Galaxy Note 5 screen not recognizing finger touches, touchscreen is unresponsive, other issues

Today, we answer some screen problems on the #GalaxyNote5. The Note 5 screen has a proven quality but some members of Android community would like to disagree. So, for those Note 5 users who may also have similar situations with three users mentioned below, we hope that you’ll find our suggestions useful.

If you are looking for solutions to your own #Android issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page.

When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Below are specific topics we’re bringing for you today:

Problem 1: Galaxy Note 5 screen not recognizing finger touches

Thanks for the opportunity to share my frustration with my Samsung device. I got it a couple of months ago and it was functioning perfectly until the glass cracked. I used it a few weeks thereafter and both the touch and the S-Pen were still working but I didn’t like the sign of the broken screen at the right bottom corner. So I decided to get the glass replaced, which I did. The touch started malfunctioning a couple of days after replacing the glass. Now it’s failing to recognize my fingers. It only recognizes the S-Pen. I’m really worried and wondering what I can do to get this problem fixed. Thanks. — Kojo

Solution: Hi Kojo. We seldom hear of Galaxy Note 5 display problems due to normal wear and tear, that is, the monitor or digitizer failing to work when the phone was not dropped, physically impacted, or exposed to elements (moisture/heat/cold). If you never misused the phone and the screen just cracked on its own, you may have received a bad Note 5. For this case, be sure to contact Samsung or the retailer who sold you the phone so it can be repaired or replaced.

If, however, the phone was dropped or exposed to water or elements, that clearly is not Samsung’s fault. We don’t expect that you did misuse your phone but we know for a fact that a Galaxy Note 5 screen is a pretty durable piece of hardware. It doesn’t break easily although it’s not totally immune to physical damage. It’s still mainly made up of glass so even a little drop can potentially damage it.

Now, if the monitor (the part that shows the images) appears to work properly (no lines, discoloration, flickering) but the phone appears not to recognize your touches, there may be a problem with the digitizer. The digitizer is thin layer over the monitor that captures finger touches and converts them into signals that are sent via a flex cable to the motherboard. To check if that’s the case, do a factory reset and observe if it changes anything. If you’re lucky and a software glitch is the one causing the digitizer to fail, a factory/master reset should fix the issue. If the issue remains after a master reset though, that’s a clear indicator that you’re experiencing a malfunctioning display. To fix it, you must have digitizer or entire screen assembly replaced.

To master reset your Note 5, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home buttons first, and then press and hold the Power key.
  3. Keep the three buttons pressed and when ‘Samsung Galaxy Note5’ shows, release the Power key but continue holding the other two.
  4. Once the Android logo shows, release both the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  5. The notice ‘Installing system update’ will show on the screen for 30 to 60 seconds before the Android system recovery screen is shown with its options.
  6. Use the Volume Down key to highlight the option Yes — delete all user data and press the Power key to select it.
  7. When the process is complete, use the Volume Down key to highlight the option ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key to restart the phone.
  8. The reboot may take a little longer to complete but don’t worry and wait for the device to become active.

Problem 2: Galaxy Note 5 digitizer is broken, needs replacement, touchscreen unresponsive

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 with Family Mobile. Touchscreen unresponsive. S Pen works. Volume, Power and Home buttons work. The Menu and Back work by touch. It had previously rebooted itself periodically, frozen, and the brightness and other settings changed. When the touchscreen stopped responding, I deleted some programs, files and the SD card files because it sometimes said that it was full. I rebooted, cleared the cache partition, reset, removed the back and squeezed the phone with my thumb and forefinger where the heart monitor is. All that I have accomplished is losing my backup information because it won’t restore from my computer. Do I need a digitizer, screen or have I accidentally changed a setting? — Emily DeLozier

Solution: Hi Emily. There are three major components in your phone’s display assembly — monitor, digitizer, and flex cable. As mentioned above, the monitor is the part that shows the images we see on the screen. On top of the monitor is the digitizer. We think this is the part that’s not working properly. This is caused by either a software glitch (very rare but can be fixed by a factory reset) or a hardware malfunction. Since your issue is similar to Kojo above, be sure to read our suggestions for him. Remember, while there are a lot of do-it-repair videos and guides that will help you replace the digitizer or the screen assembly, you may end up causing more problems than solutions if you’ll botched the process. If you don’t have the expertise and tools to replace the screen (you’ll still buy the replacement parts and tools yourself), let a professional do the repair for you.

Problem 3: Galaxy Note 5 screen is frozen on Samsung logo screen

My Note 5 is frozen on the opening Samsung screen. The only things I can do so far are:


  • Press volume down, power to bring up the Maintenance Boot Mode screen. I can scroll up and down the options, but I can only “select” option 4 — Power Down. If I “enter” on any of the other 3 options, the screen freezes and my only option is to press volume down-power again to get that screen back unfrozen.
  • Press volume down-power-home buttons to bring up the Custom OS Warning screen. I can press volume up and get the Downloading screen. But it just freezes there forever. The volume down key brings up the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 startup screen, but it freezes there forever. NOTE: I tried doing power-home-volume UP but nothing at all happens.
  • Also, when “powered off” and plugged in, the charging icon appears as an empty battery and does not progress to full. When I unplug the charger, the icon remains.


I had performed no recent updates. The screen originally froze while on my United Airlines app. It had given me no trouble leading up to this. A local phone repair shop tried 3 different batteries, to see if that was the issue. They had no luck. — Candrews

Solution: Hi Candrews. We usually see the freezing screen scenario you’re in right now when a user tampers with the software by flashing, or if a rooting procedure has gone bad. At times, a device can also fail to boot up normally due to a hardware issue, like when it’s dropped or exposed to water/moisture. In both of these situations, there may or may not be a need to send the phone in to Samsung.

If you did tamper with the software, and hopefully did not cause any permanent damage to the storage device, you should be able to fix the problem, if master reset is unsuccessful, by reflashing the bootloader and/or firmware. This means that you’ll re-install the stock bootloader and/or firmware via Odin. If you haven’t tried it before, here are general steps on how to do it:

  1. Look for the correct firmware for your phone model and download it. Make sure that you select the right one. It should be the same exact firmware that ran previously on your device. We assume that you list down the firmware version somewhere. If you did not take note of it before, there’s a chance that you may pick the wrong one. As you may know now, using an incorrect firmware can cause complications so good luck with that.
  2. Let’s now say that you have identified the correct firmware. You then want to download it to your computer. The firmware file should have a bunch of files in it like AP_, BL_, CSC_, etc.
  3. Look for the file that starts with a label BL; this should be the corresponding bootloader file for this firmware. Once you’ve identified the bootloader file, copy it to your computer’s desktop or to any other folder that you can easily access.
  4. Proceed with the rest of the flashing procedure using the Odin program.
  5. In Odin, click on the BL tab and make sure to use the bootloader file you’ve identified earlier.
  6. Now, make sure that the “Device Added” status and its “ID:COM box” has turned blue before hitting the START button. This will initiate the flashing of your phone’s bootloader.
  7. Restart the phone once the procedure is finished.

The steps below assumes a number of things including:

  • the fact that you’ve already tried flashing a Samsung device before
  • that you are familiar with the necessary tools for the operation, and that
  • you are aware of the risks involved, including the fact that you can potentially brick the phone for good

Flashing is only recommended for advanced users so if it’s your first time to do it, you must do enough research on the subject. The steps above may not be the exact way to flash your particular phone model. Again, be sure to do due diligence in looking for guides on how to do it properly to prevent causing serious problems to your device.

And remember, flashing the bootloader and/or firmware are not guaranteed solutions. If the phone has suffered physical damage, no software tweak will help you fix it. You must have it checked by Samsung so you’ll know if the device can be fixed or not.


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