The Galaxy Note 9 is the biggest and best Samsung has to offer in 2018, but it’s not perfect. While this phone has tons of cool features you’ll love, users are also dealing with Galaxy Note 9 problems. To help owners, below is a list of common problems you may experience and how to fix them.
With our help, you won’t have to call Samsung support, browse forums, or go to a nearby carrier store to fix things. Instead, we’ll help you fix most Note 9 issues right at home. Then, we’ll continuously update this post with helpful information and fixes moving forward.
With a big 6.4-inch display, two powerful cameras, stereo sound and all-day battery life, this is Samsung’s best Note yet. Just know that like any phone you might run into a problem or two. Here are some common complaints, what to know, and what to do to fix them.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 9 Apps That Aren’t Full Screen
A problem we keep hearing about thanks to Samsung’s big screen is apps not using the entire display. Your Note 9 has a big 6.4-inch screen that’s longer and skinnier than most. They’re using a 2:1 aspect ratio to ensure a screen this size is still easy to hold and use. This is also why 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 entire screen, and if not here’s a quick and easy fix.
- Pull down the notification bar and head to 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 apps to the correct aspect ratio and fill your entire display with content. Additionally, there’s a little “expand” button on each app when you’re in the recent apps switcher that does the same thing without going to the settings menu. It’s a shortcut to do this on the fly.
You may run into issues where some apps look funny in full-screen mode. If so, go back in and turn it off.
How to Fix a Frozen Galaxy Note 9 (and other unresponsiveness problems)
We’re hearing some Note 9 phones freeze or crash in the contacts app, dialer, or while trying to make a phone call. Not to mention occasionally you’ll have random responsiveness issues, or the phone will completely freeze. This doesn’t happen often, but if so, here’s how to fix a frozen Galaxy Note 9.
If your Note 9 is frozen or unresponsive press and hold down 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 are step-by-step instructions if you need more help.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 9 WiFi & GPS Problems
Nothing is perfect, we get it. With every phone release WiFi or Bluetooth complaints surface. So far, early Galaxy Note 9 owners have mentioned poor performance, WiFi connectivity issues, drops, and other random issues relating to internet speeds. We have a quick and simple solution for you.
If you used Samsung SmartSwitch to transfer your old phone to the Note 9, the WiFi password likely transferred and connected automatically. That’s nice, but sometimes it causes your problems.
You have a few options if your Note 9 is having WiFi problems. First, we recommend forgetting your WiFi network and re-enter the password on the Note 9. Start by going 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. It’s also a good idea to unplug power to your WiFi router for around 10-15 seconds.
Are you dealing with GPS problems too? While future updates will improve GPS accuracy and speeds, especially while using Google Maps, we have nothing to report so far. Open Google Maps and tap the bullseye icon to get a GPS lock, which helps more often than not. Also, in Maps tap the three lines at the top and go to Settings > Location Accuracy Tips > and follow the steps for the best GPS.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 9 Bluetooth Problems
We saw Bluetooth complaints on the Galaxy Note 8 and even the S9. This is actually a bigger issue with Android overall, and Google reportedly fixed everything in Android 8.1 Oreo. Note 9 is on Android 8.1 Oreo, so users shouldn’t experience any major Bluetooth problems. Meaning your issue is likely the accessory, like your car stereo.
A few early reports claim the Galaxy Note 9 doesn’t see certain devices, or if it does, it won’t connect. My Bluetooth keeps cutting out during music playback, too. Similar problems surfaced for the Galaxy Note 8 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 fixed my problems. Again, SmartSwitch transferred all my BT devices, so I deleted them all and started over. It’s worth mentioning that the Note 9 has Bluetooth 5.0 so it works over 120ft away, instead of 20-30 ft like older phones. Samsung improved BT stability with the September security patch update.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 9 App Drawer Button Missing
It’s silly we have to mention this, but if you can’t find your apps because the Galaxy Note 9 app drawer button is missing, we’ll help you get it back.
This isn’t a problem, Samsung simply changed the software on the Galaxy Note 9. Swipe up anywhere on the bottom of your phone to access your apps.
Thankfully, you can revert back to having a button instead. 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 and tap the “Apps Button”. Now, select the “show apps button”. You’ll now have the familiar button at the bottom of the screen to open your app tray.
Also, Samsung added a “Home screen only” option if you want all the apps on your home screen if you switched from the iPhone and want that style.
How to Fix Slow Charging or Wireless Charging on Galaxy Note 9
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 has a massive 4,000 mAh battery that lasts longer than any other phone they’re released. It’s quite impressive, really. However, we’ve seen a few complaints about slow charging and random wireless charging issues. And if it’s getting hot while charging, use a case.
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. Additionally, you must use that same “Adaptive Fast Charge” wall plug with your wireless charger, otherwise, it’ll only get 5w of power and charge slow. This wall plug delivers more juice that allows wired and wireless to charge faster than usual.
If you need extra fast chargers, we recommend buying one of these so you have more than one.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 9 Camera Problems
We haven’t seen any major comments about the Galaxy Note 9 camera, except that it’s awesome. However, some users are experiencing a few problems. Plus, that notification that your picture isn’t perfect or blurry is frustrating too. On the Galaxy Note 8, some saw a “warning, camera failure” notification, which occasionally happens due to a software feature called “Smart Stay”.
The Galaxy Note 9 uses sensors on the front to keep the screen on while you’re looking at it. Sadly this seems to interfere with the camera. Head to Settings > Advanced Features and turn off Smart Stay.
If we see or hear about any other Galaxy Note 9 problems as more users buy one, we’ll update this post.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 9 Screen Resolution
This isn’t a “problem” but more of a personal preference. The Galaxy Note 9 has a big and beautiful 6.4-inch display with a 2960 x 1440 Quad HD resolution. That’s approaching 4K TV levels. However, Samsung lowers this to 1080p to improve performance and battery life.
Personally, I can’t tell the difference between 1080p and Quad HD, so I keep it on 1080 to get better battery life. If you want the Quad-HD though, 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 9 Performance Problems
The Galaxy Note 9 has a powerful 8-core processor 6GB of RAM, and some models come equipped with 8GB of RAM. Anything you do on this phone should be fast and have great performance. However, during the first few days, 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.
After you’ve had the phone for a few months you might notice a slight dip in performance. If so, we have a few tips. First off, try our sneaky tip in the link below.
This trick 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, disable Bixby, and turn off all the “Advanced” features you never use.
For any and all small little random problems, app crashes, or other issues try rebooting your phone before anything else. It’s amazing how often a reboot fixes problems.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 9 Speaker & Sound Problems (Wet Speaker)
Like its predecessors, the Galaxy Note 9 is IP68 dust and water-resistant. Meaning it can get more than a little wet without any problems. In fact, it can handle depths of around 5ft for over 30 minutes and be ok after. That said, the speaker still gets wet and might sound funny for a few minutes until it dries out. This shouldn’t cause any permanent damage, so don’t worry.
The phone uses multiple things to keep water out, without covering the ports and speaker with flaps or seals. Samsung actually added a coating on the inside of the device and then “surface tension” to keep water out of the speaker. There’s a small speaker grill behind the metal frame of your phone, and sometimes it gets covered by water. Just let it dry out or tap the phone against your palm to push any water out. This will fix itself and is nothing to worry about. Oh, and don’t charge your phone for at least an hour after it gets wet.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 9 S-Pen Problems
Are you experiencing problems with the S-Pen on your Galaxy Note 9? This year Samsung added multiple noteworthy new features to its stylus. For the first time ever, it now has Bluetooth built-in. This way you can use the S-Pen as a remote control, pause/play movies or YouTube, and even as a shutter button for the camera.
However, that also means there’s a small built-in capacitor battery that can and will run out. And while all the usual S-Pen features work 24/7 some of the wireless options need battery life.
If your Galaxy Note 9 S-Pen isn’t doing what you want, put it back inside the phone for about a minute. Yes, in under a minute it’ll recharge enough to last over 30 minutes. Again, that’s only for a few features, as everything else we’ve ever used the S-Pen for works even if the battery is dead. If you’re having other problems let us know in the comment section below. Try leaving it in over-night if you lost it for a few days.
How to Factory Reset the Galaxy Note 9
Most likely you’ll never experience any of the major problems we’ve detailed here today. The most common problem is just random apps crashing or WiFi issues. For those, simply reboot the phone. If you’re dealing with something more serious, a factory data reset is one of your best options. The only problem is it’ll delete everything on your phone. It erases all your apps, messages, and content. This is a last resort.
You should probably backup any data before you do this. Once you’re ready, 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 some of your apps and settings too.
Other Details & What’s Next
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is still fairly new and has only seen a few small maintenance and security updates. That means that more people will get one and find problems, and Samsung will fix issues or bugs in the near future.
Basically, expect at least 1-2 big software updates in October or November, updates that will improve your experience and fix some of these problems.
What’s next though? That’s Android 9 Pie which Google released in early August. Samsung is already busy working on the latest software and all the new features, and we’re hoping for a Galaxy Note 9 Android Pie update before the end of the year. When the Note 9 Android 9 update does come, expect some notable new features and several bug fixes.
For now, enjoy everything that is the Galaxy Note 9. It’s one of the best Android phones you can buy. We recommend getting a case, keeping the display safe with a screen protector, and maybe buy some official Samsung accessories too.
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