Issues from Oreo or Android 9 Pie updates, betas, poor performance, bad battery life and more. With that in mind, here’s a list of common issues and how to fix them. These fix Galaxy S8+ problems as well.
They’re still worthy replacements for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, and worth keeping over the Galaxy S9, but just know some issues will need attention. Keep reading to get your phone running great again.
How to Fix Galaxy S8 Fingerprint Scanner Problems
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. However, we can help with actual scanning problems and issues. Here is a guide to setup the Galaxy S8 fingerprint scanner correctly.
If you’re having issues or failures to scan, delete any saved prints and redo them. Especially 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.
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 eye scanner.
The Iris Scanner works at night, through glasses, and at more angles than other scanners. 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, just like with fingerprints. Open your eyes nice and wide the first time, so it gets the best reading possible.
Then, 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 has no lockscreen security. 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 problem that most people shouldn’t face anymore is apps not using the entire screen. With a big 5.8 or 6.2-inch Quad-HD screen that’s long and skinny, some apps have black bars at the top/bottom. 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.
How to Fix Galaxy S8 WiFi Problems
Countless reports are complaining about 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. 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. That’s nice, but that also causes problems. So, delete or forget your home network, and reconnect and enter the password for a fresh start.
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?
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.
How to Fix Galaxy S8 Performance Problems
Two years ago the Galaxy S8 was one of the best and fastest phones around. However, after owning it for a year or two the performance starts to suffer. 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. Most people don’t do any sort of “maintenance” and wonder why phones start to slow. These are powerful computers, but they can get bogged down.
For one, 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. Click this link too, for a secret tip to make your phone faster.
Plus, be patient and just know that the upcoming Galaxy S8 Android Pie update will make things faster.
How to Fix Galaxy S8 Display Screen Color Problems (Red Tint)
Some users 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 everywhere.
Head to 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.
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 and the newer Galaxy S9.
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 to Settings > Display > Screen resolution and slide it to the far right for the full WQHD+ for the best possible experience. Personally, I keep it at 1080p for better battery life.
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 about 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 so here’s how to proceed.
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 the very stable genius (@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 to Settings > Apps > Find Bluetooth and clear the cache. This will erase all pairings, which seems to solve the problem for some.
Samsung’s June 2018 software update fixed some critical bugs, improved security, and lightly mentioned Bluetooth. Google claims to have fixed all outstanding BT issues with the latest Oreo update, and refined it further in Android 9 Pie. So, wait for the Pie update in February or March to see if that fixes things.
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.
This message above is fairly common in a hot car during the summer, but some people see it 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.
How to Fix Slow Charging or Wireless Charging
Is the Galaxy S8 safe and will it explode? Following the Note 7 recall, this question kept popping up. Don’t even worry about it, this phone is absolutely safe.
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 2018 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.
Make sure you have the latest update from your carrier. Like the Verizon Galaxy S8 January patch. This fixes the charging issues. 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. Is your phone still charging slow? Let us know in the comment section below.
How to Fix Galaxy S8 Dead After Battery Goes to 0%
This isn’t the Galaxy Note 7, so the battery is totally safe. However, some recent reports might have you worried. Multiple comments on forums and the Samsung community state that if you let the Note 8, S8, or S8+ battery go completely dead, to 0%, it might never turn on again. Most reports are for the Note 8, but we’re seeing several for the Galaxy S8+ also.
Mainly, the phone completely dies and when a user tries to plug it in and recharge it, 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 you run the battery down, most likely it will be fine.
If your GS8 runs completely out of battery and will not turn on we have a few ideas. 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 S8.
If this doesn’t work for you, reach out to Samsung and get your defective phone replaced. It’s possible a software update may prevent this from happening, and we’ll update once we hear more from Samsung on this issue. They’ve confirmed the problem is on a very small scale, and are actively investigating.
How to Fix Galaxy S8 Android Pie Problems
Now that the official Galaxy S8 Android 9 Pie update is in beta, or available for some, a few problems are starting to emerge. So far we’re not seeing anything major, but there are the usual complaints.
A few reports mentioned issues with Bluetooth, WiFi, battery life, installation problems, missing picture messages, and other things, to name a few. Are you experiencing these?
That said, the Galaxy S8 One UI Android Pie update is still in the testing phase, so most of this will get fixed before it’s released around the globe. If you’re participating in the Galaxy S8 Android Pie beta here is a list of common problems and how to fix them. We’ll update this list once the official software arrives in February or March.
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. Rebooting your Galaxy S8 can fix almost every small problem we hear about daily. Do it often.
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, make sure everything is up to date on the Galaxy App Store.
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 new Android Pie 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 new problems that surface. Drop a comment below if you’re experiencing any other issues and we’ll do our best to help you out. We’re expecting almost every Galaxy S8 around the globe to get a maintenance update in January or February of 2019, ahead of the Pie update. Either way, enjoy your Galaxy and check back often for more help.
While you’re here, take a look at these best official Galaxy S8 accessories from Samsung.
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