When you get the screen overlay detected error, it’s not easy to tell why it appeared plus you can get frustrated because you don’t know what to do to get it to go away. Often, this error appears when you’re about to make a purchase on a store or dive into a new app. The phone suddenly stops for some arbitrary reason, but the good news is there’s a work around for it.
Screen overlay detected error: What Is It?
This error appears as a popup on your phone that says, “to change this permission setting, you first have to turn off the screen overlay from Settings>Apps”. It even gives you a link that’ll take you to your device’s settings, plus some instructions you can use to fix the error.
The solution isn’t as obvious as it seems, and it doesn’t give you more details as to why it blocked you either. Screen overlays are used by several apps to draw over other apps so they can continue to operate even with another app open.
If you consider the chat heads in Facebook Messenger that appear while you’re doing something else, just to let you know you’ve received a message, that’s a screen overlay. This can however be used maliciously to hide stuff from you and trick you into paying for or agreeing to something you didn’t want to do in the first place.
The error message is displayed to make sure the screen overlay is turned off before you make any decisions on your phone.
Almost any device that supports screen overlays is prone to this error. These include Lenovo and Samsung devices, and any other Android device you may have could run into it (since at least Android 4.1 Jelly Bean).
Changes have been made to how it appears and how it’s fixed over time, as Google introduced a more streamlined system settings menu after releasing Android 8.0 Oreo. This made it even easier to counter the problem
How to fix Screen overlay detected error
To resolve the error, disable the draw overlay function of the app you’re using, and re-enable later. You can also leave it off permanently to avoid future issues.
To do this:
- Go to Settings and find Draw options
- Tap the magnifying glass at the top right side and type Draw
- Now tap Draw over other apps when the draw function appears. You can also go to Apps>Gear icon>Special Access>Draw over other apps
- A list of all apps on your device that can draw over other apps will be displayed
- If you know the app that’s causing the screen overlay detected error, tap the app and use toggle to disable it from drawing over other apps
Some of the problematic apps that tend to cause this error include Twilight, Facebook Messenger, ES File Explorer and many others.
Elsie is a tech writer with 8+ years professional experience. For Tech News Watch, she brings rich experience contributing to topics such as Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS among others. In her spare time, she loves checking out the latest tech trends, gadgets, and news, listening to music and cars.