The Samsung Galaxy S20 is a powerful phone with a lot to love, but it’s not perfect. This guide goes over a list of the most common Galaxy S20 problems and how to fix them. Whether that’s bad battery life, camera autofocus issues, GPS problems or the fingerprint scanner acting funny, we have you covered. These fixes apply to the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, and Galaxy S20 Ultra.
We’ll help you deal with any S20 problems right from home instead of calling T-Mobile, Samsung, or browsing the web and forums for hours to try and find a fix. Expect constant updates to this post with the latest info, fixes, software updates and more as they arrive.
Before we begin keep in mind that everyone uses phones differently, on a variety of carriers, in several different ways, so you may not experience any of these issues. This is a collection of potential problems, and hopefully, you don’t deal with any of them. Most of what we mention below are common problems on any and all phones, Samsung devices, and other Android phones.
Update: Samsung issued the first big Galaxy S20 update on March 18th (for international models) aimed at fixing slow camera performance, auto-focus issues, and GPS problems. We saw more regions get the update the following day, and then we saw US carriers like Verizon issue this important Galaxy S20 camera update. Now, these phones are getting their first monthly update here in April with more tweaks and further camera enhancements.
How to Fix Galaxy S20 Fingerprint Scanner Problems
The first thing we want to quickly mention is the fingerprint scanner and the fact that all Galaxy S20 models come out of the box with a built-in screen protector. This cheap plastic film makes the scanner struggle, and we recommend removing it and buying a better Galaxy S20+ screen protector.
If you have failed attempts during the setup process with the S20, take off the screen protector and start over.
If you’re dealing with S20 scanner problems restart the entire registration process. Make sure you move your finger in several different locations while you register your print. Then, before it finishes hold the phone with one hand, how you’ll use it the most, and tap the sensor a few more times. This teaches it your print at the angle you’ll be using it the most often.
When you add a case we recommend redoing the entire finger scan process again, to get the angle right. Delete the saved prints and redo both thumbs after you apply a case. You can also try registering the same finger twice to improve your results. And finally, whether you do or don’t use a screen protector, try this trick to increase screen sensitivity.
How to Fix Galaxy S20 Accidental Screen Touch Problems
The Galaxy S20 family of phones are huge, especially that new Galaxy S20 Ultra. With a huge 6.9-inch screen you might accidentally touch the screen when you don’t mean to, and could be having accidental screen taps. Or, accidentally opening the Edge apps panel by mistake. It’s frustrating and here’s how to fix it.
One quick change in settings will prevent these accidental taps. Or, just disable the edge panel as I did.
- Go to Settings and select Display
- Scroll down to Accidental Touch Protection
- Flip the switch to ON
Not only does this help prevent accidental taps in general, but it also helps prevent the screen from coming on in your pocket, purse, bag, or dark areas. And if the screen keeps randomly turning on, that’s the “Lift to Wake” feature in “advanced controls” and you can disable that in settings too.
How to Fix Galaxy S20 Freezing & Unresponsive Problems
Is your Galaxy S20 or some of its apps freezing and becoming unresponsive? We haven’t seen any reports of Galaxy S20 performance problems yet, but it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen it on a new Samsung device.
Your phone should be working great, but if not, and it’s frozen, try this. If at any point your Galaxy S20 gets completely 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. This will not harm anything and simply forces the phone to restart, even if the screen is black and unresponsive. The April update has software enhancements that hopefully fixed any freezing issues we’re seeing.
How to Fix Galaxy S20 Always-On Display Problems (Or Lift to Wake)
Samsung added a “lift to wake” feature to the Galaxy S10 that you’ll love on the Galaxy S20. When you pick it up off a table the screen automatically comes to life. It’s nice, but some people don’t like it. Plus, we’re hearing complaints that the lift to wake or AOD feature is making the phone wakeup in pockets, which is draining the battery or butt dialing.
Here’s how to change, customize and tweak the always-on display options, or how to disable lift to wake completely.
Go to Settings > Lock screen > and tap on Always-On Display. This area lets you fully customize anything and everything. Personally, we recommend you use the always-on display as it actually saves battery life throughout the day.
Then, hit back or go back to the main Settings menu and tap on Advanced Features > Motions and gestures > and uncheck the Lift to Wake feature. You can also turn off the “double-tap to wake” option if your S20 keeps turning on in a pocket or purse.
How to Fix Galaxy S20 App Drawer Button Missing
If you’re coming from an older Galaxy S phone you’re in for a surprise. There are no physical buttons, no home key, no physical fingerprint scanner, and no app launcher button. They’re all gone. Some owners are getting frustrated that they can’t find all of their installed apps. you have to swipe up to see all of your apps, but we can switch it back to the old style with the “app drawer button” if you want.
- Press and hold down on any blank space on your screen. It will zoom out to an edit and layout page, and give you setting or wallpaper options.
- Tap the gear-shaped settings button.
- Next hit the option in settings labeled “Apps Button” and select the “show apps button”.
This way you’ll have a button that launches a tray with all of your apps like before. Or, if you’re coming from an iPhone select “Home screen only” if you want all the apps on your home screen like iOS.
How to Fix Galaxy S20 GPS Problems & WiFi Problems
Unfortunately, a common occurrence on Samsung phones is GPS problems. So far, we’re seeing a huge amount of complaints that the Galaxy S20 struggles with GPS, or GPS lock. Meaning navigation is spotty and jumps around, among other things. Hopefully, the March update fixes this. For now, we have no solution.
Every time a new phone gets released we see complaints about WiFi problems. Whether that’s WiFi drops, connection issues, or slow speeds. This is almost certainly something wrong with your network, and not the phone at all. However, we’ll still try to help.
We’ve found that Samsung’s amazing “SmartSwitch” tool for transferring your old phone to your new Galaxy S20 is often the culprit for bad WiFi. The software transferred the name, password, and connection for you and sometimes it causes a glitch or issue. Those experiencing Galaxy S20 WiFi problems should try our quick tips below.
First, we recommend forgetting your WiFi network and then re-enter the password on your S20. Do this by heading to Settings > Connections > WiFi. Push and hold your home internet connection and tap forget network on the pop-up. Then search for a WiFi connection, find yours, put in the password and it should be all good.
Additionally, try unplugging the power to your router for a good 10 seconds to give it a fresh start. Plug it back in, wait a few minutes, then connect your S20 to your home WiFi.
And finally, we have one other very helpful tip for WiFi issues. Go to Settings > Connections > WiFi > Advanced Settings > and disable the WiFi sleep option. That way WiFi stays on no matter what, even when the screen is off. Now all your apps and services continue to use WiFi, and you don’t need to keep the screen on while you update apps.
How to Fix Galaxy S20 Battery Life Problems
The Galaxy S20 packs a bigger battery than ever before, but they also have huge 120Hz screens and 5G speeds. And while we’re getting a solid 6-hours of screen-on time with the Galaxy S20 Ultra, and way better battery life than we expected, some are dealing with problems.
You might face a battery issue or have some random Galaxy S20 battery drain, so here are some potential fixes.
First, here’s our big guide to fixing bad Galaxy S20 battery life problems.
Your next step to solving any battery situation is by heading to Settings > Device Maintenance > Battery > Battery Usage to see what’s going on and what’s actually using all of your battery.
If an app is malfunctioning or misbehaving it’ll use too much battery and appear at the top of this list. If you see anything other than Display, screen, Android System, or a recent app or game you’re using, then something is wrong. Disable or reinstall any app or service that’s draining more battery than it should.
Honestly, the biggest drain on the battery is the screen so keep the brightness under 50% at all times, and try going back down to 60Hz on the screen instead of 120Hz for longer battery life. Or, just get a portable battery power bank and take it with you everywhere.
How to Fix Galaxy S20 Camera Problems
This phone has the biggest upgrade and most changes we’ve seen to the cameras on a Samsung phone in several years. From the new 108MP camera, a 64MP wide-angle lens, 8K video recording and some crazy cool zoom controls. The Galaxy S20+ camera is simply amazing.
However, being brand new and rocking all-new technology, Samsung does have a few issues they’re trying to fix. Yes, Samsung is aware that the Galaxy S20 Ultra (and sometimes the Plus) have auto-focus issues and some weird blur at times. Thankfully, it looks like the company is working hard at making things right and they released a large Galaxy S20 camera fixing update at the end of March, then another on April 7th with additional fixes for the camera.
The phone is still mostly new, so expect updates once a month for 3-4 months improving key areas like battery life, performance, and the cameras. We’re seeing a few reports the zoom animation lags at times, and flipping from the rear to front camera occasionally causes the camera app to crash. So far the camera fix update is only available for international Exynos models, but those in the United States should get it within the next week or two.
If we see anything else about the camera or you’re having problems let us know in the comment section below. You can also check for updates to the camera app itself, by going to the Galaxy Store > log in and go to Profile > Update > Camera. Or, open the camera, tap settings and go to About Camera > and tap update.
How to Fix Galaxy S20 Bluetooth Problems
For the first time in a few years, we’re not seeing too many BT complaints yet. That said, you’re likely to experience a few issues with Bluetooth in your car, stereo, or accessories at some point. Samsung’s Android 10 (One UI 2.0) software really improved Bluetooth, and so far I’ve had zero issues. But, with so many speakers, headphones and other accessories you’re bound to have an issue here and there.
If you can’t see devices or you do see them and they won’t connect to the S20, you’re not alone. Sometimes the connection is poor and audio cuts out too. With any BT problem, you’re best bet is to simply toggle Bluetooth OFF, then turn it back on again. This fixes the issue 95% of the time. Or, if it’s like a Bluetooth speaker just forget the device completely in settings, then repair it to your Galaxy S20.
Users can also head to Settings > Apps > and find “Bluetooth” and clear the cache. Keep in mind that this will erase all paired and connected devices, but often fixes any little problems you’re dealing with.
When all else fails just reboot your phone and start over. That almost always fixes nearly everything. Seriously, reboot your phone.
How to Fix Galaxy S20 Wet Speaker Problems
Like most Galaxy phones lately, the S20 family are all IP68 dust and water-resistant. This means you can drop it in the pool, or use it at depths of around 5 ft without worry. It’ll even work in the shower, but we don’t recommend it. The phone can technically handle around 5ft for 30 minutes and still work fine.
However, if the speaker or grill gets wet your phone will sound funny and muffled. This isn’t a concern and there’s no damage either, you just need to let it dry out. We get a lot of questions about worried owners, but just give it time.
Samsung uses a coating on the inside of the device to keep the components safe. Then, something they call “surface tension” to keep water out of both speaker grills and the USB port. If your music or speaker sounds funny you just need to let it dry. Or, tap it gently against your hand to push any water out of the speaker. Don’t worry, your phone is probably fine. If it goes too deep though, you might have issues.
Bonus tip: Never EVER charge your phone when it is wet. Let the USB Type-C charging port completely dry before you plug in your phone to refill the battery.
How to Fix Galaxy S20 Software Problems
We could talk about small little issues or potential problems all day, as everyone uses phones differently. Whether that’s your work email not working right or you can’t set it up, Google voice or search problems, text issues, or even keyboard problems. These are more based around the individual, and not the phone itself, which is why we don’t focus on them too much.
That being said, a pretty universal software problem we see and hear about with any phone is keyboard problems. So, if you’re dealing with Galaxy S20 keyboard problems look over this guide for a potential fix.
Then, for any and ALL other Galaxy S20 software-related problems, just reboot your phone. This is single-hand the best tip we can give you, which is why we’ll mention it one more time below.
Reboot Your Galaxy S20 to Fix Most Problems (Enable Auto Restarts)
Before we share our last tip, try rebooting your phone. Realistically, almost every problem we hear from friends, family, or see online can quickly be fixed by rebooting your Galaxy S20, S20+ or S20 Ultra. Text messages not coming in, reboot your phone. Camera acting funny, reboot your phone. WiFi died, reboot your phone. Your sound isn’t working, reboot the phone. You get the point.
Press and hold the power button on the side of your S20, then tap restart. Within about 1 minute you’ll be up and running with almost every problem gone.
When most of my friends and family have a problem on a phone and I ask when they restarted it last, they never can remember, or say something like, “I don’t know, 3-4 months ago”. That’s part of your problem, and occasionally a fresh start is good for your phone.
Gto Settings > Device Maintenance > and tap the 3-dots in the top corner and select Auto Restart. Now, choose a time and day of the week, like Monday at 3 AM. This way your phone will reboot once a week at night so performance stays at its best, and problems are a thing of the past. This makes a major difference in performance AND battery life. Additionally, make sure you’re on the latest software release.
Factory Reset the Galaxy S20 To Fix Big Problems
It’s likely that you won’t experience any major problems with your S20, and just small issues we’ve mentioned above. However, if you tried everything. talked to Samsung or your carrier and still can’t fix it, we do have one last step you can try before asking Samsung for a replacement.
The last resort to fix big problems is doing a factory data reset. This will erase all user data, apps, messages, and content from the phone. Only do this if something is seriously wrong and a show-stopping problem. Keep in mind that you will want to backup any data before you proceed. Go to Settings > General Management > and hit Reset to get started.
This process will take less than 10 minutes and will restore the original software that came with your phone on day one. Next, you’ll want to use Samsung SmartSwitch, Google Restore, or both, to restore all of your apps and settings. Again, this is the last resort and a pain in the rear, but it typically does the trick with any major problem. If this doesn’t fix it, consider reaching out to Samsung or your carrier for a replacement device.
What Else & What’s Coming Next?
The Galaxy S20 is literally brand new and still slowly but surely being bought by more people. This means we’ll learn a lot more or find additional problems in the next few months. As we do, and as more people buy one, we’ll report back with further reports and information. Basically, stay tuned, as this list could change or grow.
Samsung is getting better with each new phone in terms of how quickly they release updates. We received a day-one update, then another a few weeks later on March 18th, and more the first week of April, and you can expect more over the course of the next two months. These will all have Galaxy S20 fixes.
In closing, we want to talk about what’s coming next aside from bug-fixing software updates. The Galaxy S20 already runs Android 10, so the next step is the update to Android 11 later this fall or winter, likely around December. Before that, we could see One UI 2.2 or 2.5 but we’re not really sure.
However, with the Google Android 11 beta already started, we could see Samsung’s Galaxy S20 get an early sample of Android 11 in the summer, but that’s doubtful. We don’t expect Samsung to join the beta, but now that Google’s offered it for several years in a row, now is a good time for Samsung to start contributing. Otherwise, we’ll be waiting until the end of the year to try what’s next.
Basically, just know that a few more updates are coming soon, building on and improving the experience that is Android 10. They’ll spend the next several months improving the Galaxy S20 while working on the Android 11 update. For now, drop us a comment below if you’re experiencing any other major issues and we’ll do our best to help, or research a fix for you. Otherwise, enjoy everything your phone has to offer
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