The Samsung Galaxy S8 is a great phone with plenty to like, but it’s not perfect. After being available for nearly 7 months we’re starting to see a lot of complaints about Galaxy S8 problems. And sadly more surface almost daily as users wait for the upgrade to Android 8.0 Oreo. With those problems in mind, below is a list of common issues you may experience and how to quickly fix them. These also fix Galaxy S8+ problems as well.
The Galaxy S8 has seen several updates since the release date in April. From security patches in August and October to improvements for wireless charging, bug fixes, and preparations for Oreo.
They’re still worthy replacements for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, but just know some issues will need attention. We’ll walk you through some of the biggest complaints, and offer fixes or resources to address them.
How to Fix Galaxy S8 Missing Text Messages
A huge issue over the last few months is missing text messages. Hundreds of users on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and with both the S8 and S8+ have voiced frustration over it. Basically, a lot of text messages go missing.
Some users have found a fix, while others can’t get anything to work. Either way, these are a few options worth trying that might save your conversations from going MIA.
First, try disabling “Advanced Messaging” in Samsung’s SMS app. If you’re using a third-party app, try uninstalling and re-installing it for a fresh start. I’ve had no problem using Textra. Others suggest turning off WiFi calling or remove Google’s Android Messages from the Galaxy S8’s battery optimization service. As it might be the problem too. These are only temporary fixes that don’t work for everyone, but they’re worth a try.
Lastly, try taking your SIM card out and putting it back in, then reboot your phone. One user put his SIM in another phone, then back in the S8, and texts starting working. Your mileage may vary. Samsung is looking into this issue, and we’re hopeful an update will fix the problem sooner than later. Expect an update within the first two weeks of December with a fix. That aside, these are some other common problems you’ll want to know about.
How to Fix Galaxy S8 Fingerprint Scanner Problems
First things first, the biggest Galaxy S8 problem for most is the fingerprint scanner location. It’s placed in a terrible spot. Rear-mounted scanners are everywhere on Android, but never on the side of the camera. Even worse, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are longer than most, almost putting it out of reach.
Sadly there’s no real way to fix this, owners simply need to get used to the new location. Muscle memory will have you searching for a home button that isn’t there. Our best solution for actual fingerprint issues would be to set it up again for a more accurate reading.
Here is a guide to setup the Galaxy S8 fingerprint scanner correctly. Delete any saved scans and redo them after installing a case, and make sure to follow the on-screen prompts during the process. Changing angles, directions and the tip of your finger will give you the best results.
The scanner isn’t a button that clicks either, so you don’t know if you’re accidentally hitting the camera instead. Resulting in the camera lens getting covered with smudges and hand oils. Thankfully Samsung plans to change this on the Galaxy Note 8.
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 the Iris scanner from the Galaxy Note 7.
The Iris Scanner works at night, through glasses, and at more angles than the Galaxy Note 7. However, comments everywhere say both of these methods don’t work very well. 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 even worse. One person loves it, while the next complains its junk and never works. Pictures of your face can even cheat the system. So use caution if this is your only unlock method.
The face recognition on the Galaxy S8 is phenomenal!
— Erick O (@ErickOrtiz22_) April 24, 2017
At the end of August, a big update arrived with improvements to the speed and accuracy of facial recognition. If you stopped using it, give it another try.
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 and can unlock the Galaxy S8 automatically. When I’m home, my phone won’t lock. As soon as I leave, a lockscreen measure goes into place. 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.
How to Fix Galaxy S8 Apps that Aren’t Full-Screen
Another big problem we continue to see and read about is apps not being full-screen. With a big 5.8 or 6.2-inch Quad-HD screen that’s long and skinny, some apps don’t use the entire space. This is simply because of the aspect ratio, similar to 16:9 widescreen movies back in the day having black bars. And thankfully, there’s an extremely easy and quick fix.
So far most apps work just fine and scale properly, but some don’t. If so follow these steps to fix the issue.
- Pull down the notification bar and head into Settings (gear-shaped icon near the top right)
- Find and select 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. Some may not look right, but almost everything we’ve tried is just fine. Additionally, owners can hit the recent apps button and click the green “expand” icon to instantly toggle full-screen mode for that app.
We’re expecting future updates to address some of the screen ratio issues and deliver a better experience.
How to Fix Galaxy S8 WiFi Problems
Countless reports are confirming Galaxy S8 and S8+ WiFi problems. Owners have mentioned poor performance, drops, or speeds so slow they can’t even load a website or Facebook unless they turn off WiFi. We see this with almost every smartphone that gets released.
If you’re experiencing Galaxy S8 WiFi problems it’s always a good idea to reset any home routers or modem. 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 phone should now connect. Or try heading into Settings > Connections > WiFi and forget your wireless network. Then reconnect, put in the password, and re-learn the connection.
If you used Samsung SmartSwitch to transfer an old phone, the WiFi password likely transferred and connected automatically. If so, we strongly recommend redoing it yourself.
How to Fix Missing Galaxy S8 App Drawer Button
Not only are we missing a physical home button like all devices from the past seven years, but the Galaxy S8 doesn’t have an app drawer button. How do you find and open all of your apps?
Instead of wasting space on the screen with a dedicated white button, Samsung changed it to a gesture. Simply swipe up anywhere on the bottom of your screen to open the app tray and see all apps. It’s a software design change.
We can fix it though. Long press 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 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.
Samsung even added a “Home screen only” option if you want all the apps on your home screen, similar to the iPhone. Try that too, and make folders to keep it clean and organized.
How to Fix Galaxy S8 Performance Problems
If you expected some of the best and fastest performance of any phone from the Galaxy S8, you might be disappointed after owning it for a little while. Apps tend to overload it after months of installs, and performance can sometimes take a dip. Additionally, Samsung’s user interface isn’t known for being the fastest on the market.
There are ways to fix this though. Of course, rebooting the phone once a week or so helps, not to mention uninstalling apps you don’t need. However, we have a few other big tips for users.
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 option is to disable apps that constantly drain power, like the Briefing news app. Open Bixby and disable some of the apps it pulls information from, to free up resources for improved performance.
Also, in late June Samsung pushed a major update to its launcher to fix lag and bad performance. The launcher is basically an app that shows the home screen, lock screen, icons and the application tray. Samsung confirmed a problem was causing lag, and quickly fixed it. Head to the Google Play Store and make sure you have the latest updates. Additionally, go into the app drawer and find “Galaxy Apps” and update any and all Samsung apps in here for the best experience.
How to Fix Galaxy S8 Display Screen Color Problems (Red Tint)
Some users, mainly in Korea, have stated the screen has a red tint to it and the colors aren’t right. This isn’t a hardware problem that will require replacement phones, instead, a software update or tweak should fix it.
As you can see above two have a reddish tint, while the other is a nice white screen. This is a calibration issue in some form, and Samsung has since updated the phone with more options for users to customize it as they see fit. The update is available on T-Mobile and AT&T, and most carriers.
Head into Settings > Display > Screen Mode and choose a new color mode. Alternatively, there will be a fifth color balance option to completely adjust the display colors, tone and white balance. This is the only way to get rid of the red tint on your Galaxy S8 screen. Just keep in mind the phone isn’t bad, you just need to recalibrate the screen to get it how you’d like.
While we’re talking about the screen, a few comments from Korea suggests some are having what’s called screen burn-in. Where icons like the on-screen keys are ghosting and visible in apps or fullscreen mode. Basically, they burn into the screen and never fully go away. Samsung fixed this by sending out an update where the on-screen buttons move ever so slightly throughout the day. You won’t notice, but it should prolong the life of your device.
How to Fix Galaxy S8 Screen Resolution
Another problem is Samsung’s Galaxy S8 comes with a Quad-HD display and a 2960 x 1440 resolution. Higher than most 1080p HD television sets. However, Samsung lowers this down to 1080p HD for daily use. They did the same thing with the Galaxy S7 Android 7.0 Nougat update.
It’s a move that users barely notice, yet improves performance and battery life. Most can’t tell the difference between Quad HD and 1080p. That said, if you’d like the full Quad-HD you paid for, it’s easy to change.
Just go into Settings > Display > Screen resolution and slide it to the far right for the full WQHD+ for the best possible screen experience.
How to Fix Galaxy S8 Wet Speaker Problems
Like its predecessors, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are IP68 dust and water-resistant. Meaning they can go in under 5ft of water for over 30 minutes and work just fine. It’s certified against damage without flaps covering the ports or covers of any kind.
If the Galaxy S8 gets wet the speaker may sound funny for a moment, but it shouldn’t cause any long-term damage. Still, we see a lot of complaints about this and more will surface over the summer.
Samsung uses a coating on the inside of the device and surface tension to keep water out. If the speaker isn’t working or sounds bad after getting wet, just let it dry. There’s even a screen behind the speaker grill, but sometimes just a little too much water goes in.
Try shaking it out, blowing (gently) in the grill or tap it against your hand to get leftover water out. Once it dries a bit the speaker will go back to normal. We also recommend waiting a few hours before charging a phone that gets wet.
How to Fix Galaxy S8 Bluetooth Problems
Despite being the first phone with Bluetooth 5.0 which delivers 4x the range, faster pairing times and connecting two devices at once, we’re seeing tons of complaints about Bluetooth.
Multiple users state the Galaxy S8 doesn’t even see their devices, or if it does, it won’t connect. And if it does, it sounds like an old CD skipping. Meaning the connection is very poor. There’s a large thread at the official Samsung complaint forum, but no solution in sight.
@SamsungMobileUS the galaxy S8 would be great if I wasn't having problems with the audio cutting off
— Ivette (@spramp08) May 6, 2017
One moderator suggests turning off both the Galaxy S8 and your Bluetooth accessory. Turn them both back on, delete any pairing, and repair your headphones, speaker or car. Often times a simple reboot will fix Bluetooth problems too. Users can also head into Settings > Apps > Find Bluetooth and clear the cache. This will erase all pairings, which seems to solve the problem for some.
Samsung’s June software update fixed some critical bugs, improved security, and lightly mentioned Bluetooth, so try our steps again if it still doesn’t work right. That said, if you’re still experiencing issues we may have to wait for another software update. For what it’s worth, Bluetooth works great ever since the June update for me.
How to Fix Galaxy S8 Camera Problems
Are you getting a “warning, camera failure” notification on the Galaxy S8? Some are and it instantly closes the camera app. Basically being unable to take photos.
Similar to last year we’re hearing a feature called “Smart Stay” can cause the camera to close. The phone uses sensors on the front to keep the screen on while you’re looking at it. Sadly this seems to once again interfere with the camera. Head to Settings > Advanced Features and turn off Smart Stay.
Our own Josh Smith had an issue we’ve seen reported a few times too. Where the Galaxy S8 camera app closes and displays a warning that the temperature is too high.
This is fairly common in a hot car during the summer, but he was just updating apps indoors. This shouldn’t happen, and we’ll keep an eye out for more details. Are you experiencing anything like this? Let us know in the comments down below.
Another problem is Bixby vision. A big selling point on the Galaxy S8 is the camera can use their virtual assistant, Bixby, to search for information about items you take photos of. For most, it just doesn’t work at all or is spotty at best. I’ve given up on the feature, and hopefully, updates in the near future can make it more useful.
Part of the camera experience is Samsung Bixby, which recently received an update for some users that brings Bixby Voice. A long-awaited feature that Samsung delayed by a few months. Update all of your Samsung apps on the Galaxy App Store, and Bixby should work better and might even have voice controls.
How to Fix Slow Charging or Wireless Charging
Is the Galaxy S8 safe and will it explode? Following the Note 7 recall, this question is appearing more and more. Now nearly 7 months removed from the release date, we’re pretty confident saying this phone is safe. Samsung assures the world it is.
However, you may feel the phone get a little warm while it’s charging. That’s not the problem though, the problem is Samsung’s latest October security and bug fixing update (released in November) broke fast charging for millions of Galaxy S8 owners. Reports all over the web confirm some devices are taking 4-6 hours to recharge, instead of around 90 minutes.
Fast charging is extremely important, and is what makes the Galaxy S8 one of the best phones on the market. It can charge from 0-50% in just 20 minutes, and to 100% in 90 minutes.
Well, the October security update broke that for some, and Samsung’s currently working on a fix. Complaints are all over the official Samsung product forums, and we’ll update this post once we know more. I’ve noticed my phone won’t use “fast charging” even with the official charger that came in the box. For me, unplugging the phone 2-3 times does the trick, and eventually fast charging kicks in. Look for “fast charging” on the screen when you plug in your phone. Similar to our image below.
You’ll also experience slow recharging times if you’re not using a fast charging wall plug. If you need extras, we recommend buying one of these fast chargers. However, if a software problem broke this, we’re stuck waiting for Samsung to issue an update.
We know the November security update is available in select regions, and hopefully, when it hits for the US these problems go away. Again, we’ll update as soon as we know more. Is your phone charging slow? Let us know in the comment section below.
How to Reset a Frozen Galaxy S8
If the phone freezes, you can manually force it to restart. Then, other random minor problems may surface. Like screen glitches or rotation, lag, app crashes, or other small things that can often be solved by a quick reboot.
Owners can easily reboot the phone by long-pressing the power button, and hit “restart”. It will quickly turn off and restart and hopefully work as intended.
For a hard reset or to fix a frozen Galaxy S8 having problems, check out the link above. Press and hold the power and volume down button, together, for 7-8 seconds until the Galaxy S8 vibrates and reboots. This will fix almost any small Galaxy S8 problem.
Speaking of reboots, it looks like some are experiencing Galaxy S8 random reboots. Where the phone just restarts for no clear reason. Judging by the over 100 comments at Samsung’s forum, it’s a pretty big problem. The company is aware of it, and some users say to remove the microSD to fix it. We recommend formatting your SD card or trying a new one to see if reboots stop. Samsung is still investigating this issue.
Galaxy S8 “DQA keeps stopping” is another thing tons of users are complaining about. Samsung fixed it a few months ago with an update to the Galaxy App Store. If you’re still experiencing that problem, reach out to Samsung, as there’s no other known fix.
How to Factory Reset the Galaxy S8
Last but not least is a factory data reset. This will erase all user data, apps, messages, and content from the phone. So use it as a last resort. If you’re having any major problems, try this.
This is a good way to start fresh after major software releases, like the upcoming Android Oreo update. Users can then take advantage of SmartSwitch to automatically restore their device. Go to Settings > General Management > and hit Reset to get started.
The entire process will take a few minutes, restore the original software as it was out of the box and delete everything. Galaxy S8 owners can use Samsung SmartSwitch or Google restore to get all their apps back. Again, this is the last resort.
In closing, Samsung’s slow update process may fix some issues, otherwise check back often and we’ll update this post with any problems that surface. Drop a comment below if you’re experiencing any other issues and we’ll do our best to help. We’re expecting a bug-fixing and security update sometime in December, then hopefully the Galaxy Android 8.0 Oreo beta wraps up and starts rolling out before the end of the year.
While you’re here, take a look at these official Galaxy S8 accessories from Samsung.