The "Screen overlay detected" message is a sort of issue that usually occurs on older versions of Android. We never got it on Android Oreo and above. So, we assume that those of you who are running anything from Android Nougat and below are at the highest risk of facing it.

The biggest problem with this error is that it prevents you from using your app unless you already know what's going on and how to fix it. Thankfully, we've got a few tricks up our sleeve. So, without any further ado, let's get right into it!

What Does "Screen Overlay Detected" Mean?

In order to fix this issue, we must first take the time and understand where it comes from.

Screen overlay is actually a feature that almost all of us use on a regular basis. It's just that a lot of us never really think about it until some sort of bug or issue comes up such as the one that we're talking about today.

It's a feature that allows us to interact with an app even while we are doing something else. A very popular example of this is the chat heads that Messenger is using.

Screen overlay detected

The very same feature is also called "Draw over apps" - depending on your version of Android and Android skin. And the only problem with it in our case is that sometimes, it doesn't play too well with other apps - particularly when they need to ask for permissions.

To be more specific, the issue seems to occur when we're opening an app for the first time while also having another app open with screen overlay/draw other apps enabled. The foreground app tries to ask for permissions which interferes with the background app and then you get the "Screen overlay detected" popup.

Other than that, you may also come across this problem when two apps need to use the screen overlay at the same time. Maybe something like using a 3rd party night-mode app and a chat head at the same time.

Of course, this only applies to night mode apps that rely on screen overlay. And other apps for that matter. But, you get the point.

How to Fix The "Screen Overlay Detected" Issue

As we mentioned above, this issue tends to come up when there is a conflict between two apps. What you need to do here is find which app is interfering and either close it or prevent it from drawing over other apps.

If you're using Messenger's chat heads, the solution could be as simple as discarding the currently active head. You can do that by holding down the chat head and moving it towards the X button at the bottom.

Screen overlay detected

If that doesn't work, your next best course of action is to head over to the settings and disable the "Display over other apps" permission for the app which you think that is causing this issue.

To do that on stock Android Pie, go to:

  1. Settings
  2. Apps & notifications
  3. Special app access
  4. Display over other apps
  5. Select the app which you think is the cause of this issue
  6. Set the "Allow display over apps" switch to disabled
  7. And try using your phone normally again

If that still doesn't solve your issue, try disabling the same feature for more apps or all of them. Maybe it's something else that interferes with the main app that you're trying to use.

Can't Find the Option - What now?

If you can't find the option of disabling the "Allow display over other apps" option, then there's a good chance that you're using a different version of Android, a custom ROM, or an Android skin from a manufacturer such as Samsung, Xiaomi, etc.

In such cases, the exact process of finding the above-mentioned option will differ from device to device. So, we obviously can't cover everything. However, we can at least mention some of the most popular options.

For stock Android Oreo, go to:

  1. Settings
  2. Apps & notifications
  3. Advanced
  4. Special app access
  5. Display over other apps
  6. Find the app or apps that cause this issue
  7. And disable everything that needs to be disabled

The situation is a bit more confusing on Android Marshmallow and Nougat:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Apps
  3. Tap on the gear icon at the upper right corner of the screen
  4. Scroll down to the "Advanced" section
  5. Special access
  6. Draw over other apps
  7. Then disable anything or everything that needs to be disabled
Screen overlay detected

For older Samsung devices, (Models with One UI 1.0 or 2.0 shouldn't be affected):

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Application manager
  3. Click on the "Options" icon at the upper right corner of the screen
  4. Apps that can appear on top
  5. Disable everything that may be interfering

How to Fix "The App Doesn't Have Critical Permissions That Are Needed to Run"

So, at this point, you hopefully managed to get around the "Screen overlay detected" issue. If immediately after that you got another message which says that the app doesn't have the permissions which are necessary for it to run, then you probably rejected a permission request by accident.

And if you did it on purpose, do keep in mind that some apps do indeed require certain permissions in order to function. For example, a contact manager will not be able to work if you don't give it access to your contacts, a camera app won't work without the required permission to use the camera, etc.

The fix is fairly simple. But, again, the exact steps may differ from device to device depending on the OS and Android skin. For stock Android Pie:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Apps & notifications
  3. App permissions
  4. Find the permission that your app needs (It should give you some info on what's missing)
  5. Find the app under that permission list
  6. And grant it access to that permission by tapping on it once (Blue means that it has permission - grey means that it doesn't)
Screen overlay detected

Yes, we previously mentioned that this problem generally occurs with older devices. But, we only own phones that are on Android Pie at the moment.

Still, the exact steps shouldn't differ too much on other versions of Android. All you need to do is get to the permission settings and grant everything that your app requires.

Wrapping Up

That's all we got for now. Hopefully, this guide helped you solve that problem. If there's another issue that came out after fixing the above-mentioned ones, feel free to ask us about it and the Updato team will try to help you.

Feel like we forgot to mention something important? Got anything wrong? Then let us and everyone else know about it in the comments section down below!

Like what you see? Then don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news, reviews, listicles, apps, games, devices, how-to guides, and more!

View Comments

What's my model number?

There are several ways to locate your model number:

Option 1
On your device, go to Settings, then "About device" and scroll down to "Model number"
Option 2
Often times you can view the model number inside the device, by removing the battery
Option 3
Using Samsung's model/serial number location tool

Looks like you're using an ad blocker.

We get it: ads aren't what you're here for...

But ad revenue is our only way to manage this site. Without ad revenue we won't be able to continue to provide quality content and free firmware downloads.

Please disable your ad blocker or whitelist in order to continue into Updato's ad-light experience.

Thanks for your support!