Troubleshoot an Unresponsive E-Reader Touch Screen

If you have an e-reader with a touch screen, you know how easily and smoothly it works to help you navigate as you read. But once in a while, a touch screen may stop working as it should, and that can be frustrating. Should that happen to you, there are some simple and helpful DIY ways that you can troubleshoot the problem. Most of the time, one of these will fix the issue and you’ll soon be back to reading.

How Do E-Reader Touch Screens Work?

First, it can help to learn a little about how the touchscreen technology on many e-readers works. That can give you a deeper understanding of why your screen may experience temporary problems. Plus, it gives you a better appreciation of how complicated and innovative this advanced technology can be, and why it’s so handy and pleasing to use. In most e-reader devices, like Kindles, sensors send out tiny electromagnetic beams or signals across the face of the device. When your finger hits the beam, the device is programmed to respond. That responsiveness is what gives the device that touchscreen functionality.

Clean the Screen

That’s why dirt and smudges on the screen of your e-reader may make it less sensitive. You may have experienced how the scanners at the self-check out counters in supermarkets sometimes fail to scan barcodes, because the screens are dirty. But if the screen is wiped clean it works fine. The basic idea is the same with your e-reader. So one of the first things to do if you screen isn’t responsive is to clean the screen. Manufacturers always recommend not cleaning a screen until the device is powered off. Then use a soft tissue or cloth for cleaning. A special microfiber cloth is the best kind to use, because those are especially soft and gentle. If the screen is really dirty and you want to spritz the cloth with a cleaning solution, use the kind made specifically for cleaning electronic devices. Sometimes just wiping the screen clean will restore it back to normal.

What to Do If Your Touch Screen Freezes

Another method for troubleshooting the problem is to reboot the device. If you already turned it off to clean it, just restart it. Sometimes, if there was a glitch in the electronic circuitry or software of the device, restarting it will clear that out and solve the problem. Another thing to consider is whether the device has been on for a long period of time, without a rest. The battery may have gotten too hot, so just take a break. Let the device cool down for an hour and then try it again. A weak battery may also be the source of the problem, so if necessary you should recharge the device’s battery, which may fix the touchscreen and make it responsive. If you have an extra battery that’s charged, you can swap out the fresh battery for the one in the unresponsive device. If that works, it could be that the battery that was in the device is dead and needs to be replaced.

Other Possible Solutions

If you’re still having problems, check to be sure that the wall outlet or USB charger you’re using isn’t defective. Chances are, if your battery is charged then the charger is fine. But sometimes the plug-in device is faulty, and that causes a domino effect of other problems like a dead battery and a nonresponsive device. Borrow someone else’s charger and try it to see if that cures the problem. When all else fails, you may want to restore the factory settings on your e-reader device. But beware. When you do that it may wipe-out all of your user settings and also erase whatever content you have downloaded to the device. That’s why it’s prudent to first backup files you want to save to a laptop or external hard drive. After restoring to the original settings you will also have to register your device again with the manufacturer, as you did when you first bought it.

Is the Glass Screen Cracked?

If you tried everything, the problem may be pretty serious. A cracked screen, for example, can disrupt the delicate technology of a touchscreen device, making it permanently inoperable. In that case, it is usually going to be cheaper to just buy a new, used, or certified refurbished device rather than try to pay to have the broken screen fixed. The good news is that there are lots of affordable e-readers on the market, including ones that are factory certified repaired or refurbished models. Those usually work good as new, but cost a fraction of the price of a brand new model.

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