Crazy Phantom Touchscreen Input

Every had your phone or tablet’s input go crazy?  Perhaps it fails to sense your fingers or even acts on what seems to be its own possessed will?  If so, don’t throw it out the window or make that warranty claim just yet, there is a simple process that may fix it.

Halloween Two Days Late

I can thank my mother for helping me discover this trick.  She came over to visit recently and while she was over we were browsing some photos on her Android smartphone.  That’s when the phone became possessed.  Wildly switching screens, typing items and selecting content without any user input.  Laying the phone on the table only let it feverishly freak out without any sign of stopping.

A Fresh Start

At this point I had recently helped get some of the apps to update and install, so I thought the problem was a bad update had caused issues.  I quickly backed up the photos off of it to my laptop and was able to fight to her account menu to ensure her contacts were backed up as well.   I then performed a factory reset thinking I had solved the problem.   Once it rebooted and came to the sign in screen, it started again.  Knowing she had only gotten this phone in the past few months, I doubted it was already hardware failure.  So I jumped on my laptop and searched for an answer.

Simple Solution

After some brief searching with a variety of search terms, I stumbled upon this article on the android forums website.  The user who posted had the same symptoms as my mother, and multiple others reported the same issue.  After reading down far enough there was a section that offered a possible solution without making a warranty claim.  The suggestion?  Clean your screen.  Although I have never experienced or considered this, there are a number of substances that can affect the touchscreen on your phone.  Any substance that can conduct electricity could have this affect and interfere with how the touchscreen reads input thinking there is input when there is not or redirecting the input all together.

Cleaning Procedure

So how do you clean it?  As my mothers phone does not have a screen protector, I used a damp paper towel and then a paper towel that was damp with glass cleaner.  After giving it a rub down it still seemed to have a few glitches so I rubbed it dry on my shirt and pants thoroughly to remove any additional residue as well as dry the screen.  Really I should have used a microfiber cloth, but I hadn’t thought of that at the time.  Just be sure to use a soft cloth that won’t scratch the screen.  Once completed, my mothers phone started working like normal.  Problem solved.

Although untested, I assume this procedure would also work if you have a screen protector as long as you don’t use any solvent that may interact with the protector.  If you have done exactly this, I would love to hear about if it worked or not!

Have you ever experienced this phenomena?  Did cleaning your screen fix it?  Let us know in the comments below!

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