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What to do about your Samsung Galaxy S8 with a flickering screen [Troubleshooting Guide]

A flickering screen is a sign of a serious hardware issue but based on our experience, there are cases wherein this issue occurs due to a firmware problem. We’ve already addressed this kind of problem a few weeks after the Samsung Galaxy S8 was released since there were already users that were complaining about it. However, we keep getting complaints about this kind of problem even now that Samsung already rolled out several updates.

Just seeing the screen flickering doesn’t tell us exactly what the problem really is or what causes it that’s why we need to do some troubleshooting procedures to have a clue why the problem occurs in the first place. Knowing the problem is already halfway to fixing it and many of our readers who contacted us about this issue said it’s just minor and can be fixed without any intervention from a tech. So, if you want to give it a shot, then continue reading below as we may be able to help you, otherwise, go to the store immediately and let the tech handle the problem for  you.

For those who have a Galaxy S8 units that have different concerns, feel free to visit our S8 troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed a lot of issues sent by our readers before. Odds are that there are already existing solutions to your problems. Feel free to find problems that are similar with yours and use the solutions and workarounds we suggested. If they don’t work and you need more help, fill up our Android issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

How to troubleshoot your Galaxy S8 with a flickering screen

Problem: I am hoping you can help me with the problem of my phone. It’s an S8 device given to me as a gift by my son and I think he bought it brand new. The screen turns on and off but it does it very fast that it appears like a static. I don’t know what you guys call this problem but that’s what’s happening with my phone now. It’s very annoying sometimes but it doesn’t actually affect the phone’s performance. I just want it to work flawlessly so please help. Thanks.

Troubleshooting: We just need to find out if the flickering is due to a firmware problem or a hardware issue and if it because of the latter, then there’s only so much we can do about it  because on our side, we can’t open it up and on your side, the moment you remove one screw, then warranty will may already become void. The only option left for you to do is bring your phone to a shop and let an authorized tech handle the problem for you.

However, if the problem is due to a firmware problem, then there’s definitely something we could do. That said, here’s what I suggest you do when your Galaxy S8’s screen starts to flicker without apparent reason…

Step 1: Try doing the Forced Reboot procedure

It’s possible one of the service crashed and while reboot your phone normally often fix the issue, this time I want you to do something that’s more effective–Forced Reboot. It’s basically just like a normal reboot but it does refresh your phone’s memory prior to starting up that’s why it’s more effective than a normal reboot when it comes to fixing issues that have something to do with the firmware.

To do this, press and hold the Volume Down button and the Power key together for 10 seconds. Your phone should reboot normally after this. Now, observe closely to see if the problem still occurs and if it does, move on the next step.

Step 2: Use your phone in Safe mode to see if the screen still flickers

We now want to know if a third-party app is causing this problem and since we don’t know which app it is, we want to disable all third-party apps at once. You just have to run your phone in safe mode to do so:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen.
  3. When “SAMSUNG” appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  4. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  5. Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  6. Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  7. Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.
  8. Uninstall apps that are causing a problem.

If the screen doesn’t flicker while the phone is in this mode, then it’s clear that one or some of the apps you installed is causing the problem. You have to find that app and then uninstall it. You may have to uninstall more than one app to fix the issue and here’s how you remove apps from your S8:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings > Apps.
  3. Tap the desired application in the default list or tap 3 dots icon > Show system apps to display pre-installed apps.
  4. Tap the desired application.
  5. Tap Uninstall.
  6. Tap Uninstall again to confirm.

If, however, you have hundreds of apps in your phone and backing up your files and data is easier and quicker to do than finding the culprit, then you better resort to a reset but make sure to make a backup of your important files and data first:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings > Cloud and accounts.
  3. Tap Backup and restore.
  4. If desired, tap Back up my data to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  5. If desired, tap Restore to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  6. Tap the back button to the Settings menu and tap General Management > Reset > Factory data reset.
  7. Tap Reset.
  8. If you have screen lock turned on, enter your credentials.
  9. Tap Continue.
  10. Tap Delete all.

Step 3: Run your phone in Recovery mode and wipe cache partition

Assuming the screen is still flickering while in safe mode, then you have to move on to troubleshooting the firmware and first thing you have to do is to delete all system caches as some of them may have already been corrupted or obsolete. Wiping the cache partition means you’re deleting all the contents of said directory but don’t worry, those caches will be replaced the moment the phone reboots and here’s how you do it:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  4. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight “wipe cache partition”
  5. Press Power button to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key to highlight “yes” and press the Power key to select.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

If the screen still flickers after this procedure, then move on to the next step.

Step 4: Backup your files and data and reset your phone

After all those steps and your phone’s screen is still flickering, then it’s time to resort to a reset, which will bring your phone back to its factory default settings. However, make sure to make a backup of your important files and data as they will be deleted during the process. And just before you actually reset your phone, turn off the Factory Reset Protection so that you won’t be locked out of your device.

How to disable Galaxy S8 Factory Reset Protection

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Cloud and accounts.
  4. Tap Accounts.
  5. Tap Google.
  6. Tap on your Google ID email address if multiple accounts are setup. If you have multiple accounts setup, you will need to repeat these steps for each account.
  7. Tap 3 dot icon.
  8. Tap Remove account.
  9. Tap REMOVE ACCOUNT.

How to reset your Samsung Galaxy S8

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  4. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight “wipe data / factory reset.
  5. Press Power button to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  7. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  8. When the master reset is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  9. Press the Power key to restart the device.

If the problem still occurs after the reset, then it might be a hardware problem after all. It’s time to bring it back to the store and let the tech handle the problem for you because as far as basic troubleshooting is concerned, you’ve done everything you could.

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