There aren’t many problems as frustrating as an unresponsive touch screen, but not knowing what is causing your touch screen to malfunction maybe even worse. In the case of touchscreen troubleshooting scenarios, there are two touch screen tests able to shed some light on the annoying issue.
Method 1: Star Code Commands
For our first touchscreen testing method, it’s time to take a look at the touchscreen itself with a few built-in troubleshooting tools. Before I get into what they are, here are a few dialer codes—also known as star codes— that may be compatible with your device.
Entering these into your keypad as listed will allow you to perform device diagnostics without any additional software or applications. These codes may not work with every smartphone, especially newer ones that have removed the feature, they could prove handy to some.
They are as follows:
- *#7353# – This is the most common code that can work on the widest variety of Android phones and more than most Samsung devices.
- *#*#3424#*#* – This code is primarily for most HTC smartphones.
- *#*#7378423#*#* or *#*#SERVICE#*#* – This code is generally used for Sony Xperia devices.
- *#0*# – This code is used to open up diagnostic tools on Motorola devices still running Android 2.1.
Let’s start by putting one of the codes into your keypad. By inputting one of these codes, you can enter your phone’s diagnostic mode, and then test your touch screen to find dead zones or other present issues.
Unfortunately, the Android device I am currently using does not support diagnostic tools through star commands. As an example of a phone that can make use of these codes here is a video of the diagnostic mode being used with the Samsung Galaxy S3/S4:
However, for Android users in my boat, there is an application that you can download to test your touchscreen and other parts of the device. This will be explained in the second method below.
Method 2: Doms diagnostic tools
This next touch screen test can determine if certain factors of your hardware that may be affecting your touchscreen as well as other issues. However, even if the previous method allowed you to single out the root of the problem, I can recommend this app regardless.
Doms Diagnostic Tools has some useful features that can help with locating information about your phone when troubleshooting. Additionally, these features come to you free with minimal ad interruption.
To not leave any Android users who download this app in the dark, I’ll do a quick rundown of how to make use of Doms’ freely provided tools.
Download the App
The first step of a journey is often the hardest. Thankfully, that isn’t the case here, since there’s a download link to the first step readily available.
The app is a surprisingly small download for what it can do, so you should be able to move to the next step in no time.
Selection a Diagnosis Method
I told you that you’d be here in no time. From here you’ll want to open Doms diagnostic tools and take a good look at the main menu.
The two sections you’ll want to focus on the most here are Diagnose and Information. For now, we’re only going to be worrying about Diagnose, but Information is good for, well, information.
If you tap Diagnose, you’ll get a popup menu asking if you want to do a Single Diagnose or a Full Diagnose.
For the intents and purposes of this step, we’re going to pick Single Diagnose so we can pick and choose what we want to test.
With Single Diagnose selected, you’ll be presented with a menu with multiple testing options.
From here, you can tap any option on screen to go into a separate testing menu. If you then long press on that screen you’ll get a pop-up menu where you can ask for help. The help menu will then explain the test to you in full, and how to determine if you phone passes and fails.
There are plenty of different tests to take with your device, but if you don’t want to go through all of them, you can limit yourself to:
- The dead pixel tests
- The touch test
- The multi-touch test
- The keyboard test
As an example, this is the touch test:
Here you can touch and or drag anywhere on the screen to get multicolored circles to appear where your fingers connect to the screen. If you fail any of screen tests, the problem lies with your touchscreen itself. However, if you fail any of the other tests, you probably have a hardware issue on your hands.
At this point, you should be able to pinpoint what area of your touch screen is malfunctioning, and if the odds are in your favor, you’ll have a software issue on your hands. In the case of a hardware issue, however, a replacement may be in order.
Whatever the case may be, you can at least now rest a little easier knowing what software scoundrel or hardware hazard is plaguing your touch screen.
If you had a touch screen issue that couldn’t be diagnosed with the touch screen tests above, or an issue that refuses to be identified, leave a comment to see if you can’t be steered in the right direction.