How to Fix Galaxy Note 20 Series S Pen Not Working

S Pen Not Working on Galaxy Note 20 Series [How to Fix]

If you’re anything like me, you rely on your S Pen for everything, from jotting down quick notes to unleashing your inner Picasso in the digital canvas of your Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Series. 

But, let me tell you, there’s nothing more frustrating than when your trusty S Pen decides to take a coffee break, leaving you high and dry in the middle of an important task. 

Now, you might be wondering why your S Pen is acting up. Well, a Galaxy Note 20 S Pen’s issues may stem from its battery running out of juice. This could also be due to an incompatible screen protector, a faulty Bluetooth pairing, or a lack of software updates. 

So how can you solve this, you say? Don’t fret! Here are 10 very easy methods to troubleshoot your Samsung Galaxy Note 20’s faulty S Pen in a heartbeat.

Causes of Samsung Galaxy Note S Pen Not Working 

Below are the common reasons the Samsung Galaxy Note 20’s S Pen may stop working. Studying them should help you find the best solutions according to the cause of your phone’s smart pen issue.

  • Low S Pen battery level
  • Touch sensitivity issue caused by using an incompatible screen protector
  • A recurring Bluetooth pairing issue between the S Pen and Galaxy Note 20
  • Faulty S Pen settings
  • Minor device errors and other system-related problems.

How to Fix a Galaxy Note S Pen Not Working

Here are the top troubleshooting methods to fix a Galaxy Note 20 S Pen that’s acting up. We recommend applying the following solutions to all Galaxy Note 20 devices, including its Ultra and 5G variants.

FIX 1. Test the S Pen with a different device

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps1
Time to Perform Fix30 to 60 seconds
Things NeededA compatible Samsung Galaxy device
An S Pen

You must determine why your S Pen isn’t working to make the troubleshooting process more effective. After all, this will help you decide how to deal with the issue more effectively.

For instance, you must perform troubleshooting tricks that target the S Pen if it’s the culprit behind the problem. 

Otherwise, you must focus on solutions that address the issues on your Samsung phablet that prevent its S Pen from working correctly.

Using the S Pen on other compatible Samsung devices is an excellent way to conduct this test. If it works without issues, your Galaxy Note 20 is the root cause of the problem, so you must focus on troubleshooting your faulty phone instead.

Unfortunately, this test can be costly since it requires another Samsung Galaxy device, but you can remedy this by borrowing from a friend or family member. Here’s a list of compatible devices for testing your S Pen.

  • Samsung Galaxy Book
  • Samsung Galaxy S21/S22/23 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10/20
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S6/S7/S8/S9
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3/Fold 4/Fold5

Note: Some Galaxy devices only work with specific types of S Pens. Thus, testing your S Pen on other Galaxy Note series devices is your best option.

FIX 2. Remove/replace the device’s screen protector

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps1
Time to Perform Fix20 to 40 seconds
Things NeededA Samsung Galaxy Note 20
A replacement screen protector

If your Samsung Galaxy Note 20’s S Pen isn’t working, you can often attribute it to touchscreen-related issues. 

For example, an incompatible screen protector may reduce your phone’s touchscreen sensitivity, preventing it from registering your inputs correctly.

As such, you must consider removing the screen protector on your Galaxy Note 20 if you suspect it’s causing your S Pen not to work. 

Otherwise, your alternative option is to replace it with a compatible screen protector that works well with Samsung phones.

Various screen protectors online exist specifically for Galaxy Note 20 devices, so finding one is easy. Look them up on platforms like Amazon to check their reviews and determine how well you can expect these products to work with your Samsung phone.

Remove/replace the device’s screen protector

This way, you won’t need to continue using your Samsung Galaxy Note 20 without a screen protector. After all, you don’t want to accidentally scratch your phone’s LCD panel while operating it.

While it’s unlikely to happen due to the softness of the S Pen’s tip, you can scratch your phone’s screen in various other ways. 

Since it’s better to be safe than sorry, we suggest replacing your Galaxy Note 20’s screen protector instead of only removing it.

FIX 3. Enable the device’s touch sensitivity feature

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps3
Time to Perform Fix10 seconds
Things NeededA Samsung Galaxy Note 20

Regarding touch sensitivity, your Samsung Galaxy Note 20 has a feature to raise its value. You can enable this feature to increase the touchscreen’s sensitivity, allowing it to respond well to your touch inputs even when using a screen protector.

Thus, enabling this feature should help fix your Galaxy Note 20’s S Pen issue while you search for a replacement screen protector. 

The increased touch sensitivity lets your Samsung phone respond to your inputs, making your phone’s operation smoother.

However, the caveat is that you can only utilize this feature’s effect when using your Galaxy Note 20 with an incompatible screen protector. If your phone didn’t have one on its screen initially, you may not see any visible difference when using this feature.

After all, the touch sensitivity switch on Samsung Galaxy devices is exclusively for phones with incompatible screen protectors. We recommend this solution so you don’t have to resort to the previous method while looking for a suitable replacement.

Step 1: Go to Settings.


Note: Alternatively, pull your Galaxy Note 20’s quick settings panel
from the notification bar to click its cog icon and access the settings menu.
Step 2: Go to Display.

Step 3: Scroll to the Screen Sensitivity switch
and toggle it on.

FIX 4. Change the touch and delay duration

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix30 seconds
Things NeededA Samsung Galaxy Note 20

Aside from your Samsung Galaxy Note 20’s touch sensitivity feature, you can configure the device’s touch settings. Doing so lets you change the time delay your phone takes to recognize tap inputs and register them as a touch or hold.

The touch and delay adjustment should help you configure your Samsung phone’s touchscreen to work well with its S Pen. As such, it’s one of the most straightforward solutions to address recurring S Pen issues on the Galaxy Note 20 series.

Additionally, you can adjust your phablet’s touch duration or set it to ignore repeated touches. These configuration settings are all under your phone’s Interaction & Dexterity menu, alongside the touch and delay option.

Therefore, it’s best to take this opportunity to configure all your phone’s touch settings in one fell swoop. With this, you can customize your Galaxy Note 20’s touch settings to make it work with your S Pen optimally.

Step 1: Go to Settings.

Step 2: Go to Accessibility.

Step 3: Open the Interaction and Dexterity menu.

Step 4: Select the “Touch and hold delay” option
under the touch settings section.

Step 5: Set your desired duration.


Note: You can try various times to determine the best one for your
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and its S Pen. It also applies when
configuring your phone’s tap duration or
setting it to ignore repeated touches.

FIX 5. Re-pair the S Pen to your phone

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps1
Time to Perform Fix10 to 15 seconds
Things NeededA Samsung Galaxy Note 20
An S Pen/S Pen Pro

Another quick solution is to repair your S Pen with your Samsung Note 20 phablet.               This way, both devices can re-establish their Bluetooth connection so you can continue using them together seamlessly. 

Fortunately, pairing the S Pen with your Galaxy Note 20 is a walk in the park thanks to its advanced Bluetooth technology. As such, the pairing process is automatic, unlike other Bluetooth devices requiring you to follow some steps.

Therefore, you must only insert the S Pen into your Samsung Galaxy Note 20 to begin pairing. After a few seconds, your phone should automatically detect and connect with your S Pen.

If you’re using the S Pen Pro, hold its dedicated pairing button until the LED indicator beside it blinks red, green, and blue. A small window should appear on your Galaxy Note 20’s screen where you can click a connect button to pair both devices.

Re-pair the S Pen to your phone

FIX 6. Reset your phone’s S Pen

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps6
Time to Perform Fix40 seconds
Things NeededA Samsung Galaxy Note 20
An S Pen

Resetting your S Pen is another excellent way to troubleshoot its recurring problems. In particular, this is the ideal action if your S Pen starts encountering various issues more frequently.

With the reset, your S Pen will re-establish its pairing with your Samsung Galaxy Note 20. Furthermore, this action will restore your S Pen’s default factory settings, allowing it to correct minor bugs and errors that might be causing it to malfunction.

While this is a factory reset process, it’s easy to do, so you can use it whenever your S Pen isn’t working. 

However, your Samsung Galaxy Note 20 must be working correctly during this time since the reset option is only available by navigating its settings menu.

Thus, you might need to troubleshoot your Samsung phone beforehand if you’re having trouble resetting your S Pen. In such cases, you can try the final two troubleshooting tricks in this guide to fix your Galaxy Note 20.

Step 1: Go to Settings.

Step 2: Select Advanced Features.

Step 3: Select S Pen.

Step 4: Click its kebab menu.


Note: Insert the S Pen into your Galaxy
Note 20 beforehand.
Step 5: Click Reset S Pen.

Step 6: Wait while the S Pen resets.

FIX 7. Charge your phone’s S Pen

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps1
Time to Perform Fix10 to 15 seconds
Things NeededA Samsung Galaxy Note 20
An S Pen/S Pen Pro
A phone charger (optional)
A working power outlet (optional)

Whenever your Galaxy Note 20 is in optimal condition, but your S Pen isn’t working, the latter has likely run out of juice. It happens when you take out your S Pen for an extended period and forget to insert it back into your Samsung phone.

As such, you must recharge its battery by inserting it into your Galaxy Note 20 before using it again. However, you must note that recharging is different if you use an S Pen Pro on your Samsung phone.

In this case, you must use your Galaxy Note 20’s USB Type-C charger to plug your S Pen Pro into a power outlet. Opening the flap on the top portion of your S Pen Pro will reveal its USB charging port.

Charge your phone’s S Pen

Check its battery

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps1
Time to Perform Fix10 to 15 seconds
Things NeededA Samsung Galaxy Note 20
An S Pen

Like your S Pen’s configuration options, you can check its battery level on your Galaxy Note 20’s settings menu. We recommend fully charging your S Pen’s battery before using it unless you need it for an urgent task.

Step 1: Go to Settings.

Step 2: Select Advanced Features.

Step 3: Select S Pen.

Step 4: Click Air Actions.


Note: Insert the S Pen into your
Galaxy Note 20 beforehand.
Step 5: Check your S Pen’s battery level.

FIX 8. Replace your faulty S Pen

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps1
Time to Perform Fix10 to 15 seconds
Things NeededA Samsung Galaxy Note 20
A working internet connection

If troubleshooting your faulty S Pen doesn’t resolve its issues, your only recourse is to buy a replacement. You can browse Samsung’s online store for a replacement S Pen for your Galaxy Note 20.

Otherwise, you can visit your local Samsung store to ask for assistance when choosing the best S Pen for your phone. In particular, we recommend getting the S Pen Pro since its build resembles a pen more and offers extra features.

Moreover, you can track the S Pen Pro on your Galaxy Note 20’s SmartThings app. It solves the common problem with the S Pen’s size, making it prone to being misplaced or lost if improperly handled.

FIX 9. Restart your phone

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix50 seconds
Things NeededA Samsung Galaxy Note 20

For software-related issues, you can restart your Samsung Galaxy Note 20 to fix the errors behind your S Pen not working. This action helps correct minor errors by letting its system delete temporary data through a quick restart sequence.

Upon rebooting, your Samsung Galaxy Note 20 will eliminate faulty system memory that causes errors that prevent the S Pen from working correctly. 

It’s a fast and simple solution you can perform repeatedly since it only involves turning your phone on and off.

Furthermore, you don’t risk losing your essential data and files since restarting your phone is only a soft reset. Therefore, this solution is a safe troubleshooting trick for your Samsung Galaxy Note 20’s saved data and installed third-party apps.

Unfortunately, it also means that restarting your Samsung phone isn’t the most effective way to deal with system errors. After all, it can only deal with minor errors and temporary system data that your Galaxy Note 20 stores during use.

Step 1: Press and hold your Samsung Galaxy Note 20’s
power and volume (-) buttons simultaneously.

Step 2: Release the buttons once your phone screen
shows the Samsung Galaxy logo.

Step 3: Wait for your Samsung Galaxy Note 20
to reboot its system.

Step 4: Use your Galaxy Note 20’s S Pen to test whether it works.

FIX 10. Reset your phone

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix3 minutes
Things NeededA Samsung Galaxy Note 20

By this point, a factory reset may be your best bet if your Galaxy Note 20’s S Pen still doesn’t work. This action will fix all system-related errors the previous soft reset solution on your Samsung phone can’t resolve.

Thus, you can consider this method as the best way to troubleshoot your Galaxy Note 20’s S Pen issue. After all, it’s the only solution to eliminate corrupt data files and malware from your Samsung phone.

WARNING: Save a copy of your pertinent files, apps, and phone preferences before doing a factory reset as the process will delete these. 

Unfortunately, you’ll lose your essential user data and non-system apps upon factory resetting your Samsung Galaxy Note 20. We suggest treating this method as a last resort after trying the abovementioned solutions to no avail.

Fortunately, you can store your essential user data using your phone’s backup feature via the Samsung Cloud service. 

However, it doesn’t include your installed apps, so you must redownload them after resetting your Galaxy Note 20 to factory settings.

Step 1: Go to Settings.

Step 2: Select General Management and click
Reset on the following page.

Step 3: Click “Factory data reset.”

Step 4: Go to Reset.

Step 5: Select “Delete All” to restore the default factory settings
on your Galaxy Note 20.

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