Galaxy S8 touchscreen not recognizing finger touches [troubleshooting guide]

A number of our readers have come to us asking for advise how to fix screen problems so here we are. Today’s #GalaxyS8 troubleshooting post tries to address a specific screen issue — touchscreen not working. We want to make one thing clear though. If your S8 touscreen stopped detecting finger inputs after you physically damaged it, or after dropping it, that’s probably the direct reason for the issue. In that case, this post will be largely useless to you. If your S8 has sustained physical damage, you need to have it repaired.

How to fix Galaxy S8 touchscreen not working issue

The Galaxy S8 has an amazing display but it’s still as vulnerable as any touchscreen device out there. Whether your S8 touchscreen has stopped working, working erratically, or keeps on freezing for no apparent reason, there’s the same set of troubleshooting steps and solutions that you can try. Below are the steps that you must do when faced with any touchscreen issue:

Solution #1: Force reboot your S8

In most cases, touchscreen freezing problems are temporary and are caused by software errors that can be resolved by a simple restart. Before you do any of the subsequent troubleshooting steps below, make sure that you restart your S8. if you can’t restart it normally, or if the screen has become unresponsive to allow you to tap on restart option the screen, try these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Power + Volume Down buttons for approximately 10 seconds or until the device power cycles. Allow several seconds for the Maintenance Boot Mode screen to appear.
  2. Once the Maintenance Boot Mode screen appears, select Normal Boot by using volume buttons to cycle through the options. Then, press the lower left button (below the volume buttons) to select.

It may take for some time for your device to boot up normally. Allow up to 90 seconds for it to restart.

Solution #2: Wipe the screen

Some people may suddenly find their device’s touchscreen to be unresponsive not due to an error or malfunction, but simply because it’s dirty, grimy, or wet. If you encounter the same situation, make sure to dry your S8 properly by wiping the screen with a clean microfiber cloth.

If you’re using a screen protector, try removing it to see if it helps. Once you’ve removed the screen protector, make sure to clean the screen again with a lint-free cloth.

Solution #3: Check for bad third party app

If your phone’s touchscreen stopped working after installing an app or after updating some apps, it’s possible that one of them may be interfering with Android. Because Android environment is a complicated environment, there’s always the risk of an app bug affecting core system functions like the touchscreen. To check if this what’s happening in your situation, boot your S8 to safe mode and see what happens. In Safe Mode, third party apps will be prevented from running so if the touchscreen works normally, you can bet there’s a problematic app in there.

To restart your S8 to safe mode, follow these steps:

  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.

Just remember, safe mode is not a solution in itself. If you think that an app is behind the trouble, you should uninstall apps until the problem is gone. Don’t forget to return the phone back to normal mode after you’ve uninstalled an app to know if the problem is still there. If the issue continues, do the same cycle for the rest of your apps.

Third party apps are those that you install after unboxing your S8. Even those that are published by Samsung and Google may be considered third party apps if they’re added later on and not part of the original app package.

Solution #4: Uninstall app/s

If the issue appears to have started after you installed a new app and you can still remember what that app is, try to uninstall it first.

Though there’s no way for us to collect a list of apps that are known to lead to an unresponsive touchscreen issue, many of them are games or productivity apps. This is a general perception though so it can be really be anything.

Solution #5: Dry the device

While the Galaxy S8 is a water resistant device, its touchscreen technology is really no different from the rest of the smartphones today. In general, touchscreens will not work well or at all when wet. Make sure that you wipe and dry your S8 thoroughly to see if it’s merely having trouble with a wet touchscreen. If your screen is cracked, there’s a chance that moisture may seep inside tiny cracks in screen. Because the touchscreen, technically called digitizer, is just a thin layer above the monitor, moisture may create a short inside causing erratic signals to be sent to the logic board. Depending on the volume of signals coming in, your S8’s computer may be overwhelmed which may result to total hardware malfunction.

If you have a cracked screen after your phone was dropped or hit by a hard object, you should contact Samsung so it can be repaired.

Solution #6: Disconnect accessories

Some users were able to regain their touchscreen function after removing connected accessories like SIM card, SD card or charging cables. Try turning off your S8 and remove any accessories you have on there to see if it makes a difference.

Solution #7: Factory reset

Assuming your S8 was not physically damaged, wet, or exposed to temperature extremes, factory reset may help. That’s because the most probable reason is software in nature. If your touchscreen only becomes unresponsive sometimes, be sure to create a backup of your data before wiping it.

If the phone’s screen is totally dead and won’t respond to any input, you must attempt to perform a master reset. It’s a factory reset thru Recovery Mode. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Turn off the S8. if you can’t turn it off normally, wait until the battery is depleted. Once the phone turns off, charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Then, press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the 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.

Solution #8: Professional repair

If master reset will not resolve the issue at all, it’s clear at this point that you have a hardware problem. In order to fix it, you’ll need professional help. Whether within or without warranty, it’s good if you can let Samsung handle the repair. If sending it in to a Samsung Service Center is out of the question, bring the device to the nearest independent repair shop. Just remember, once a third party shop opened and tampered with the hardware, Samsung will no longer accept it for repair if you’ll eventually send it to them, even though you’ll pay the fee.

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Harvey Hisona

Harvey is keen with mobile technology and loves writing about all things mobile. He is passionate in helping technology-challenged people by finding resolution to their issues. Contact me at Email

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