How To Fix Galaxy S9 Power And Volume Buttons Not Working

The Galaxy S9 family of smartphones is an advanced and feature-rich group of mobile devices with many loyal fans. As with any smartphone, however, no matter how high end it may be, problems can arise with the phone’s hardware or software. One problem that some users have reported with their Galaxy S9 phone is an issue where the power and/or volume buttons stop working properly. In this article, I will go over how to troubleshoot this type of problem with your phone, and provide some suggestions on how to resolve any issues that you find.

Many users may assume that when their buttons don’t work, that this must indicate a hardware problem – “there’s something wrong with my phone!” While hardware problems are a possibility, with smartphones it is at least as likely that the actual source of the trouble is in the software. Phones aren’t just phones; they are actually small computers just like the ones you may have on your desktop at school or work. And of course, computers often have software issues. The Android operating system your phone uses is very stable and reliable, but no software is perfect and there are an almost infinite number of things that can potentially go wrong.

So, whether the problem with your phone buttons is hardware or software-related, this article will help you get to the bottom of the issue.

Diagnosing a Hardware Issue

It is very simple to test whether your phones power button are physically working. Press the power button and wait for the device to turn off or on. If the device goes from on to off or vice-versa, then your power button is physically working.

Testing the volume up and down buttons is a little trickier. To test the volume down button, press the power button and the volume down button together and hold for about ten seconds. Your Galaxy S9 should do a soft restart (this won’t hurt anything or cause you to lose any data). If the phone restarts, then you know there is nothing physically wrong with the volume down button.

To test the volume up button, press and hold the volume up and ‘Bixby’ buttons and press and release the power button. When the Samsung logo appears, release all the buttons. You’ve booted to the Android Recovery menu. Use the volume up and volume down buttons to scroll to “Reboot System Now” and hit the power button to confirm. This is the safe exit from the Recovery menu. If you were able to do all this, then there is nothing physically wrong with the volume up button.

If you weren’t able to perform these tests (i.e. the phone didn’t turn off or restart or go to Recovery mode) then there is a hardware problem with your phone’s buttons and you will need to get your Samsung Galaxy S9 serviced by a phone technician or by the retailer who sold you the phone.

Diagnosing a Software Issue

It is much more likely that your phone’s buttons not working is being caused by a software problem. There are a lot of different potential causes for this, so we will address them one by one, in the order of easiest fix to hardest/most involved fix.

Is Your Phone in Car Mode?

Car Mode or Driving Mode is the special operating mode for when you are driving your car, with a simplified interface that allows access to things that you might need while driving, like music and your GPS app. If your Samsung Galaxy S9 is in this mode, you will want to switch it back to regular mode and see if that resolves the button issue. You can get complete instructions on how to turn Car Mode on and off in this TechJunkie article.

Do You Have the Latest Android Version?

Android has a wide variety of versions and flavors. Your Samsung Galaxy S9 probably came with Android 8.0, “Oreo”, depending on your carrier. Carriers update the operating systems on their phones fairly regularly, and these updates usually roll out automatically to users. However, it is possible that your phone has missed an upgrade and this might be causing your issue with the phone buttons. Fortunately, updating your Android version is very simple. Just go to Settings->About Phone->Software Update.

Did the Problem Start When You Installed a Third-Party App?

Apps are wonderful things – they let us send delayed texts, play games, chat with our friends, and do a thousands other things. However, not all apps are created equal and some unstable or badly-written apps could be causing problems with your phone. If the problem with your phone buttons started occurring after you installed a new app, there’s a good chance that the app is the culprit. There is a quick test for this: reboot your phone into Safe Mode (which stops all non-standard apps from loading) and see if your buttons work while in Safe Mode. If they do, then the problem is your app, and you can uninstall it while in Safe Mode.

Going into Safe Mode is easy.

  1. Turn your Galaxy S9 smartphone off.
  2. Press and hold the Power button.
  3. Release the Power button when the Samsung logo appears on the screen.
  4. Press and hold the volume down button and release when you see “Safe Mode” appear on your screen.

Clear Your Cache

Like all smartphones, your Samsung Galaxy S9 uses cache memory to maintain app settings and help you in switching between apps. Clearing the app and system cache may help clear up software problems. To clear your cache, consult this article on how to clear cache on your Samsung Galaxy S9.

Try to Restore the Device to Its Factory Default Settings

If all else fails, a factory reset may resolve the issue. The benefit of a factory reset is that it clears out pretty much every conceivable software problem. The bad news is that it does this by wiping out all your applications, data, and settings. You can make a backup and restore these settings to your phone, however. Before you even think about doing a factory reset, you should back up your phone by going to Settings->Backup and Restore.

To restore the device to factory settings, check out this article on doing a hard reset of your Samsung Galaxy S9.

Nothing Worked, Help!

So you know it isn’t a hardware problem, but updating Android, clearing your cache, and hard resetting your phone didn’t fix the problem with your buttons not working? Sad to say, this probably means the problem is something that you, as a consumer, are not going to be able to resolve by yourself. You will need to seek professional assistance from a phone repair technician or by taking the phone back to the retailer or carrier who sold it to you.

Do you have any suggestions, ideas, or experiences for dealing with problems with the buttons on a Samsung Galaxy S9 phone? If you do, then please share them with us in the comment section below!

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