Poor touchscreen sensitivity is usually a result of hardware malfunction but at times, it can also be due to apps or software bugs. In today’s post, we’ll show the steps that you can try if your Galaxy S8 touchscreen is not working as expected.
Problem: Galaxy S8 touchscreen not working
I have a Samsung Galaxy S8 with screen issues. The screen responds to touch, but only with very hard presses. I use my phone a lot for streaming video. Play/pause buttons require very hard presses. Several tries to get the phone to respond every time across multiple apps. Similar problems adjusting volume and changing to and from full screen. When choosing shows inside the apps from menus, the screen responds fine. Never have to touch more than once. But once the video start playing I have to damn near attack the screen with my finger to get it to respond. Video playback is not the the only time the screen acts up. Takes me several tries to pull down the top menu when I need it. Once opened Wifi, Bluetooth and other toggles that are on a lot take multiple taps to turn on and off. But things like NFC and other settings in the menu work fine. One tap and they are toggled on and off. This is only when the phone is upright, screen in normal position. When flipped and screen is rotated the top menu works fine. Home key at the bottom requires a very hard press to use also. But the other two hot keys work fine. Sometimes apps require multiple presses to open as well. I restart the phone infrequently but I have tried it to correct the issue. I keep it optimized. Close all apps when I’m done so nothing runs in the background. Have about 80 apps installed. I have a tempered glass screen cover on the phone. Off brand from Walmart because they don’t have many for the curved screen. Didn’t want to pay $75 or more for something that was made to be broken. So I went cheap. But I don’t believe this is the issue because the screen responds well with some things but not with others. I have not tried any other trouble shooting methods at this point.
I also have some screen burning from the DirecTV app. I fall asleep with videos playing a lot. DirecTV for some reason keeps the screen on even after the video has timed out. No other streaming apps do this and I can’t figure out how to stop it. If you could help with the screen burning that would be great too, but I can live with that.
I have been a loyal Galaxy owner since the S2. None of my other phones have ever had this issue. Even the ones with the AMOLED or OLED screens. I love the phone and have no intention of replacing it, but it is extremely frustrating when I have to fight to get it to respond.
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One more thing to add. I have a pen with a rubber touch screen thing on the top. I have to fight with that also. Not just my finger. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Solution: There are a number of possible reasons why the touchscreen is not as responsive as expected:
- screen is damaged physically
- a software bug that causes apps to malfunction
- there’s a firmware (for the screen) issue
- Poor tempered glass installation
Screen has hardware damage
Based on your description, this is the most likely explanation that we can think of. We can’t know this for sure so you’ll need to confirm it yourself. We don’t know the full history of your device but if it has been dropped before, there may be an internal malfunction that resulted from it.
Knowing if there’s touchscreen issue due to bad hardware is easy. The same spot in the screen behaves the same so if there’s a part that’s been damaged, you won’t be able to use it regardless of app or task you’re trying to do. For instance, if the top part of the touchscreen has been impacted or physically damaged for some reason, it will work the same whether you’re playing a game or tapping on the wifi switch or button. Wonder why the top menu works normally when the screen is flipped? This may be the explanation.
We’re not very optimistic with your issue here and you’ll most likely end up with screen replacement or repair. Do this if your screen is cracked, or if you previously dropped the phone.
If you are absolutely sure that your S8 was never dropped nor physically damaged in any way, then you can continue with the troubleshooting below.
Check for bad app issue
If your S8 does not have physical damage, the next troubleshooting step that you can do is to check for possible bad app problem. Some third party apps may interfere with Android. To check if one of the installed apps is causing the problem, restart the phone to safe mode. Here’s how:
- 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.
- Check how the screen works.
If the screen works normally on safe mode, you can bet a bad app is the culprit. To identify which of your apps is causing the trouble, you should boot the phone back to safe mode and follow these steps:
- Boot to safe mode.
- Check for the problem.
- 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.
- After you uninstall an app, restart the phone to normal mode and check for the problem.
- If your S8 is still problematic, repeat steps 1-4.
Wipe the phone (via factory reset)
If nothing changes on safe mode, the next troubleshooting step is to determine whether or not there’s a software bug causing the problem. You can do that by reverting the software settings of your device to their defaults. To factory reset your S8:
- Turn off the device.
- Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
- 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).
- 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.
Factory reset is the best way to determine if bad software is to blame. If there’s an unknown software bug causing the problem, factory reset will most likely fix it.
Remove tempered glass from screen
You mentioned a tempered glass was installed so if factory reset is not effective, you should see to it that you remove it. If not installed correctly, tempered glass may significantly lower the sensitivity of the touchscreen.
Let Samsung check the device
If all the solutions above won’t help, bring your phone to your local Samsung Service Center so it can be repaired.