How to fix Google Pixel 3 XL touchscreen not responding issue

Some Google Pixel 3 XL users are asking us for guidance on what to do with the unresponsive touchscreen on their phone. This post is the answer to that. We include one particular case that best describe the common situation of this particular issue.

Problem: Google Pixel 3 XL touchscreen not responding

I just did an android update for my phone where I observed that when turned on the touch screen stopped responding. The 2 function keys and finger sensor is responding. However, the screen itself is not touching whatsoever. I’ve tried holding down the button used to turn on/off the screen along with the volume up button to give the phone an hard restart however that didn’t work.

Solution: There’s a number of possible causes for this issue. Samsung touchscreens are among the most reliable components for smartphones and most of them can run for years, even outliving the motherboard. Sometimes, touchscreen issues may develop due to app or software bug. In these cases, a user will most likely fix the problem by doing some troubleshooting. If your Pixel’s touchscreen was not physically impacted or exposed to water, follow our suggestions below to fix it.

Forced reboot

Sometimes, temporary bugs may cause a system to become unstable. Some of these bugs may go away when a system is refreshed so one of your troubleshooting steps would be to force reboot the device by pressing and holding the Power button for about 10 to 20 seconds. Once the phone restarts, use the phone as normal and check for the problem.

Observe in Safe Mode

The next good thing to do in this particular case is to check whether or not a third party app is the culprit. Sometimes, an app may interfere with Android which then leads to problems. To check if that’s the case, restart your Pixel 3 XL to safe mode. Here’s how:

  1. Press and hold the Power button.
  2. On your screen, touch and hold Power off.
  3. Tap OK.
  4. After you see “Safe mode” at the bottom of your screen, wait to see if the problem goes away.

Once your Pixel 3 XL is on safe mode, all third party apps, the ones you downloaded after setting up the device, will be suspended. Try to observe how the touchscreen works for a few minutes. If it works normally in this mode, you can bet a third party app is to blame. To identify which of your downloaded apps is causing the problem:

  1. Exit safe mode by restarting your device.
  2. Check for the problem.
  3. If the problem returns, boot to safe mode again.
  4. Uninstall an app. Start with the most recently downloaded one.
  5. After each removal, restart your device and see whether removing it solved the problem.
  6. Repeat steps 1-4 until you’ve identified the culprit.
  7. After you remove the app that’s causing the problem, you can reinstall the other apps that you removed.

Charge using a computer

Some Pixel users in the past were able to fix slow or freezing touchscreens in the past by charging their device thru a computer. If you haven’t tried this trick, be sure to do it. It’s simple and easy to do.

Perform a master reset

If the problem remains after doing the three suggestions above, the most likely solution that will help is by reverting the software settings to their defaults. Again, this assumes that your Pixel 3 XL was never physically damaged prior to experiencing the problem. If you dropped it or exposed it to water, factory reset may be futile as it won’t fix any physical defect.

To factory reset your Google Pixel 3 XL:

  1. Create a backup of your personal data.
  2. Turn off your Google Pixel 3 XL.
  3. Press and hold the Power+Volume Down buttons until bootloader mode (image of an Android with Start above it) appears, then release.
  4. Select Recovery mode. You can use the Volume buttons to cycle through the available options and the Power button to select. The device will flash the Google start screen momentarily and then restarts in Recovery mode.
  5. If presented with an image of a broken Android with “No Command” printed on the screen, press and hold the Power button. Press the Volume Up button once. Then release the Power button.
  6. From the Android Recovery screen, select Wipe data/factory reset.
  7. Select Yes. Wait for several minutes for the factory data reset process to complete.
  8. Select Reboot system now. Allow several minutes for the factory data reset and reboot processes to complete.
  9. Set the phone up again.

Get professional help

If nothing works after doing a factory reset, that means that the cause of the problem is deeper. It may be hardware-related, or it’s buried deep within the operating system or firmware. At this stage, there’s nothing much that you can do except to get support from Google.

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