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We’ve all been there. Tapping, swiping or zoom-pinching, there’s often a moment when the touchscreen display on your tablet refuses to respond. How do you overcome this, and achieve tablet-tapping Zen?

Why Your Tablet Touchscreen Doesn’t Respond

As the primary mode of interaction between you and your apps, the tablet touchscreen is vitally important. Any damage inflicted – be it knocks to the device, scratches or worse – will degrade the reliability of the component, and short of paying for a replacement screen and digitiser, you will need to make sure the display is kept safe and intact at all times.

There are several things you can do to help with this, not least applying a screen protector, which is probably easier to do correctly than you think The Best Way To Apply a Screen Protector To Your Phone Or Tablet The Best Way To Apply a Screen Protector To Your Phone Or Tablet Have you ever seen someone’s phone with a giant bubble in the middle between the screen protector and the screen? Perhaps you’ve been that person or are trying not to be that person. Whether you... Read More . Employing a case with a soft interior and keeping pens well away from the device is also a good idea, as is never, ever, placing the device face down on hard surfaces. The tiniest bit of dirt can cause all manner of scratches on your display, resulting in problems with the touchscreen’s responsiveness.

The following five tips – which might also help for issues with a touchscreen smartphone – will help you resolve your tablet’s touchscreen responsiveness issues. Note that this should be seen as a general guide for all touchscreen tablet computers, running iOS, Android and Windows 8.

1. Make More RAM Available

muo-tablettouchscreen-issues-ipad

Perhaps the best place to start in troubleshooting any screen responsiveness issues is to make more system RAM available. This may take a moment (and in some cases require a restart, see below) but should give you an idea of how bad the problem is.

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Android users have a wealth of options for freeing up space on tablets, such as clearing the app cache or using third party apps such as Memory Booster – RAM Optimizer. Chris Hoffman’s guide to spring cleaning your Android The 1-2-3 Guide to Spring Cleaning Your Android Smartphone The 1-2-3 Guide to Spring Cleaning Your Android Smartphone If your Android phone has started slowing down after a bit of time, here's how you can speed it up again! Read More should come in handy here.

Memory issues on an iPad can lead to slow responses from your touchscreen. The best way to deal with this is (in iOS 6 and lower) to double-click the Home button to display the currently open apps, then tap and hold one to display the cross in the top right corner. For devices running iOS 7, the process is slightly different – read James’ What’s New in iOS 7 What's New in iOS 7? What's New in iOS 7? A new generation of iOS is nearly upon us, revealed at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference last week. Guided strongly by (Sir) Jony Ive, iOS 7 marks a clear departure from the skeumorphic UI elements of... Read More article or our iOS guide. After you’ve closed all the apps you no longer need, your tablet should be more responsive. Jailbroken iPads can run task management apps, meanwhile, which will help you to close any running processes you don’t need.

In Windows 8, close as many desktop apps as is practical can before switching to the Start screen. Display the Modern task switching view, dragging each app into the main screen before closing them (Modern apps are closed by dragging your finger down from the top of the screen to the bottom).

If freeing up some RAM helps with your touchscreen tablet’s responsiveness, then this should be all you need to do.

2. Restart Your Tablet

muo-tablettouchscreen-issues-restart

Further troubleshooting can be performed by restarting your tablet. When the device restarts, the majority of applications will be closed. You can then check the responsiveness of the touchscreen, either finding that all is well or by using the apps suggested below to find out more.

Restarting a tablet isn’t a case of just tapping the power button to turn the screen off. Instead, the whole device must be switched off and back on again.

For Android users, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem – all you will need to do is hold the power button down and select Restart.

Apple iPad owners, however, will need to close each open app before holding the Sleep/Wake button and dragging the slider. If app closing isn’t possible, hold Sleep/Wake together for a few seconds until the Apple logo is displayed.

Windows 8 tablet owners can restart their devices by opening the Charms menu Every Windows 8 Shortcut - Gestures, Desktop, Command Line Every Windows 8 Shortcut - Gestures, Desktop, Command Line Windows 8 is all about shortcuts. People with touch-enabled PCs use touch gestures, users without touch devices must learn the mouse shortcuts, power users use keyboard shortcuts on the desktop and novel command-line shortcuts, and... Read More , then tapping Settings > Power > Restart. If the device fails to respond, hold the Windows button and the power button together for a few seconds until it reboots.

3. Realign the Display

To be performed only if you have a device that is out of warranty and don’t have the money to pay for professional repairs!

muo-tablettouchscreen-issues-open

This step really applies to some cheaper Android tablets rather than any high-end gear like the iPad, and basically involves you removing the screen and replacing it, with the desired outcome of a better response for your touchscreen gestures.

For instance, a knock might dislodge the digitizer; similar, dropping or jarring the tablet might cause a cable connecting the digitizer to the motherboard to come loose (this shouldn’t happen, but isn’t unheard of).

Before you grab your tablet, of course, you should check if you can find the tools and instructions for disassembling your device. The first place you should look is YouTube. We don’t advise taking this step lightly; similarly, perform as much research as possible before you begin to break your tablet open (like I did How to Replace or Upgrade the SSD in Your Windows 8 Tablet How to Replace or Upgrade the SSD in Your Windows 8 Tablet With less than 4 GB of storage remaining on my Windows 8 tablet – and the majority of useful applications, cloud storage and games installed on my external USB 3.0 drive – I decided that... Read More ).

4. Use Native Apps to Troubleshoot

muo-tablettouchscreen-issues-apptest

Often when a tablet touchscreen is being unresponsive, the problem can be localized to a particular portion of the display.

Knowing which area(s) of the touchscreen are failing to respond correctly can be useful in diagnosing what is wrong; the information would certainly prove useful to any engineer who ends up repairing the tablet.

A useful means of checking which areas of your display work and which don’t is to employ a couple of apps.

With a calculator app you can test simple taps across the display (screen rotate function will let you check the tablet in all orientations)

A maps app, meanwhile, can be used to determine problems with dragging and pinch-to-zoom.

5. Employ a Calibration Tool

muo-tablettouchscreen-issues-calbrate-w8

Calibrating your tablet display can resolve many touchscreen detection issues.

For iPad users, there is no calibration tool available or required. However, if you are using a jailbroken device and have found that the display is registering your taps and swipes incorrectly, a hard reset to undo the jailbreak is recommended.

On Android, it depends on the version of the OS and the device. Typically, you would find a calibration option in Settings > Display but if none is apparent, there are several apps you might try, such as TouchScreen Tune (requires root) that can be used to resolve many touchscreen issues.

Windows 8 users can tap Start and type calibrate, tap Settings and select Calibrate the screen for pen and touch input, click Calibrate… and follow the instructions.

Help an Engineer – Use These Tips!

We’re covering all bases here, providing you with the five most effective ways to resolve problems with your tablet’s touchscreen while allowing you to keep hold of the device for as long as possible.

However, as you may already realise, there are problems that are so bad that you will need to employ the assistance of an engineer, one who works as an approved repair person for the tablet manufacturer or the store from which it was purchased.

We suggest you make it clear what steps you have attempted to resolve the touchscreen issues, perhaps making a note of which of the five steps above you attempted.

Meanwhile, if you have any suggestions of your own, please share them in the comments below.

Photo Credit: redaleka

  1. blah
    August 12, 2016 at 3:21 am

    garbage

  2. Owen
    July 30, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    I have a lenovo tablet, and I have replaced the digitiser with an authentic one but it works in the opposite were the srenn is touched, from any point. Please help me if possible
    Thanks

    • Christian Cawley
      July 31, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      This is a tricky one to diagnose. Are you certain you fitted the digitizer the right way around?

  3. Colin Whitelam
    June 15, 2016 at 12:30 am

    I have an 8" Bush tablet, model number AC800PL. It isn't letting me do anything on it. The screen keeps flickering on and off, it won't let me turn it off, I can't get the aeroplane mode off and it keeps saying that System UL isn't working. HELP!!!!!!!!

    • Christian Cawley
      June 15, 2016 at 8:06 am

      I had no idea Bush made tablets. I'm going to assume it's a relabeled Chinese import -- and that's the problem, really,. many of these devices are subpar, and don't even accept standard support methods.

      I would suggest searching the web to find out the actual model, and to find support for that. It should be possible to install a better version of Android, but this will require some research first.

  4. xGSx
    April 27, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    My Model M752H KOCASO tablet has stopped tracking the motion of my finger. I need help, I was advised to realign my tablet screen. I have not done anything, please help.

  5. xGSx
    April 27, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    My tablet stopped responding to my finger touching to the screen. I lost my volume button and need to know if you can buy and replace a volume buttons. Please help, I cant let my model: M752H KOCASO Tablet to die.I was giving advice to re align the screen.

  6. larie walker
    January 14, 2016 at 1:25 am

    How do I restart it if it doesn't respond to touch?

    • Christian Cawley
      January 14, 2016 at 9:28 am

      The details of this would depend on the model. Probably a combination of power button and volume.

  7. Lessa
    January 2, 2016 at 6:45 am

    My apps are loading, but not working.
    I'm trying to play subway surfers, and the characters are moving on the screen, but it won't let me click on anything or play.

  8. awesomedu
    January 1, 2016 at 10:50 am

    I have a tablet,and the screen is broken.Its all glitched.When i turn it on its all grey and has stripes.Anyone else having this problem?

    • mortaldc
      March 26, 2016 at 5:40 am

      Your screen is 100% broken...

  9. prasanna
    December 22, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    my mobile phone bis sony z 3 android . problem is backing , minimizing closing icons (touching) are not working .other touching area is working. please help me to solve this
    Thank you

  10. josh
    November 29, 2015 at 5:58 am

    this was not helpful at all. thanks for not helping and wasting my time

    • Niels
      January 1, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      Agreed, all of these options require a keyboard or touch screen. Sure, let me use my touch screen to fix my touchscreen that isn't working, oh, wait...

      • Christian Cawley
        January 5, 2016 at 1:58 pm

        The post is called "5 Tips to Resolve Your Tablet’s Touchscreen Problems"

        Not

        "5 Tips to Repair Your Tablet’s Broken Touchscreen"

  11. the lost android
    November 24, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    i have a visual land pristege elite 9q+ tablet and ive been having a lot of problems with the display of this tablet. i bought it earlier this year and at first i wasnt having any problems with it. then around july i started experiencing problems with the display. sometimes when i touched the screen it would touch a hold different app. kinda like someone else was controlling the tablet. so i thought it was the screen protector so i took the screen protector off. then the problem got worse. the screen started jerking and moving even when i wasnt touching it. so one day out of anger and fustration, i hit the screen. hitting the screen seemed to make it "act right". so every time the screen started to make this sporatik movements i would hit the screen. well the problem got even worse and the worser it got the more i pounded on the display. well fast forward to yesterday, the screen was acting crazy so i hit it. and the display cracked. but thats not the worst part. the display is now nearly unresponsive. i say nearly because when i touch the lock screen the clock widget moves like im touching it. even when im touching a whole other part of the screen. and sometimes since i have a pattern unlock on my lock screen the pattern would start to show as if im unlocking it but it doesnt complete itself. i read up online that the only way ill be able to fix my tablet i to replace a certain part of the screen. but i want to know your opinion. the crack isnt that bad in my opinion but i just want my screen to work again. any suggestions?

  12. jada1230
    November 23, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    okay. so i have a prestige elite 9q+ and i got it earlier this year, around may. so at fist i wasnt having any problems with it. the tablet was fast and very responsive. then around july the tablet started acting funny. it would touch things that i wasnt touching. like i would touch the icon for tumblr and it would either zoom out the screen or touch a whole other app. so i thought okay must be the screen protector. took the screen protector off and the freaking thing scratched. and the scracthes werent deep wither. they were micro-scracthes. so the touch problem got even worser. like everytime i turn the tablet on if i was on it for 5 minutes the touch problem would start. so me being overly fustrated i started hitting the screen. everytime i hit the screen the tablet would start working right. so i started hitting the screen everytime the touch thing started. well fast forward today the screen was acting crazy so i hit the screen but this time the screen cracked. right dead smack in the middle of the display. the device still powers on but the screen isnt working at all. i tried resettting it but thats no even working. im panicking because im scared my mom is going to be mad at me. somebody please tell me what to do. also the screen looks to be plastic not glass sooo

    • Christian Cawley
      November 23, 2015 at 8:44 pm

      Cheap displays and touch digitizers are invariably plasticy. If it feels cold to touch, it's glass - anything else is plastic. Frankly, plastic doesn't work well with fingers and static. A good option might be to keep the screen dust and grease free, and try using a stylus for a few days and see how that goes.

  13. MGC Kitten
    October 29, 2015 at 9:10 am

    I have a Trio Stealth G4 10.1 inch tablet & I've had it since Christmas (I got it for $90 on a Cyber Monday sale) my problem is whenever I type or tap the screen the screen randomly turns upside down or lines appear on the screen that fades to gray. But if I tap the screen hard the picture returns. (It's hard to explain the situation cuz I'm not tech savvy at all. I haven't dropped my tablet or gotten anything on it. I even have a case on it to keep it safe, what could be causing my screen to glitch out & act like this? Please help :(

  14. Ashley Forsman
    August 4, 2015 at 3:43 am

    i have a nexus 7 tablet. some of the screen when u click does nothing but some does work. i know its a common issue for this tablet but only way to fix that i heard is risky cause u could break your tablet for good if not very careful. any ideas??

  15. Josh Brooks
    June 15, 2015 at 5:31 am

    I love it!!!! You're giving advice on potentially fixing the "Touch" response of the screen, yet a couple of these options require the Touch Response to actually work.... in order to fix the touch response.

    Beautiful
    Well Done.
    Good Bye.

    • Destiny Sepulveda
      September 7, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      I agree with you I don't know why they put that

    • Christian Cawley
      September 7, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Well, you could use OTG. Or a Bluetooth keyboard if the relationship is already setup.

      The vast majority of touchscreen response issues can be resolved by using the touchscreen and applying patience. Those that cannot are 90% down to damaged devices that need the digitizer replacing.

      Farewell.

  16. Moina Salah
    May 30, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    touch screen problem in a small section with acer tab how can i solve?

  17. Don
    May 14, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    I have a trio stealth G4. Half of the screen is gray. The other half I can see and touch apps but they are very light colored. Do you know what might be the problem?

  18. arnolddollente
    May 3, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Hi patulong naman po... kc po yung buewave ko ayaw po magrespond ng screen ,,what shold I do po ?

  19. spring
    April 19, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Hi..does anyone know what I can do to solve my windows 8 tablet? The problem is that I calibrated and now my tablet isnt working...I used it as touch screen because I don't have a mouse or keyboard. ..can anyone tell me what I can do to change the settings...do I need a stylus?

    • Christian Cawley
      April 21, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      get a stylus, but probably best a USB keyboard, even if it's just a low cost one or borrowed for a few minites to recalibrate (or reset your system)

  20. david
    April 13, 2015 at 5:58 am

    My brian tab switches on but after booting and showing d home screen for about 1 seconds, it goes blank and on pressing the wake button it doesnt come up, the tab is working well with no problem with touch screen...please help me out

    • Christian Cawley
      April 21, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      Your tablet clearly is not working well. You need to contact the manufacturer.

  21. Alyakim
    March 22, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    My tablet was stepped a couple years ago, and I just recently found it again, after tucking it away because I could not even unlock it. I found it again, and would really like to be able to use it again, but I can't even unlock it. I kept trying to swipe it for a while, and I did eventually get a little bit of a response, but I could not swipe it far enough to get it actually unlocked.

    • Christian Cawley
      March 25, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      What make tablet was it? How did the touchscreen stop working?

    • Alyakim
      March 25, 2015 at 11:30 pm

      It was a cheap android tablet, I don't remember much besides the fact it costed about $80. After it was stepped on, the screen didn't work.

  22. Diamond
    March 10, 2015 at 1:14 am

    what if you have an Asus tablet? I can't put my password to get in, because the touchscreen doesn't work.

  23. mc1964
    February 26, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    I have a weird problem. When I touch my screen, it registers touches all over the screen. If I hold my finger on the screen, it acts like it's being touched rapidly over and over. The funny thing is that it only does this when the power cord is plugged in. Unplugged, the touch screen works normally. I thought it might have something to do with the outlet that I plugged it into, but it does the same thing no matter where I plug it in.

    • Christian Cawley
      February 27, 2015 at 8:00 pm

      Sounds like a dodgy cable. Is it the original/approved cable?

    • mc1964
      February 27, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      It's the original cable that it came with. It still charges the battery fine, though. But I bet you're right.

  24. megan
    February 19, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    I cant even unlock it

  25. megan
    February 19, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    My touchscreen doesnt work stat. I can wake the screen up and plug in keyboard in the usb slot and it reponds but I can even unlock it. It happened for no reason, any advise?

    • Christian Cawley
      February 20, 2015 at 11:25 am

      have you applied a screen protector, megan?

  26. kat
    February 18, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    I have a Galaxy Tab3 jellybean 4.1 and the rubber tipped stylus quit working with it but finger touch is intact. WTH? Pencil stylus won't work either. Is there a setting or something? Thx

  27. Ramzi
    February 3, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    hi
    I have a brand new Samsung Tab 4, 10". Last night, I applied a screen protector, by Armorsuit, followed the instructions step by step, and left it over night for 24 hours as per instructions, for it to dry up. Turned on the tab after the given time. It comes on but its touch sensors are completely unresponsive. I can't even enter my unlock pin.
    I have now removed the screen protector and yet it is unresponsive. OMG!!
    Someone who something HELP pls. It will be appreciated wholeheartedly.

    • Christian Cawley
      February 12, 2015 at 8:48 am

      Did you follow the instructions correctly? Are you sure it was the screen protector that caused the problem? Did you use too much water in the application? Water damage usually isn't covered by warranty.

      Probably your best option would be to contact Armorsuit and find out if they have any advice for this situation. maybe mention this from their FAQ, http://www.armorsuit.com/customer-service#f11

    • sandro
      February 15, 2015 at 9:25 am

      Exactly the same thing happened to me but with a diff brand of screen protector. How did you solve it?

    • Christian Cawley
      February 15, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      Did your screen protector have a water-based step, sandro?

  28. SMARTCHY
    January 27, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    pls my tablet screen has broken and one half is working and the other isn't what do i do?

    • Christian Cawley
      January 30, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      You'll either have to buy a new tablet, or see if it is practical and affordable to replace the screen.

  29. rahman
    January 25, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    after format my touchmate tab it seems some specific place touch were not working
    my tab is u-tab tochmate model. TM-MID785
    pls give me a solution

    • Christian Cawley
      January 30, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      try reformatting again, perhaps the touch drivers aren't working correctly. Otherwise, you have a defective touch panel.

  30. rahman
    January 25, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    after format my touchmate tab it seems some specific place touch were not working
    my tab is u-tab tochmate model. TM-MID785
    pls give me a solution

  31. MYSTERY GIRL
    January 15, 2015 at 12:43 am

    MY TABLET WONT LET ME UNLOCK IT OR RESPOND TO MY TOUCH WHAT DO I DO

    • Christian Cawley
      January 18, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      Hi Mystery Girl. The first thing you should do is find the model number, then google the problem. Perhaps visit XDA-Developers.com and pose the problem in their forum.

      (Don't use caps though, they don't like that...)

  32. Tablet Lover
    December 20, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Ugh my tablet turns and but when I touch it nothing happened! I slick restart and it doesn't work my touchscreen is broken my TOUCHscreen!

    • shammy
      April 24, 2015 at 1:50 pm

      mine too it's brand is geo tech. vision

  33. Ella
    December 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    My tablet's ecran is broke inside of it and one pair of my ecran does not work ????????what can I do to repair it fast and without problems? I need an easy way 'cause I don't understand to much from electronic things ???????? please help me

  34. AA
    March 24, 2014 at 3:46 am

    Hi. I have an Acer Iconia B1 tab. It is sensitive to touch on the lock screen. Once unlocked, only the very top and the portion above the bottom button bar is sensitive to touch. Auto rotate does not work either. Is this a software problem or a hardware problem? I have restarted the tab few times, but not yet reset it to factory settings.

    • Christian C
      March 24, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      Has the touch screen ever worked correctly when unlocked? It *sounds* like software, but I wouldn't swear to that.

      Are you using any unusual apps? These might affect it if it ever worked correctly. Other than this, a factory reset would seem in order.

  35. Kelly
    March 15, 2014 at 12:43 am

    I have an Acer Android tablet and the touchscreen is being unresponsive &/or opens stuff up that I'm not even close to touching. I tried resetting it to factory use to see if the touch screen would resolve itself. It didn't. Even the sound has quit working. It has not been dropped, it is out of warranty. Sometimes I have to keep tapping constantly before it will work and its just more frustrating than it's worth. Can it be fixed? It used to be very sensitive touch responsive and I kinda got used to that. Now i have to just keep hammering on it (semi-lightly of course).

  36. kimmie
    February 26, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    I have a samsung tab 2 and the screen is unresponsive I dont know what to do as I cannot touch the screen

  37. anthony
    January 17, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    I accedently droppeed my tablet now the screen is cracked and touch screen doesn't work where is the closest place to get it repaired in sa

    • SOPHIA
      February 15, 2014 at 3:20 am

      TABLET STOPED WORKING HELP

    • SOPHIA
      February 15, 2014 at 3:21 am

      OH IM 10

    • Jazmine
      May 22, 2015 at 8:22 pm

      Same Anthony and now the top of my tablet don't work ugh

  38. Tina
    December 13, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    If you have a keyboard you can use it for the cheaper android tablets to get the touch working again. You plug it in hit esc and ctrl to unlock hit the off button use keys to turn it off and then turn it on it worked for me today when my son dropped it.

    • Christian C
      December 17, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Excellent tip, Tina. Should be noted that this will only work on devices that support OTG.

  39. Ish
    October 25, 2013 at 3:12 am

    My tab is locked and I can't even restart it. what do i doo?????????

    • Christian C
      October 25, 2013 at 8:03 am

      You need to use Google to find out how to reset your particular model using the hardware buttons.

    • shammy
      April 24, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      yea me too I want to know the tab is locked and the touch isn't working.how do I get on????

  40. Lisa B
    September 27, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Some times just putting the screen to sleep and waking it up works

  41. Andrew R
    September 27, 2013 at 3:28 am

    Great article. Helped my a lot. Thanks

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