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HTC Source | February 20, 2018

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HTC One S bug causes home screen ‘helicopter’ dance

HTC One S bug causes home screen ‘helicopter’ dance
Owning an HTC phone should be an enjoyable experience, but that enjoyment can quickly turn to frustration if your handset   is plagued with bugs or glitches make the device inoperable. The latest bug to come to our attention for the HTC One S is a constant switching between it’s home screen and the ‘helicopter’ view without any input from the user.

This issue has been widely reported and documented by users (Vodafone ForumsO2 ForumsXDA-Developers), but HTC doesn’t seem to think this is a serous issue and their customer service reps even claim that it is not a widespread problem: “I can confirm that this is not something which we have had reported recently.” While I have owned the HTC One S for more than a month, I have not come across this issue.

One forum member speculates that the issue could be triggered when the phone is in a poor coverage area as the handset boost its power to maintain a stronger signal.

[quote]One could speculate that when the signal is very weak, the phone has to boost its power output to the max to

communicate with the cell controller, and at the GSM frequency this causes resonances or harmonics that the button
sensor is sensitive to at that power level. It might be worth adjusting the button-press smoothing and/or delay
parameters to make it ignore multiple triggers in that range. If it is a resonance / harmonic issue, it might only
need a small tweak to fix.[/quote]
HTC has a pretty good track record of resolving issue like this, so we hope they can find a solution for those affected by this latest bug. Have you experienced this (or any other) issue on your HTC One S?

Thanks for the tip, Shep.

About Nick Gray

Tech enthusiast, Android user and founder of the first HTC blog – Nick Gray has been blogging about HTC phones before most people knew what a smartphone even was. Over the years Nick has owned and tested dozens HTC devices and is constantly flashing new ROMs to his Android phones.


  1. Lars

    Hi Nick I have the exact same problem here in Germany. I already had srveral contact with the german HTC support. At first they told me the same as erveryone else, that this issue is not known so far… Then they gave me the standard bullshit problem solving answeres: try a system reboot, if that doesn’t work please sent it in etc. Luckily other users had try those before and told that it will not fix the problem! After getting a bit more direct they promised me to really work on the problem. Unfortunately I haven’t heard of them yet, for the past four weeks. This problem must be a severe problem for HTC and thousands of phone are faced with that problem. So either they come up with a solution soon or all HTC one S users in Europe have to return their phones, and what is even more effective is, that the press should as well pick up that issue. From my point of view that problem problem can be compared to the Toyota break pedal problem in the US a few years ago. HTC really needs to get this thing fixed, because the phone is really not useable with that kind of bug. By the way I am writing this message with the old HTC desire of my girlfriend, which works really fine in EDGE modus

  2. Mark

    I’ve had two versions of this phone now, HTC offered to take the second for repair, but I couldn’t see the point knowing it would come back & do it again. I’ve had a call from HTC asking for various info so its obviously being explored – its annoying because apart from this the phone is fantastic. I have found it helps make the phone more useable to switch the mobile network off in phone settings. Although this doesn’t help when you don’t have a wi-fi link.

  3. tommy

    So were there any announcements made by htc or are we just going to have to not use mobile network?

  4. Joozer

    I am facing the same issue from last 2 days..Bought this phone 2 1/2 months back and it worked fine before that..I am facing this issue on wifi and 2g mobile internet (EDGE) also. However, its much more on the 2g mobile network..

  5. Tom

    Yes have been having this problem now for 2 months and its getting worse sometimes its impossible to use the phone as it jumps from screen to screen…

  6. Pete

    Exactly the same problem. I have had no support from HTC. They even refused to get someone in authority to call me when I demanded a replacement phone. Eventually got Vodafone to agree to replace with a Samsung Galaxy, but they would only swap for the S1. I would prefer to keep my HTC as I love their phones but will have to move on asthe One S is becoming totally unusable. Why can’t someone from HTC acknowledge the problem and reassure us that they will fix it soon?

  7. Yennicq

    I have the same issue for a few months now, ran over to the store a few times, but they redirect me to HTC Support every time again. After a few calls to HTC they finally said I had to wait for the new update, this update was release a short time ago, installed it, tried it and guess what; the problem still exists. Called again to HTC and now they suggest to send it back for repair…
    Note: The problem occurs on mine also on WiFi, not only 2G/3G…

  8. Had my HTC One S for 2 months, and it continues to exhibit this problem… Otherwise, I REALLY like the phone… I suggest that HTC know they have a problem with this model, but due to the financial issues they have at the moment, they can’t afford to sort it out and replace all the faulty units out there… Pretty shoddy if you ask me. I’ll give them another month to sort something out and if no progress is made, I’m going to return mine to Carphone Warehouse demand a different make… Shame, but the phone is not of merchantable quality.

  9. manda

    The same problem for me. I’m from Greece and i am Vodafone user… I send my phone for service, they fixed it, but after 2 months i have the same problem! I send it again and now i’m waiting a reply..

  10. rayan

    i have the same problem, i am from lebanon (middle east)
    i love this phone, but this problem is annoying !
    how could HTC not fix this?

  11. shahzad

    I have the same issue (multiple touches)
    plz give me the solution if any one have

    • tommy

      Use only WCDMA as your mobile network mode, not the WCDMA/GSM. Mine was fixed after doing so.

  12. jack

    I have the same home button bug / problem on my phone!!
    Switching to wcdma mode fixed it for me but this iunacceptable! Everyone that is experiencing this issues please report them to HTC and write them everywhere! HTC really needcto fix this ASAP

  13. GREGOR

    HTC please fix this huge problem with the one s! This home button helicoptering problem is making me spoo sick

  14. Indian

    I am going to fuck HTC technicians. They not doing anything for this bug. I paid, more for the fucking product. .. hello HTC, anybody home.

  15. Anonymous

    I am from india. I am going to fuck the HTC technicians. The not caring about this issue. I paid more for this fucking product. Anybody want this mobile for 300$. I will return it. Stupid HTC anybody home ?

  16. Bonjour,
    J’ai acheté ce HTC ONE s, quand le signal edge est un peu faible, il est inutilisable à cause de ce problème de bouton home. Je vous demande de corriger le problème.

  17. Mike South

    I have the same problem with my One S in the UK. Is there a resolution to this bug yet ?

  18. Tracey

    I am also having this problem and while it is helicoptering the phone keeps taking screenshots. it also then drains the battery and I do not even get a full day out of it.

  19. Peter

    same problem i have too in germany.

  20. I have the same problem in Germany. I hope it will be fix with the 2.31.401.5 update. I’ll reply after i try it.
    My website is under active developement. When its complete, you can get host for free.

  21. Chris Dalton

    I have owned several HTC phones. So plain and simple, I paid a lot of money for the phone, it does not work properly, its a widespread problem, HTC are not acting “in good faith”. I will not buy a HTC again. simple.

  22. Sam

    Iv had the htc one s for 2 days and i live in a strong Vodafone signal area and its been doing it no stop

    Like I would take my phone out to play angry birds or something but I can’t coz the home button goes of !!

    Iv only had it 2 days!!!!

  23. allan

    Same problem here. Was intermittent,but has got a lot worse in the last week. Seems more of a problem on WiFi,but can happen at any time. Can’t even turn phone off as it just takes screenshots

  24. Herman

    Same problem in Netherlands, seems less when only using Wifi but not acceptable of course. Last weeks were reasonably good, last few days again annoying, even on Wifi.
    Don’t know what HTC stands for, but centainly not “Help The Customer”.
    Wished I had read numerous posts before buying this phone.

    • Shirôkami

      I totally agree with you, and as I’m affected by this issue for months, I understand your frustration. HTC have a real problem with communication and respect/consideration for their customers. They don’t have the honnesty to claim they don’t know how to fix that, and to assume it.

  25. Jimmy

    I have this issue too (Belgium). Its really annoying when using mobile network when on my way, its just unusable! When on Wifi its a lot better, but i just can’t use my internet on the way. What a let down!

    • Shirôkami

      I’m from Belgium too Jimmy. Français or nederlands ? Where did you buy your phone ? For everybody : I’ve been in contact with an HTC customer service’s agent. He told me that from now, the technicians know how to fix it, but it’s the same bullshit as they’re saying from the first time I contacted them. He told me to ask again to my dealer for my smartphone to be replaced. Let us know if one of you have positive results with this issue. Thank you.

      • Jimmy

        Hi, dutch. The problem seems to be reduced with the JB update. I’ve had only once the bug popping up, but i need to test more as i’m almost always using Wifi (and wifi never gave me problems).I also have not installed google now, so maybe that’s something to count for too. I will keep update when i have more news.

  26. Fred

    Just discovered that I am not alone with this issue. I have just spent nearly an hour composing and sending Expansys (phone seller) an email describing the same issue and hoping I will get a replacement phone which works. My wife and I have exactly the same phone but her phone does not behave like that. She must have one of the odd ones out there that does not have the issue. I have a feeling that it is not a software issue. In which case we are in serious trouble. Are they going to replace all these defective phones?

    • Shirôkami

      Unfortunately, HTC refuse to assume this issue, as they’re saying that they can fix it from one part, and that they don’t know where it does come from, from another part. The communication of HTC is, of course, shitty as hell.

      What you can do is to push pression on your provider. If the dealers are assuming lot of reports, they will push pression on HTC. Sad to have to deal with such an issue without HTC doing anything…

  27. Michael

    I’ve just ordered a One S one month ago and already have this issue. so damn annoying

  28. mark

    I’ve also had this problem and when I first called HTC was given the brush off and told that if I turn off 3G that will solve the problem. As I pointed out to the person I was speaking to that if I turn off 3G there is little point in me having spent £500 on a phone!. I was also told to hard reset etc but I told them I would not waste my time as it’s clear that is not the problem. My handset has now been in for repair twice, each time it comes back it’s fine for 2 days and then starts playing up again. I believe that it’s related to signal strength and when the phone is struggling to find if it gets a better signal on 2g or 3g I/e when you are in a weak signal area. TO be fair to HTC I filled in one of their customer surveys and said I was not happy at being spoken to like some sort of stupid consumer and they did call me to try and make sure I was happy. The outcome is that I am expected to send my phone off again for repair, but I’m afraid I’m not going to bother. I’m just going to get rid of it and try a nexus instead. I understand that phones are very hitech and sometimes things go wrong, however I’m not happy at the constant brush off from their customer service, I.e try hard reset, I’ve not heard this reported before, turn off 3G, a software update will be out in a few weeks (that was months ago). Before treating all customers like idiots they should try and find out what your knowledge level is, I’m no expert but I know enough to know when there is a fault. I’m also am involved with picking which phones are used in a the business I work in, I’ve spec’d HTC phones for the last 4 years but will be taking a very close look at that in the future although the network provider there is a nice blanket between me and issues (as long as you have a commercial account).

    Poor show from HTC, maybe they should ensure they stick to their new business plan of less phones but better phones. Apple prove you don’t need to release a new handset every few weeks, just make a few really good ones that really work!.

  29. flex420

    hi. I’m from germany, having the same problem too. the JB update did NOT fix this. Its just different now as it constantly opens Google Now. so fucking anoying when you are in an area with shitty reception, you want to write an whatsapp and it just keeps opening Google now … fuck off. I already contacted HTC, they said I have to send it in. Will do that tomorrow.
    If this is not fixed, I will never buy a HTC again. So far i just had Samsung’s and they where pretty damn fine, besides they are plastic only ….

    Will send it off to repair, then sell it. Getting a Nexus 4.

  30. Annette Lund

    I live in Norway. I got the HTC one S from my boyfriend for christmas. It started happening at once I turned it on. 🙁
    I don’t know what is triggering it, but the last two days I have not had any problems. I have updated it at least three times in the last two weeks.

  31. Anum

    Hi Friends
    Today I received Jelly Bean updates on my One S which is on O2, after updating my phone’s screen is flashing. I don’t know why it is happening, if any one have a solution for this kindly inform me.

  32. David

    I’m not an expert but has anyone tried to downgrade. As I’ve been reading the upgrade haven’t fixed so far the problem, perhaps getting a downgrade might stop the glitching problem. I really hope that this can solve the problem. Just an idea

  33. Devina Wahyudi

    Hi Nick, i have the excatly same problem here… hope HTC release update to fix it

  34. razvan

    From România, the same problem here. After upgrade to jelly bean. HTC still not want to fix the problems yet?!!!

  35. ayin

    from Malaysia also with the same problem.until now im waiting in vain for htc to fix the issue.or else ill stop buying htc ever again!

  36. Dipenkar

    I am facing the same problem here in India too.It started almost a month after i purchased the handset.On contacting the HTC Support they give same old solutions like reboot,factory reset etc.I dont think it will solve the problem.Hope to get a fix for this soon.

  37. Desmond

    I have the same problem. It occurs only when I’m using mobile network for data. It works ok when I use wifi. I’ve read that it may be caused due to interference with the 2G network. I am planning to switch to 3G and “maybe” it will work (I doubt it though)

    Does anyone know if there is a patch released for this or of any other fix?

    • Ayin

      I have problems with my one s.helicopter bug being a major problem for me.all this time i think maybe have some tweaks with the old ics ive upgraded my phone to jb 4.1.but the same problem occurs.after reading a few blogs and forum i finally turn off my 2g,and switch to 3g only fine for me until now.give it a try,who knew it might works.
      Ayin my maxis malaysia

  38. Edward

    Agree with everyone here. The basic fact seems to be that HTC knows very well they screwed up with this product, but now don’t have enough resources to fix it as they are throwing all their money at securing a greater market share for their new products. Therefore, promises made to the customers beforehand can just be discarded, and they will continue not admitting it’s a problem. However good other HTC products are, I’m not going to give any more money to a corporation with that kind of culture.

  39. Huma Pervaiz

    Same issue since November last year…

  40. Dave

    Same problem, comes and goes. But when it does, like this morning it takes photos of home screen too. 26 taken in total, final 6 the triangle exclamation mark as the systen crashed. Sent of the bug report, but very irritating when it happens. Still within the 1 year warranty here (UK) and will pull the statutory rights if it is not resolved before that is up. Anybody else get the photo taking thing or am I just lucky?!!

  41. Vardaan Chawla

    Having an amazing experience with my One S. Just this issue needs to be resolved asap. Only happens on 2G network. So I keep it on 3G. And happens only during an ongoing call.

    Any fix yet ?

  42. sudhir

    I bought this phone on Virgin Mobile plan around 6 months back in Australia, It not only does the helicopter dancing but Camera also fires and take random pictures of the phone screen itself while it is dancing.
    Wish HTC should come back with a software patch as it is very annoying,
    Come on HTC, show some respect for your customers.

  43. Romain

    Any ideas if this happens most on S3 or S4 chipset or both revs meet the isssue ?

  44. Abrar

    i m usnig htc one s in pakistan for last few months. it is with vodafone brand but i m using ufone network. i m also facing same problem. where the hell is HTC?? how long we will have to wait? i m sorry to say but its not a professional approach!!!

  45. Marouk

    Htc may be coming with build 3.18 but considering that Htc is verging on bankruptcy it may never be released.

  46. GabeV330

    The problem occurs on mine also on WiFi, and 3G/4G Time to get a new phone as it is affecting both work and personal life.

  47. Alavna

    I had this problem from the start. Had a hardware issue so didn’t have my phone for 3-ish months, got it back and the bug was still there. After an OS update it did’t happen as often however then another home button bug started where it acted as if the home button was being held down, usually with the ‘helicopter dance’ mixed in. It’s off being repaired from a second time for this issue. Fingers crossed for a replacement or money back. I’ve had this issue start happening even when using wireless internet not mobile.. The phone’s not even a year old 🙁

  48. Paul Wilburn

    My HTC one s does it all the time. It is by far the worst phone I have ever had. Why are HTC phones cheaper than iphones? Because they are crap! Avoid HTC phones at all costs, yes they cost less but sawing your own leg off is cheap, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

  49. John

    from malaysia using Maxis provider. same very annoying problem with the home button. also speaker problem after updated to JB 4.1.1, the media,ringtone,notification sound suppose to be coming from the rear speaker, occasionally the sound/ringtone will go to the front speaker, which is for phone call. Therefore the volume is low, and I can’t hear my phone rings, even at full will be ok after I restarted the phone. but it will come and go from time to time. its been with the service center for the 2nd time. the 1st time they replaced a new unit, but both the speaker and home button problems still there. Really do love this phone, but its unusable with these problem.

  50. Shashanna

    I’m having the same problem with mine here in Jamaica. It’s frustrating.

  51. belle

    Im from thailand … I have the same problem with you guys.

  52. virendra chahar

    I have the same problem while I contacted to HTC customer support and they said just factory reset your phone and it will be all right but no it is the same problem again,

  53. Bilal

    Mine have same problem, its look like its something to do with GSM signal, whenever i send or receive sms and during call, it occurs.


    in my case if i hold it from bottom right on where back speaker is it occurs, but as soon as i hold it from top leaving bottom untouch, its stops. may be it works for u too folks. try it

  54. Bilal

    Mine have same problem, its look like its something to do with GSM signal, whenever i send or receive sms and during call, it occurs.


    in my case if i hold it from bottom right on where back speaker is it occurs, but as soon as i hold it from top leaving bottom untouch, its stops. may be it works for u too folks. try it

  55. Meet Bala

    Same problem
    No solution
    No response
    No update.
    Was making this device a marketing gimmick from HTC.
    Cheap tactics.

  56. ganesh

    Its almost a year since I started using my one s this helicopter problem just started 3 months back… Just now reset my phone had the problem twice now its just fine…anyways am gona head for the serviceguyz tomorrow…

  57. Julian

    Same problem here in UK. Phone in repair for 3 times and every time its returned after O2 say they cannot reproduce the issue. Even after giving them video of the phone going mad and links to all the websites documenting the link. Reason is they test the phone in perfect 3G signal conditions ignoring my description that the problem occurs in bad reception areas

  58. Andrea

    It’s almost the end of 2013 and seems there are still HTC One S phone with the home button problem around. I’m facing the problem right now and I’m going to send the phone to a repair center soon. I’ve noticed the problem appear when the internet connection is poor

  59. Dan

    Just so everyone knows, with Android 4.1.1 the HTC One S no longer has these helicoptering issues. If you buy the phone in 2013 or later, you’ll be fine.

    • Andrea

      That’s actually not true for me! I’m using Android 4.1.1 and I still have the “helicoptering issue”. Phone bought at the beginning of 2013

    • Vali

      I also use Android 4.1.1 and the phone was bought in 2013.
      I still have the issue.

  60. Michael Nielsen

    Same problem here in Denmark (HTC One S). Although after the updates mine just opens the google Home screen (as in holding the Home button).

    This is my third and probably the last HTC phone I will ever own.


  61. RS

    Facing same problem in India when I am in roaming . Problem intensifies if I am using 2G.

  62. Roberto

    Same problem. I face it only when the phone connect to a GSM connection (2G). When I use it with WDCMA only mode the phone works fine. But not every place I stay during my day are covered with a good 3G signal, I need also 2G!! Please HTC fix the problem! Phone sent 3 times to repair center, they changed many components without finding a solution 🙁 Hope fourth time will be the good one, but I’ll be propably forced to buy a new, different phone, sending HTC to the hell

  63. Thomas

    Same problem on GSM mode. Phone bought in 2013

  64. Graeme Ward

    Same problem on one s on o2 always when trying to use data and poor signal . Phone will not power off but take numerous pictures of home screen .

  65. Matt

    I have just sent my phone to be repaired with this issue. I’ve had the handset for about 3 month then last month the screen started to get a bit jumpy and it became hard to type messages as it would double tap any letter on the top row of the key board, a soft reset sorted that then two weeks ago it returned and it started flicking through home screens by itself, loading apps and the back and home button became unresponsive, I have to lock the phone and press power to swipe up unlock and get the back and home buttons to work. It once unlocked it self too!

    Hopefully I’ll soon have it back as new, I’ve never had a problem with HTC before but I couldn’t afford to be having to buy a new phone mid contract if this persists.

  66. Rahul

    I also have the same issue (this has come up thrice)
    I had given to htc for servicing , but the issue has come back 🙁

    This is very bad coz now my phone is not in warranty

  67. Karen 4 Shaw

    My HTC One S began doing this after I had major issues with mobile network appearing to work, but not. The only way I could get around it was by going into the settings and manually changing from GSM/WCDMA to WCDMA only. Which would last 15 mins at most before I had to do the same again. The phone went back to Caphone Warehouse/ HTC maybe 4 times before I got a new handset. Which did the same. Eventually they blamed my provider who after lots of hassle with them, wrote my contract off and gave me the phone (talkmobile ftw).
    I moved to Giffgaff/o2, and the issue continued. Cue more with HTC and again got a replacement phone – which had the helicoptering issue in G and E signal areas.
    Another replacement phone in May 2013, having had issues since January worked fine until March.
    I’m about to start the whole thing again. Phone going off tomorrow 🙁

  68. Rahul

    Has HTC come up with a permanent solution to this ?

  69. Rahul

    Has HTC provided a solution to the helicopter issue ?

    I am using HTC one S since past 2 yrs now.
    I cannot change the mode to WCDMA coz i am using a GSM n/w.
    Also tried switching to GSM only n/w but that also didnt help.
    Have given my phone for repairs twice , everytime they say its fixed and after 6-8 months it comes back on.

  70. Rahul

    Has HTC provided a solution to the helicopter issue ?

    I am using HTC one S since past 3 yrs now.
    Saw some posts to switch to WCDMA. but cannot change the mode to WCDMA because I am using a GSM n/w.Also tried switching to GSM only n/w but that also didnt help.

    Have given my phone for repairs twice , everytime they say its fixed and after 6-8 months it comes back on. Gave an earful to the customer care executive, but of no avail. He still mentioned that i will have to give the phone for repairs

    • Roberto

      There is no permanent solution, except changing your phone with a new one. Unfortunately HTC is very reluctant to do it. I had to send my phone 4 times to the repair center, and to make a lot of calls to have my phone change

  71. Lil

    Yes! I am very relieved to see this – it seemed too weird to be repeatable bug yet have had on 2 successive One Ss. Associated as you say with poor wi fi signal when roaming abroad. Have they fixed it for M8?

  72. Paul

    Same problem (HTC One M7, New Zealand) but only after a restart or battery goes flat and needs charging and starting up again.

    Best solution for me is restart the phone and don’t touch it for at least an hour …don’t even unlock the screen! I let it do its software glitch thing in the background and it settles down and I have no problems again for weeks or months until the phone is restarted or battery dies. Hope this helps for some frustrated users.

  73. Paul

    I’m having the same problem with HTC One M7. It’s not rooted or even unlocked. Every time the phone is restarted it goes crazy. The only way I can stop it is to restart and don’t touch the phone for at least 2 hours then it seems to sort itself out and doesn’t do it again until the next time it’s switched off. So I never let the battery die or turn it off

    • Paul

      Sorry I posted the same story twice