Screen Overlay Detected Rrror
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How to Fix the Screen Overlay Detected Error on Android

On Android phones, especially users who have recently upgraded to 6.0, an error sometimes pops up talking about screen overlay. This problem happens when your phone deals with apps that can float on top of menus and other apps. A popular culprit of this error that plenty of Android users have on their phone, is Facebook.

So how do you fix something like this?

The error gets in the way of app usage, and even causes problems with other unrelated applications. There’s no need to worry, fixing the error takes just a few minutes and doesn’t require any additional software or downloads.

Let’s get started!

Step 1

You usually see the Android screen overlay error when trying to open, or switch to another app while you have an overlaying app open. The error will look something like this.

Detected Screen Overlay

I honestly feel a twinge of frustration just looking at this. Nothing frustrates me more than software errors, especially when I don’t know how to fix them. If you’re looking at this popup right now, then the first thing you need to do is tap the Open Settings button.

Otherwise, just open your settings from any other location on your phone.

Step 2

This next step changes depending on your phone model. There’s a certain path you need to follow through your phone to get to the settings you need, and this changes if you’re on a Samsung phone.

Since there are two different paths, I’ll list each. For Samsung phones, go through these menus, in this order:

  • Settings
  • Applications
  • Applications Manager
  • More
  • Apps that can appear on top

For Android devices other than Samsung phones, there are two ways:

  • Settings
  • Apps
  • Configure apps, or tap the gear icon
  • Draw over other apps

Or you can go through:

  • Settings
  • Use the search bar, and search for Draw
  • Select Draw over other apps

No matter which set of options you take, at the end of them, you’re lead to the right menu.

Step 3

Here comes the fun part; it’s time to start troubleshooting. You should see a list of apps that are allowed to float, or draw themselves over other apps.

One of the apps on this list that you currently have enabled is what’s causing the screen overlay detected error. It’s possible that multiple apps are causing the problem, but either way, to begin troubleshooting you need to disable floating apps one by one to see if they’re the problem.

Note that you only need to do this if you want to know which app is causing the problem. Disabling all floating or drawn apps is an easy way to stop the problem, but you won’t know which of your apps is the troublemaker.

You will be able to enable these apps again at the end of the process.

Step 4

Now that you’ve disabled all of your potential troublemakers, or are just individually troubleshooting, open the app that you first received a screen overlay detected error. If the troublemaking app is disabled, your initial app will open just the way it’s intended to function.

Note: If you are on a Samsung Device, one-handed keyboard operation can also produce this error. If the screen overlay detected error persists, disable your one-handed keyboard by going through:

  • Settings
  • Advanced features
  • One-handed operation

Step 5

Once you’ve opened and run an app that has had the screen overlay detected error successfully, you can enable your floating or drawn apps again. The reason for this is that your apps now have the proper permission to run alongside of your floating or drawn apps.

Floating Screen Overlay

So now your apps will be free from this error, until you need to give another app the same permissions.

Conclusion

The screen overlay detected error is an annoying one, but thankfully one that can be fixed in a matter of minutes. After a few settings tweaks, you can launch your apps without an issue. It’s unfortunate that you need to do the same process for each app, but once you’ve given an app permission, you’re free to use your screen again without this error holding you back.

Did you have any problems with the instructions, or still manage to get the screen overlay detected error? You can leave any questions or concerns in the comments below for assistance.

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24 Comments

  1. I diabled all potential troublemakers and don’t have one-handed keyboard activated, but nothing changed. Note 4 with Android 6.0.1

        1. This message appears when you’re running a floating app, and then start a newly installed one, which requests access rights. Floating apps include the chat heads of Facebook Messenger that can appear floating above other apps. You will need to find out what apps have permission to draw over the screen.

          For Samsung phones try going to Settings
          Then Applications > Application manager
          Press on More > Apps that can appear on top

          You should see a list of apps that have permission to use floating buttons or other screen overlays. Now you need to identify the problem app and temporarily deny it permission to draw over the screen. Here is are some tips on how to identify the app that’s causing trouble:

          Do you see an app bubble on your screen? If do, this app is almost certainly the cause. Either you hide the app bubble or disable the app in the list
          Do you have an app installed that changes the colors on the display or adjusts the brightness?

          If there’s no obvious cause, disable everything. There have been reports that suggests the one-handed keyboard setting could be the root cause. Deactivate it by going to Settings> Advanced features > One-handed operation.

    1. Same with me, I disabled Facebook, I disabled all other potential culprits yet the problem persists either way. It’s really frustrating

    1. You can try installing any CM apps you might have or in the settings for ‘Draw Over Other Apps’ to select yes for all. Power off the device and then power back on.

  2. This has got to be the most annoying feature of the operating system ever. I’ve had to Factory Reset twice already because of this and other idiotic permission granting glitches. Why on Earth would anybody develop an O/S and include this method? Who has the time nd patience this troubleshooting only to find out you have to do it every time you make a change? This needs to be fixed.

    1. It is annoying, but I don’t think the developers launch their apps to have their users go through this on purpose. I think they are working on a fix and hopefully, it will come soon.

  3. I hane a note 4 and I am getting this error. I disabled all the applications and it did not work. I cannot find the one handed operation to disable it. All the applications list the lication permission. I cannot even use the camera. Can tou undo the upgrade?

    1. I recently got this error on my phone and I did what the article advice about deactivating the apps that appear on top, but I only deactivated Facebook Messenger. When I tried to open the app I wanted to use the error was gone. Afterwards, I enabled Messenger again and once again tried to open the other app. The error message didn’t come back. You can disable one-handed operation by going to Settings > Advanced Features > One-handed operation.

  4. (( I recently got this error on my phone and I did what the article advice about deactivating the apps that appear on top, but I only deactivated Facebook Messenger. ))

    i got the same problem with everyone else and i managed to fix it with disabling the Messenger and enable it again.

  5. Hi, I’ve tried your advice but it doesn’t work. I disabled all apps but still nothing. I have a note 4. Cant use my camera but Roboform opens, gallery and photos are a screen overlay detected…..Is there a way to reformat the whole system ?
    Thanks

      1. LG style 2 plus. Have tried everything suggested here. It still persists. Camera functions. Messenger. My storage.chrome. etc

  6. This Error also occurs with ES File Explorer. The ES Swipe function has to be disabled, then the error disappears. I was searching forever until somebody told me that in a german forum.

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