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Common Samsung Galaxy S20 problems and how to fix them

With Samsung’s release of the Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra, a trio of excellent Android smartphones hit the market. But even the most exceptional new releases come with a collection of bugs, issues, and problems. If you’re staring at your Galaxy S20, wishing it would function as it should, then continue reading as we explain simple fixes to some of the most common problems that you might experience with the new Galaxy lineup.

If you want to learn more about our thoughts on each device, be sure to check our hands-on for the S20 and S20 Plus, as well as our full S20 Ultra review.

Problem: Always-on display constantly waking device

Riley Young / Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy S20 features a screen that will automatically wake when lifted. If you find your device waking up when it isn’t supposed to, such as in your pocket or backpack, you may wish to disable this feature. Alternatively, if the function doesn’t switch on when you want it, you may want to make sure it is enabled. Check the current settings by following these steps:

Open the Settings app on your device
Scroll down to Advanced Features

Select Motions and gestures

Next, enable or disable the Lift to wake function

Issue: Fingerprint scanner not recognizing fingerprints

If you are having an issue with the fingerprint scanner on your device, first be sure that you have removed the included plastic screen protector as it may cause problems. If you have already removed the protector, begin by cleaning the glass on your screen, then, if necessary, re-register your fingerprint using the instructions provided below. Be sure to move your finger around slightly when registering a print so the S20 can recognize it from different angles.

Open the Settings app on your device
Scroll down to Biometrics and security

Select Fingerprints

Enter your current security code
Next, delete any old fingerprints
Re-register your fingerprints with Add fingerprint

Bug: Camera not autofocusing properly

Riley Young / Digital Trends

Having issues with your Galaxy S20 camera? You aren’t alone, but all you may need is a quick update. When the Galaxy S20 line of smartphones was released, customers reported issues with autofocus, but the company has now released an update. Follow these steps to update your S20 to the latest version of Samsung software:

Open the Settings app on your device
Scroll down to Software update

Select Download and install

If a new update is available, your device will obtain it

Problem: Accidentally launching apps or edge panels

As smartphones grow more substantial, our hands seem to touch them accidentally increasingly; the Samsung Galaxy’s S20 Ultra and its 6.9-inch screen is no exception. If you find edge panels or apps opening because of accidental touches, Samsung includes a feature to prevent these mistakes from being detected. Follow these steps:

Open the Settings app on your device
Scroll down to Display

Enable the Accidental touch protection toggle

Issue: Battery life depleting faster than expected

John Velasco / Digital Trends

All of Samsung’s latest smartphone sport larger batteries than ever before, but with new features on board, it can seem as though their juices are draining just as fast. Check the status of your battery by heading to the Battery Usage graph located in the Settings app under Device Maintenance, then the Battery option. Check to see which of your apps is having the most significant effect. If you are losing a lot of battery due to the Always On Display, follow the steps below to disable it:

Open the Settings app on your device
Scroll down to Lock screen

Tap to disable Always On Display

Alternatively, you can reduce the display’s refresh rate from 120Hz down to 60Hz, sacrificing smoother animations in the attempt to increase battery life — again, follow the steps below:

Open the Settings app on your device
Scroll down to Display

Select Motion Smoothness

Select the lower 60Hz refresh rate

Tap Apply

Bug: Unable to acquire GPS lock in maps and other apps

With the release of the Samsung Galaxy S20, individuals immediately began complaining of issues with the GPS in their device. Luckily, Samsung has acknowledged the issue and has already issued a fix in a recent update. Follow these steps to update your S20 to the latest version of Samsung software:

Open the Settings app on your device
Scroll down to Software update

Select Download and install

If a new update is available, your device will obtain it

Problem: Bluetooth devices not connecting properly

Sometimes it seems as though no matter how far we advance smartphone technology, Bluetooth continues to have its hiccups. If you’re expensing issues with Bluetooth on your Galaxy S20, begin by simply toggling the setting off then back on again. Otherwise, follow these steps to reset your Bluetooth cache, while clearing out any existing devices:

Open the Settings app on your device
Scroll down to Apps

Find the Bluetooth app and select it
Tap Clear Cache

Issue: Galaxy S20 doesn’t respond to troubleshooting

John Velasco / Digital Trends

In some cases, you may need to perform a full factory reset on your Samsung Galaxy S20. If all other options seem to fail, wiping a device clean to its factory settings might solve your issue. Note that a factory reset is not a guarantee that a problem will be fixed and is best used to deal with unsolved software issues.

It is critical to make sure that your data is fully backed up before proceeding with a factory reset. All data will be lost from your smartphone, including but not limited to text messages, photos, videos, and application data. To perform a factory reset in an attempt to solve your issue, follow these instructions:

Open the Settings app on your device
Scroll down to General management

Tap the Reset option
Next, tap Factory data reset

Scroll down and press the Reset button
Confirm your passcode, then tap Delete all

General tip: Contact Samsung customer support

Sometimes even the best of us need to ask for help, especially if your device requires hardware or warranty support. If your specific Galaxy S20 problem isn’t on our list, or the provided solutions weren’t successful, the next best action may be to contact the manufacturer directly. You can contact Samsung via online chat, telephone, or in person at a Samsung store.

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