How to fix the 'ghost touch' problem on any Android device

How to fix the 'ghost touch' problem on any Android device

Touchscreen problems can be some of the most annoying to live with, and the 'ghost touch' problem that plagues some users is particularly unbearable. Never fear, as we've put together a list of options on how to fix your touch glitch problems once and for all.

What is the ghost touch problem?

Ghost touch (or touch glitches) are the terms used when your screen responds to presses that you're not actually making, or when there's a section of your phone screen that's completely unresponsive to your touch. Exactly what the 'ghost' presses will do varies from device to device, but it seems to be more common in some devices than others.

The Moto G4 Plus, for example, has many reports of problems with ghost touch, and some older OnePlus devices also had issues. Some iPhones and Windows devices suffer the same problems too. All of that is to say, if you're having a ghost touch issue, it's probably not a problem with the software. 

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Dead zones and ghost touch problems can also affect older Apple iPhones. / © Apple

In more severe cases it's a hardware problem with your display and the way its housed inside the chassis of your phone. If you're an engineer and happy taking electronic devices apart (and have all the required specialty tools), multiple people have reported success simply from disconnecting the screen from the data connectors.

In other situations, water or dirt damage (or beneath the screen protector) can cause 'phantom' presses that aren't being made. There's no definitive single cause, or fix, for the problem, however, so you'll have to use some trial and error if out of warranty. 

For some devices, using a screen testing app can show up dead zones that might be helped with some of the suggestions below. 

How to fix the ghost touch and dead zone problems

Let's start with the easiest, simplest possible solution for a problem that looks similar, but isn't actually the ghost touch issue.

If you're lucky, the problem for you is being caused by a screen protector that's got a tiny piece of dirt stuck behind it. The advice there is to remove it, clean your screen thoroughly and then replace the screen protector. However, if you're suffering from more severe (i.e. actual) ghost touch problems, your options aren't quite as straightforward.

Return it

The unequivocally best way to fix a screen glitch problem is to return the device to the manufacturer, ideally under warranty for a replacement. When within warranty, many companies will offer a new device in exchange for the faulty one, though some may opt to replace the screen instead to try and resolve the issue.

Although this is a simple option, it's probably not the quickest unless you're walking into a store to hand it over for a new one. If your handset is out of warranty, you'd probably have to pay for repairs and a swap won't be offered.

If you're an electrical engineer

If you have the right tools available to crack (metaphorically speaking) open your device and disassemble it, you stand a good chance of getting your screen working again if it's suffering from the ghost touch problem. Many people (and indeed, many more YouTube videos) suggest that taking the phone apart, disconnecting the screen from the data connectors and reseating all of that has been enough to fix the problem for them.

You could, of course, pay a third-party repair shop to reseat your screen in the connectors for you to see if it fixes the problem, which would be cheaper than a whole new panel.

If you believe in miracles

This one is a bit weirder, but if you're a believer in weird YouTube tips then this is one for you. Again, we're taking no responsibility for any adverse effects to your phone, and many of the comments below these videos report that it has worked for them, though these are - of course - unverified claims.

In short, the videos show you how to disassemble an electric lighter so that you've only got the piezoelectric igniter - that's the bit you press down on to create the spark.

Once removed, you place the igniter against the screen in the spot that doesn't work and click it a few times. This, according to the videos, is a simple and (almost) free way to potentially fix your screen without leaving the house.

You might need to apply the clicker method a few times to fix your dead zones or ghost touch problem, but it does seem to work for some people and can also be used to revive dead pixels.

Did this help you? Have any tips worth adding? Let us know in the comments!

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  • I solved my ghost touch problem by downloading an app called "partial screen" on playstore,, works by manually placing a dormant region provided by the app on the area where the ghost touch problem is,, very simple and works perfectly for me.

    • Do you have a way that doesn't need to get an app? Nothing too extreme though. Just something very simple?

  • I seem to have gone into this, went into emergency mode, then came back out and things for now look ok. Rebooted, as I couldn't before that. The first fix for anything that has computer components (phone, tablet or computer) is to reboot.

  • This article is completely useless. Your solutions are basically: return it, take it apart if you're a phone repair technician (which most people aren't), or do some weird crap with a lighter that could potentially damage your phone and has no guarantee of working.

  • Wouldn't recommend doing the igniter thing for ghost touch, it just triggers the ghost to go bananas on your screen

  • Sparky 10 months ago Link to comment

    I am amazed! The electronic spark worked on my Kyocera duro force. It was only a few months old...Couldn't type ANYTHING then 2 Sparks later all fixed up... Thanks pit buddies!

  • When trying to fix "ghost touching" screen using Igniter does it really need to take the screen protector off? Please reply

  • cslevine 10 months ago Link to comment

    This can be real a software problem.
    The fact is that a restore seems to get rid of it... and for the 1rst 3 minutes, nothing happens. All seams to be OK... Then, you input manually time and date, and you see 1 first again funny movement on the numbers....
    And then when you enter into parameters : ghost touches are back again, more an more often again... until you do not have any control again !
    This is a virus attack, and no system hard reset can do something. This goes worse and worse growing the android version number. I remember NO problem at all with Androïd 4 wich was the most stable version of Androïd. More the updates, More the problems !!
    And less are the possibility ( PC <-> tel ) !

  • When I was talking to my daughter something cut her outta the conversation then made a crackling noise then a ghost said get out

  • I had Ghost Touch problem on my Xiaomi mi9 in Call of Duty Mobile and PubG.

    This is the only solution which fixed my problem:

    1. Open settings
    2. Activate developer options (My device > Tap 8 times on "MIUI-Version")
    3. Settings > Additional Settings
    4. Developer options
    5. Disable MIUI-Optimizations (at the very bottom).
    6. Reboot

  • Bharat Aug 30, 2019 Link to comment

    My Ghost is a night crawler. After midnight it calls up random numbers from the contacts, which is a serious
    action when my family members happen to be called, alarmed as if there has been an emergency or calamity.

  • superb

  • the igniter trick works because of the static electricity. All you gotta do is rub your phone hard against a carpet im not joking it worked for me, simple and cost less and not timely

    • So, sorry that this is like a year later, but, I've been having Ghost Touch since I was at my grandma and grandpa's house, I simply thought it was just a little bug that would be fixed by the next day, but as I am looking stuff up, it seems to be the static electricity? I have been trying the most simple things, for example: I am not an engineer, so I am not going to take my whole tablet apart. I tried wiping the screen with a damp paper towel, but it stops for a bit then, it starts all over again!! Thats the only thing I've tried, when I tell my parents, they simply assume that it's a virus. I searched this up and it could be a virus but I don't have a ghost extension. I have also been whenever I turn my tablet off for the day, I turn the power off hoping it will work. I am too young to bring this to a real engineer to fix this problem, and am too young to take this apart. Today I will try to rub this on my carpet really hard, but just a question, what device do you have? I'm asking because just in-case this is a specific device fix! Thank you so much if you answer this question! 🥺🤧

  • Dave S Jul 31, 2019 Link to comment

    On my Moto G4plus, all I had to do was turn off auto brightness and turn the brightness level down to about 20-25% and have never had the ghost touch problem again, about 2 years now

  • D Fear May 23, 2019 Link to comment

    thank you for the lighter tip - really does work - amazeballs - virtual lucky shamrock to you

  • Believe in miracles! The electricity trick works!!

    Okay, my phone, an Essential PH-1, was pretty much unusable because of the 'ghost touching' issue going bonkers one day, so I tried everything I could think of: factory reboot, wiping with dryer sheets (which actually seemed to make it worse), wiping it with electronic wipes, putting it in the freezer (I thought it might be overheated), shaking it, yelling at it, changing every setting I could think of. Finally, out of options, we were sure that we'd have to suck up the $200 for the insurance to get a replacement.

    So, since the insurance applies to any damage anyway, we decided to try zapping it with electricity -- right in the middle of the screen for less than a second (not with an igniter, but a different device) . And the ghost touching problem instantly went away!

    • hi i have the same phone and have the same ghost touch issue too, but it happens occasionally, like couple times a day and as soon as i lock the screen and unlock, the problem goes away. was it something that happened to you? how did you verify if your ghost touching problem has been completely gone away by the igniter? I would like to give a try too!

    • A H May 30, 2019 Link to comment

      I have the Essential PH-1 as well. I had it replaced because of a ghost touch issue. The replacement worked great for a while, and then a couple months later the ghost touch is happening again! I saw a comment about static electricity causing the issue. I'm going to try removing my case the next time it acts up.

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