Nook Simple Touch solution to unresponsive touchscreen

If you do a Google search for nook simple touch touchscreen unresponsive, you’ll see a whole bunch of frustrated Nook users. My wife got the original Nook (the one with the e-ink on top and the color touchscreen on the bottom). She eventually upgraded to the Nook Simple Touch and loved it, so I also got a Nook Simple Touch. Both devices have functioned well for months and months (over a year? I forget exactly when we got them).

All of a sudden, this week both Nooks have had their touchscreens turn unresponsive. Everything else worked—the hard buttons worked. I could force a shutdown. I could get the slide-to-unlock to pop up when I pressed the n button. The few times I could unlock the devices, the hard buttons on the side to turn the pages would actually turn the pages. But the touchscreen responding to touch worked only about 1 time out of every 20 times I tried. This was on both devices.

If you read these sad people’s stories about trying to get the touchscreens working again, they’ve tried just about anything: getting replacements from B&N, trying to get B&N to repair it in-store, waiting for a firmware update, charging the device fully, resetting the device to factory settings.

I did try a forced shutdown. I also tried a firmware re-update (just whatever the latest version is available on the Barnes and Noble website).

Do you know what it ended up being? A dirty Nook. That’s right. Our Nooks had been gathering too much dust and other crap. I wiped them both down with an only slightly damp tissue, and they both worked flawlessly!

Lesson learned! If you have a Nook Simple Touch, keep it clean. And when you’re not using it, put it in a protective sleeve.


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I tried every fix I could find and after reading your post thought “yeah right” but I did it anyway, and it works perfectly now.
    I’m off to go read now…..

  2. Thanks! Duh!! A little windex and a kleenex got it working. I was on the verge of throwing the device away.

  3. Thank you so much for writing this article. I was ready to pitch my Nook for a Kindle, but simply cleaning the screen has brought it back to life. It also worked for my non-responding iPad2 ( even with a protecting screen).

  4. OMG!
    I love my Nook, but I’ve become so frustrated about getting to the end of a book and not able to select the next book that I just ordered a used Nook from Ebay for $30. Then I read your ‘fix’. I was skeptical but I put some alcohol on a paper towel and wiped my screen (which looked perfectly clean to begin with.) My nook works like brand new! Thanks!

  5. Thank you so much! I was thinking it must just be age and was already considering buying the next nook. After a desperate Google search I found your post and it totally worked! Thanks for saving me $130!!

  6. I’ve had my Nook Simple Touch for years and I love the interface, simplicity, and versatility much more than any of the newer readers. Of course, I treat it very gently. I just replaced the battery a few weeks ago and thought my old baby was about to die on me when the screen stopped responding. I found your blog when looking for a solution. I hadn’t realized it had been so long since I cleaned the screen. I used some alcohol on TP and …. Viola! My baby is back in business. Thank You!

  7. Thank you!!! Bought one for $5 at a garage sale that wouldn’t swipe to unlock – a quick wipe down and de- gunking of edges and I now have a new working nook! :)

  8. Yep, here is another one who solved the problem of an unresponsive Nook thanks to your help!

  9. I’ve been searching for days on how to fix my husband’s Nook Simple Touch that wouldn’t wake up or power down! It was dirty! I’d even cleaned the screen with a damp paper towel and it looked clean. But after finding this post, I used glass cleaner and ran a toothpick around the edge of the screen which picked up a little gunk. I plugged it into the charger before restarting, don’t know if that was necessary. Problem solved! Nook works. Thank you!

  10. I had already thrown my Nook in the bin (trash) & decided to Google a solution as my wife’s Nook also started not to open when swiped. Found your site and cleaned the screen. Instant success! I have now retrieved my Nook back out of the bin. Thanks heaps.

  11. Unbelievably simple solution. Thank you so much. I’ve been trying to get back to my book in progress for two days and was ready to make a trip to the store.

  12. This was awesome. My Nook was sitting in a case for months and wouldn’t respond. I washed it off and BAM… it works great. Thanks so much.

  13. Hallelujah! I almost threw my Nook in the trash! I seriously buffed it with my tee shirt, and now it works perfectly. Bizarre!

  14. I am so happy I found this page. I wiped down the screen and the touch-screen worked perfectly. I was so frustrated. Thank you for your help. I will have to say though, I am utterly disappointed with the quality of the nook. I own 2 and both freeze quite a bit, they go unresponsive and move very very slowly, they take about a full 24 hours to charge no matter what charger I use and truly were probably one of the biggest waist of money on a device. I like that they are wifi only so I can let the kids play kid-friendly games but don’t worry about ads or websites being accessed that are bad and we use it for library and e-book reading. Either way it has such limited capability and even with that functions very poorly. I would not recommend in my opinion.

  15. Thank you!
    I tried to clean mine before, without success. This time I tried a cotton wad and some alcohol, and it worked!
    P.S. I love my Nook, though B&N decided not to expand beyond the US&C, which really hurt me – it seemed obvious they would when I bought it.

  16. Good tips. My Nook, a very early one, once froze and misbehaved so I gave up on it and put it away. Then I read on a blog that the contacts for the screen are at the top just under the frame. They collect dust and can be cleaned by gently brushing under the frame with a fine artists’ paintbrush. Magic! I clean the screen too with a dampish microfibre cloth. B&N closed Nook operation in UK some years ago and moved the books to a supermarket website where they had to be downloaded to computer, translated by AdobeReader and moved to Nook. Bit of a pain but worked ok. Now Kobo supply the books and need to go through the same process.

  17. I just complicated myself. Hard reset, re rooted… and then come on, just clean my damn dirty Nook and bang!

  18. It worked!
    My Nook SimpleTouch wasn’t visibly dirty, and it’s been in a protective sleeve since new.
    However, it had become completely unresponsive. A lightly damp cloth made it work again.
    Thank you!

  19. Thank you for the tip! I had just ordered another Nook on EBay and cancelled the purchase after I tried cleaning my screen. It works now!

  20. Here it is 2018 and your page is still saving people hours of frustration. Simple wipe of the screen and now I look like and I.T. wizard to my daughter. Thanks for posting!

  21. hey, looks like there’s someone else who ran into this problem and solution today! my last nook died 5 years ago (definitely the battery) – but this one has lasted until today – and the screen-cleaning solution was just the ticket (symptom: unresponsive tapping to flip pages, unlock, etc.)… and the screen didn’t look dirty and wasn’t really dirty when i wiped it off with a damp cloth – so thanks from the hot and humid Gulf of Mexico!

  22. There is a small amount of electricity flowing through the touch acreen, aka digitizer. When you touch the screen, it more or less completes a circut. If that circut cannot be completed i.e. there is something between the tip of your finger, which by the way also has a small amount of electricity flowing through it, and the screen, that circut cannot be completed. When the circut IS completed, voila…. you have function.

  23. Oh, thank you so much! I have updated firmware on my mother-in-law’s nook, and it stopped working. I blamed myself for a couple of days, and never imagined such a simple solution:)

  24. Thanks for this. I thought that I would have to buy a new ereader, but I just removed the protective screen (which must be dirty) and it’s working again.

  25. Thank you so much! I wonder if the battery will now last longer – my guess is: if my Nook thought it was in near-constant use, that would explain the quick battery drain.

  26. Add my thanks to those of your delighted followers. Once wiped with kitchen detergent, I’m reading again. Only sadness is that I had already purchased a Kindle, which won’t work for me, though brand-new from day one. However, it’s nice to be still reading THANK YOU SO MUCH

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