Fix the GPS on Your Samsung Galaxy-S Based Phone (Vibrant, Captivate)

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One of my favorite features of Android and its core apps is Google Maps Navigation. Having the power of Google Search directly connected to navigation within one button press, what else do I need to say?

My issue came when I upgraded to the new Samsung Vibrant, only to discover that the GPS never seemed to get a lock on my location, even when I was in direct view of the sky. Samsung has already acknowledged the issue, and says it will be fixed in the next OTA update, whenever that may be. Being impatient and technologically mischievous , I looked elsewhere for a more timely solution. I found it within several XDA Developer Forum threads, detailing numerous different methods of improving the GPS signal on the Samsung Galaxy S devices, which at the moment include the T-Mobile Vibrant and the AT&T Captivate. Here are the two more successful methods, and a third fix untested by myself, that I found to temporarily fix this bug until Samsung officially handles it in their next OTA update.

Method One – Most Successful in my testing, quickest GPS lock

Disable ‘Use Wireless Networks’ under Settings —> Location and Security.

Go into LbsTestMode (*#*#1472365#*#*)

Go to Application Settings

Enable MS-Based Mode

Increase Accuracy to 100

Leave the rest stock

Return to the main LbsTestMode menu

Go to SUPL/CP Settings

Select the Serve FQDN Type drop down menu
Hit AUTO Config
Exit to the dialer and reboot your Vibrant twice for good measure.

Method Two – Worked, but was not as quick locking onto your location

1 – Disable “Use Wireless Networks” – Settings / Location & Security

2 – Dial *#*#1472365#*#*

3 – Under “Application settings” Change “Operation Mode” to MS Based

4 – Under “SUPL/CP Settings” Change the SERVER & PORT to supl.google.com and port 7276 [ Do not use www. in front of supl]

5 – REBOOT

6 – Turn back on the “User Wireless Networks”

Method Three – Untested by myself, but others have said it works

1 – Dial *#*#1472365#*#*

2 – Go outside to get an unimpeded GPS fix.

3 – Choose Delete GPS Data button.

4 – Choose Get Position Test button. Let it run for 3 min or until you have 10 to 12 Sat locks and back out.

Source: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=739662

Source: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=728894

About the Author

Jason Bowdach
Jason is a technology and media enthusiast. He loves the Android OS, although his interests go far beyond the cell phone platform. He enjoys keeping himself up-to-date on the film and cinematography industry, as well as the ever-changing world of personal computers and gaming. He studied Communications - Media Studies and Organizational Psychology at San Diego State University, and is pursuing a career within the broadcast media industry. In his free time, besides playing with the never-ending supply of custom Android builds or theming, he enjoys caring for his 60-gallon aquarium, training his white-golden retriever puppy, catching up on quality films and TV shows, and playing the occasional video game.

  • Only Loki

    Method 2 seems to work the best for me. Method 3 only works temporarily. And it still takes along time to get a lock.

  • Only Loki

    Method 2 seems to work the best for me. Method 3 only works temporarily. And it still takes along time to get a lock.

  • t1h5ta3

    ive tryed every method, best i got was 3-4 min to pick 9-10 sats, mostly with a crappy 15-20db signal ocationaly a few up pin the 30-40db range. but it only locks to 1-2 , and they are usualy @ 0db!!

  • t1h5ta3

    ive tryed every method, best i got was 3-4 min to pick 9-10 sats, mostly with a crappy 15-20db signal ocationaly a few up pin the 30-40db range. but it only locks to 1-2 , and they are usualy @ 0db!!

  • bob

    Method 1 is the best by far the best in my area (Redmond, WA)

    Initial lock from cold start from 5 – 30 sec
    where it used to take from 2 minutes to several minutes
    using method 2

    Note: I also have Skyhook turned On with both method 1 and 2
    Tried method 3 while using method 2 settings and didn’t notice a change

    Summary of settings changes from default:
    MSbased
    FQDN: Auto Config
    Accuracy 100
    Skyhook On

    Maybe I can keep this phone now :)

  • bob

    Method 1 is the best by far the best in my area (Redmond, WA)

    Initial lock from cold start from 5 – 30 sec
    where it used to take from 2 minutes to several minutes
    using method 2

    Note: I also have Skyhook turned On with both method 1 and 2
    Tried method 3 while using method 2 settings and didn’t notice a change

    Summary of settings changes from default:
    MSbased
    FQDN: Auto Config
    Accuracy 100
    Skyhook On

    Maybe I can keep this phone now :)

  • dan

    Workarounds for many people (myself included) don’t work.

    The Galaxy S Captivate I bought has shoddy/broken GPS- google it ans see all the complaints that GPS f(x) is craptastic on this phone. Lots of people complaining.
    Great phone- screen, speed, etc.
    GPS Broken- FAIL

  • dan

    Workarounds for many people (myself included) don’t work.

    The Galaxy S Captivate I bought has shoddy/broken GPS- google it ans see all the complaints that GPS f(x) is craptastic on this phone. Lots of people complaining.
    Great phone- screen, speed, etc.
    GPS Broken- FAIL

  • Jason

    make sure you change to cold start!!!! it will right away when i did that.

  • Jason

    make sure you change to cold start!!!! it will right away when i did that.

  • David

    Method 1 worked the best for me, gps lock in less than 20 sec. Withe the default settings and method 2 it took me 2 to 5 minutes to get a gps lock. With method 3 I gave up waiting for a gps lock.

  • Tony

    Does anybody know what the original/factory Accuracy setting was? I’ve changed the parameters in my Captivate using this method, and it seems to work better, but I wanted to experiment a little bit. I don’t want to factory reset the whole phone just to take it back to the original GPS settings. Also, if anybody knows what the Accuracy setting actually means, that would be even better. Thanks!

  • Raedertc

    I used the third method on my Galaxy 5 and it worked.
    Will try the first two methods too, and see which one gets better results.

  • Alexmine

    Hello, used 1st method, wait a couple of minutes to cold start, thes seem to react better than stock, but not so sure.
    What about mix 1st &2nd method?

    Disable ‘Use Wireless Networks’ under Settings —> Location and Security.
    Go into LbsTestMode (*#*#1472365#*#*)
    Go to Application Settings
    Enable MS-Based Mode
    Increase Accuracy to 100
    Return to the main LbsTestMode menu
    Go to SUPL/CP Settings
    Select the Serve FQDN Type drop down menu
    Hit AUTO Config
    then add this 2nd method:
    Change the SERVER & PORT to supl.google.com and port 7276 [ Do not use www. in front of supl]

    • Multiman2008

      How do you go into Lbs Testmode? Can’t see where Enable MS=base mode in the applications settings.. help!

  • Its_me_owkay

    Ms based mode.. Skyhook on.. Accuracy set to 35..
    Installed gpsepicfix..
    VoiLa!!! Got 10m real accuracy in 15sec with my xwjm8

  • http://www.gpscardvd.com/wholesale-car-gps-dvd-players-car-gps-dvd-for-honda_c2470 crv gps 8 inch

    Method 2 seems to work the best for me too .

  • http://www.gpscardvd.com/wholesale-car-gps-dvd-players-car-gps-dvd-for-honda_c2470 crv gps 8 inch

    Method 2 seems to work the best for me too .

  • Jaitulsi

    Thanks a lot!!. No 3 worked for my Galaxy 5 also.

  • Jaitulsi

    Thanks a lot!!. No 3 worked for my Galaxy 5 also.

  • thehut

    Method 1 works perfectly… Didn’t need to try the other two, so can’t comment on their effectiveness. Running Samsung Galaxy S (i9000) in Android 2.1, rooted.

  • JPJPG

    i installed the jpjpg rom and it have gps fix, i now get fix in few seconds without any tweeking.

  • Paul F

    I recently found a new Method that worked perfectly for Samsung Galaxy 5

    Make sure GPS has been activated.

    1. Press *#*#1472365#*#*. This will bring to GPS setting.
    2. Settings -> Parameter Settings -> Address -> Server Type: 1x MPC
    3. Settings -> Parameter Settings -> Position mode: option3
    4. Settings -> Fix Request Settings -> Session Operation: Standalone
    5. Settings -> Fix Request Settings -> Server Option: Local
    6. gpsOne XTRA -> Xtra Enable: Enable

  • Howie

    I’ve been having the same issues with my Galaxy S

    I just used meathod 1 to correct the problem and it worked perfectly.

    many thanks to those who have put all the hard work in to find a solution

  • Stevetemp

    what do you mean cold start

  • Anonymous

    I use Method One , it work perfect for my Samsung Galaxy SL . Thank You So Much !!

  • Smeulzmeilor

    Ok the 3rd method works too on my galaxy 550 Cool!

  • Da_younk_sta

    great…i use method no.3…it working on my samsung sl…

  • Scrap340

    I can’t get into the gps settings mode even after dialing *#*#1472365#*#* so many times. I’m using firmware version 2.3.3 and kernel version 2.6.35.7 root. Any help will be much appreciated.

    • Cameron

      I have the same problem. After dialing *#*#1472365#*#* the “add to contacts” suddenly disappears, but nothing opens up.

  • Harru

    I cant get the gps setting mode by fialing that no. pls somebody help me… I’m using froyo 2.2

  • Harru

    I cant get the gps setting mode by dialing that no. pls somebody help me… I’m using froyo 2.2

    • Cameron

      I’ve just found the new settings code for Froyo: Dial *#3214789650# to open gps settings

      • Cameron

        Actually that code is wrong. Correct code is *#*#3214789650#*#*

  • gugiu

    http://cataunforgiven.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/rezolvare-problema-gps-samsung-galaxy-s-i9000/
    put there arround 4/5 postits.
    if you push on the top of the antenna, you will see on gps test the sattelites :)
    good luck
    romanians aren’t stupid :)

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