Samsung Galaxy green line fault: What is it, how to troubleshoot, and will Samsung repair?

Samsung may replace your phone screen for free — here’s what to look for
(Image credit: Future)

Reports are piling up of Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners falling victim to software updates that cause massive display issues on Note and S-series devices. The fault seems to be causing a nasty and persistent "green line" across the display of these devices, and it would appear that software patches alone won't be able to fix it.

This isn't the first time the green line has plagued Galaxy displays. In the past, Samsung stepped up with free display replacements, and it appears they might be doing it again—at the very least for Samsung Galaxy customers in India.

A reliable Samsung tipster, Tarun Vats, points to two separate instances where an official Indian Samsung support channel confirmed that Galaxy owners impacted by the green line fault will be eligible for a one-time free screen replacement for those affected by the green line. However, there are caveats.

The good news is that this potential fix extends to several Galaxy models, including the S21-series, S22 Ultra, S20-series, and Note 20-series. It's worth noting that these devices must have been purchased within the last three years to qualify for repair.

The bad news? This offer seems to be limited to India. However, this could roll out to other regions soon. We've reached out to Samsung on this topic but are yet to gain any confirmation one way or the other. We'll keep our ears to the ground for updates.

What causes the "Green line" fault?

The most common cause of green lines on your smartphone's display is a hardware fault. Typically, this is an issue with your phone's display connector, the part of your phone that connects your screen to the motherboard within. This connector or cable can become loose or defective over time, or the solder that connects it may become damaged—especially if you're prone to dropping your device often.

However, while that might be the most common cause, the recent spate of reports indicates that Samsung's displays are finding fault after software updates. While a software update process can cause a smartphone to heat up more than normal, these heats wouldn't be dissimilar to the levels reached while devices were under similar heavy load, like when gaming. Therefore, it's still undetermined if these updates are a trigger for the fault or simply coincidental.

We reached out to Samsung for comment and, while they couldn't shed any clear light on the cause of this issue (potentially due to the myriad of external factors that could contribute to its development), they had the following to say:

"Samsung is committed to providing the best possible mobile experiences and product quality continues to be one of our top priorities. If you're experiencing a vertical line symptom, please visit an Authorized Samsung Service Center to take appropriate action."

How to fix the green line fault on your smartphone's display

As mentioned earlier, the most common cause of green lines across your smartphones display will be a hardware fault. If this is the case, contact Samsung directly to troubleshoot or request a repair. 

However, there are a few different steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue on your own. First, turn your device off and on to see if this green line goes away. This simple step is often one of the most overlooked, and can genuinely solve many issues with your device—not just those related to screen problems.

If the issue persists, you could check to see if the pixels of the display have become stuck. If so, it's possible to 'unstick' them using a built-in diagnostic tool on your Samsung Galaxy phone.

  1. Open the phone app, bring up the keypad, and enter *#0*# before hitting call.
  2. In the menu, try selecting the various color options: Red, Green, Blue, and Black.

You may find that cycling through the display's colors 'unsticks' any pixels and fixes those green lines plaguing your screen. If so, congratulations! If not, sadly, it's time to consider backing up your data and performing a master reset of your device or contacting Samsung about the possibility of repair.

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Mark Anthony Ramirez

Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.