Turn Off Screen Overlay

Picture of Turn Off Screen Overlay

Android has gotten a lot more user-friendly over the years, but there are still some things that can leave users scratching their heads. One of the most annoying recent Android problems is the “screen overlay detected” message. You’ll see this error message when trying to accept permissions or install an APK. The message is not exactly clear about what you need to do. If you’ve every experienced this frustrating message, we’ll help you get it resolved.

What does it mean?The message appears when Android detects that another app is using a screen overlay. A screen overlay is when an app can appear on top of other apps. The floating Facebook chat bubbles and screen filter apps are common examples. It’s possible that an app could use a screen overlay to do something malicious while you accept permissions or install an APK. As a precaution, Android won’t let you do anything until the screen overlay is disabled.

So let’s do that.How to turn off screen overlayThe error message will tell you to “turn off the screen overlay in Settings > Apps.” Unfortunately, that’s where the instructions end. It doesn’t tell you how to find the responsible apps. We’ll help you snuff out the culprits.Note: This process will be slightly different depending on your Android version and phone manufacturer.Go to Settings > AppsThis step will vary by device.

One of the following should work:Tap the gear icon in the top rightTap the three-dot menu icon > Configure appsIf you see Draw over apps, tap itIf you don’t, tap Special access under AdvancedThen select Draw over appsAll of the apps in this list can appear on top of other apps. That’s what Android means by “draw over other apps.” Most of the apps in this list only use screen overlay when they are called into action.

For example, a caller ID app will only appear on top when you receive a call.  You need to find the app that is currently using a screen overlay.If there is a drop-down at the top, select Apps with permissionSelect the app from the listToggle off Permit drawing over other appsIf you found the culprit, you should be able to go back and do what you were trying to do when the message appeared. Once you’ve figured out which app is causing the problem, you may find it easier to simply close out of the app next time you try to accept permissions or install an APK.

Hopefully, this guide clears things up for you.

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This is one of the more confusing error messages afflicting some Galaxy phone owners. The fix is relatively simple — but a little investigation may be required. Here's a perplexing issue that's been affecting Samsung Galaxy S7 owners — in addition to folks on a handful of other Android devices. It goes a bit like this: You start up an app for the first time and accept the usual permission dialogs.

Then you're hit by a message like this: Screen overlay detectedTo change this permission setting, you first have to turn off the screen overlay in Settings > Apps. A screen overlay is a part of an app that can display over the top of other apps. The most well-known example is chat heads in Facebook Messenger. But apps need your permission to use screen overlays, and sometimes this can cause problems.

For example, if an app were able to display something over the top of a permission dialog, it could try and trick you into granting it permission to do stuff you might not want. The simplest fix is to basically do what the dialog box tells you to do. The language is a little confusing, but what it's asking you to do is: Launch the Settings app from your home screen or app drawer. Scroll down and tap Applications.

Tap Application Manager. Tap More to open the menu in the top right corner. Tap Apps that can appear on top. From here, you'll need to track down the app that needs permission to use a screen overlay — usually the app you were just using. When you've found it, tap the toggle next to it to turn it off, and you should be good to go. More: How to turn off screen overlay on the Galaxy S8 Note: It's not always clear precisely which app is trying to use screen overlays.

Clean Master has been reported as one app likely to cause issues, as has alert center app Drupe, and Lux, which lets you adjust the color of your screen. If in doubt, think about any app that might change the way things appear on your screen. Once you're done, try starting the app you were originally using once again. With any luck, you'll be able to grant it permissions and start using it as normal.

Wilma Lawrence

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