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How to fix the 'ghost touch' problem on any Android device
OnePlus One Hardware Tips & Tricks 5 min read 42 comments

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. 

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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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  • thank you for the lighter tip - really does work - amazeballs - virtual lucky shamrock to you

  • Believe in miracles! The electricity trick works!!

    Okay, my phone, an Essential PH-1, was pretty much unusable because of the 'ghost touching' issue going bonkers one day, so I tried everything I could think of: factory reboot, wiping with dryer sheets (which actually seemed to make it worse), wiping it with electronic wipes, putting it in the freezer (I thought it might be overheated), shaking it, yelling at it, changing every setting I could think of. Finally, out of options, we were sure that we'd have to suck up the $200 for the insurance to get a replacement.

    So, since the insurance applies to any damage anyway, we decided to try zapping it with electricity -- right in the middle of the screen for less than a second (not with an igniter, but a different device) . And the ghost touching problem instantly went away!

    • hi i have the same phone and have the same ghost touch issue too, but it happens occasionally, like couple times a day and as soon as i lock the screen and unlock, the problem goes away. was it something that happened to you? how did you verify if your ghost touching problem has been completely gone away by the igniter? I would like to give a try too!

  • Ghost touches real fix for a real problem. In case all you highly intellectual minds are not aware of the fact hardware is affected by a build up of static electricity. Simply wipe down you plastic in-cased phone and the inside of the case and edges with a dryer sheet or antistatic spray and know more problem.

  • TQ ...it worked perfectly......

  • I got a Moto 4G Plus I returned it three times because of this problem. I got stuck with one because my warranty expired. I thought that the last one was ok but after a couple of months the problem started. I will tell you do not ever purchase a Motorola phone.


  • I am currently trying Factory Reset

  • Thanks guys. The lighter trick worked like a charm. I was experiencing ghost touch on my Xaiomi redmi note 4x when i woke up this morning. I was contemplating getting a new LCD for my phone. I tried the lighter trick ,like 10 times and it worked like a charm. I am so happy and greatful.

  • Guys im using mi max and facing ghost touches issue but here's what i did which confirms its not a hardware issue and u should also check as this method is perfect for such check.
    I measured the area where autotouches shows ..its like 2 inches from above and then i switched to single handed mode which reduced screen to a corner and surprisingly the touches were covering same area as they were before ehich now were 4 inches below the top so virtually at same place but in real there was a difference of 2 inches of effected area.
    So as last resort im now going to factory reset my device as it seems to b only possible way for me to fix any software or ui bug or issue.
    Please suggest me ways to fix such issue other than factory reset 😔 thanks in advance

    • Try the lighter trick

      • shocking , used a cooking gas igniter stick, saw a spark hit the glass of Lenovo vibe and problem was cured. used the telephone dialer , showed the area of "1" was ghost touching.Zapped it right there! Unbelievable. Static will create a problem if voltage detection is used in the digitiser , as the charges create a field (units measured in volts/meter or similar).

  • My Ulefone, after almost 2 years started with the "ghost touch".
    The piezoigniter of the lighter worked after 4/5 shocks.
    After using my phone a lot (I'm 25, so chat, videos, social, game etc.) and dropping it too quite often (maybe once every 2/3 months) plus the dirt, dust, rain, overheat, extra charching etc. it started to freak out.
    I've tried to turn it off, reboot, factory reset but it seems that "defrib effect" was the only way.
    Thanks guys

  • i save my 1000 bucks,time by this idea good one...,
    initially i thought it was silly but it works ...
    and thanks

  • After I changed digitizer, I had that problem. I solve it by antistatic tape I put it between digitizer and motherboard(phone body) and around the electric connection. It works for me. If you havent this kind of tape, you can put another similar protection between these parts.

  • How I fixed it:
    Turn ON Adaptive brightness and then cover the selfie camera with a piece of tape (or just cover the camera with your thumb when unlocking the phone).

  • There is a solution to the Motorola ghost touch problem.

    I had the phone 6 months and the problem got so bad that it made using it completely impossible. The only thing I could use it for was answering a call.

    Following advice I simply turned off adaptive brightness AND turned the brightness level down to the lowest possible setting. The problem has completely disappeared.

    The downside is that the phone is now not great for looking at photos or video but I use the phone mainly for business and don't need a great camera and never watch video/play games on the thing.

  • Thanks u so much for this valuable information. I am using micromax canvas 5 e481 and I was facing ghost touch problem on my mobile from past few days but from yesterday it was really hard for me to use my mobile. But after reading this artical I just removed the screen guard from my mobile and it works. Thank u once again

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