If you’re not enjoying your new phone as much as you expected, this guide goes over a list of the most common Galaxy Note 10 problems and how to fix them. It’s Samsung’s biggest and best phone yet, but it isn’t perfect. Whether that’s the fingerprint scanner acting funny, camera glitches, S-Pen issues or something else.
You don’t need to call Samsung support and browse the forums for hours or try to get help from your carrier. Instead, we’ll help you fix most Note 10 issues right at home. Then, we’ll continuously update this post with more info and fixes as we find them.
These are common issues we see with most new smartphones, Samsung devices, and other Android phones. So while the Galaxy Note 10 is still brand new, these will help you get the best experience from your phone or fix frustrating little issues.
First things first, we want to talk about the fingerprint scanner. Yes, all Galaxy Note 10 devices have a built-in screen protector. You can remove this if you’d like, which may give you better results with the fingerprint scanner. We saw a lot of failed attempts during the setup process with the S10, but that’s not a problem with the Note.
If you’re dealing with scanning problems move your finger in several different locations while you do the registration process. Then, register your fingertip a few times holding the phone with one hand, as that’s how you’ll likely unlock it the most. Don’t hold the phone in one hand and use the other to tap. Register your finger while holding the phone as you normally would.
When you add a case we recommend redoing the entire finger scan process again, to get the angle right. Plus, we’re hearing registering the same finger twice substantially improves the results, too. And finally, whether you do or don’t use a screen protector, try this trick to increase screen sensitivity.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 Accidental Screen Touch Problems
This is one big phone, and it’s even bigger if you chose the Galaxy Note 10+. With a huge 6.8-inch screen some people are getting accidental screen touches or taps. Accidentally opening the Edge apps panel, launching apps, or just waking the screen by accident.
With almost no bezels, there isn’t anywhere to put your hand during use. That said, one quick change in settings will prevent these accidental taps. Or, just disable the edge panel as I did.
- Go to Settings and select Display
- Scroll down to Accidental Touch Protection
- Flip the switch to ON
Not only does this help prevent accidental taps and touches in general, but it also helps with accidental taps in a pocket, purse, bag, or dark areas.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 App Drawer Button Missing
If you’re coming from an older Galaxy Note phone you’re in for a surprise. There are no physical buttons, no home key, and no app tray icon. They’re all gone. Some owners are getting frustrated that they can’t find all of their installed apps. Swipe up, and they’ll appear. Or, here’s how to go back to the old style.
- Press and hold down on any blank space on your screen. It will zoom out to an edit and layout page, and give you setting or wallpaper options.
- Tap the gear-shaped settings button.
- Next hit the option in settings labeled “Apps Button” and select the “show apps button”.
This way you’ll have a button that launches a tray with all of your apps like before. Or, if you’re coming from an iPhone select “Home screen only” if you want all the apps on your home screen like iOS.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 Apps That Aren’t Full Screen
With a huge 6.3 or 6.8-inch HD screen, some apps don’t use the entire display on your new Note. This is due to the long aspect ratio, similar to 16:9 widescreen movies back in the early days of HD movies and Blu-Ray players.
Most apps and games scale up to fit the entire screen, but some don’t. If so follow these steps to fix the issue. That guide is from the Galaxy S8, but the same steps apply even on Android 9 Pie One UI.
- Pull down the notification bar and head to Settings (gear-shaped icon near the top right)
- Tap on Display
- Select the option labeled Full screen Apps
- Tap on any app that isn’t full screen, and switch it from Auto to Full Screen
By now almost every app and game works great with the bigger screens of Samsung devices. So, you shouldn’t deal with this very often, if at all. If you do, just force them into full screen mode. Now it will automatically scale to the new 18.5:9 aspect ratio and fill your entire display with content.
Additionally, when you launch an app and it doesn’t use the entire screen, you’ll see a little popup at the bottom of the screen to quickly toggle it to full-view. Tap that to instantly switch.
Galaxy Note 10 Freezing & Unresponsive Problems
Is your Galaxy Note 10 or some of its apps freezing and becoming unresponsive? It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen it on a new Samsung device. You might experience this in the contacts app or phone dialer while trying to make a call.
If your Note 10 is frozen or unresponsive press and hold both the power and volume down buttons at the same time, and hold them down for 7-8 seconds. The phone will turn off, reboot, and start fresh. This will not harm anything and simply forces the phone to restart, even if it’s completely frozen and the screen is black. Give it a try.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 WiFi & GPS Problems
Once any new phone comes out, we see reports about WiFi problems. And, we’re already seeing comments about poor performance, WiFi drops, connection issues and more with the Galaxy Note 10. This is rarely a phone problem and instead usually something else entirely.
We’ve found that Samsung’s super helpful SmartSwitch tool for transferring an old phone to a new phone can often be the problem for bad WiFi. The software transferred the name, password, and connection for you and sometimes it causes a glitch in the Matrix. Those experiencing Galaxy Note 10 WiFi problems should try all of these steps.
First, we recommend you forget your WiFi network and re-enter the password on the phone. Do this by heading to Settings > Connections > WiFi. Push and hold your home internet connection and tap forget network on the pop-up. Then search for a WiFi connection, find yours, put in the password and it should work. Better yet, reset your network to default settings.
We also recommend unplugging the power to your router for a good 10 seconds to give it a fresh start. Then try reconnecting your Galaxy Note 10 again.
And finally, we have one other very helpful tip for WiFi issues. Go to Settings > Connections > WiFi > Advanced Settings > and disable the WiFi sleep option. That way WiFi stays on no matter what, even when the screen is off. Now all your apps and services continue to use WiFi, and you don’t need to keep the screen on while you update apps.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 Always-On Display Problems (Or Lift to Wake)
Samsung added a new “lift to wake” feature to the Galaxy S10 that’s also on the Note 10. When you pick it up the screen automatically comes to life. It’s nice, but some people don’t like it. Plus, we’re hearing complaints that the lift to wake or AOD feature is making the phone wakeup in pockets, which is draining the battery.
Here’s how to change, customize and tweak the always-on display. We’ll also show you how to turn off the lift to wake feature.
Go to Settings > Lock screen > and tap on Always-On Display. From here, you can customize anything and everything. Personally, we recommend using the always-on display to cut down on screen turn-ons, which will increase battery life.
Then, go back to the main Settings menu and go to Advanced Features > Motions and gestures > and uncheck the Lift to wake feature. While you’re here, kill the “double-tap to wake” if it keeps going off in your pocket.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 Battery Life Problems
With bigger battery packs and faster charging than any Galaxy device, these phones should last plenty long and recharge super fast. It’s pretty impressive. Still, you might face a battery problem or have random battery drain you’ll want to fix.
First, here’s our big guide to fixing bad Galaxy S10 battery life problems. Use those tips on the Note 10. Your next step to solving any battery situation is by heading to Settings > Device Maintenance > Battery > Battery Usage to see what’s going on. This gives you a detailed breakdown on what uses what, and what’s using the most.
If an app is malfunctioning or misbehaving it’ll use too much battery and appear at the top of this list. If you see anything other than Display, screen, Android System, or a recent app or game you’re using, then something isn’t right. Disable or reinstall any app or service that’s draining more battery than it should.
Then, we have one other tip that could potentially make a big difference. It’s a weird mobile data thing we’ll be turning off.
Basically, turn off any and all network or carrier enhancement or diagnostic tools. The June/July update for the AT&T Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus added something called “AT&T mobile network diagnostics” to the mobile networks settings menu, and is ON by default. It’s also on by default with the Galaxy Note 10, and takes a big chunk of your battery life.
Turn this off using our steps in the image above, and look for something similar from Verizon or T-Mobile.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 Camera Problems
So far we’re not seeing any big complaints about the Note 10 camera, but it is still brand new. Some users are complaining about auto-focus in third party apps, but that’s about it so far, which is good news.
For now, the only real “problem” we’re seeing is that the buttons for the 3-4 rear cameras don’t always switch to that specific lens. I’m not seeing this issue, but if you are, try rebooting your phone. Then, users are reporting poor lighting and a super dark super slow-motion video experience. The 960 FPS slow-mo feature needs a lot of light for the best experience, so if you try it indoors, you won’t enjoy the results. That’s not a problem, it’s just how the new technology works so far.
If we see anything else about the camera or you’re having problems let us know in the comment section below.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 Wet Speaker Problems
The Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ are IP68 dust and water-resistant. Meaning you can take it in the shower, drop it in the pool, or use it at depths of around 5 ft without worry. The phone can technically handle around 5ft for 30 minutes and still work fine.
However, if either of the two speakers get wet your phone will sound funny and muffled for a minute. This isn’t a concern and there’s no damage either, you just need to let it dry.
Samsung uses a coating on the inside of the device to keep the components safe. Then, something they call “surface tension” to keep water out of both speakers. If water gets in there just tap it gently against your hand to push any water out of the speaker. Most likely there’s nothing wrong with your phone, just give it time to dry.
Bonus tip: Never charge your phone when it’s wet. Let the USB Type-C charging port completely dry before you plug in your phone to refill the battery.
How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 S-Pen Problems
Are you experiencing problems with the S-Pen on your Galaxy Note 10? This year Samsung added multiple noteworthy new features to its stylus. This little device now has more sensors, Bluetooth, a gyroscope and more. This way you can use the S-Pen as a remote control, a magic wand, pause/play movies or YouTube, and even as a shutter button for the camera.
However, that also means there’s a small built-in capacitor battery that can and will run out. And while all the usual S-Pen features work 24/7 some of the wireless options need battery life.
If your Galaxy Note 10 S-Pen isn’t doing what you want, put it back inside the phone for about a minute. Yes, in under a minute it’ll recharge enough to last over 30 minutes. Again, that’s only for a few features, as everything else we’ve ever used the S-Pen for works even if the battery is dead. If you’re having other problems let us know in the comment section below. Try leaving it in over-night if you lost it for a few days.
Reboot Your Galaxy Note 10 to Fix Most Problems
Before we share our last tip, try rebooting your phone. Seriously, almost every problem we hear from friends, family, or see online can quickly be fixed by rebooting your Galaxy Note 10. Text messages not coming in, reboot your phone. Your sound isn’t working, reboot the phone. Camera acting funny, reboot your phone.
Press and hold the power button on the side of your Note 10, then tap restart. Within about 1 minute you’ll be up and running with almost every problem gone.
Also, go to Settings > Device Maintenance > and tap the 3-dots in the top corner and select Auto Restart. Now, choose the time and day of the week, like Monday at 3 AM. This way your phone will reboot once a week at night so performance stays at its best, and problems are a thing of the past.
How to Factory Reset the Galaxy Note 10
It’s likely that you won’t experience any major problems with the Galaxy Note 10 or 10+. If you tried everything we mentioned above and checked with your carrier for help, we do have one last step you can try before asking Samsung for a replacement. The last resort to fix big problems is doing a factory data reset. This will erase all user data, apps, messages, and content from the phone. Only do this if something is seriously wrong and a show-stopping problem.
Keep in mind that you will want to backup any data before you proceed. Go to Settings > General Management > and hit Reset to get started.
This process will only take a few minutes and will restore the original software that came with your phone. Then, just use Samsung SmartSwitch or Google restore to get all your apps back. Again, this is the last resort if you have major problems. If this doesn’t fix it, consider reaching out to Samsung or your carrier for a replacement phone.
What Else & What’s Next?
If anything else emerges over the coming weeks and months as more people buy one, we’ll report back and look into anything we see. Basically, stay tuned for more information.
In closing, we want to mention what’s coming next. Expect a quick software update within the first week or two of the release date, then one every 2-3 months moving forward. Especially important are the first 1-2 updates after a phone gets released. As Samsung gathers info they’ll rapidly deploy patches to fix any issues.
Then, Samsung will vastly improve and perfect the experience as they begin work on Android 10 Q. Yes, Android 10 is right around the corner and you’ll want it on your phone. Just know that Samsung won’t release Android Q for the Galaxy Note 10 until early 2020, sometime in January-March.
Basically, just know that a few more updates are coming soon, in addition to Android Q next year. For now, drop us a comment below if you’re experiencing any other major issues and we’ll do our best to help, or research a fix for you. Otherwise, enjoy everything your phone has to offer.