T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant (Galaxy S) GPS issues fix [Tutorial]

LBSTestMode screen on Samsung Galaxy S
LBSTestMode screen on Samsung Galaxy S

I haven’t even had the T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant – which is T-Mobile’s variant of the Galaxy S – for two days, and one of the issues I’ve seen with it so far is that the GPS is just horrible. The Vibrant takes forever to lock onto a GPS signal and when it does, it sometimes shows my location incorrectly. After doing a little snooping around at XDA Developers, I found out I wasn’t the only one, and the forum provided a fix that works great!

There are directions on how to do this on XDA, but the instructions are a little vague and could use some clarification. The guide below should make the process fool-proof. If your Samsung Galaxy S is having GPS accuracy issues, follow the guide below to try to fix the problem.

Fix your T-Mobile Vibrant GPS issues:

  1. Disable “Use Wireless Networks”
    1. Navigate to Settings > Location & Security > uncheck the box next to “Use Wireless Networks”
  2. Go to the phone and dial *#*#1472365#*#*
    1. This step throws you into LBSTestMode menu
  3. In the LBSTestMode menu change “Operation Mode” to MS Based
  4. In the LBSTestMode menu, find “SUPL/CP Settings” and change the SERVER & PORT to supl.google.com and port 7276 (DO NOT use www. in front of supl)
  5. REBOOT
  6. Enable “Use Wireless Networks”
    • Navigate to Settings > Location & Security > check the box next to “Use Wireless Networks”

Should you want to revert back to your original GPS settings, you’ll need to re-enter you factory specs:

Original settings:
Operation Mode: Standalone
SERVER: www.spirent-lcs.com
PORT: 7275

After doing this, I experienced an immediate improvement in the time it took to get a GPS signal lock. Hope this helps any of you who were experiencing problems. Samsung is said to be aware of the problem, and are planning a fix in the next update for the Vibrant. It’s not clear if the above fix works on all Galaxy S variants, but we can confirm that it works on the AT&T Captivate.

[Via: XDA-Developers]

  • div3rg3nt

    Ran this update on my Captivate and I'm not sure how much it helped. Admittedly, I had not used the GPS function for driving directions yet, but I did last night and it seemed to poll for a GPS signal for quite a while.

    • blakestimac

      It should work on the Captivate, but most GPS issues seem to come from the Vibrant.

    • Alex

      See my comment down below.

  • John

    Ran this on my Vibrant, worked great. I am viewing 10 sats, locked onto 8 and have an accuracy of 5 meters.

    • Cole

      How do you see how many sats and whatnot?

      • Alex

        Go to market and load app GPS test

  • Bill C.

    I have a Captivate and this did nothing to help. I am open to any suggestions before returning the phone.

    • dave

      There is a captivate specific fix on the forum at xda developers. It gets a little more specific, and helped a lot. Search on captivate gps fix. I believe its a sticky post. Good luck.

  • SpaceQ

    Dude u saved me… I am developing instant position sharing via web site- http://exooc.com as a web application and for 3 weeks during development and testing I saw on my galaxy S problems with agps…. gonna link 4 sol. here!

  • Bobo

    Please stop calling this a “fix” – it fixes nothing on the Captivate. This is inexcuasble by Samsung, Less time on clunky UI no one wants, more time on actual functionality!.

    • blakestimac

      what do you call a 'fix' that solves a problem? If we saw an immediate improvement in the Captivate, wouldn't you imagine we may had included it in the title of this post? It executes correctly for the captivate, but still doesn't have the effect that the Vibrant gets.

  • Ray

    I didnt really have an issue with my Vibrant on this but one time it wouldnt find a signal, than after a reboot it went fine. However, anything that makes it faster, im all for.

    Thanks.

  • Jason Lazaroff

    I have had nothing but phone lockups, freezes, and issues since trying out these settings. I ended up going back to the factory settings and while the GPS doesn't work as well as when using these settings, the phone itself is more usable

    • Rajiv

      That's my case too. My phone started to freeze when I ran Google Maps. I'm returning back to the old settings.

      • AP

        +1 Lots of instability after the fix, with somewhat better performance in between crashes.

        • Willuz

          Agreed, after applying these settings there’s a 50% chance of any GPS application simply locking up the Vibrant and requiring a reboot to fix it. On top of that it locks on even slower than before.

  • Alan

    Thanks, now I am able to get my position from inside of my house.

  • thunk

    Fabulous, this way even works with Galaxy S from Optus (Australia).

  • Light

    This change only helps the gps get an position, the gps still has problems locking onto satellites. In addition, the gps accuracy is poor. I have a g1 and vibrant. The g1 locks on faster and to more satellites than the vibrant. Its position accuracy is also much better than the vibrants. Anyone who thinks this fixes the problem hasn't run gpstest or any of the other android apps that show what the gps is really doing. There is a hardware or firmware issue with this phone.

  • Ivan

    Yes, thank you soo much!

  • Matt Fultz

    Just tried this fix on my Vibrant, I went from 10-15min for a GPS lock and off by about a city block before the fix to about 30 seconds and within 25ft accurate after it. I installed an app called GPS Test and its showing 10 sat's and 8 locks, where before it was 3 sat's and 2 locks. Who ever came up with this fix is a GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!

  • Paulo

    I did this procedure with my captivate. So far, the gps location look up became faster. Still needs more testing. Going out later this afternoon and check how it would really fare outside.

  • Guest

    I have a tmobile Vibrant. I have been in the GPS industry for over 7 years doing testing, implementation and data collection. I was hesitant at first about this fix because it says to "Use Wireless Networks" and I assumed this was really just a workaround not a fix. I thought it would be using cell towers for location purposes and not the GPS. The great news is that it actually affects the GPS and actually lets me use it because I couldn't before. I noticed my GPS wasn't working properly a few days ago so I installed GPS Status. The screen was always blank and when I tried the Navigation App it would freeze up causing my phone to crash. After applying this fix my GPS status window came right up and immediately locked onto 2 sattelites and to my surprise actually game me a decent location….well within 100m (that's actually great for commercial GPS without any realtime corrections being applied). I then still thought that it might be locating me off of wireless networks so I turned that option off while keeping the GPS location option on. I then went back into navigation and received my location. So, in short, this fix works great for the Tmobile Vibrant.

    • Brandon M.

      I was having the same issues as far as the apps that required the GPS, just a black screen showed up. After following the directions for the GPS fix, it works perfectly fine! For MyLocation it actually finds my exact house and location! Before it was waaaay off and now its dead on! Thanks!

  • Alex

    I have captivate and I couldn't get a lock at all. Now it works amazing, even inside of my home. I changed only three settings;
    1. From Standalone to MS Based
    2.Sky hook from off to ON
    3. SUPL/CL Settings set server to AUTO
    Don' forget to reset the phone.
    Now I get lock in less then 10 sec.

    • JimC

      Thanks Alex, Your procedure worked great on my Captivate too!

  • LALA *817*

    DID THE JOB THANKS….BY THE WAY ITS FOR T-MOBILE… DUMS!!DUMS!!

    • Jim

      They're the exact same phone idiot. GPS has nothing to do with the cellular carrier.

  • TC!

    I have Galaxy S and i've been using Sportypal. The problem is that if i walk 10 kilometers, it tracks about 15km. When you look at the map, you can see the trail going zigzag even if you walk straight line, no wonder if the distance is way too much.

    This fix didn't change anything, but thanks to this article i found that changing "accuracy" value in Application settings menu really changes gps behavior. It was 50 by default and when i changed it to 100, then it really went crazy and my walking speed seemed to be 20km/h! Bigger number means more sensitivity, and more inaccuracy when moving slowly. I tested different values, and compared them to Nokia Sports Tracker (which i know to be accurate), and found that Accuracy value 4 is right, at least for walking speeds. Haven't tested it yet on faster speeds.

  • Amy

    Great fix, I live in NYC and my GPS went from being unusable to totally fine once I implemented these changes. Thanks!

  • mdt

    While my Vibrant’s GPS seemed adequate I went ahead with this fix anyhow. First, I downloaded GPS Test and saw that 13 satellites were in view, but I was locked on 2. Accuracy was 53 feet. After following these steps I had 13 satellites in view and was locked on 2. However, when I went to Google Maps and zoomed in on my location, it showed my position as standing on the steps of my office building; 12 feet away from where I was physically located. Impressive.

  • Paddyb

    Be carefull trying this.

    I gave this, and the skyhook tweek a go, switching between these two and the default settings, and at some point, gps just stopped working. I came on again a day later, but now i've golt nothing, not even a satellite indicater icon. No satellites whatsoever found in GPS Test, whichever settings i use. Any ideas how to fix it?

  • Chad ccccc

    I noticed an immediate change with this fix and the accuracy is way better,still not as good as my G! but lets hope they fix the error in the september update after all I didnt trade in my already awesome phone, for an even better phone supposedly where the gps sucks, but everything else works great

  • DaveL

    Thanks, this fix worked great for my Vibrant…Google Maps and Navigation now quickly lock on to my position.

  • Number Wang

    Worked like a charm Phone went from seeing one sat slowly to picking up eleven all from the comfort of the sofa in my living room. Much Much faster . This was tmy biggest issue with my new vibrant

  • Ericson07

    This didn’t work for me. I’m in the DC area and go sailing from downtown DC to Arlington, VA. This is my 4th trip down and I still had a lot of issues getting GPS to work with Google Maps Navigation. It just couldn’t find my location. The funny thing is that the trip back up from VA tends to have no issues.

    This was on a Vibrant. My phone has other issues so they’re sending me a new one. I’ll let you know if I still have issues on the new phone (whether I do the fix or not).

  • Desika Nadadur

    Worked great on my Vibrant! Thanks for the article.

    Desika

  • Mo

    tried fix no help on vibrant in Miami. Any suggestions?

  • Jake

    After the first drive with the sygic navigation apps installed a big dissapointment. The fix took for “ages” and was way off. After thetweek as mentioned in the posting the fix was within 15 seconds and very accurate. The road test still has to come.

    Greetz Jake

  • Santiago

    Hey, I did this fix, and worked for a while, but now it still has same setting from the fix, but the gps is so unaccurate even when it says “accurancy 1 mile” im not even inside that! any more solutions? should I return it? when is the real fix coming out really?

  • Jake

    The road test was a dissapointment. Could hardly get a fix. But I discovered something else. After I let my nav program (Sygic) search for a GPS device, the fix is immediately and accurate within 25 feet! (without internet connection!) It would seem that the GPS works all right, just the initial communication between the software and GPS seem to be the problem.

  • Chris

    Hi,

    My GPS was almost unusable until now. This fix delivered a huge improvement to the GPS functionality on my standard Galaxy S on t-mobile Netherlands.

    Thanks

  • matyus

    thanks!

  • tdr2150

    this patch only works until you kill the google maps. If you kill the google maps you have to redo all the steps again

  • http://micbeast.com/Live SINISTA BEATZ

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THIS FIX WILL CRASH YOUR PHONE IF IT IS ROOTED
    AND USING “LAUNCHER PRO” OR “PRO PLUS”

    IF YOU HAVE A ROOTED PHONE USE THE DEFAULT SETTINGS
    OR REVERT BACK TO THEM!
    OR YOUR PHONE WILL CRASH
    GPS WORKS BEAUTIFULLY ON DEFAULT WITH ROOT

  • Adam

    This worked great on my Vibrant. Before, my GPS would always show me as standing in the last place that I got Google Maps to work in, even though it took forever. I followed the instructions and now, in my office with no window, it showed me as being exactly where I am almost immediately. I hope it doesn’t crash, as others say it may, but this is a dramatic improvement. I can’t wait to try it outside during lunchtime!

  • Sun Zu

    I was interested in this so called “fix,” so I tried and it kinda worked for a couple days. Then it all of a sudden started doing the same thing….on my TMO Vibe. I got discusted with TMO for reasons I’m not gonna get into. Lets just say it really had nothing to do with the phone, being the latest studies puts the Galaxy S Series number 2 phone line IN THE WORLD behind the iPhone. And I see why,…damn good phone line.

    N.E.Wayz, I unlocked the TMO Vibe and moved over to AT&T…Perfecto! The phone works great on this network, but the GPS was still bugy. So I implemented the fix again after a hard reset and the same sad results. So, me being the 20+ engineer I am, my natural instinct to try different settings (trial and error) kicked in and I finally found a setting that was so percise and quick that it almost scared me on the capabilities the phone actually has when you find the setting that works best for you.

    NOT ALL WILL HAVE THE SAME OUTCOME WITH JUST ONE OR TWO “FIXES.” Keep in mind that your location, terrain, natural electro magnetic forces, satellite to device time ratio, sun’s rays, clouds, and atmosphere, etc. all play a part in One’s outcome. And since we’re located on different parts of the planet, different parts of the planet have different resistant forces that effect EVERYTHING. So don’t go getting all bent up about one or two fixes not working for you. You already took the time to take matters into your own hands and fix things yourself anyways. AND THERE”S NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT DEVICE………YET! No matter what your comments are or will be, if there were a perfect mobile device it would need no updates or updated models. We’re all still learning! I’ve been programming since 1983, 2 years before the first PC, and we’ve come a long way in the last 25 years. There was no such thing as GPS in mobile devices when alot of us was even born. Now we’re phasing out the use for home computers…………………….RELAX…..!!!!

    Good job to the One’s who took the time out to even help any of us that was stuck with no way out in the first place. You helped open up understanding on our devices so that we may look in the right direction for a viable fix.
    MY SETTINGS
    1) Turn off “Use wireless networks”

    2) Go to dial pad,
    Type: *#*#1472365#*#*

    3) -LbsTestMode
    – Application Settings -
    > Operation Mode: MS Based
    > Use SkyHook: On
    – SUPL/CP Settings -
    > Server FQDN Type: AUTO Config

    4) Power off device and power back on

    5) Reactivate “Use wireless networks”
    FINISHED!
    Enjoy for all who benefit from this fix! I’m located in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. It sure helps up here.

  • Joe

    The late September AT&T I897UCJH7 update for my Samsung Galaxy S Captivate did not fix my phone’s GPS problem. The lack of accuracy, and the inability to determine its location, makes the phone’s navigation and mapping functions almost useless.

    I was able to compare satellite reception, locking, and position tracking with a side-by-side test between my Captivate and an HTC Nexus One. The Nexus was able to consistently hold location while driving around town, with an accuracy down to 6 feet. The Captivate would freeze while I was in motion and wonder off when I was stopped. Often it would jump to several blocks away, in a different direction, with computed accuracy of only 64, 32, and in rare instances, 16 feet.

    My recommendation to every prospective buyer is do not purchase the Samsung Captivate or any of its other carrier siblings, unless a real fix is made.

  • Anon

    Phone dialer code listed here no longer works. Try *#3214789650# instead.

  • Leolin21

    all numbers desperate when i trying to type the last word *
    anyone know that plz
    glaxyS vibrant

  • Leolin21

    all numbers desperate when i trying to type the last word *
    anyone know that plz
    glaxyS vibrant

  • S Westerhout

    Google Maps did a recent update that seems to have greatly improved the GPS fxn of my Galaxy.

  • S Westerhout

    Google Maps did a recent update that seems to have greatly improved the GPS fxn of my Galaxy.

  • S Westerhout

    Google Maps did a recent update that seems to have greatly improved the GPS fxn of my Galaxy.

  • Gordo

    Just go to the market and find “GPS Restore”. It’s an update app released from Samsung. Install it and then run the APP, let it do it’s thing and you won’t have any more problems. I just did it, took about a minute and then I tested the Navigation. The dreaded “Searching for GPS” prompt was only up for about 10 seconds or so when it locked me in and started spitting out the audible directions. This now finds me faster than my Garmin NUVI, a dedicated Navigation device. I have T-Mobile, Samsung Vibrant 2.2 Froyo. My problem started before the 2.2 update and the 2.2 update did NOT fix it. Don’t mess with your phone by typing in silly codes that don’t work anyway, just search for the official fixes and let the experts do the work for you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mohamed-Mamdouh-Elian/598096057 Mohamed Mamdouh Elian

      I tried this way and it worked. It took like 2 minutes.

    • Vijisanthana

      Gordo thanks man! GPS works absolutely fine now.

      I wish I saw this link before. 

    • witwolf

      OMG…worked like a charm!! My Vibrant locked onto the GOS signal almost instantly!
      Thanks for the info,

  • ragagooo

    There is no software called GPS Restore??

  • Vibrant

    None of this works! Had the G1 when it first came out. Spoiled me because it worked PERFECTLY. This GPS has gotten me lost on a couple of occasions before realizing it’s garbage. Google MAPS is great IF u know where u are!! Without a “You are Here X”, you’re pretty much screwed in unfamiliar terrain.

    At least, if the FEDS are trying to track me, they’ll have to do it the OLD FASHIONED WAY!!

    Sure, no device is “perfect,” but you expect things to WORK. And if a company puts out a LEMON, as is obvious with the number of forums that exist on this subject, SAMSUNG should issue a RECALL or a FIX. I shouldn’t have to make several attempts at fixing a problem that other devices don’t have problems with.

    Thank God for my girlfriend’s HTC Evo. Or else I wouldn’t have made it to my sister’s wedding reception after losing the cars we were following in traffic!!

    SAMSUNG, shame on you!!

  • Jerplane400

    EVERYONE!  Follow Gordo recommendations!  Go to the Market and get Samsungs GPS restore and it will fix the GPS in about two minutes!!!
    AWESOME!

  • Kwkslvr

    The ONLY GPS that really freak’in does ANYTHING useful.

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=878970

  • ggrimm8

    anybody gotten it  to  work with captivate

  • Tim4857

    just tried this and got a instant gps lock. seems to have fixed my issue. captivate froyo 2.2

  • 1johnnyl

    My T-Mobile won’t allow this to be called. Now when I key it in, the number dissappears. T-Mobile seems to have blocked this fix.

  • 1johnnyl

    OH, I have a Galaxy s 4g. Now I know why it was ‘buy one, get one free” at Costco.

  • 1johnnyl

    Oh, there is a free Samsung application called ‘GPS Restore’ in the Android market. Funny, when I downloaded and activated it, it says “Settings cannot be restored for this model – SGH-T959V”. Haha, guess I’m taking it back and getting the Galaxy 2 just like they want me to. I use my GPS daily in my work, so they have me by the B@!!&

  • Catmandu

    No luck on my Gingergbread Captivate.  Key the code and it just vanishes,,, and nothing happens.  Also,, my gps thinks that is tomorrrow !!  Even though the phone knows the date,, the gps is always one day into the future.  My local shop has no idea.  Tomorrow I will try to call my Smartphone Tech Support line, to see if they have a clue.   Oh,, also,, the gps was confused about what day it was before I updated from Froyo, using Kies.  Anyone else have any similar experiences ??

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