How to Fix It When Your S-Pen Is Not Working

Quick fix tips for a faulty Samsung Galaxy Note stylus

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and S-Pen

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As the Samsung Galaxy Note models become more advanced, Samsung's quirky new Note 9 S-Pen features have made it so the beloved accessory is more fragile and susceptible to malfunction. Here are some common issues that may arise on the latest Galaxy Note smartphones and easy methods to resolve them.

Causes of Samsung Galaxy Note S-Pen Malfunction

There are many things that can cause the S-Pen to not work properly. For example, users may have purchased faulty cases or screen protectors from unofficial third-parties that are affecting the way the stylus works or accessories manufactured without Samsung's quality parameters in mind.

It's also possible the S-Pen is getting old due to wear and tear of the stylus tip from frequent use. Galaxy Note devices can also get system bugs that can affect the S-Pen function.

How to Fix Galaxy Note S-Pen Not Working

  1. Reboot the device. Yes. Sometimes it is that simple.

  2. Remove the protective case. Many third-party cases may have metals and magnets that interfere with the connection between a Galaxy Note smartphone and its S-Pen, leaving blank spots on the screen when users attempt to draw with their stylus.

  3. Remove any screen protectors. Some screen protectors may be too thick to properly detect the Galaxy Note S-Pen. They can also be sensitive to hard, rubbery, or uneven surfaces that affect how the S-Pen drags on the screen.

  4. Check for a software update. On your Samsung phone, go to > Settings > Software update > Download update manually. If an update is available it will download and install. After your Galaxy Note device has updated you may have to restart the smartphone before testing your S-Pen.

  5. Make sure that the S-Pen is actually connected. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, the S-Pen becomes disconnected from the phone itself. This one's a simple fix.

    Open your Settings app.

    Select Advanced Features.

    Then, select S-Pen > S-Pen remote.

    Make sure that the toggle switch on the screen is in the On position.

  6. Next, try rebooting your phone into Safe Mode. Just like Safe Mode on your Windows PC, this will be a more minimal way to boot your phone without apps or other extras getting in the way. It will help your rule out a lower level problem and hopefully, figure out what's getting in the way.

    Power off your phone.

    Once it's off, press and hold the Power button.

    When you see the Samsung logo, release the Power button and hold the Volume Down button.

    Hold the Volume Down button until the device is done booting. You should see Safe Mode in the lower left of your screen. When you do, your device is in safe mode. Try out the S-Pen again.

  7. Replace the S-Pen tip. If your Galaxy Note device isn't able to register its S-Pen or pen strokes are inconsistent it may be time for a new S-Pen tip. Samsung includes five replacement tips and an S-Pen tip remover tool with every Galaxy Note device, and replacing the Galaxy Note S-Pen tip is a very simple process.

  8. Reset Galaxy Note to its factory settings. For safe measure, users can also reset the S-Pen's by pressing its reset button.

    It is very important to back up all the information on your smartphone before performing a reset as this function will send your device back to factory settings, as it was when first purchased.

  9. Replace the entire S-Pen. Sometimes, it's just the pen itself that's causing the problem, but they can be easily replaced. Samsung sells replacement S-Pens, and you can find them and aftermarket ones on sites like Amazon.

  10. If your S-Pen doesn't respond to any of these methods you may need to take it and your Galaxy Note smartphone in for service. Samsung offers walk-in, mail-in, and at-home services.