How to fix Galaxy Note8 with “System UI isn’t responding” error [troubleshooting guide]

One of the most common Android errors a lot of users encounter is “System UI isn’t responding” error. Today’s #GalaxyNote8 troubleshooting post addresses this problem. We also include one of the sample reports from users who encounter it. We hope you’ll find our suggestions helpful.

Today’s problem: Galaxy Note8 with “System UI isn’t responding” error

Hello. I have an Samsung Galaxy Note 8 the problem that I have with it is this I can it had died while I was out getting groceries so when I got home I plugged my phone up but did not turn on it immediately I had left it off and laying on the counter to charge while I cleaned up my home, after about an hour I sat down my phone was charged up around 50% so I turned it on and after it loaded up everything but I get a System UI isn’t responding , I can’t do anything else on the phone I try to close the window it says wait or close and it acts like it is going to close but will not do it. I can’t even turn it off. I am not sure if I have had an Oreo update yet or not. I do not know what to do. — Josh Jackson

Solution: Hi Josh. One of the most common reasons for “System UI isn’t responding” bug occurs is when Android is updated. We don’t know exactly why there are a lot of Android devices that succumbed to this bug after a seemingly uneventful update but it can very well be due some unique circumstances in affected units. If taken all the hundreds of millions of Android devices together, there’s only a very tiny percentage of Android phones affected but it still can be quite frustrating for those users who encounter it. In some cases, “System UI isn’t responding”  error can also occur after installing an app or updating some of the installed ones. To know where the problem lies, you need to perform a series of troubleshooting steps.

Solution #1: Perform a soft reset

Some users reported that “System UI isn’t responding”  bug went away after doing a forced reboot. This is probably because the bug is associated with a service or app that’s currently loaded in RAM, or one that’s running in the background. By doing a soft reset or forced reboot, you’ll be effectively discontinuing running apps and services, potentially fixing the issue. If you haven’t tried doing a soft reset yet, follow these steps:

  1. 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.
  2. From the Maintenance Boot Mode screen, select Normal Boot. You can use 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: Check for possible microSD card issue

Should nothing happens after performing a soft reset, the next good thing to do is to see if your microSD card is responsible. Some Android devices in the past that encountered the error were using an microSD card so it’s worth checking if this is true in your case.

First, make sure that your microSD card is actually working. If it’s been there long, it’s possible that it may have become corrupted. The best way to ensure that the card is working is by reformatting it. Before you do so, make sure to create a backup of your files in it. Alternatively, you can insert your microSD card to another Note8 to see if it can be read by it without issues.

Some apps operating off an microSD card may cause “System UI isn’t responding” error. Try moving your apps back to internal storage and see if the problem occurs. If it doesn’t that means one of your apps may not be optimized to work off an microSD card.

Obviously, this solution only applies to those who are using a microSD cards on  their Note8. If you’re not, simply skip this step.

Solution #3: Reset app preferences

Sometimes, “System UI isn’t responding” bug occurs when an app or Android finds that a critical system app or service needed to do a task is missing. Technically, system apps can’t be uninstalled so most likely, they’re simply rendered inoperable or disabled for some reason. If you’ve been tinkering with your apps and services before the “System UI isn’t responding”  bug occurs, there’s a chance you may have disabled an important system app or service. To ensure that all core system files and apps are back to their known working state, consider resetting app preferences back to their defaults. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Tap Reset app preferences.
  5. Restart your device and check for the bug.

Solution #4: Observe in Safe Mode

Some apps may cause problems to a system so the next good thing that you can do here is to verify how your Note8 works when third party apps are disabled. You can do that by booting your Note8 to safe mode. To boot your device to safe mode:

  1. With your Note8 off press and hold the Power key past the model name screen.
  2. When “SAMSUNG” appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  3. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  4. Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  5. Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  6. Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.

Remember, safe mode prevents third party apps, the ones you added that are not part of the original Android package, from running. If your Note8 turns on to safe mode but not on normal mode, that’s a clear sign that one of your apps is indeed problematic. To know which app is causing a problem, follow these steps:

  1. Boot to safe mode.
  2. Check for the problem.
  3. Once you’ve confirmed that a third party app is to blame, you can start uninstalling apps individually. We suggest that you begin with the most recent ones you added.
  4. After you uninstall an app, restart the phone to normal mode and check for the problem.
  5. If your Note8 still refuses to power back on, repeat steps 1-4.

Solution  #5: Reset all settings

If the “System UI isn’t responding” bug still occurs at this point, your should try a broader way to address it by dealing with almost all Android settings. Sometimes, setting them back to their default state fixes things. If you are yet to try it, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General Management.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Tap Reset settings.
  5. Tap RESET SETTINGS button to confirm.

Solution #6: Sign out of your Google account, then sign back in

In some cases, signing out of one’s registered Google account also fixes some Android-related bugs like the “System UI isn’t responding” bug. To do that:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Cloud and accounts.
  3. Tap Accounts.
  4. Tap Google.
  5. Select the Google account you want to remove. If you have multiple Google accounts added on the device, start with the first one on the list.
  6. Tap More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  7. Tap Remove account.

Before you remove your account from your device, make sure that you know what your password is for that account so you’ll not encounter trouble for it when adding it later on.

Solution #7: Unroot (optional)

If you have a root your Note8, try to unroot it and see if the bug returns. If it doesn’t, it means that the root software you’re using may be interfering with Android.

Solution #8: Factory reset

The most effective solution for “System UI isn’t responding” bug that we know of is factory reset. In most cases, this bug is Android-related so returning all software settings to their factory state usually helps in addressing it. If you haven’t tried doing a factory reset yet, here’s how:

  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.

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