How To: Adjust Your Samsung Galaxy Note's S-Pen Sensitivity for Better Touch Response

Adjust Your Samsung Galaxy Note's S-Pen Sensitivity for Better Touch Response

How to Adjust Your Samsung Galaxy Note's S-Pen Sensitivity for Better Touch Response

Touchscreens are all the rage these days, and it seems that the stylus has become a relic of the past thanks to newer and better fingertip responsive smartphone displays. But when it comes to phablets like Samsung's Galaxy Note line, the added S-Pen is definitely helpful for more accurate and precise actions (and a less greasy screen).

Image via wired.com

Of course, there are disadvantages of using an S-Pen too, one being hardware issues. Unlike your finger, the S-Pen can malfunction and become a huge problem, not giving you that precision it once used to. So, if you're having problems with choppiness, light touches, or having to press hard for your pen to register, you can...

Smack It

I am a firm believer of the "if you hit it, it shall work," theory of the mid-80s. If you hit any malfunctioning device with just the right amount of force and anger, it usually fixes the problem. That goes for the Note's and Note 2's S-Pen, as well.

Take the S-Pen, and slam it decently hard on a flat surface. It's that simple. Now if that doesn't work, you can take a more technically and less-forceful route to help fine tune your Samsung S-Pen...

Adjust the Potentiometer

The potentiometer is an electro-mechanical transducer that converts the movement of your stylus into electrical resistance (or something like that). Basically it's what makes your stylus work with your screen.

And guess what?

You can open up your S-Pen and adjust the meter yourself, no matter what S-Pen it is.

This will work for the Samsung Galaxy Note's, Galaxy Note 2's, and Galaxy Note 10.1's S-Pen—or pretty much any other stylus with a button. This will not work on any regular conductive styluses without buttons.

Image via xda-developers.com

You will need to take off the click button on the body of the S-Pen. You can just pop it off with a razor. And don't worry—it can be put back into place without a problem.

Once this button is off, you will have access to the potentiometer.

Image via xda-developers.com

The potentiometer on the LEFT in the picture above and below is the one you will be adjusting.

Image via tapatalk.com

Using a razor or small screwdriver, you can turn the potentiometer clockwise to decrease sensitivity and counter-clockwise to increase it. Test it out and see if it works to your liking, then put the button back on.

This tip could also work with a bunch of other styli with buttons, not just the Samsung branded versions, but will not work on regular conductive styli, since all that they do is simulate your fingertip.

If you don't care for the S-Pen, you could always make your own conductive DIY styluses.

Photos by madsquabbles, Im that guy, Digital Trends, WIRED

36 Comments

This is awesome! One of my biggest complaints was my overly sensitive stylus, now I can use my spen all the time! Thanks so much!

I was in a Sprint store where they had a demo Galaxy Note 2. the Pen sucked. This would help those guys a lot.

update: I've since learned that the mounting bracket used in the Sprint store adversely affects the pen. Smart guys! <stupid Sprint>

Just sharing my own experience, in case it'll help someone.

With my new Galaxy Note 2, I had the problem of having the pen make stray marks when the nib was a centimeter away from the screen, especially when lifting the pen up. I thought it was a sensitivity issue at first, but it wasn't. The "air marking" wasn't happening consistently. It was definitely a pen hardware problem. A different Wacom pen tested fine on the Note 2's screen.

But anyway, I tried the potentiometer solution first. Lowering the sensitivity did stop the "air marking", but the decreased sensitivity also made the pen unusable for sketching. I had to press down too hard to draw a line.

I gave in and tried the smacking solution. I just whacked the pen against my hand a few times, instead of against a hard surface. Surprisingly, that fixed it. No more glitching. Maybe the nib was too tight straight out of factory and needed to be loosened up. Wacom pen nibs do normally have a slight "jiggle" to work properly.

I actually ended up tweaking the potentiometer to make the pen more sensitive. Now it works just as well as any graphics tablet pen.

Thank goodness for this article -- otherwise, I would've been really disappointed in Samsung's hardware. I guess the pen just needed to be broken in a little.

thank you so much... I was having this problem Wi my note 2 S pen for few days now so I smacked it and it got better right away

Thanks, Smack it fixed my problem! Unbelievable.

Tweaking the sensitivity of the pen has been a HUGE bonus for me!! As a digital artist this is going to increase the usefulness of the Note 10.1 for me by a ton. Thanks very much for the post! :)

S-pen abuse fixed my problem!

whats the other potentiometer screw for in there for.

I was wondering is this a joke by smacking the S pen would fix the problem but I still go for it , after drooping the S pen 2 time to the floor and damn its really works. Thanks.

I'm highly indebted to the publisher because 1 of my biggest problem in my Note 2 has been solved. Thanks once again.......... keep it up, appreciated !!!

This is amazing. So much better now.
I was wondering, what does the other knob do?

Thanks
Jonathan

Thanks for all the feedback. Glad these tips worked for you guys!

haha my S-Pen wasn't working very well and sure enough although I was a little hesitant. I stabbed my table with it and it's work now. LOL! Hitting things works :)

My s-pen is to sensative the phone detects the movement when it's just above the screen how do I stop that ??? :(

What is the purpose of the other knob? The one on the right.

I honestly cant stop laughing. My husband threw the pen on the ground so hard that the button popped off. It did not work at all but now its fixed. Thank you for your 80's advice and giving my husband a good excuse to throw things.

do you NOTICED that tobpass screens you have to press the spen on the screen. .. well if youbpress the tip of the s pen with something and hover it over the screen withoit rouching the cell detects that the tip is pressed and change screens poctures menues etc withoit toiching the screen !!!! y woukd like to make a button or mod that can do this also and to clic the screen without roiching it. can it be posible???

Please help

What does the potentiometer to the right do exactly?

"Surely smacking it on the ground was a joke," I thought to myself...

But what the heck. It's a small piece of plastic and I never shy away from using/abusing anything I own.

Sure enough, the slight inaccuracy my s-pen had is fixed after bouncing it off the slate floor...

it worked! I thought my phone had a virus because the S pen was typing its own thing everytime I tried to use it - but one smash bang on my dressing table and it works perfectly again! thank you!

Hi! My S Pen is horrible in a way. I was looking for S Pen setting without any succes for a year now... I found out that Samsung simply "will not implement any S Pen settings", I was trying to find out how S Pen works and I was looking for that potientiometers which had to be somewhere... I even opened the tool and removed everything inside... Except.. I had no idea that everything is just under the button... Stupid me...

Thank you! I will try it immediatelly! All The Best!
Bartosz

Well, I just tried your tips. I started from left potentiometer, it helped much, but pen was drawing from a distance. I couldn't tune it to work, so I tried second potentiometer... It helped!! After turning second one clockwise it was possible to draw very thin lines and very thick ones after pressure! It wasn't easy to tune it, after a while my pen lost sensitivity at all... But, I tried your hit methid (I thought it was stupid idea...) it helped a bit only, but recalled that you can easily remove the pin and insert it again.. So, I removed it and slowly inserted checking how pen is reacting... And.. I tuned it again.. and now it works! Maybe it's not ideal, but it seems it's it's possible to draw with it! It was impossible before without much training!

Thank you! It works and it's possible to tune the pen so you can sketch with it...

Best Regards,
Bartosz

BTW, please, keep in mind; it worked for me, but please, do not blame me or author of the article if something will not work... It's your decision, of course, and you should be careful if you are not sure what you want to do... Best Regards.

AMAZING! Works 100%!!!

work on note 3 pen too. thanks!!

Thanx you help me allot i Opened my button and change range of pressure

Warning!

My one-year-old son has bitten off the tip of my S-Pen, so I've purchased a replacement. It was an original Samsung S-Pen for Note 2.

The stylus came miscalibrated, there was the air marking problem, impossible to type. When i opened the button to calibrate it, i discovered that it has non-adjustable resistors! =-O

I had to swap the internals of the two S-Pen in order to obtain one that works fine. To remove the cap of the stylus i used a bench-vice and pliers. The cap is glued heavily and very easy to snap, be careful!

Image via dropbox.com

The boards of the two S-Pens turned out to be slightly different in size. I had a hard time fixating them.

Was pretty skeptical, but smacking worked.

I swung the s-pen on my Note 2 against a pad of paper, so it hit broadside, and that helped. Then I stabbed the nib into the same pad of paper and it got even better.

Thanks for the caveman fix!

It's imposibile to do it with a Razer.I had to do turn the potentiometer with needle tweezers

for me the pen writes half centimeter behind and before in the left and right edge of the screen. I could not adjust with the pen. It happens since the my screen was changed becasue of damage. With the original screen it worked well. Any advise on this please?

Can anyone tell me how to get the s pen to work when I place it in my phone? It is not detecting it when I put it in or out. It says s pen is not detected?

Be careful when taking off the cover - the plastic if very weak - I almost broke it coming off (and it went flying) and I did break it going back on. Fortunately it's staying on for now at least. It did increase the sensitivity though.

Thank you so much for this great instruction
my note 3 s-pen was driving me crazy until now
now I can enjoy using it
thank you again

If you hit any malfunctioning device with just the right amount of force and anger, it usually fixes the problem

the first time I found this article and I follow your tips. I slapped my stylus. And it already work again. Wow...

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