There’s a growing number of #GalaxyS8 users reporting about their device showing black-screen-with-white-X issue. This seems to show that this problem has not been addressed by Samsung at all since this was also observed in older Galaxy devices in the past few years. Fortunately, there’s usually an easy way to fix it. If you’re experiencing this trouble, make sure to check the entire article out.
Why black screen with white X appears?
Some Samsung Galaxy devices starting with the S6 started showing this phenomenon. As far as we are concerned, the issue did not go away entirely and some S7 and S8 units still experience this black-screen-with-white-X issue from time to time. Based on a number of cases we’ve examined for years, the main culprit appears to be triggered when one connects the phone to a charger. The thing is, the phone may not detect that it’s connected to a charger. Instead, it appears to be confused by the new input from the charger and instead of initiating a charge procedure, it tries to open the Gear VR app, which can appear as black box with a white X that you can close.
To fix this issue, make sure to follow our solutions in the order we provide here.
Solution #1: Soft reset
Ideally, restarting your S8 normally by pressing the Power button and tapping on restart should get rid of this black-screen-with-white-X issue. However, in reality, a lot of users find that this is not the case. We know for a fact that some users were able to confirm that if they can get rid of the black screen, it won’t go back unless the phone is reconnected to the charger again. This means that if you want to use your phone again, you must first deal with the first obstacle by getting rid of this black screen. And you can do that by doing a soft reset. Here’s how:
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- Press and hold the Power + Volume Down buttons for approximately 10 seconds or until the device power cycles. Note: Allow several seconds for the Maintenance Boot Mode screen to appear.
- From the Maintenance Boot Mode screen, select Normal Boot. Note: Utilize the volume buttons to cycle through the available options and the lower left button (below the volume buttons) to select. Also, allow up to 90 seconds for the reset to complete.
Solution #2: Try another charging cable and adapter
Being able to get your phone out of that persistent black screen issue is of course the first step but it’s not a permanent fix. As we’ve mentioned earlier, the problem will most probably return if its trigger is tripped again. In some cases, this trigger can be a bad charging cable. Some S6 and S7 users were able to confirm in the past that the black screen appears when they start charging the device using the same cable. This tells us that a bad charging cable, whatever the specifics of the malfunction might be, can cause this trouble. To see if this is the case in your S8, you should consider using another charging cable. Preferably, try using an original Samsung USB cable since it’s been validated to work with the S8 system. And just to be on the safe side, consider using a different charging adapter as well. If this workaround won’t fix the issue and screen reverts to black again during charging, proceed to the next solution.
Solution #3: Restart to safe mode
We know that Gear VR app is not a pre-installed app so it’s considered a third party app even though it’s from Samsung. If the black screen issue started after you installed Gear VR, or after using Gear VR, then it’s probably a good idea to boot the phone to safe mode, if only to let your device allow you to use the screen again. This will also allow you to do other troubleshooting later on. Safe Mode, also called diagnostic mode, is a useful tool to allow you uninstall troublesome third party apps. In this mode, all third party apps will be blocked from running so we expect that the screen should work normally again without getting blacked out.
To boot your phone to safe mode, follow these steps:
- Turn the device off.
- Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen.
- When “SAMSUNG” appears on the screen, release the Power key.
- Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
- Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
- Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
- Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.
Solution #4: Clear cache and data of Gear VR app
If the black screen issue returns when you boot the phone to normal mode, or when you charge, the next good thing to do is see if reverting Gear VR app back to its factory version will help. To do that, follow these steps:
- Open the Settings menu either through your notification shade (drop-down) or through the Settings app in your app drawer.
- Navigate down to Apps.
- Once in there, look for the Gear VR application and tap it.
- You’ll now see a list of stuff that gives you information about the app, including Storage, Permissions, Memory Use, and more. These are all clickable items. You’ll want to click on Storage.
- You should see the Clear Cache and Clear Data buttons for the application. Try clearing your device’s cache first. If that won’t work after restarting your S8, clear the app’s data.
Solution #5: Uninstall Gear VR app
A more drastic solution that you can do in this case, if all the suggestions above won’t work at all, is to uninstall the Gear VR app. If you happen to use a different VR app, make sure that you uninstall it too. This will allow you to see if doing it will make any difference at all.
To uninstall an app, simply go under Settings > Apps, tap the app, then hit Uninstall button.
Solution #6: Factory reset
A more drastic solution that you can try is to wipe the phone and revert all its software settings back to their factory defaults. Factory reset will also delete all third party apps of course so it can function as a broad solution to your problem. Before you do this step, make sure that you back your files up to avoid losing them.
- Back up data on the internal memory. If you have signed into a Google account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Google credentials to finish the Master reset.
- Turn off the device.
- Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
- 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).
- Press the Volume down key several times to highlight “wipe data / factory reset.
- Press Power button to select.
- Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
- Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
- When the master reset is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
- Press the Power key to restart the device.
Solution #7: Contact Samsung support
Should the black screen issue persist after doing everything that we suggest in this post, it’s safe to assume that your phone may have suffered a permanent hardware malfunction. It’s most probably related to the charging port so you’ll need professional support to fix it.