The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is still an excellent phone with plenty to love even if it is over two years old, but it isn’t perfect. And now that it’s a little older we’re starting to see more and more complaints about Galaxy Note 8 problems.
Whether that’s issues from the Galaxy Note 8 Android Pie update, poor performance, bugs from the latest 2020 update, or even battery life complaints. With all of that in mind, here’s a list of common issues and how to fix them.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 8 Android Pie Problems
First things first, the Galaxy Note 8 is getting another big update here in April of 2020, but it’s not Android 10. Unfortunately, it’s just a bug-fixing update although that’s arguably more important for those dealing with issues.
As a result, we recommend taking these steps before you update. Then, we put together a detailed Galaxy Note 8 Android Pie problems and fixes guide. This will help you with problems specifically related to Pie while we wait for Android 10.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 8 Apps That Aren’t Full Screen
A problem we still see users complain about is apps not being full screen. Basically, apps don’t use the full 6.3-inch display. That’s because Samsung’s latest devices have longer and skinny screens. This makes them easier to hold and use, but some apps don’t fill the entire screen and 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 correct 18.5:9 aspect ratio and fill your entire display with content. If an app or game looks fully in full-screen mode simply toggle it back off in that same settings menu. If you recently downloaded a new app like Zoom or something, and it doesn’t use the entire screen, you have to manually change this setting.
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 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 setting up the scanner.
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.
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. A huge thread at the official Samsung community forum shows users 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.
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 the freezing problems, and the experience is even better on Android Pie.
Sadly, it’s now April of 2020 and we’re still seeing complaints about freezing. If the Galaxy Note 8 ever gets Android 10, hopefully Samsung finally fixes this.
How to Fix Face and Iris Scanner Problems
Thankfully Samsung provided a couple of 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 multiple angles. 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 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
The Galaxy Note 8 doesn’t have an app drawer button and some owners are getting frustrated that they can’t find all of their installed apps. Here’s how to fix it and make it like your old phone.
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.
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. So much that Samsung and Verizon both pushed out updates within the first month or two after the phone got released. Now, several years later, almost every small bug has been fixed. So you shouldn’t be experiencing GPS issues, and if you are, it’s a new problem.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 8 Bluetooth Problems
Unfortunately, we’re still 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 claimed the Galaxy Note 8 didn’t see some devices, or if it did, it wouldn’t connect. Sometimes the connection is poor and audio cuts out too. Similar problems surfaced for the Galaxy S9 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. Plus, the Oreo update reportedly fixed some outstanding Bluetooth bus, and Google further refined Bluetooth as a whole in Android Pie.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 8 Performance Problems
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 is still a fast and powerful phone with plenty of power and 6GB of RAM. Apps should load fast, games run smooth and most enjoy great performance. However, after you’ve had it for over two years 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. As expected, we saw a few similar reports for the Galaxy Note 8, but Samsung quickly released updates that gave owners total control over the display and its colors.
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 profile. 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 got wet. If you get your phone too wet, and it dies, consider the neat new Galaxy S20.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 8 Slow or Wireless Charging
Yes, the Galaxy Note 8 battery is safe. No, it won’t explode. However, it does get a little hot while the device is charging and that’s 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.
That said, we still see a complaint or two on occasion that says the phone charges too 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. The screen should say “fast charging” when its plugged in. If not, get a new charger and cable from our link.
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 Fix Galaxy Note 8 Battery Problems
No phone is perfect. Now that the Note 8 is over two years old we’re seeing an influx of battery life complaints, especially after the Android 9 Pie update. And while you can expect to notice a small decrease in battery performance as a device ages, it should still last almost all day.
If you’re experiencing Galaxy Note 8 battery life problems try our advice in this guide. We go over multiple things to look for, settings to change, and how to get the most out of your phone.
Otherwise, we really don’t know what to tell you. After two years of recharges, letting your phone die several times, and just general wear and tear the battery will start to degrade. Eventually, even when the phone says 100% you’re really at around 80%, as battery cells start to lose power and the cells inside actually die. That’s what happens over time.
So, if your Galaxy Note 8 isn’t lasting as long as it did before, and it’s not enough to get you through an entire day you might want to consider upgrading. I recommend the awesome new Galaxy Note 10, or the Galaxy S20+.
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.
Android 10 and What’s Next?
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 finally got the Android 9 Pie update at the end of March, 2019. We were hoping the Android 10 update would follow a similar path and arrive sometime in March of 2020, but it didn’t. And while we’re still hearing reports of Android 10 for the Galaxy Note 8, nothing is certain.
Basically, expect Android 10 at some point to arrive and fix a bunch of bugs, issues, and problems, and it could even revamp battery life a bit. That said, if you’ve had the Note 8 for over two years it might be time to upgrade anyway.
In the meantime, you’ll continue to get small but important “maintenance updates” from Samsung and carriers. A prime example is the big April 2020 update from T-Mobile and Verizon for the Note 8. It fixed some bugs, improved battery life, solved some weird WiFi problem and added the latest security patches to keep you and your phone safe.
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.
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