Samsung Galaxy S9 Black Screen except a few lines on the top

  • 23 January 2021
  • 5 replies


Weeks ago, this weird thing started happening where, if I turned on my screen immediately after it turned itself off, only the top few lines would be visible. The whole screen would take input, but you could only see a little below the status bar, maybe. If I waited a bit and then turned the screen on, it would work normally, with the whole screen visible and looking fine.

It got progressively worse to the point where this happens most of the time I turn the screen on. However, I've found two workarounds:

1) My Always On Display is set to turn on when I tap the phone. If I do that, the AOD works as normal, and if I then turn on the phone screen the phone screen works fine. This only works when Always on display is set to turn on on tap. It does not work if AOD is set to always be on.

2) If, when my screen is glitching out I hold the screen up to a reeaally bright light (like inches from a lightbulb), the rest of the screen turns on. It's weirdly green tinted and kind of stuttery.

Turning off automatic brightness does not fix this issue. If tried booting in safe mode and even factory resetting the phone and reflashing the firmware manually. Issue still persists. I guess it’s a hardware issue with the screen.

Samsung phone support was unhelpful and their closest physicai location is several hours away from where I am in Maine (and I’d feel a little funny going in there anyway, given the pandemic). They eventually suggested I take it to Best Buy, and when I called Best Buy they said no, call Samsung.

This seems to be happening to a lot of people. The best fix I’ve found is an app called OLED Saver. It’s not perfect, the scree looks a little weird when it kicks in, but it’s at least usable.

Has anyone else here had this problem? And if yes, have you had any luck getting it fixed or fixing it yourself?

5 replies

I am having the exact same issue. I was starting to think it was just my phone, but the timeline kind of matches up with a recent T-Mobile update, though I can be certain. This is a recent issue for me. When it gets real bad, I have to blindly navigate to unlock and turn off my phone.

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boot into safe mode to ensure it isnt being created due to a rogue app causing conflicts internally...if it still happens with only stock apps working then you might opt to either perform a cache wipe on the phone..or just go for gold and see if a factory reset fixes it..any ideas if this started up after an update for both of you or just the second poster? and if for both..which update was it? security patch or larger OS update?

I booted in safe mode and it happened immediately, so it's definitely something with the OS.

I just tried wiping the cache partition, but it did not help. When the phone first boots up, the screen is working and shows the Samsung and Android logos. As soon as the screen is supposed to turn hot pink with the T-Mobile logo, that's when the problem starts. The majority of the screen is blank with the top portion showing horizontal streaks of pink, until the OS fully loads and then I only see streaks of my built-in background.

I really wish there was a way to Uninstaller the last update that T-Mobile pushed out. I really really don't want to do a factory reset. Given that this is an OS defect and not a physical defects, I'm considering upgrading via JUMP and just ditch the phone.

I am having same issue after updating. If Tmobile cannot fix I am going to upgrade and go with Verizon.