If your touch screen doesn’t work, you lose the majority of the functions of your smartphone. There are a wide range of reasons that your touchscreen might stop working, but there may be a simple solution. Other times, the solution might warrant you getting a professional repair.

You should, however, not panic if your touchscreen stops working because that doesn’t always mean that it’s something serious. In this article, it’ll detail all the ways in which you can attempt to fix your touchscreen yourself; however, if none of these works, then you should consider taking your phone to a professional.

How Does a Touchscreen Work?

Before you try to fix your smartphone, you should understand how your touchscreen works. If you have an older device, then you probably have a resistive touchscreen. These kinds of touchscreens work by having the top of the screen that you touch press against an electric, conductive layer underneath it, and when you press on the screen with your finger, the display will bend and press against that conductive layer.

That conductive, electric layer is what registers your movement. This is why if you have an older phone, you might need to press a little harder on your screen for it to register your touch. The bottom layer always has an electric current going, so you usually will have no trouble having your touch register.

Newer devices, however, have capacitive touchscreens. Capacitive touchscreens don’t register touch in the same way as a resistive touchscreen because they don’t require a second screen beneath the one that you touch. These screens register the electric current of what touches them, which is in your hands. This kind of screen has tiny wires in them that are smaller than the hairs on your skin. This is why if you have gloves on, then the screen won’t register your touch because it can’t feel your electric current.

The technology of screens is a little complex, but the fixes that you can try are simple.

Basic Fixes for your Touchscreen

Wipe the Screen

This might be the main issue with your newer capacitive screen. Your screen has to detect the electric current from your hands, and it can’t do this if there’s a thin film of dirt to block it. Make sure that your hand is clean and free from any film. Sweat, lotion, or oil can stop your touch from being registered on your screen.

Also, make sure that your hand isn’t wet, since this will stop the electric current of your hands from being detected. If your hands are fine, you need to try cleaning your screen, but you need to be careful that you don’t scratch your screen.

Mostly, a clean lint free cloth will do just fine. If you have glasses and have the cloth that comes with your glasses, then that will do pretty well too. You can also buy some lens wipes, which will clean your screen and dry quickly all without harming your screen. Never use a soaked cloth or any cleaning agents, such as disinfectant spray, on your screen.

Restart the Device

This may sound like it won’t work, but this is usually one of the first things that you should try when things begin going wrong with your device. Your Android device should have a power button on the side of the screen. You can usually just hold this button down for an extended period of time and your phone should restart.

You might need to press and hold this button down for 15 seconds and you should see the screen go black. This should usually allow your phone to turn back on without you doing anything; however, if it doesn’t turn back on, wait a minute or so and then press and hold the power button again.

Touchscreen Stops Working After Damage

If your touchscreen stops working after you’ve damaged it, there’s still a few things that you can do to try and fix it. If you’ve dropped your device, gotten a little water in it, or just plugged a questionable piece of technology into your device, here’s what you should try out. Your device will usually struggle a little following the damage due to some internal change, so you might need to take the device to a professional depending on how bad the damage is.

If your device got a little wet, first dry it. if you need help making sure that the ports are dry, you can purchase a can of compressed air that’ll get the job done. If you cant get it to work after you’ve dried it, then your phone might be permanently damaged from the water. Take it in for a second opinion, but otherwise you might be looking at getting a new device.

If you’ve dropped your phone, you may need to see if it’s the digitizer. This is located beneath the glass screen that you touch and it helps it respond to your hands. Tap each corner of your screen just in case this came loose when you dropped your device. This may cause it to reconnect and allow you to use your device again.

You can also try removing the SIM card. This usually requires the small, pointed took that came with your device. Turn off your phone and then enter the tool into the small hole in the middle of the card. The card should be located somewhere on the side of your device. Pull out the card completely and then reenter it into the device. Once it’s in place, turn on the device by holding on the power button and test out the touch screen.

If none of these methods work, don’t try to do any technology intensive fixes that might damage your phone further. Take your device into a professional. Now, most phone providers have repair centers where you can replace your screen there for a fee. If you have insurance on your device, then that’ll make your life easier. Usually, if none of the above fixes work out, then you might need a new screen or a new device.