This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. OK
271 Shares 132 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.

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 am using moto grplus 32gb i am also having the eroor of screen overlay detectd what ever the apps are told i really dont unse them so whats the eroor i request to pls help me thank you so much all of you pls help me waiting for the help reply......

  • Thank you thank you!! I was getting the screen overlay message on my S6. Tried to fix it on my own to my frustration! Found your instructions and it worked perfectly! It was the fb messenger "floating heads!"

  • My whatspp nor viber calling is not working. I cant make calls nor i can receive it. Help needed!!

  • tried all of it nothing happened & I'm going crazy!

  • just uninstall clean mast, cc cleaner, privacy grd operates the folders and applications. I had the same which is now resolved after uninstalling above mentioned apps... try this

  • Still don't work for my experia Z5

  • Rick M 6 days ago Link to comment

    Just install the Instal Button Unlocker app...i have a Note 4 and after a long search i found this bit of advice that WORKS! Simple. ..not all these numerous steps that don't work.

  • I have a Samsung A3 and yesterday evening I installed WhatsCall a free calling apps and since I have got this issue and none of the above advices work for me. When I go into settings there are no options as stated, if there is anyone who fixed this issue for Samsung A3 I shall be grateful if they could share their joy!

  • Don't update marshmallow there is overlay probelm always and phone has stopped working for a moment

  • thanks..its work bro

  • On Galaxy S7 Edge, Solved the issue by removing betternet VPN. It should also work when disabling it as well.

  • galaxy s7 edge- solved uninstaling du battery saver. Then Applications > Application manager
    Press on More > Apps that can appear on top, uncheck all, restart and enjoy..

  • All of the "solutions" I've seen on this problem are USELESS! I'm wondering when Samsung is going to fix this serious S-7 problem ....

  • I have faced this problem with Samsung Galaxy note 4. For solving this problem go to setting-> Display and WallPaper->One-handed operation and "off" all options . Now enjoy... you can give all permission to your app. Best of Luck guys!!!!!!

  • Yogi 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    allen powers - man. you rock. thanks for the suggestion

  • I am using a Samsung On 5, Doing the following steps did work only after a Restart.

  • Hi... Just got this problem and I found by digging online a easy solution. If you changed anything in DISPLAY setting, make sure you reverse it. Could not believe it that was a fix. Unchecked an option and then.. all "draw apps" were fixed.
    Try yourself!

  • For overlay problem.... Look for Allen Powers comment in this article.... It worked when absolutely nothing else would....

Show all comments

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

Got it!