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15 Common Galaxy S9 Problems & How to Fix Them



In this guide we go over a list of the most common Galaxy S9 problems and offer tips to fix them. While Samsung’s Galaxy is one of the best phones available, it isn’t perfect. Even after the recent update to Android Pie, Galaxy S9 problems continue to emerge. Here’s what you need to know and how to fix any bugs. These apply to the Galaxy S9+ as well.

You don’t need to call Samsung or go to a carrier store for help. You can easily fix most problems at home. We’ll walk you through the biggest complaints, offer fixes, or resources to address them. Keep in mind that everyone uses phones differently, and not everyone will have the same issues. Let’s get started.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 Android Pie Problems

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Android Pie update is finally available around the globe, and it brought lots of exciting new changes to the phone. However, some users are reporting new problems.

If you’re running into Galaxy S9 Android Pie One UI problems or battery life issues follow this guide. We go over some common issues with Samsung’s new software and how to downgrade back to Oreo. For everything else, keep reading.

Galaxy S9 Touchscreen Sensitivity Problems

One of the first real “problems” we see mentioned often for the Galaxy S9 is regarding the touchscreen. Some users are reporting the Galaxy S9 screen doesn’t register taps or touches in certain areas, or they’re having sensitivity problems. We’re seeing reports on Reddit and at the official Samsung product forum.

First, go to Settings > Advanced Features > and scroll down to and select Touch sensitivity. This will increase the sensitivity of the screen and potentially fix your problem. Especially if you’re using a screen protector as they sometimes decrease sensitivity and accuracy.

Additionally, you can open your phone dialer and type *#0*# then select “touch” from the list of options. This is a hidden test menu on every Galaxy phone. We don’t recommend messing around in here, but you can quickly see if your screen has a physical hardware problem. If so, reach out to Samsung for a warranty replacement. Yes, people with screen touch problems are getting replacement devices from Samsung.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 Apps that Aren’t 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 due to the new aspect ratio, similar to 16:9 widescreen movies back in the day having black bars.

Most apps and games scale up to fit the entire screen, but some don’t. If so follow these steps to fix the issue.

  • 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

At this point, most apps should work fine and developers already fixed this. If not, you can force them into full screen mode. Now it will automatically scale to the new 18.5:9 aspect ratio and fill your entire display with content. Additionally, when you launch an app if it doesn’t look right hit the recent apps button and look for a green “expand” icon. If available, this will instantly toggle full-screen mode on or off for that specific app.

If you notice apps or games look funky after you make the change, just switch it back. We’re expecting most apps to work, and if not, developers will release updates soon.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 Fingerprint Scanner Problems

Finally, the Galaxy S9 has a fingerprint scanner that’s easy to tap, right in the middle of the phone. However, Samsung’s new register system is causing a few 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.

For one, Here is a guide to setup the Galaxy S8 fingerprint scanner correctly. Those same steps apply to the Galaxy S9. The reason we say that is because if you follow Samsung’s instructions on the Galaxy S9, it asks you to “swipe” your finger across the sensor. This registers and saves your print far faster than tapping 8-10 times to slowly train the phone to recognize your fingerprint.

We’re assuming Samsung added the swipe method to make setup easier, but that might also cause you to have errors. Delete your fingerprint, and redo it. Don’t swipe, but tap at multiple different angles so it really gets a good scan of your finger. We also recommend redoing any saved prints after you install a case.

How to Fix Intelligent Scan Face Unlock Problems

Another Galaxy S9 problem we’re hearing about is over the new Intelligent Scan face unlock system. With the Galaxy S9 Samsung combines the Iris scanner and the facial scanning technology into one. So if one fails, it tries the other automatically. The goal was to make it work better, but it’s not for some.

For one, make sure the first time you scan your Iris, Face, or do Intelligent Scan you’re in a brightly lit environment. Having enough light is crucial to getting an accurate reading.

Read: 175 Helpful Samsung Bixby Voice Commands

Additionally, we’re hearing Samsung is already working on an update to improve how intelligent scan works. The two big changes are improvements for face unlock, and camera fixes. Those go together and will improve face unlock. Get the latest software, or make sure you scan your eyes and face when you have enough light. We’ll report back if we hear more from Samsung about this problem.

Galaxy S9 Freezing & Unresponsive Problems

Are you having problems where the Galaxy S9 keeps freezing or is completely unresponsive? We saw a lot of those complaints on the Galaxy Note 8, and we’re seeing a few for the S9+ too. You might experience this in the contacts app or phone dialer while trying to make a call. Sadly, we don’t have any complete fix that will prevent your phone from freezing.

Read: 20 Best Galaxy S9 Cases

However, we can help you fix it when it happens. If your S9 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.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 App Drawer Button Missing

Not only are you missing a physical home button like the first six Galaxy S phones, but if you updated from an older phone you’re probably missing the app drawer button too. Some owners are getting frustrated that they can’t find all of their installed apps. Here’s how to fix it.

This is a “feature” and not a problem. Samsung did this by choice, but thankfully we can quickly switch it back to the old style.

  • 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 S9 Slow Wired or Wireless Charging

Another problem you might face is slow wired or wireless charging. We’re still seeing a few complaints that fast charging isn’t working for some users. Fast charging lets the Galaxy S9 go from 0-50% in about 25 minutes, instead of taking hours like older phones. If you don’t use the right cable and the wall plug that came in the box, you won’t get these fast speeds.

One report said the cable that came in the box was the problem, and when he used a different cable fast charging worked just fine. We’ve reached out to Samsung and will report back if we hear more. Buy some extra USB Type-C cables, and use the wall wart that came in your box.

When you plug-in the phone you want to see “fast charging” as shown above. If you don’t, unplug it and plug it back in. Or, try a different cable.

Additionally, your phone might get a little hot. That’s completely normal. Worried Galaxy S9 owners can head to 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.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 WiFi & GPS Problems

With every phone release, we see reports about WiFi problems. We’re already seeing comments about poor performance, WiFi drops, connection issues and slow browsing speeds. This is almost never a problem with the phone itself, and usually something else.

Read: 10 Cool Things the Galaxy S9 Can Do

If you used Samsung SmartSwitch to transfer everything from an old phone, the WiFi password likely transferred and connected automatically. That’s nice, but that might also be your problem.

Those experiencing Galaxy S9 WiFi problems have a few things they can try. 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 pop-up. 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. Then try connecting your Galaxy S9.

I also go into 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 S9 Bluetooth Problems

Android 8.0 Oreo Oreo should have fixed your Galaxy S9 Bluetooth problems, and if not, the Galaxy Android Pie update will. Or at least Google says so. Plus, this is likely a compatibility issue with your accessories or car stereo. With so many accessories you’re bound to have an issue here and there.

If you can’t see devices or do see them and they won’t connect, you’re not alone. Sometimes the connection is poor and audio cuts out too. Thanks to Bluetooth 5.0 on the Galaxy S9 most people shouldn’t face any big issues. If you’re experiencing problems try reconnecting to your Bluetooth devices or drop a comment at the official Samsung product support page. If anything surfaces we expect a quick update from Samsung.

Users can also head to Settings > Apps > and find “Bluetooth” and clear the cache. This will erase all pairings, which fixed problems on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8. Otherwise, try our biggest tip for ANY problem, and reboot your phone. Yup, just a single reboot usually fixes just about everything.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 Screen Resolution

Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ both have big 2960 x 1440 Quad-HD screens. However, to save battery life and improve performance they’re only displaying at 1080p. If you want the full Quad-HD nearly 4k resolution you paid for, you can turn it on in the settings menu.

You probably can’t tell the difference between 1080p and Quad HD, but will enjoy the longer battery life. However, 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. This might help some of the scaling issues on certain apps too if they don’t use the full screen.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 Wet Speaker Problems

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are IP68 dust and water-resistant. Meaning they can handle depths of 5ft for around 30 minutes and will come out working just fine. Even the dual speaker configuration can handle all that water.

However, if the speaker or grill gets wet your sound might end up muffled. This isn’t an actual problem, and probably nothing permanent either.

Samsung uses a coating on the inside of the device and what they call “surface tension” to keep water out of both speakers. Not to mention there’s a grill over the front top speaker. If your music or speaker doesn’t sound right you just need to let it dry. Or, tap it gently against your hand to push any water out of the speaker. Most likely there’s nothing wrong with your phone, just give it time.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 Camera Problems

So far we haven’t seen any major Galaxy S9 camera complaints, but there is a problem with the Super Slow-motion feature. Users are reporting poor lighting and a super dark super slow-motion video experience. I have it on mine, and the video below is one of many showing something similar.

Basically, when you switch to the 960 fps super slow-motion everything gets extremely dark, almost too dark. If you’re not on the latest software you’ll experience this. That’s because Samsung addressed this complaint in July of 2018, and made further camera improvements with updates in December and with the January 2019 update.

We’ve seen several instances where super slow-motion isn’t dark at all, so this is clearly a problem on some devices, but not all. In the meantime, drop us a comment below if you are dealing with any Galaxy S9 camera problems. And finally, try heading to Settings > Advanced Features and turn off Smart Stay. This feature causes camera problems on occasion.

How to Fix Galaxy S9 Samsung Pay Problems

While there are a few different Samsung Pay problems we see on occasion, most of those are related to your bank, credit card, or settings on the phone. Overall, Samsung Pay works great on millions of phones.

However, lately, we’re seeing severe battery drain from the Samsung Pay Framework app on the Galaxy S8, S9, or even the Note 9. This isn’t from the Android Pie update, and it doesn’t matter if you’re on Oreo or Pie. While most people aren’t dealing with this, we’re seeing enough complaints to mention it.

If you’re getting terrible Galaxy S9 battery life suddenly, go to Settings > Device Maintenance > and see what’s using the most. If Samsung Pay is within the top few, something isn’t right. We’re waiting for Samsung to fix this problem, but for now, go to Settings > Apps > Samsung Pay Framework > Battery and toggle battery optimizations to “Not optimized” which fixes this Samsung Pay problem.

Reboot the Galaxy S9 to Fix Most Problems

Before we share our last tip, try a simple reboot. Almost every problem we hear from friends, family, or see online can quickly be fixed by rebooting your Galaxy S9. Not receiving text messages, reboot your phone. The sound isn’t working, reboot the phone.

Simply press and hold the power button on the right side of your Galaxy S9, then tap restart. Within about 1 minute you’ll be up and running with almost every problem gone.

Also, go to Settings > Device Maintenance > and tap the 3-dots in the top corner and select Auto Restart. Now, choose the time and day of the week, like Wednesday at 4 AM. Now, the phone will reboot once a week at night so performance stays at its best, and problems are a thing of the past.

How to Factory Reset the Galaxy S9

Most owners won’t experience any major problems with the Galaxy S9 or S9+. If you tried everything we mentioned earlier and checked with your carrier for help, we do have one last step for you. 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 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.

The entire process will take a few minutes, restore the original software as it was out of the box and delete everything. Galaxy S9 owners can use Samsung SmartSwitch or Google restore to get all their apps back. Again, this is the last resort if you have major problems. If this doesn’t fix it, consider reaching out to Samsung or your carrier for a replacement phone.

What’s Next?

In closing, here’s what you need to know about what’s coming next. This was Samsung’s first phone with Android 8.0 Oreo, and they’ve slowly fixed most of the bugs. Plus, my Galaxy S9 got two updates in December and another in January of 2019 with performance enhancements, better security, and bug fixes, and you probably did too.

Then, in January or February, you received the newly redesigned One UI built on Android 9 Pie. This delivers a fresh new experience for the Galaxy S9, S9+ and Note 9. That’s the latest major update, but expect at least one more big maintenance update to fix any One UI problems in the next 2-4 months.

For now, drop us a comment below with any other issues you’re experiencing and we’ll do our best to help. Keep in mind that a lot of issues were fixed with the Pie update. In the meantime, consider buying some of these official Galaxy S9 accessories made by Samsung.

15 Best Official Galaxy S9 Accessories

Galaxy S9 HyperKnit Case

Galaxy S9 HyperKnit Case

Most of the Galaxy S9 accessories will be familiar to Samsung users because a lot of them are similar or the same as other years. However, the one that we like the most is brand new. 

Our first recommendation is the all-new Galaxy S9 Hyperknit Nylon case from Samsung themselves. Yes, this case is made from real Nylon and has a comfortably soft yet durable fabric that covers the entire case. 

Samsung explains it as a unique, soft, lightweight yet durable cover that protects your phone. It fits like a glove, it's thin, and you'll be proud to show it off. Sadly, this only comes in a sleek gray color or Nylon Red. 

Get it from Samsung for $34.99



  1. Ian

    05/11/2018 at 1:50 pm

    Comment RE: camera issues – The 2x optical zoom, one of the great selling points of the S9+, doesn’t work in the camera’s Pro Mode! Unfortunately, RAW images can only be saved in Pro Mode. This means if you were looking forward to using Lightroom to edit some RAW images you took, forget it, since a sensor dump will only be at 1X zoom. You can try pushing your camera in people’s faces, but aside from irritating them, the lens’s short focal length will cause the shot to appear distorted. For landscapes it’s impossible. Really hoping Samsung fixes this, and I can’t believe that none of the literally thousands of S9+ camera reviews mention it. What a disappointment!

  2. Carroll Wood

    08/22/2018 at 4:38 am

    I purchased a Samsung Galaxy S9+ two weeks ago. I’m experiencing all of the same things others have concerning problems using speaker phone. I went back to the AT&T store and told them that people on the other end of my conversations either think we’ve been disconnected ,or I’m am so muffled and can’t understand a word I’m saying. I can hear them fine. After a very rough time with the AT&T sales, they reluctanty gave me a new one, only to find out the same problem exists. Speaker is an option on the phone …. I should be able to use it!! Extremely disappointing to say the least,not only with the speaker problem but also how I was treated. I’m sure they know the problem exists, yet pretended to say they didn’t know what I was talking about. When you spend $900 on a phone, i should be able to use the functions, …. it should be making my dinner!!!!

  3. Jessie

    08/27/2018 at 2:23 pm

    I have a problem with the zoom feature. The problem is that all my photos lose definition when using zoom. I work on a whale watch boat, so I bought this phone thinking I would get great pictures of whales and dolphins. This is the worst camera I’ve ever had in a phone. Verizon and Samsung told me that it was working as designed, as Samsung did not put any effort into the zoom function.

  4. GalaxyMan

    12/01/2018 at 6:55 am

    “How to Fix Galaxy S9 App Drawer Button Missing”
    Fix: Just swipe up to open the drawer… MUCH better than having the stupid button.

    Screen resolution:
    “you want the full Quad-HD nearly 4k resolution you paid for” QHD is NOT nearly 4K Full HD = 2K (or 1,9K to be exact) akd QHD is 2,5K and is only a 25% increase.
    4K is alot more…

  5. JimC

    02/05/2019 at 5:31 pm

    Just allowed the latest update this morning 2/5/19. Galaxy s9. Contact list still there, but the names are invisible. Cannot see who I would like to call.

  6. Michael

    02/06/2019 at 9:07 am

    Pie update today
    Always on screen now has the cell network provider scrolling in top left corner.
    Listening to audio stream via bluetooth speaker, starts to break up when device switches to always on screen.

  7. Stephanie R Rogers

    02/06/2019 at 12:11 pm

    I cannot send or receive MMS any more. Xfinity says it’s Samsung. Samsung says it’s Android. Android says it’s Xfinity or Samsung. Argh! I tried some fixes that I found on line but they did not work. Any ideas? Is there a way to uninstall the Android Pie update? I want my Oreo back!! Bluetooth isn’t working either anymore. ugh.

  8. L

    02/06/2019 at 2:40 pm

    —I cannot send or receive MMS any more. Xfinity says it’s Samsung. Samsung says it’s Android. Android says it’s Xfinity or Samsung… I have 2 S9’s one went through fine , the other has the above issue…. no MMS– with no answer as to how to fix, just everyone blaming each other.

  9. Michael Parkin

    02/06/2019 at 3:31 pm

    Just updated to Orio on my S9+. Only issue I have so far is when I answer a phone call the ring tone continues for about 5 seconds into the call. The quality of the ring tone whilst doing this is poor.

  10. Israel Blancas

    02/06/2019 at 9:29 pm

    So far the only issue I’m having is when I watch a video, it goes from landscape full rotated screen back to small if you were on portrait. Also my keyboard keeps on disappearing when I try to to type.

  11. Marla

    02/07/2019 at 11:04 am

    Updated my Galaxy S9 yesterday and now my calendar is all messed up. The calendar looks like a grid chart but has no numbers on it. My scheduled appointments show up but doesn’t show the date. I wish I had never updated.

  12. Morgan

    02/08/2019 at 7:04 am

    I received the most recent update on 2/6 and now my Always on display is not working. It only comes on if I touch the screen, then goes black after 30 seconds. I know this is minor, but I have come to rely on this for quick time zone info as I book meetings. Anyone else experience this? I have tried updating the settings, rebooting (restart and reboot) and my settings are all showing properly. But no luck on functionality.

  13. Emma

    02/08/2019 at 4:20 pm

    The only problem I’ve got do far is with smart view. I’m away for work atm so decided to buy a mini projector 4 days ago so I can still watch Netflix, game etc. First 2 nights it all worked fine, then I updated to pie. Now everything I send through smart view has a 1 or 2 second screen delay behind the audio and has kinda taken away the major points for buying the projector in the first place. Assuming it’ll be fixed at some point but still annoying as

  14. Vernon

    02/10/2019 at 11:00 am

    I’m finding that every 3 1/2 minutes my phone screen darkens and a lock appears in the middle. I have to touch the lock and drag it to get my screen back. I’ve changed settings on both the timeout and the lockscreen, but neither effect this problem. I have games that run and this interferes with it. I’ve even gone to the developer settings and used the while charging never sleep mode, but that doesn’t work either. This is extremely annoying.

  15. Dara Thomas

    02/11/2019 at 3:26 am

    My husband & I both did the latest update to our Samsung S9+ phones and the only issues we are having is that one minute it shows the correct time and then the next time you look at the phone the time will show 4 hours back. So the actual time may be 2:00pm and if you look at the phone 10 minutes later it will say it’s 10:10am. They flip flop from the current time to 4 hours back throughout the day and when ever it’s showing the 4 hours back it messes with the messages. It will sometimes delete one that was sent and then resend it. I had one that actually came up and said that I had sent it the next day but my husband had actually just received it from me. This is very frustrating. Also not sure how this is going to affect the alarms.

  16. Anuradha

    02/14/2019 at 10:01 am

    I am using Samsumg galaxy S9+ for past 10 months and it was working perfectly. Now after upgrading to new version . My call logs are messed up. Only last one or 2 calls are only getting displayed. Please do help in resolving the same

  17. Lee Ann

    02/16/2019 at 10:51 pm

    I’ve been a diehard Android fan for a long time, but they’re close to losing me over this disastrous update. I took pictures of a new baby in the family only to discover they didn’t save–out of town family I’ll be a year before seeing again. Then a week later I get a notification that won’t go away about being out of room for data, which can’t be possible. I attempt to transfer my files to my pc, only to discover that since the new update, video files don’t transfer. What?! Someone please help! Any workarounds to get video files transfered from S9 to pc??? Anyone???

  18. Hildur

    02/20/2019 at 2:33 am

    I bought S9+ three days ago (with Oreo OS), *just* because of the camera, and happily recorded videos in pro mode the same day. Then Pie rolled out Monday night and ruined the camera… I don’t have toe recording option in pro mode any more!

    • Hildur

      02/20/2019 at 2:35 am

      …*the* recording option. I have no interest in recording toes.


    02/20/2019 at 10:24 am

    I’m really disappointed with this latest update. I have the Samsung Galaxy s9 and the most frustrating issue I have is that I cannot receive any group texts or individual texts. I get messages that say network error occurred.I text ALOT and I need this fixed! Help!

  20. Charles E Brewer

    02/21/2019 at 7:44 am

    After the most recent update (2:21:2019) to my Galaxy S9, the Always On function is not working.

  21. Dekson

    02/21/2019 at 8:07 am

    I buy s9 on monday now its Thursday,and i see this is worst phone i never had.
    Battery cant finish day with minimal using and minimal setting ? ARE YOU SERIOUS SAMSUNG ????

  22. Anna

    02/22/2019 at 8:48 am

    My S9 was perfect prior to the latest Pie update… wish I never updated. Cannot send MMS, all my texts go through in pieces and out of order… called T-Mobile, they stated it’s a Samsung issue, called Samsung, they walked me through a factory reset… still not working correctly… same text issue! and my camera is completely different, cannot edit screenshots or pics at all… this really sucks! After factory reset – lost several apps and data… not happy at all, I use my texts for business, and I cannot send business texts that are going to break up into numerous texts – out of order!

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