MobileTips & Tricks

My phone’s touchscreen is not working. What should I do?

You’re randomly browsing the web on your smartphone and, all of a sudden, the touchscreen stops responding. The buttons on the side of the phone are working, but the display is frozen, raising some big question marks.

There are also cases in which the screen is not completely frozen, but it stops answering your commands properly or it has huge lags.

Don’t panic. If your phone’s touchscreen is not working properly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s dead, since there are a few things you can do in order to bring it back to its normal functionality state.

Why is my phone’s touchscreen not working properly?

Before talking about the potential fixes, you must understand what caused this problem. There are two main reasons why this could be happening, as it follows:

  • It has some software issues
  • It has some hardware issues

In most cases, it’s one of these issues making your phone’s screen act weird. But, as promised, we have some solutions for you, no matter the cause.

Basic solutions if your phone’s touchscreen is not working

However, before relying on a rather complex solution, there are a few basic things you can try, no matter your experience level with smartphones.

  • Restart the device: In a lot of cases, a simple restart can solve several issues. Still, let’s not forget that your touchscreen is not working, so you can’t do this in the traditional way. Therefore, if your phone has a removable battery, you can take it off, then put it back again and power the phone.If it doesn’t try a hard reset. You can check out our hard-reset guide for Samsung phones or this guide, for various brands.
  • Clean your hands and the phone’s screen: Believe it or not, even though it’s highly sensitive, a dirty screen can function improperly. Also, let’s not forget that dirty hands have the same consequences.Clean both of them and see if the issue persists. Also, do not wear gloves while using the phone, unless they’re smartphone-friendly gloves, with special layers on the thumbs and index fingers.
  • Remove your screen protector: The market is invaded by cheap screen protectors which can affect the proper functionality of your phone’s touchscreen. Sure, they can protect it, but they’re actually way too thick and you might end up with a display that doesn’t respond to your commands all the time.

If none of the above worked, it’s time to proceed to the next steps and apply a couple of advanced solutions.

Solutions for a touch screen with software issues

There are cases in which a software problem is the main cause why your phone’s touchscreen is not working. But again, there are fixes for most of them. Specifically, we’re talking about the following:

  • Remove your phone’s SIM and microSD card: There are situations in which a faulty SIM card or memory card are the ones to blame. But the fix is actually very easy.If your phone is completely unresponsive, hold the power button until the phone is turned off. Remove the tray with your SIM card and microSD card, then put it back in. After this, reboot the device and see if the screen works properly.
  • Reboot the phone in Safe Mode: A corrupted app (or apps) can cause touch screen problems on your Android smartphone or tablet, so it’s up to you to detect if it’s an app to blame Therefore, you need to restart the phone in Safe Mode, where all third-party apps downloaded by you are disabled.1. Power off the phone, by holding the Power button
    2. When you see the manufacturer’s logo, release the power button and hold down the Volume Down button
    3. When the device finally boots up, showing a Safe Mode indicator on the bottom-left corner, release the Volume Down button
    4. Go through the apps you installed recently and uninstall anything that looks suspicious.
  • Reboot the phone in Recovery Mode: If your phone’s touch screen is not working after applying any of the previous methods, you might as well consider resetting the device in Recovery Move. Be aware of the fact that this will completely wipe the data on your phone, including apps, photos, messages, and so on.Entering Recovery Mode depends on your smartphone model, so you can check out this guide on how to do it.

If this method doesn’t fix your screen, which remains unresponsive, it means that it’s more than a software issue you’re dealing with.

Solutions for a touch screen with hardware issues

A hardware issue can be caused by a factory problem, as several phones come with them out of the box. On the other side, it can be the result of taking some physical damage, after you dropped or knocked it.

A service would recommend replacing the touch screen panel quickly, but before spending your money on a new one, you can try a few things.

  • Test the touch screen: We’re talking about a diagnostics test which won’t solve the problem, but will tell you exactly how your screen is doing, after examining specific areas and features.In order to access the test, you need to enter a code, using the dialer. Presuming that you still can access it, otherwise we have some bad news. The codes are different for each brand, but the most commonly used are the following:
    Samsung and most Android handsets: *#7353#
    HTC: *#*#3424#*#*
    Sony: *#*#7378423#*#*
    Motorola: *#0*#

    Depending on your phone, enter the code using the dialer and you should see the diagnostics tool menu. From here, choose TSP Dot Mode or TSP Grid Mode, then proceed with testing the screen.The TSP Dot Mode puts a small x anywhere you press on the screen, so you can check even the tiniest corner of the panel for functionality problems.

    The TSP Grid Mode creates a grid overlay on your display, so you can test each section, by tapping on it. Basically, this is the better testing option, since you can drag your fingers across the entire screen and see if there are any dead spots or parts that aren’t responding properly.

  • Give the touch screen a few knocks: Remember how our parents were able to fix poor TV reception by simply tapping the TV itself? Well, if you dropped your phone, a digitizer cable could be loose and making an imperfect contact, hence causing the touchscreen to become unresponsive.Gently knock all corners of the panel a few times and see if the problem persists after this.
  • Check for any liquid damage: Unfortunately, not all phones are water resistant, so if you manage to drop it in water, even for just a fraction of a second, the water damage can seriously affect the display, resulting in the issues we’re talking about in this guide.However, there’s a very interesting solution to this, which you can try before deciding that it’s time to replace the faulty touchscreen. Submerge the phone in 99% isopropyl alcohol. Known as rubbing alcohol, it evaporates quickly and leaves almost zero oil traces, being used as a solvent or cleaning fluid.

Is it time for a replacement?

If your phone’s touch screen is not working after trying all the tips above, it’s obvious that the display needs to be replaced. If you’re lucky enough to have a phone that it’s still in the warranty period, you can get it fixed for free. If not, get ready to spend some money. A display, especially if it’s for a newer phone, doesn’t come for cheap. But hey, at least you don’t need to buy the entire phone.

Wrap-up

A feedback for our guide would be highly appreciated, so please let us know which of the methods presented above worked in your case. Also, if you know other solutions, share them with us, using the comments section below!

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