had the ingenuity to try a totally counter-intuitive thing. It worked! Thanks

  9. Avatar
    Cori January 8, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Thank you!! Hope it works!!

  10. Avatar
    Nick January 3, 2014 at 6:33 am

    Thank you for the advice! Your fix did resolve the same camera flash problem I was also having with my Galaxy S3 after upgrading to Android 4.3. Go figure!

  11. Avatar
    Gary December 24, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Thank you. I thought I had a virus.

    • Ian Matthews
      Ian Matthews December 26, 2013 at 5:05 pm

      Yes, it is a mess. I spoke with Samsung Business support about this and they claimed they has not seen this issue but according to various media reports it was a big enough problem to pull the Android 4.3 update from the UK until they had it fixed.

      I am glad this help you!

  12. Avatar
    Andrew G December 23, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Like Rob, I also was wondering if my phone was hacked and sending pictures somewhere. Your ‘fix’ worked perfectly on my Samsung Galaxy S3. Thanks a million!

  13. Avatar
    A December 20, 2013 at 8:36 am

    This didn’t work for me. =(

    • Ian Matthews
      Ian Matthews December 23, 2013 at 3:33 am

      I have seen this on 30 of 40 Samsung S3’s that I have worked on and this fix has resolved the issue every time. ALL of the units I have worked on were the North American I747’s that were previously running Android 4.1.3 , perhaps yours was the ‘international’ model.

  14. Avatar
    Rob December 16, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Thank you – I was getting paranoid that my phone was randomly taking and sending photos somewhere.

    • Avatar
      Meredith February 5, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      Funny! I thought someone had planted some type of spying mechanism in my phone!

  15. Avatar
    McTired O'Flashin December 11, 2013 at 5:53 am

    Great! Thank you for this not obvious solution!

Questions or Comments?