This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. OK
3 min read 453 Shares 444 comments

How to fix "Screen overlay detected" error

So, you’ve received the “screen overlay detected” message and have no idea what to do. Well, follow this step-by-step guide, and be troubled no longer.


I would like to try playing games with a TV box.
What do you think?
20086 participants

Jump to section:

Error message “Screen overlay detected”: the cause

The problem: Android suddenly warns you that a screen overlay has been detected.

AndroidPIT screen overlay detected 1
The error message in question. / © AndroidPIT

The reason: This message appears when you’re running a floating app, and then start a newly installed one, which requests access rights. Floating apps include the chat heads of Facebook Messenger that can appear floating above other apps.

Affected Smartphones: Users across the internet have reported experiencing this problem on Samsung and Motorola smartphones. It seems likely to affect many manufacturers. AndroidPIT managed to replicate the behavior on a Vodafone and a Samsung smartphone.

Problem apps: We replicated the problem using Drupe, but CleanMaster, Lux and Twilight have all been blamed for the problem.

AndroidPIT screen overlay detected 2
Drupe is one of many apps that may be the cause of the error. / © AndroidPIT

The technical background: As a security measure, apps ask for permission to use certain parts of your phone (internal storage, camera, etc.). In theory, a display overlay can interfere with the dialogue requesting permission, so you need to disable the feature to interact with the dialogue.

The solution: a step-by-step fix

Step one: "Screen overlay detected" fix

Find you what apps have permission to draw over the screen. On a non-Samsung smartphone, follow these steps:

  • Open the Settings
  • Tap the magnifying glass at the top right
  • Enter the search term “draw”
  • Tap Draw over other apps
  • Alternative route: Apps> [gear  icon]> Draw over other apps

For Samsung users:

  • Open the Settings
  • Then Applications > Application manager
  • Press on More > Apps that can appear on top
AndroidPIT screen overlay detected 3
How to find the settings for app overlays on a Samsung device. / © AndroidPIT

Step two

You will find yourself in front of a list of apps that have permission to use floating buttons or other screen overlays. Now you need to identify the problem app and temporarily deny it permission to draw over the screen. Here is are some pointers on how to identify the app that’s causing trouble:

  • Do you see an app bubble on your screen? If do, this app is almost certainly the cause. Either you hide the app bubble or disable the app in the list
  • Do you have an app installed that changes the colors on the display or adjusts the brightness?
  • Reportedly, Clean Master can be a trouble maker. If you see Clean Master in the list, disable it
  • If there’s no obvious cause, disable everything
AndroidPIT screen overlay detected 4
The list of apps that are allowed overlay permissions. / © AndroidPIT

Step three

Now you can try launching the app again, and it should request permissions without the “Display overlay detected” error getting in the way.

For Samsung users: We have also received a report that suggests the one-handed keyboard setting could be the root cause. Deactivate it by going to Settings> Advanced features > One-handed operation.

AndroidPIT screen overlay detected 5
Drupe can also be a victim of the screen overlay error, but here it is fixed. / © AndroidPIT

Step four: reactivate screen overlays

In order for the app(s) that you have disabled in step two to work again, you need to re-enable its overlay permissions. If you turned off all apps, it might be worth considering only reactivating those apps that you actually use.

This is a rather inelegant workaround, but it's the best we have until Google makes the necessary changes to prevent app overlays from interfering with permission dialogues.

Has this guide helped? If you are still experiencing the error after following our guide, leave a comment, so we can try and address the problem.


Write new comment:
  • I agree, I have the Vodafone smart ultra 6 and this new feature to it I dislike very much. Can't it just be removed?. Apps have worked over other apps on here before. I tried the all ways I've seen on here so far and nothing. Its taken 4 hours to be able to take a photo of time sheet to send for work. Sorry if this is all easy for geek's, but I build buildings not apps

  • I followed the whole procedure and no apps have screen overlay permission now. It made no difference. It's a Simbans Presto tablet with Marshmallow. Same problem with every file manager I've tried, including ES Explorer, X-plore, and File Manager Plus.

  • i have assistive touch app, i disable draw other apps and the screen overlay problem gone, thanks for the tips😸

  • Hi, I have an itel1513 android 6.0 marshmallow. I've tried everything and still can't fix the Screen overlay error problem?? Please help me. Thank youx

    • All of you guys can solve this problem by a very simple step first switch off your phone then again switch on your phone with long pressing the volume down key then your phone work in safe mode after it you can give all permission to your apps then switch off your phone and again switch on your phone without pressing any key thanks for reading and go for it if you like pls like it

  • Du battery saver is one of the culprit for this error, just press force stop it will be fine.

  • For me, it was CM Locker that caused the overlay. This sucks because the built-in phone security lock app in my Samsung S5 has a tendency to freeze and not allow me to unlock it so I don't use it.

  • Galaxy S5, Android 6.01. Tried all the steps above but no change. ES Swipe was the cause of my problem.

  • In Moto g3 mobile with Android 6.0.1,
    When you open an App if you face the "Screen Overlay Detected" Error pop up.
    First switch off the mobile.
    Then Press the power button ON which is on the side of the mobile, then press and hold the volume control down bottom till the mobile Desktop screen is shown to boot in the safe mode.
    Go to settings-> Apps -> Select the App which you had faced the above error popup.
    Click on "Permissions" then grant the permissions for the listed items like "Camera","Contacts",etc...
    Then swich off the mobile, then Switch ON normally(DONT press and hold the volume down button),
    Open the app then you wont see the error.
    It works 100%..

  • just find the floating notification apps that appeared on your screen. disable it. then your problem solved!

  • I have a Samsung Galaxy s6 Active and this worked once but now I have almost very thing disabled, and it's showing screen overlay error but when I try to turn off any permissions to try and fix it it brings up another screen overlay error. It's beginning to piss me off and I have no idea own to fix the damn thing.

  • I have been suffering with the screen overlay issue for some time after buying a redmi note 4....thanks to Android pit I was able to solve the problem... You guys rock!!

  • Registered just to let it be known that in addition to security apps, it seems that apps that "boost" phone performance cause this message to come up too. If you force stop or uninstall the App, the screen overlay message will not come up.

  • Found a solution that worked for Sony XA ultra. It may work for other devices.

    2. Apps
    3. Gear icon (top right)
    4. Draw over other Apps
    5. Options (three-dots button top right)
    6. Reset APP Preferences
    7. Tap Reset Apps in confirmation

  • I did this, step by step with want is said here and other places, and yet, it is still telling me to turn off the screen overlay. HTC One M8. Recent apps, Transformers, Arrow, Navy Federal, Youtube Studio, Hellofresh, SiriusXM. Error was discovered while trying to use Youtube Studio app. I'll go and uninstall that to see if it is the fault. (moments later) I have restarted the phone and the error went away. However, reading further in the comments while waiting for the phone to reboot, turning off all the overlay permissions REQUIRES A RESTART of the phone. So.... either one of these fixed my phone. It works now.

  • My screen overlay is not disabling

  • *Galaxy s6 Edge - I tried it all of the above and nothing worked. Finally, I found the app causing the problem. I had the "360 Security - Antivirus Boost" app installed and notice under permissions allowed it had all the permissions ON so automatically I realized the app causing the "Screen Overlay" so I immediately uninstalled the app and guess what...the darn "Screen Overlay Detected" message was gone!

    • Thank you this worked for me after days of trying

    • I didn't notice the "all the permissions ON" setting of 360 Security, but after turning all the screen overlay programs to off, restarting my phone and still having the error, I just took a guess at what might be causing the problem and uninstalled 360 Security and it fixed my problem too. I'll look for another virus scanner now. 360 Security has too many 'features' creates too many messages to clean my phone and is covered in adverts.

Show all comments

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info

Got it!