I have a (non-rooted) Samsung Nexus S - Android 2.3.3 phone. It has recently started becoming completely unresponsive to my screen touches, despite many attempts, cleaning the screen etc. But if I put the phone to sleep by pressing the button on the right hand side, then press the button again to wake it up - I find it always immediately works perfectly again. It may then work perfectly for a minute or two until the same happens all over again. The problem can occur regardless of what apps I am using.

I have tried using task killer, just in case it was some side effect of one of my running apps, but it made no difference.

Any suggestions what I could try next? Or could it be an unfixable hardware problem?

3 Answers 3


There are two possible reasons:

A. Something is wrong with your hardware. Unlikely since you're saying putting device to sleep and resuming fixes this problem for a while.

B. Something is wrong with your software. Most probably it is misbehaving third-party software. You can try to diagnose this as following:

  1. Visit "Developer options" under Settings, and enable the following:

    1.1 Show Touches - You'll see if your touches are registered on OS level at all.

    1.2 Show CPU usage

  2. If you see that your touches are registered, but CPU usage is high, try the following options, also under debugging:

    2.1 Show all ANRs

    2.2 Don't keep activities

    2.3 Background process limit: No background processes

    Setting "Show all ANRs" may point you to a misbehaving background process. and disabling background activities may help you understand if the problem is a background process at all. The settings above are useful only for debugging, disable them as soon as you fixed this issue, as they may interfere badly with legitimate software that needs to run in the background.

  3. Install Android SDK on a computer, connect your phone and use "adb logcat" to see a logging trace of your phone. It may provide invaluable insight into what's going on behind the scenes there.

  • Sounds like some great ideas - but I can't find "show touches" anywhere in settings. In "applications" -> "development" there are three options "usb debugging", "stay awake" and "allow mock locations"... nothing else.
    – Mick
    May 28, 2012 at 17:23
  • Looked into this, apparently availability of these settings varies depending on Android version and if the phone vendor enabled them or not... I think logcat is the only easy debugging method then. You can also install a free logcat application from the market, but hooking up phone to a computer is more convenient, especially when the phone is unresponsive.
    – haimg
    May 28, 2012 at 17:38

If it were me, I'd remove apps one at a time to see if that made the problem go away. I realize this is a huge pain.


I realise it's a little late now, but in case anyone stumbles upon this thread- this was happening with my galaxy s3. Got progressively worse. All I did was go into settings>apps>all apps> samsung keyboard and hit clear data, and it now works perfectly. Hooray

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