How to Fix It When Your S Pen Is Not Working

The S Pen, an innovative tool designed for Samsung Galaxy Note and Tab series, extends the functionality of these devices by allowing for precision input and creative expression. However, like any piece of technology, it can sometimes run into issues. Whether your S Pen is refusing to write, failing to connect, or experiencing other glitches, having it malfunction can really hinder your productivity and overall experience. Fortunately, there are several troubleshooting steps you can try to get your S Pen back in working order. This guide aims to help you through these steps in a user-friendly manner, so you can return to using your device to its full potential.

how to fix it when your s pen is not working

Check S Pen Compatibility
Before delving into more complex solutions, it’s important to ensure that your S Pen is compatible with your device. Not all S Pens work with all devices, even within the Samsung family.

  • Locate the exact model of your Samsung device by looking under Settings > About Phone or About Tablet.
  • Refer to your device’s specifications online or consult your user manual to determine the compatible S Pen models.

If you find that your S Pen isn’t compatible with your device, the solution is simple: you’ll need to obtain an S Pen that is suitable for your model.

Inspect the S Pen and Screen
A clean S Pen and screen are crucial for proper functioning. Dirt, debris, or damage can impede the S Pen’s responsiveness.

  • Carefully examine the S Pen tip for any signs of damage or excessive wear. Replace the tip if necessary using tweezers to remove the old tip and inserting a new one, usually supplied with your device.
  • Wipe the screen with a soft, dry cloth to remove fingerprints, oil, or dust that could affect the S Pen’s performance.

An intact and clean S Pen and screen can make all the difference without investing much effort or resources.

Restart Your Device
Restarting your device can resolve a slew of issues, including those related to the S Pen, by refreshing the system and clearing temporary glitches.

  • Press and hold the power button on your device.
  • Tap on the ‘Restart’ or ‘Reboot’ option when it appears on the screen.
  • Wait for the device to power back up and then test the S Pen again.

Restarting is often an effective and immediate fix without any risks or downsides.

Recalibrate the S Pen
Calibration aligns the S Pen’s sensitivity with the screen, ensuring accurate input and functionality.

  • Navigate to Settings > Advanced Features > S Pen.
  • Find and select the calibration option.
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to recalibrate your S Pen.

Recalibrating can enhance the precision of the S Pen; however, if not done correctly, you may need to recalibrate again to ensure accuracy.

Check S Pen Battery and Charging
The S Pen for newer models like the Note 9 and later has a battery that may need recharging if depleted.

  • Insert the S Pen into the slot of your device to charge it.
  • Leave it for at least 40 min to ensure a full charge.
  • Remove the S Pen and test its functionality.

Regular charging will keep the S Pen ready to use, though relying on battery can be a minor inconvenience.

Update Your Software
Keeping your device’s software up-to-date ensures optimal performance for your S Pen and other features.

  • Go to Settings > Software Update.
  • Tap on ‘Download and Install’ to check for any available updates.
  • Follow the prompts to install any updates found.

Software updates can bring improvements and bug fixes, but they may take time to download and install and occasionally introduce new bugs.

Reset S Pen Connection
If your S Pen operates on Bluetooth, resetting the connection might resolve any disconnection issues.

  • Insert the S Pen back into the device to reset its connection.
  • Navigate to Settings > Advanced Features > S Pen > Air actions.
  • Tap on ‘Reset S Pen.’

Resetting the connection can restore functionality, but you may have to reconfigure any previously customized Air actions.

Safe Mode Testing
Using Safe Mode disables all third-party apps, which can help determine if an app is causing the problem.

  • Press and hold the power button until the power off prompt appears.
  • Press and hold on the ‘Power Off’ option until the ‘Safe Mode’ prompt appears.
  • Tap ‘Safe Mode’ and test the S Pen functionality.

Safe Mode can diagnose issues effectively, but it will temporarily restrict access to your downloaded apps.

Check for Physical Damage
Carefully inspect your device for any signs of physical damage that might affect the S Pen’s functionality.

  • Remove any case or screen protector that may obstruct the S Pen.
  • Examine the device for dents, cracks, or warping.

If damage is found, professional repair or replacement may be necessary, which could be costly.

Factory Reset
A factory reset is a last resort, erasing all data and returning the device to its original state.

  • Backup all important data on your device.
  • Go to Settings > General Management > Reset > Factory Data Reset.
  • Read the information then tap ‘Reset’ and ‘Delete All.’

A factory reset can resolve deep-seated issues but will remove all personal data and settings.

In conclusion, an S Pen that isn’t functioning as expected can be frustrating, but with the help of this comprehensive guide, you are well equipped to diagnose and resolve the issue. From simple fixes like checking compatibility and cleaning your device to more involved solutions such as updating software and performing a factory reset, each step ensures that you cover all bases to get your S Pen working again. Remember, if none of these solutions work, it may be time to reach out to a professional or contact Samsung support for further assistance.


  1. How can I tell if my S Pen is charged?

    • If you have a model with a battery-powered S Pen, you can check the battery level by inserting the S Pen into your device and navigating to Settings > Advanced Features > S Pen. The battery level should be displayed there.
  2. Can I replace the tip of my S Pen, and where do I find the replacements?

    • Yes, you can replace the S Pen tip. Most Samsung devices that come with an S Pen include extra tips and a removal tool in the box. Otherwise, you can purchase them from Samsung’s website or authorized retailers.
  3. What should I do if I’ve tried all the steps and my S Pen is still not working?

    • If you’ve exhausted all troubleshooting steps and your S Pen continues to malfunction, it might be a hardware issue. In this case, contacting Samsung support for professional advice or visiting a Samsung service center for potential repairs would be the next course of action.

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