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How to fix the 'ghost touch' problem on any Android device

Touchscreen problems can be some of the most annoying to live with, and the 'ghost touch' problem that plagues some users is particularly unbearable. Never fear, as we've put together a list of options on how to fix your touch glitch problems once and for all.

What is the ghost touch problem?

Ghost touch (or touch glitches) are the terms used when your screen responds to presses that you're not actually making, or when there's a section of your phone screen that's completely unresponsive to your touch. Exactly what the 'ghost' presses will do varies from device to device, but it seems to be more common in some devices than others.

The Moto G4 Plus, for example, has many reports of problems with ghost touch, and some older OnePlus devices also had issues. Some iPhones and Windows devices suffer the same problems too. All of that is to say, if you're having a ghost touch issue, it's probably not a problem with the software. 

iphone s6 apple
Dead zones and ghost touch problems can also affect non-Android devices. / © Apple

In more severe cases it's a hardware problem with your display and the way its housed inside the chassis of your phone. If you're an engineer and happy taking electronic devices apart (and have all the required specialty tools), multiple people have reported success simply from disconnecting the screen from the data connectors.

In other situations, water or dirt damage (or beneath the screen protector) can cause 'phantom' presses that aren't being made. There's no definitive single cause, or fix, for the problem, however, so you'll have to use some trial and error if out of warranty. 

For some devices, using a screen testing app can show up dead zones that might be helped with some of the suggestions below. 

How to fix the ghost touch and dead zone problems

Let's start with the easiest, simplest possible solution for a problem that looks similar, but isn't actually the ghost touch issue.

If you're lucky, the problem for you is being caused by a screen protector that's got a tiny piece of dirt stuck behind it. The advice there is to remove it, clean your screen thoroughly and then replace the screen protector. However, if you're suffering from more severe (i.e. actual) ghost touch problems, your options aren't quite as straightforward. 

Return it

The unequivocally best way to fix a screen glitch problem is to return the device to the manufacturer, ideally under warranty for a replacement. When within warranty, many companies will offer a new device in exchange for the faulty one, though some may opt to replace the screen instead to try and resolve the issue.

Although this is a simple option, it's probably not the quickest unless you're walking into a store to hand it over for a new one. If your handset is out of warranty, you'd probably have to pay for repairs and a swap won't be offered. 

If you're an electrical engineer

If you have the right tools available to crack (metaphorically speaking) open your device and disassemble it, you stand a good chance of getting your screen working again if it's suffering from the ghost touch problem. Many people (and indeed, many more YouTube videos) suggest that taking the phone apart, disconnecting the screen from the data connectors and reseating all of that has been enough to fix the problem for them. 

You could, of course, pay a third-party repair shop to reseat your screen in the connectors for you to see if it fixes the problem, which would be cheaper than a whole new panel. 

If you believe in miracles

This one is a bit weirder, but if you're a believer in weird YouTube tips then this is one for you. Again, we're taking no responsibility for any adverse affects to your phone, and many of the comments below these videos report that it has worked for them, though these are - of course - unverified claims. 

In short, the videos show you how to disassemble an electric lighter so that you've only got the piezoelectric igniter - that's the bit you press down on to create the spark. 

Once removed, you place the igniter against the screen in the spot that doesn't work and click it a few times. This, according to the videos, is a simple and (almost) free way to potentially fix your screen without leaving the house. 

You might need to apply the clicker method a few times to fix your dead zones or ghost touch problem, but it does seem to work for some people and can also be used to revive dead pixels. 

If you have a Moto G4 Plus or OnePlus One

If you own a OnePlus One that's playing up or a Moto G4 Plus, some owners of these devices report that software updates can improve the situation, but that relief is usually short-lived. In the case of G4 Plus handsets, many people report that the problem only occurs when it's plugged into a charger, though not always. 

Given the volume of problems with the Moto devices in different situations, your best bet is to return it under warranty wherever possible. 

It's probably not worth wiping your device and changing your software though, as it probably won't help in the long run. 

Did this help you? Have any tips worth adding? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Rutger 1 month ago Link to comment

    I fixed my oneplus one screen ghosting by taking it apart and cleaned out the water corrosion on the lcd connector.


  • The GPU rendering ”FIX” did not prevent Ghost Touches on my Moto G4 Plus.


  • Here is the fix, works perfectly fine:
    To fix ghost touches.

    Go to Settings -> Developer Options -> Enable Force 2D GPU Rendering.

    To get developer option-> settings- about phone tap 7 times build number.

    Tick the box

    and you are done :)


    • worked like a charm 100% thanks a billion for sharing !!!!


    • Thanks. So far has been working better than all the other suggestions.


    • My MotoG4 has been driving my insane taking over my (device) life!! I've done as you suggest, so will wait with baited breath to see if I can gain back control! Thanks in advance ;)


    • Thanks!!


    • Testing this tonight. Been dealing with this "ghost" issue on my G4 + (black from amazon) however my wifes g4 + (white from amazon) ordered at the same time has never once shown the issue. I've noticed it most when I drop the phone in my shirt pocket and pull it out to use it again. It will be going ballistic tapping all over, I have to hold the power button and repeatedly click the power off and restart the phone to make it stop.


      • Yes my mum's G4+ goes nuts when she goes out with it in her bag. I read elsewhere that it's caused by static interfering with an improperly earthed screen. Is the shirt acrylic?


  • I have had THREE Moto G4 Plus models with the problem.


  • Advising readers to return your phone for a refund from Motorola, within the warranty period, is easier said than done. They refuse replacements or refunds and insist that you keep returning the phone for repair, which is highly inconvenient. In the UK, after one failed repair, you're entitled to a refund under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Motorola flatly refused to do anything other than another repair, even on receipt of an official letter. I eventually used the UK government's small claims procedure to request a refund. Even then, they tried to insist on their own terms rather than their legal obligation. I did eventually get a refund but most people wouldn't know about their rights or would just give up the ghost, so to speak.


  • When I initially read through the article, I was sure the "miracle approach" doesn't work. But after getting too frustrated with my oneplus 3, I tried it on that, and it worked perfectly after one single click. Just leaving this comment here for other fellow readers to try it out once before discarding the possibility of it being true.


  • Had this on my Lenovo K3 Note - dont know how to fix this without replacing the screen which looks too fiddly. Seems phones are not built to last now because of the amount of use with social media


  • Andria D. 6 months ago Link to comment

    A LOT of users report problems like this with the ZTE Zmax Pro, particularly for multi-touch, as with games. Thankfully, I haven't had the problem; I don't game, and the only use I've had for multi-touch is to pinch or spread a map or small text, and I've never seen any problems with my own Zmax Pro. I think that particular phone, being a dead-cheap bargain phone, just has a lot of "lemons"... which fortunately I didn't get.


  • Reg Joo 6 months ago Link to comment

    It does happen, not so much with my android(I can actually count on two hands how many times my androids did that in almost 3years), but man! the ipad air I have does it all the time.

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