What to do if your Galaxy S9 screen has dead zones (or has screen unresponsive issue)

While the screen can easily be physically damaged especially if the device is dropped, it’s also one of the most reliable components that can run for years without problems. If you happen to be having dead zones on your Galaxy S9 screen even though it was not dropped or exposed to elements, it’s most probably due to an app or software bug. Learn how to deal with a situation like this below.

Problem: Galaxy S9 screen has dead zones and becomes unresponsive at random

Recently my phone has been having some issues with responsiveness. It’s a bit inconsistent, and sometimes it will respond if I tap multiple times on the spot. Dead zones will appear and disappear, it won’t register if I tap twice on opposite sides of the screen, etc. There are a few constant dead zones, around the u key, and towards the middle of the screen. I followed like eight different tutorials to fix it. Clearing the cache (the phone cache, not the app cache) didn’t help and I don’t think the phone will let me remove the battery. But it seems like rebooting it in safe mode solves the issue, which means it would be an app causing it. For the life of me I cannot figure out what that app is. I tried uninstalling 2048, Pokemon Go, my screen recorder, the Home Depot app, and Tik Tok (don’t judge me I use it for the ironic memes).  Do you have any tips for figuring out what app is causing the random inconsistent dead zones? Long-winded way to ask, but hey, you wanted a lot of information.

Solution: If you’re positive that the dead zone on the screen disappears when your Galaxy S9 runs on safe mode, you can bet it’s an app issue. Screen unresponsiveness or dead zones can be due to bad hardware, third party app interference, or operating system bug. Since you’ve already isolated the cause to third party apps, all you need to do is to identify the culprit.

Identifying the problem app in this case is simple but it requires patience and effort from you. There’s no direct way to know which of the apps is behind the problem. You’ll need to use the method of elimination to narrow down suspected apps. These are the specific steps to do that:

  1. Restart your S9 to safe mode.
  2. Check if screen is having a problem or not.
  3. If the screen works normally and there are no dead zones at all, uninstall an app that you think might be causing the problem. You only want to uninstall apps that you downloaded before and not the ones that came with the operating system (pre-installed apps). If the screen problem appeared after installing a new app, start with that app by erasing it first.
  4. After you uninstall an app, restart the phone to normal mode and check for the problem.
  5. If your S9 screen still has dead zones on it, repeat steps 1-4.

We are not aware of any specific Android app that can cause the problem you’re describing in this post. If you want to know which of your apps is causing this, you have to do it yourself.

Factory reset

Alternatively, you can reverse the process of identifying the problem app by wiping the phone with factory reset and checking what happens after installing apps individually. This means you’ll need to observe the screen after you install one app following a factory reset. it still entails spending significant time and effort from you but it’s another way to identify the cause.

To factory reset your Galaxy S9:

  1. Create a backup of your personal data.
  2. Turn off the device.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. 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).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’.
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  8. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  9. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  10. Press the Power key to restart the device.
  11. Set up the device again.
  12. Install an app.
  13. Check for the problem.
  14. If all goes well after installing one app, add another one until you know which of the apps is the problem.

Remove screen protectors

For those using screen protectors or installed tempered glass on their screen, make sure to remove them to see if that’s the one causing the problem. Poorly installed tempered glass protectors may sometimes interfere with the screen assembly system.

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