The Galaxy Note 8 is a big and powerful phone with a lot to offer, but it’s not perfect. Following a slew of updates, we’re starting to see more and more complaints about Galaxy Note 8 problems. With that in mind, below is a list of common problems you may experience and how to quickly fix them. Including some recent problems on the Galaxy Oreo update.
Luckily, most of these Note 8 issues can easily be fixed right from home. You won’t need help from a carrier retail store or have to call Samsung support. Then, we’ll continuously update this post with helpful information and fixes as they become available.
With a big 6.3-inch Infinity Display and two cameras on the back, it’s a worthy replacement for the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7. Just know that things aren’t perfect. As a result, we’ll walk you through some of the biggest complaints and offer fixes or resources to address them. Keep in mind that everyone uses phones differently, and only some will experience problems. Here’s what you need to know and what to do.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 8 Apps That Aren’t Full Screen
A problem we continuously see users complain about is apps not being full screen. Basically, apps don’t use the full 6.3-inch display. The new screen is long and skinny, making it easier to hold without being too small. It’s a new 2:1 aspect ratio. However, this makes some apps have black bars at the top and bottom, similar to the black bars on a widescreen TV.
Most apps and games scale up to fit the screen, but if not thankfully there is a quick and easy fix.
- Pull down the notification bar and head into Settings (gear-shaped icon near the top right)
- Tap on Display
- Select the option labeled Full-Screen Apps
- Find any app that isn’t highlighted and switch full-screen mode to on
Now it will automatically scale to the new 18.5:9 aspect ratio and fill your entire display with content. Additionally, when you launch an app and it doesn’t look right hit the recent apps button and click the green “expand” icon to instantly toggle full-screen mode on or off for that app.
If an app or game looks fully in full-screen mode simply toggle it back off in that same settings menu. At this point, most apps support this new screen resolution. The ones that don’t will likely get an update soon.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 8 Dead After Battery Goes to 0%
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 doesn’t have any concerns with the battery like the Galaxy Note 7 from the year before. However, some recent reports floating around might have you worried. Multiple comments on forums and the Samsung community state that if you let the Note 8 battery go completely dead, to 0%, it might never turn on again.
Mainly, the phone completely dies and when a user tries to plug it in and recharge the phone, nothing happens. There’s no charging LED notification, and nothing seems to work. You can try a different cable, charger, boot into safe mode and more, but nothing works. The phone never turns on again. Don’t worry though, this is only happening to a very small amount of owners.
If your Note 8 runs completely out of battery and will not turn on try this. Plug it in with the official cable and wall plug, and leave it there for 15-20 minutes. Then, press and hold both power and volume down for 8-10 seconds. This is the same process as rebooting a frozen Galaxy, and multiple users report it saved their dead Galaxy Note 8.
If this doesn’t work for you, reach out to Samsung and get your defective phone replaced.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 8 Fingerprint Scanner Problems
Whether you’re just getting errors trying to unlock your phone or the fingerprint scanner isn’t working right, we have a few tips. There’s no way to fix where it’s located, but we can ensure you get the best experience when using it. Since there is no physical home button the fingerprint scanner is on the back and hard to reach. Then, once you put a case on the Galaxy Note 8 it becomes even more difficult.
Here is a guide to setup the Galaxy S8 fingerprint scanner correctly. Those same steps apply to the Galaxy Note 8. We recommend owners delete any saved prints and redo them, especially if you installed a case after. Follow the directions during setup and change angles, directions and using the tip of your finger will give you the best results. Save more than one finger, or even the same finger twice for a better success rate when unlocking the phone.
Some recent monthly security and bug-fixing updates added stability and improvements to the scanner. Make sure you’re on the latest software from Samsung.
Galaxy Note 8 Freezing & Unresponsive Problems
Are you having problems where the Galaxy Note 8 keeps freezing or is completely unresponsive? If so, you’re not alone. Huge threads at the official Samsung community forum are reporting a similar experience. Note 8 devices keep freezing or rebooting. We’re hearing this happens the most in the contacts app or dialer while trying to make a phone call. Sadly, we don’t have any complete fix that will prevent your phone from freezing. We’re seeing a similar issue on the Galaxy S9.
However, we can help you fix it when it happens. If your Note 8 is frozen or unresponsive press and hold both the power and volume down buttons at the same time, and hold them down for 7-8 seconds. The phone will turn off, reboot, and start fresh. Here is more information for those in need. We’re hearing the update to Android 8.0 Oreo fixed this for most people. Are you still facing this problem?
How to Fix Face and Iris Scanner Problems
Thankfully Samsung provided a couple different ways to secure or unlock the device to offset the poor fingerprint location. Those being facial recognition and an Iris scanner.
The Iris Scanner actually works great. You can scan eyes at night, through glasses, and at more angles than past devices like the Galaxy Note 7. However, your results may vary during use. If you’re having problems we recommend deleting your Iris and saving it again. Open your eyes nice and wide the first time, so it gets the best reading possible.
The facial recognition is hit or miss, personally, not to mention a picture can unlock your phone. So use caution if this is your only unlock method. Instead of using your face, we recommend setting up a feature called Smart Lock. This uses trusted locations at home or work, your voice and your Bluetooth accessories to unlock the Galaxy Note 8 automatically. When I’m home, my phone won’t lock. As soon as I leave, a
When you’re at a trusted place or connected to a trusted device you won’t have to use an unlock method. As soon as you leave or disconnect the lockscreen method kicks back in. Meaning you have to interact with the fingerprint or Iris scanner as little as possible.
Head to Settings > Lockscreen & Security > Smart Lock and enable it. Then customize your locations and Bluetooth devices for a better experience. You’re welcome.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 8 App Drawer Button Missing
Not only are we missing a physical home button like all Note phones from the past six years, but the Galaxy Note 8 doesn’t have an app drawer button. Some owners are getting frustrated that they can’t find all of their installed apps. Here’s how to fix it.
This isn’t a problem, and instead, just Samsung changed how we interact with the software on the Galaxy Note 8. Simply swipe up anywhere on the bottom of your screen to open the app tray to access all of your apps.
Thankfully, there’s a way to revert this back to the old white button method from past devices. Press and hold down on any blank space on your screen. It will zoom out to an edit and layout page, as well as show widget and background image options. Tap the gear-shaped settings button. Next hit the option in settings labeled “Apps Button” and select the “show apps button”. Now hit done and go back. You’ll have that familiar button at the bottom of the screen to open your app tray.
Additionally, Samsung added a “Home screen only” option if you want all the apps on your home screen similar to the iPhone.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 8 WiFi & GPS Problems
With every phone release, we see reports about WiFi problems. Galaxy Note 8 owners have mentioned poor performance, connection drops and even slower than expected internet speeds. This is almost never a problem with the phone itself, and usually something else.
If you used Samsung SmartSwitch to transfer everything from an old phone, the WiFi password likely transferred and connected automatically. That’s nice, but sometimes it causes your problems.
Those experiencing Galaxy Note 8 WiFi problems have a few options. First, we recommend you forget your WiFi network and re-enter the password on the phone. Do this by heading to Settings > Connections > WiFi. Push and hold your home internet connection and tap forget network on the popup. Then search for a WiFi connection, find yours, put in the password and it should work. Better yet, reset your network to default settings. We’ve found unplugging power to the router for 10+ seconds will give it a fresh start, and your Note 8 should now connect.
Additionally, some users have voiced frustration with GPS, especially while using Google Maps. Verizon and Samsung already pushed out an update to increase the speed and accuracy of GPS. They specifically mention while using Google Maps. The update also patched some WiFi stuff, improved the keyboard, and added the August security patches from Google. If you’re having GPS problems check for updates, even the unlocked model received it.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 8 Bluetooth Problems
Just like the Galaxy S8, we’re seeing a few complaints about Bluetooth problems. This is likely a bigger issue with Android itself or compatibility with your accessories or car stereo.
A few early reports claim the Galaxy Note 8 doesn’t see some devices, or if it does, it won’t connect. Sometimes the connection is poor and audio cuts out too. Similar problems surfaced for the Galaxy S8 but Samsung fixed them with software updates. If you’re experiencing problems try reconnecting to your Bluetooth devices or drop a comment at the official Samsung product support page.
Users can also head to Settings > Apps > and find “Bluetooth” and clear the cache. This will erase all pairings, which seems to solve the problem for some. Otherwise, reboot the Galaxy Note 8 and try again. The Note 8 has Bluetooth 5.0 so the range is over 120ft instead of 30ft like older phones, and it should connect faster than ever before. Again, the Oreo update reportedly fixes Bluetooth throughout Android as a whole. Too bad the T-Mobile Note 8 is still waiting for the Oreo update.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 8 Performance Problems
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 is a fast and powerful phone with the latest processor and 6GB of RAM. Apps should load fast, games run smooth and most expect great performance. However, during the first day or so there is a lot going on under the hood. The phone is settling in, apps are syncing data with the cloud, and it might feel sluggish. Just wait it out. Then, after you’ve had it for a few months and downloaded dozens of apps you might notice a dip in performance.
All those installs can start to bog down the system a little, but we can fix it. Uninstall apps you don’t need, long-press app icons and put the ones you rarely use to “sleep” or read on for more tips.
First off, try our guide above. This is a little trick that works with any Android device to improve performance, speed, and overall responsiveness. Another way to improve performance is slim down the apps that drain resources and power. Disable the Briefing news app, or launch Bixby and uncheck how many apps it interacts with. These can all make the phone feel faster and more responsive.
Additionally, go into the app drawer and find “Galaxy Apps” and update any and all Samsung apps in here for the best experience. Some carrier versions might not have the Galaxy App store though, keep that in mind.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 8 Screen Resolution
This isn’t a “problem” but more of a personal preference. The Galaxy Note 8 has a big 6.3-inch display with a stunning 2960 x 1440 Quad HD resolution. That’s almost as high as a 4K HDTV and is what makes apps, games, and movies look great. However, Samsung lowers this down to a more traditional 1080p resolution to improve performance and battery life.
You probably can’t tell the difference between 1080p and Quad HD, but will enjoy the longer battery life. However, if you want the Quad-HD resolution you paid for here’s how to change it.
Navigate to Settings > Display > Screen resolution and slide it to the far right for the full WQHD+ and hit apply.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 8 Screen Color Problems
A small problem with the curved, rounded, and bezel-free display on the Galaxy S8 was a weird red or pink tint to certain colors. Basically, the color calibration wasn’t perfect, and some owners didn’t like the results. So far there aren’t any complaints regarding this with the Galaxy Note 8, but you may still have complaints about the color accuracy. If so, here’s how to fix any screen color problems.
Pull down the notification bar and tap the gear-shaped settings button in the top right, or find Settings in the app tray. Once you’re in Settings go to Display > Screen Mode and choose a new color mode. Your options are Adaptive display, AMOLED cinema, AMOLED photo, or basic. Alternatively, there is a fifth color balance option to completely adjust the display colors, tone and white balance to your preference. Perfectionists can tap the advanced options button for even more controls of each color on the RGB spectrum.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 8 Wet Speaker Problems
Like its predecessors, the Galaxy Note 8 is IP68 dust and water-resistant. Meaning it’s certified to handle depths of 5ft for around 30 minutes and will come out working just fine.
However, the speaker still gets wet and might sound off for a few minutes until it dries out. This shouldn’t cause any permanent damage, so don’t worry.
Samsung uses a coating on the inside of the device and then “surface tension” to keep water out of the speaker. When water covers the little speaker grill hidden inside the frame it might sound funny. Let it dry, tap it against your hand to push any water out or even gently blow into the speaker. This should remove any remaining water and fix the sound.
We also recommend waiting a few hours before charging a phone that gets wet.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 8 Slow or Wireless Charging
Above we cover whether or not the Galaxy Note 8 is safe. The short answer is yes. It’s completely safe to use. Samsung now has an industry-leading 8-point battery check procedure in place and tested it thoroughly before release.
That won’t stop some from getting concerned when it gets hot during charging. This is completely normal, especially if you’re doing anything on the phone while it’s charging. There is nothing to worry about, but you can get a Galaxy Note 8 case so you don’t feel it as much.
Additionally, worried Galaxy Note 8 owners can head into Settings > Battery > and turn off the “Fast Cable Charging” which allows the phone to recharge extremely fast. It will take over 2 hours to charge instead of 80-90 minutes, but it won’t get as hot. Additionally, we saw one complaint saying the Note 8 charges very slow. Make sure you use the wall plug and cable provided in the box, as it supports the “Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging” standard that allows the phone to recharge so fast. Don’t use an old charger you have lying around the house or office.
If you need extra fast chargers, we recommend buying one of these so you have more than one.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 8 Camera Problems
We haven’t seen any major complaints about the Galaxy Note 8 camera, but these are a few you might experience. On the Galaxy S8, some saw a “warning, camera failure” notification, which happens because of a software feature called “Smart Stay”.
The Galaxy Note 8 uses sensors on the front to keep the screen on while you’re looking at it. Sadly this seems to occasionally interfere with the camera. Head to Settings > Advanced Features and turn off Smart Stay.
We did see some temperature problems close the camera on the Galaxy Note 8, but that’s rare. If you take photos or record video while it’s charging it might get hot, causing the app to crash. We’ll update this article with more information should any problems arise.
How to Factory Reset the Galaxy Note 8
Most owners won’t experience any major problems with the Galaxy Note 8. If you do, a factory data reset is your last resort if everything else fails. This will erase all user data, apps, messages, and content from the phone. Only do this if something is seriously wrong and not working right.
Keep in mind that you might want to backup any data before you proceed. Go to Settings > General Management > and hit Reset to get started.
A factory data reset will wipe out everything and give your phone a fresh start. Then, use Samsung Cloud Backup or Samsung SmartSwitch to restore everything back to your device. Google’s restore method during the initial setup can restore your apps and settings too.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 is finally getting Android 8.0 Oreo, which should solve a lot of problems for owners. Now that the phone has been available for over 8 months, we have a good idea of what to expect, and what might go wrong day in and day out. If your problem isn’t on our list, drop us a comment below or reach out to Samsung.
In closing, here’s what you need to know about what’s coming next. T-Mobile still needs to deliver the Android 8.0 Oreo update, as it was delayed. Most problems I’m hearing about are coming from T-Mobile users. Then, we’re expecting an update to Android 8.1 Oreo at some point this summer. That software will address any leftover issues, improve Bluetooth, and add stability to the phone. That, or we’ll see more monthly security and software updates slowly make the phone better. Well, until the Galaxy Note 9 arrives in August or September of 2018.
Sometime within the next 4-6 months, Google will release Android P, its latest and greatest software. And while Samsung will likely want to add that to its phone, don’t expect an update to Android 9.0 P until early 2019. Basically, you’re stuck with what you have right now for the foreseeable future.
For now, drop us a comment below with any other issues you’re experiencing and we’ll do our best to help. In the meantime, consider buying some of these official Note 8 accessories made by Samsung.