6 tricky Samsung Galaxy S8 problems, and what to do about them

galaxy s8 active

There’s little doubt that the eye-catching curves, raw power, and tempting features of the Samsung Galaxy S8 are proving popular. It’s an excellent smartphone, but it’s also expensive, meaning you have every right to expect it to work properly out of the box. Sadly, however, technical hitches are a reality for every device. We’ve been listening to user feedback and we’ve put together a list of common Galaxy S8 problems, with advice on how to work around or fix them. One problem you definitely don’t want to have, though, is a dent in the frame or a crack in that gorgeous, curved screen. That’s why investing in one of the best Galaxy S8 cases or S8 Plus cases is a smart move.

Issue: Lag on the TouchWiz home screen

All of Samsung’s devices — including the Galaxy S8 — come with a custom user interface on top of Android, which Samsung has dubbed “TouchWiz.” Users have reported that even when running on powerful S8 hardware, TouchWiz can occasionally produce some lag, especially when using the home launcher. If you’ve been experiencing issues such as these on your device, Samsung has just delivered a fix that might do the trick.

Potential solution:

  • Update the TouchWiz home app to version 6.1.09.2 or later, which can be done via Google Play. The update is specifically designed to alleviate the stuttering that occurs when swiping up and down to open and close the app drawer. It’s also said to improve the ability to read icon text against a white wallpaper.

Problem: Random reboots

We have seen several reports from S8 and S8 Plus owners suffering from a random reboot problem. There’s a big thread at the Samsung forum on this topic. For many people, the S8 or S8 Plus is restarting itself seemingly at random. This can be infrequent or it can happen multiple times a day. There are a few things worth trying to see if you can solve this problem.

Potential solutions:

  • Make sure that your software is up to date, you should be prompted to update as soon as new software is available if you’re connected to Wi-Fi, but you can also look in Settings > Software update > Download updates manually.
  • We recommend wiping your cache partition first, as this will not delete any of your personal data. To give it a try, turn your S8 or S8 Plus off. Hold down the Volume up and Bixby keys, then press and hold the Power button, too. When you see the Android logo on screen, you can let go. The Android recovery menu will load and you can use the Volume down button to highlight wipe cache partition and then press the Power button to select it. Highlight yes with Volume down and then Power to select again. When it’s done, press Power to select Reboot system now.
  • If you have a MicroSD card in your Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus, then try removing it. Test to see if the reboot issue is resolved. You might want to back up the contents of your card and then reformat it before trying it in your S8 again.
  • Safe mode allows you to run the device without third-party apps, so you can test whether an app might be causing your reboots. To try it, turn your S8 off, and then press and hold the Power key until you see the Samsung logo, then let go of Power and press and hold the Volume down key. Keep holding it until the phone starts up fully and you should see safe mode in the bottom left corner. If the reboots are gone, then it’s a case of working out which apps are the problem ones. You can uninstall one by one or try a factory reset.
  • Although it hasn’t worked for everyone, a factory reset does seem to have worked for some people. If you want to try it, then back up everything first and turn your S8 or S8 Plus off. Press and hold the Volume up and Bixby keys, then press and hold the Power button as well. You can let go when you feel the phone vibrate. Use the Volume down button to highlight the wipe data/factory reset option and the Power button to select it, then highlight yes with Volume down and select with Power. When it’s done, highlight Reboot system now and use Power to select it. We recommend setting the phone up as new to test if the reboot issue is resolved. Do not restore any backups. If it seems to be working, then you can try restoring a little at a time. Maybe start with contacts, and then move on if no reboot problem returns. It may be best to install your apps manually, rather than restoring them.
  • If you have factory reset your S8 or S8 Plus, avoided restoring any backups, and reboots still persist, then we’d suggest contacting Samsung, your carrier, or your retailer and asking about a replacement handset.

Issue: Wireless charging paused or not working

Quite a few people have run into wireless charging issues with their Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus, as discussed in the XDA Developers forum. Some are getting a message about wireless charging being paused, some can’t get the fast charging to work, some are finding that the phone gets very hot, and others are having trouble getting wireless charging working at all.

Potential solutions:

  • If you are using a Galaxy S8 case, then try removing it and test to see if that makes a difference. Wireless charging will work just fine with some cases, but it will often make the phone a lot warmer.
  • It’s also worth experimenting with the positioning of your S8 or S8 Plus. Even if you opt for one of the best wireless chargers, you may find it works better if you turn your phone sideways or move it around to get a better connection.
  • Try changing the cable and wall charger that you’re using. The wireless fast charging apparently does not work with many third-party accessories. If you use a Samsung fast wireless charging pad with the cable and wall charger that came with your S8, then it should work.
  • If your third-party wireless charger keeps pausing and won’t fast charge, then try changing the wall charger or power adapter that you’re using with it. You should be able to get it to work at normal wireless charging speeds by switching out the fast wireless charging adapter and using a standard one instead.
  • If you’re using a power strip, try plugging directly into the wall instead. It’s also worth testing with more than one wall outlet, just to rule that out.

Annoyance: Red-tinted display

There were some reports, initially from South Korea, about the S8 and S8 Plus having red-tinted displays. It seems to be a problem for a lot of people in this long thread at XDA Developers forum. Some have faint red at the edges, others report a pink tinge on everything white. It may be more noticeable if you view the screen at an angle.

Potential solutions:

  • Samsung released a patch to address this issue. If you don’t have it yet, then check in Settings > Software update > Download updates manually.
  • You can adjust the color balance yourself by going to Settings > Display > Color balance.
  • Some people report that they’re much happier after exchanging their S8 or S8 Plus for a new handset. There are sometimes manufacturing differences with different batches of handsets. If it’s really bothering you, then it might be worth contacting Samsung, your carrier, or your retailer and asking for a replacement.

Glitch: Wi-Fi disconnecting or slowing down

A few people are struggling to get Wi-Fi working properly on some networks with their S8 or S8 Plus, as evidenced by threads at XDA Developers and Android Central. It may connect and run at a good speed initially, but after a while it disconnects or slows down inexplicably.

Potential solutions:

  • Always start with a simple reboot of your router and your phone.
  • Go to Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi > Advanced and make sure that Smart network switch is turned off. If it’s already off, just try toggling it on and off again.
  • Check in Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi > Advanced and make sure that Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep is set to Always.
  • Go to Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi > Advanced > Manage networks, tap on the problem network and then Forget. Reboot your S8 and router, then set the connection up again from scratch.
  • Some people report success after going to Settings > Connections > Location > Improve accuracy and turning Bluetooth scanning off.
  • Try changing your Wi-Fi channel via the admin page for your router. Refer to your router’s manufacturer or your ISP for instructions.
  • Make sure that your router firmware is up to date and that MAC filtering is off, or that you have added the MAC address of your S8. Refer to your router’s manufacturer or your ISP for instructions. You can find your S8 MAC address listed in Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi > Advanced.

Problem: Edge lighting not working

If you’ve been looking for notifications to light up the edges of your S8 or S8 Plus display, but the edge lighting hasn’t been working, then you’re not alone. There’s a thread at XDA Developers discussing this very problem. Some people aren’t getting edge lighting, some only get it when the S8 is face down, and some say it works face up or down.

Potential solutions:

  • Go to Settings > Display > Edge Screen > Edge lighting and make sure it’s set to Always, then tap Manage notifications and make sure the apps you want to get notifications from are toggled on. It’s worth noting, some third-party apps won’t work with the edge lighting.
  • Go to Settings > Display and make sure that Keep screen turned off is toggled off. Even if it is off, try toggling it on and off again.

Update: Included new information regarding lag on the TouchWiz home screen.