screen overlay detected
Android How To

Screen Overlay Detected Error : How to Fix It Easily?

So you just came across a pop up showing “Screen Overlay Detected“, and you’re wondering what to do and how to rectify it, aren’t you? You’ve come to the right page, we’ve got a complete fix on how to rectify this error and you can enjoy the app you’re trying to start. I’ll explain how to turn off screen overlay detected in your Android phone in very simple steps, read on!

Screen Overlay Detected Error : How to Fix It?

Screen Overlay Detected : What is Screen Overlay?

First let’s talk about what is Screen Overlay in Android, so that you’ll get a good idea on what the hell is happening!

Starting with Android Marshmallow, a small error started to pop up, “Screen Overlay Detected“, which will not allow some apps to open/run. That makes it a real pain in the a$$.

Android has introduced this new feature, “Draw over other apps“, in Marshmallow & Nougat, which allows some apps to “draw” over other apps. Which basically means the app can show info on top of other apps. For example, Facebook Messenger uses this feature for their chat heads to be shown over other apps. And the famous Twilight app makes the screen reddish by using the same feature.

Now when installing new apps, sometimes Android will show the pop up “Screen Overlay Detected“. That’s because some apps which “Draw over other apps” permission enabled is running on background or foreground.

Actually, this is an extra security measure from Android, to stop some rogue apps you may have mistakenly installed from any sources other than Play Store, from taking advantage of the default Android settings.

These apps may (or can) do unwanted things when the overlay is running and asking for permissions. Android is not going to allow this, so the Screen Overlay Detected error pop up will be shown.

But there’s nothing to worry, this is a normal thing and it persists in Android as a security feature, and is shown to people running Android Marshmallow and above.

Screen Overlay Detected : How to solve the error?

If you want to try a simple fix, you can jump to this method & try this method first. Click here.

Method 1

  1. First and foremost thing to avoid this Screen Overlay Detected error is to exit the apps that are having Screen Overlay or floating windows.
  2. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, Twilight, Lux, Internet Speed Meter, Clean Master, etc. are the main cause in this case, as they’ll always be having screen overlay option enabled.
  3. If you’re having any of these apps and they’re running (like Messenger chat head or Twilight filter), simple fix would be to exit the app before installing any new app or after it asks to disable Screen Overlay.

Bonus Tip : Uninstall Clean Master, DU Speed Booster, Go Speed & other cleaners and speed boosters from your phone. Not only they can be causing screen overlay detected pop up every damn time, they’ll be actually the apps that are causing more battery drain and ram usage. Even the common file manager app, ES File Explorer is causing this it seems (most probably because it has RAM cleaner built in now), better switch to Solid Explorer! And by the way, the data they show cleaned are mostly fake and RAM cleaning is not required for Android (I’ll talk about this in a different post:) ).

This works only if you know which app is causing the screen overlay problem, and if you’re not sure about that, you can follow the next method given below.

Method 2

In this method, we’re going to disable all the screen overlays by all apps all together to run your new app for the first time. So when screen overlay detected pop up is shown in an app, follow the below given steps :

  1. Open Settings by clicking on the gear icon in notification bar.
  2. Scroll down, you’ll find the “Apps” option. Click on that.screen overlay detected step 1
  3. Now click on the gear button on top right, as given in this image.screen overlay detected step 2
  4. In this screen. you’ll find “Draw over other apps”, click on that.screen overlay detected step 3
  5. You can alternatively find this option by searching the “Settings” menu for “Draw”. You can just click on the magnification glass icon on the top right on the Settings menu for that.screen overlay detected step 4
  6. Now, in the “Draw over other apps” screen, you can see the apps which are having the Screen overlay/Draw over other apps permission.screen overlay detected step 5
  7. You can click on each app and uncheck “Permit drawing over other apps”.screen overlay detected step 6
  8. Now, clear the app you were trying to run from “Recents screen” and open the app again, you’ll not see the “Screen Overlay Detected” again!
  9. One more step is left, that is to reactivate the screen overlays that you’ve disabled before. Just go back to the “Draw over other apps” settings from recents and recheck all the apps you’ve disabled. Else, you won’t be able to use those apps.

Additionally, if you find some unknown apps in there, you know what to do, uninstall them! This must solve the screen overlay detected Android error on most phones.

UPDATE 2:

Method 3

This is one more method you can try on your phone if the above two didn’t work. This method uses the “Safe Mode” feature in Android. Follow the below given steps:

  1. First of all, note the app you’re having this issues with. (For e.g., if it’s WhatsApp, remember that).
  2. Now, press the power button of your phone.
  3. Press and hold the “Power Off” option on the pop up now.
  4. After holding it for 4-5 seconds, one more pop up will come, asking you to enable “Safe Mode”. screen overlay detected method 3
  5. Click “OK”, the device will reboot in Safe Mode.
  6. Now, when your phone has turned on, go to Settings, and then to “Apps”.
  7. Here, scroll down and find the app you were having the screen overlay problem, click on it.
  8. On the app page, click on “Permissions”.screen overlay detected error
  9. And on the Permissions page, enable all the permissions the app was asking previously. solve screen overlay detected error
  10. After this is done, reboot the phone.

Done! This must definitely work on most devices. Do let me know if the above steps works on your phone!

NOTE: The above given methods are for stock Android (Nexus, Moto, and more). For Samsung & LG the options are little changed, but you can find the “Draw over other apps” option by using the search in settings. Check below to find out how to fix screen overlay detected error in various brands :

Screen Overlay Detected Samsung

Here are the instructions to solve screen overlay detected in Samsung phones. It’s a little different than that of normal Android phones, because Samsung uses custom interface, “TouchWiz”. Here are the steps for that.

  1. Open “Settings” on your Samsung phone by clicking the gear icon in the notification drawer.screenshot_2016-12-19-21-49-13
  2. Scroll down and you’ll find “Applications” menu, open that.screenshot_2016-12-19-21-49-45
  3. On “Applications, you’ll see “Applications manager” option, click on that. screenshot_2016-12-19-21-34-00
  4. Now press on the 3 dot menu on top right of the screen, here you’ll see the option called “Apps that can appear on top”, click on that.screenshot_2016-12-19-21-34-08
  5. You’ll see a list of apps that has the option enabled. Disable each of the app from this menu.screenshot_2016-12-19-21-35-28
  6. Now you can go on and open the app you were trying open (which Screen Overlay Detected was showing).
  7. Come back to the “Apps that can appear on top” menu and reenable all the apps you’ve disabled previously.

One more thing, in Samsung phones, one handed operation can also cause this. So if you’re getting screen overlay detected pop up while you’re using one handed operation, just turn that off from settings and try.

That’s it, you’ve now solved the screen overlay detected error in Samsung phone. This method will work on phones with the latest version of Touchwiz/Android Lollipop+, including flagships like Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, Note 7 and other mid tier phones such as Samsung Galaxy A9, A8, A7, A5, A3, J5, J7, On 7, On 5, etc. If you’re having any difficulties, you can just comment down for help.

NOTE: If you’re confused with the steps mentioned above, do watch the video below explaining how to solve the screen overlay error in Samsung phones.

UPDATE 1 : I see a lot of people are commenting below of the problem not solving in Samsung devices even after trying the above steps. I might have found one more fix for the issue. Try this method only if the above given steps have failed.

The one common issue I found out in Samsung is that some of the system apps and features uses draw over other apps option. Like the Samsung’s default feature of one handed mode can also cause the screen overlay detected error. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings, and navigate to “Display and Wallpaper” option.
  2. On the next page, click on “One handed operation”.
  3. Now on this page, click on “Side key panel”.
  4. Turn off the toggle button on the next page.

Now try to install your desired app and check if the screen overlay pop up is coming.

If not, just thank me 😉

If it’s still coming, do comment down your model number, I’ll try to get a solution for you.

Screen Overlay Detected Motorola

Motorola devices has vanilla Android UI, which means you can just follow the method I mentioned above. This will work for all of the Moto devices such as Moto Z, Moto G4 Plus, Moto G4, Moto G4 Play, Moto G3, Moto G2, Moto G, Moto E, Moto E2, Moto E3, E3 Power, Moto X Play, Moto X Style & Moto M. But the process is a little different for Moto M chinese version, as it’s using Vibe UI from Lenovo. You can use the method 1 from above for that.

Screen Overlay Detected OnePlus

I’m having a OnePlus 2, so the screenshots you can see above is taken from my phone. It works for all OnePlus devices such as OnePlus One, OnePlus 2, OnePlus X, OnePlus 3 & OnePlus 3T.

Screen Overlay Detected HTC

HTC is like Samsung, it is having their custom Sense UI on top of Android. For HTC, you can just search for “Draw over other apps” on the search bar in settings to find the menu of apps that has draw over other apps feature enabled. You can continue as we mentioned in the above steps. You can use this method to remove “Screen overlay detected” pop-up on most of the new HTC devices such as HTC 10, 10 Evo, 10 lifestyle, HTC One M9, One M9s, One M8, One x9, HTC Desire 10, Desire 10 Pro, Desire 830, One A9, etc.

Screen Overlay Detected LG

LG is also having custom UI over the top of Android, although they haven’t named it like Samsung or HTC. You can follow the method I mentioned above for HTC to turn off screen overlay in LG devices. The method will be the same for newer LG devices like LG V20, V10, LG G5, G5 SE, LG G4, LG X5, X Max, X Mach, X Power, X Style, etc.

UPDATE 3:

Method 4

Here’s a simple app that can solve your problems. It’s called “Install Button Unblocker” you can download it from Play Store, we’re linking it below:

 

install button unlocker

  • Starting the app, you’ll be asked to turn on the service.
  • When turning it on, you’ll be asked to allow accessibility feature of your phone and permit draw over other apps permission for this app. It’s required because by using those, they’re able to override issues caused by other apps.
  • Now, after turning this on, you can continue what you were doing. Like if your WhatsApp was asking for permission and you’re not able to give that, just turn on “Unblock Install Button” and try doing it again. It’ll work.
  • And when you use the help of this app, you’ll see a small lock icon near the Install Button or permission grant button.

PS: Do let us know if this worked for you, I’ve tried on some phones and worked flawlessly.

Apps known to cause Screen Overlay Detected Error

So I mentioned above that some apps can cause this issue on your phone. Here is a list of all the apps that might be causing this error, with or without a visible overlay.

  • Clean Master
  • DU Speed Booster
  • ES explorer
  • Xender
  • UC Browser
  • 360 Security

The above list of apps are the apps I noticed will be causing, without a visible overlay (or pop-up) of any kind. If you’re having any of the apps included in the above list, I would suggest you to uninstall it and look for an alternative. You don’t need an alternative for cleaner or anti virus apps, they’re just useless.

Below given are the list of apps with a visible overlay causing screen overlay detected pop up message:

  • Messenger
  • Twilight
  • Bluelight filter
  • Sfilter

Screen overlay caused by these apps are normal, as they need that permission to show pop up (in case of messenger) or red screen (in case of Twilight & bluelight filter). Just turn off these apps or exit them if the pop up comes. You’ll be good.

UPDATE 4:

Check which apps are causing this in your phone.

Now, you might be wondering which apps in your phone is causing you this issue. You can easily check all of that using an app we’re listing here. The app is called “Alert Window Checker” which checks if any app is using Screen Overlay permission. Below given is the link to download the app, download it:

alert window checker

  • Open this app, you’ll see a button called “Status check of screen overlay”, click on that.
  • Now if there is any app running with screen overlay permission, it’ll detect and will show “[OK] Screen Overlay is not running” or [NG] Screen Overlay is running.
  • If it shows screen overlay is not running, you don’t have to worry or do anything.
  • If it shows screen overlay is running, it’ll also show the list of apps using this on that page.
  • Now, click on the app name shown, it’ll take you go app settings. On that page, you’ll see options to “Uninstall” or “Force Stop” the app. If the app is something you use alot, like Messenger, Force close it. If it’s not something you need on daily basis like Clean Master, uninstall it. Your problem will be solved.
NOTE : Do read the comments below by various visitors. That might help you if your error didn’t get solved already.

Conclusion

Hope these methods worked out for you, and now you can enjoy the apps you were trying to install without worrying about the screen overlay detected pop up ever again! Do share this page with your friends, if they’re also facing the same issue when installing new apps. Peace!

416 comments

  1. Hi Suresh, I want to thank you heartily for your help in sorting out the trouble I have been having with my new phone. I have BLU Vivo 6 running Marshmallow. Since I got this beautiful looking phone as a gift from my wife, I have not had peace. This is, until I was blessed to come across your Blog with well-written article on how to solve the ‘Screen Overlay in Android’ issue. I want to inform you that it was OPTION 4 that worked! After hours of research looking for solutions and reading so many other articles detailing ways, only you were able to offer a workable solution. My nightmare has indeed turned to joy. I had almost given up decided to return the phone. Thank you Suresh. After using “Install Button Unblocker” free version, I have upgraded to the paid one to support the developer. Wish I’d send him more. It was only £1.79. It’s a steal compare to what benefits it has rendered.

  2. Thank you soooooo much A++++++ Sony Experia Z3 sorted No screen overlay nightmare any more . God bless you

  3. I AM SOOOOOOOO HAPPY. I tried everything, even went to those computer science guys, but nothing helped. I ended up dowloading the ‘Install Button Locker’, jeeeeez everything works,I am able to allow permission for storage, microphoine etc etc. Thank You So Much. The app did the job. 🙂

  4. I checked disabling all overlay apps, even system apps, but it did not work.
    Also, i disabled one-handed operation but it did not get fixed.
    I just one enable emergency mode and disabled it and, unbelievable the problem has been solved. no more overlay message.
    My Phone: Samsung A5 2016; OS: Android 6.0.1

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