8 Best Ways to Fix NFC Not Working On Android

Over the years, NFC has evolved tremendously to facilitate Contactless payments worldwide. You just need to tap your phone or smartwatch to pay at a terminal, making the entire process simple. However, it’s simple only if it works in an intended way. A lot of times, NFC may stop working on your Android phone all of a sudden.

NFC not working on Android

If you rely a lot on contactless payments or if you use NFC on your phone to pair accessories or activate tags, you would want it to work flawlessly every single time. It’s rather embarrassing if your transactions don’t go through while making a purchase. If the issue sounds familiar to you, here are the best ways to fix NFC not working on Android. But first, let’s understand more about NFC.

What Is NFC

NFC (Near Field Communication) is a set of protocols that allows two devices to wirelessly connect to each other when they are in close proximity. When you bring one device with NFC close to another, there are coils in the NFC module that undergo inductive coupling to facilitate the connection.

Where Is NFC Used

NFC is commonly found in several places around us. Most credit cards have NFC to facilitate tap-to-pay transactions. Keycards to access hotel rooms can also have NFC. Apart from that, most modern smartphones have NFC.

NFC used for tap to pay

You can use it for creating and scanning NFC tags, contactless payments, and connecting to other accessories like compatible headphones and printers.

How to Fix NFC Not Working On Android Phones

If contactless payments are not working on your phone or if the device you’re trying to connect to does not pair via NFC, here are some solutions to fix the issue.

1. Ensure NFC Is Enabled

NFC tags or terminals can be read by your Android phone only when NFC is turned on. While it’s a basic step, you may miss it at times which is why it’s a good idea to check if the NFC toggle is turned on. Here’s how you can enable NFC on Android.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your phone.

Open Settings app

Step 2: Tap on Connected devices.

connected devices

Step 3: Press the Connection Preferences option.

connection preferences

Step 4: Now, go to the NFC settings page.

NFC settings

Step 5: Toggle on Use NFC.

If the toggle is already on, disable and re-enable it to ensure there’s no glitch that’s preventing NFC from working properly.

enable NFC toggle

2. Tap Your Phone in the Right Area

The NFC module inside your phone is located in a small area generally on the back of the phone. The location varies depending on which phone you have but it is generally at the center of the phone or near the camera module at the top.

NFC icon for tap and pay

When tapping your device to pay or connect via NFC, ensure you’re tapping your phone in the area where the NFC module is located. If you’re unaware of the correct position, just tap different areas of the phone on the NFC tag or POS machine until it gets detected.

NFC logo to tap

It’s also vital that you tap the NFC module of your phone onto the NFC module present in a tag or at a payment terminal. Every payment terminal or POS machine will have a dedicated area for NFC indicated by what looks like the Wi-Fi icon. Tap your phone exactly in that area for it to work.

3. Remove Your Case if It’s Thick or Metallic

Thick and metallic cases could obstruct the working of NFC. NFC works at a maximum distance of 4 cm. So, a thick case might add to the distance and prevent the NFC modules from communicating when you tap your phone on an NFC-enabled terminal.

Thick case for phone

Further, a metallic case could interfere with the working of the NFC coils. NFC does not work through a metallic surface which is why it’s best to remove a case that has any sort of metallic or magnetic components before using NFC.

4. Unlock Your Phone Before Tapping

The primary use-case of NFC on Android is for contactless payments. This is why, by default, you cannot use NFC when your phone is locked. The feature is present to stop unauthorized payments. Unlock your phone with your PIN or biometrics before tapping your phone to pay at a terminal.

If Google Pay NFC is not working on your phone, this can be the primary reason. If you think this is a hassle and you understand the risks with enabling NFC even when your phone is locked, you can enable NFC even when your phone’s screen is off. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your phone.

Open Settings app

Step 2: Tap on Connected devices.

connected devices

Step 3: Press the Connection Preferences option.

connection preferences

Step 4: Now, go to the NFC settings page.

NFC settings

Step 5: Toggle off ‘Require device unlock for NFC’.

unlock device for NFC

You can now use NFC on your phone without unlocking it each time.

5. Restart Your Phone

A lot of problems — both simple and complex — can be tackled using the customary solution, rebooting your phone. Just hold onto the power button on your phone until you see the power menu.

restart phone

Then, select the Restart option. Wait for your phone to turn off and turn back on before trying to use NFC again.

6. Clear Cache of NFC Service

Have issues pertaining to any apps or operations on your Android device? Clearing the cache is your go-to option. Try clearing the cache of the NFC service on your Android phone and check if this fixes your issue.

Here’s how you can clear the cache of the NFC service on your Android device:

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your device.

Open Settings app

Step 2: Tap on the Apps option.

Apps settings

Step 3: Now, go to See all apps.

see all apps

Step 4: Tap on the three dots in the top right corner.

three-dot menu

Step 5: Select Show system.

show system settings

Step 6: Locate and select NFC Service.

NFC service app

Step 7: Now, tap on Storage and cache.

storage and cache settings

Step 8: Proceed to clear the cache by hitting the corresponding button.

clear cache of NFC services

Restart your phone once and then try using NFC. This solution should work if NFC is not working on your Samsung phone or just about any Android device.

7. Set Default App for Tap and Pay

You may have multiple apps on your phone supporting the tap and pay feature. In such a case, setting a default app is useful since the apps won’t interfere with the working of one another. Here’s how you can set an app of your choice as the default app for NFC payments.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your phone.

Open Settings app

Step 2: Tap on Connected devices.

connected devices

Step 3: Press the Connection Preferences option.

connection preferences

Step 4: Now, go to NFC.

NFC settings

Step 5: Select Contactless payments.

Contactless payments settings

Step 6: Tap on Payment default.

payment default

Step 7: Select the app you use most often and want to pay with every time you tap your phone at a terminal.

select default payment app

Step 8: Now, tap on Use default.

Use default app settings

Step 9: Choose ‘Except when another payment app is open’ to allow a different app to use NFC whenever it’s open.

except when another app is open on Android

8. Reset Network Settings

Did you try your hand at the above solutions and nothing worked? Resetting your network settings could be your white knight. When you reset the network settings on your device, several parameters including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular data, and NFC are reset to their default factory settings.

This will ensure that any setting preventing NFC from working properly will be changed. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your Android phone.

Open Settings app

Step 2: Scroll down to find the System option and tap on it.

System settings

Step 3: Now, go to Reset Options.

reset options

Step 4: Tap on ‘Reset Wi-Fi, Mobile, and Bluetooth’.

Reset network settings

Step 5: Finally, select the Reset Settings button.

Reset button

This will reset all the network settings on your phone. Note that resetting the network settings will disconnect and forget all your Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth devices, and mobile data preferences. You will have to connect to your devices manually once again.

FAQs on NFC Not Working On Anrdoid Devices

1. Do all Android phones have NFC?

No, a lot of budget-oriented devices skimp out on NFC. You can check the manufacturer’s website for specifications to check if your phone supports NFC.

2. Why doesn’t my phone have NFC?

If you stay in a region where NFC isn’t very popular, chances are that your phone will not have NFC as the brand can save some cost by excluding a feature that isn’t widely used.

3. Do contactless payments work without an internet connection?

Yes, you can tap your phone to pay via NFC at any terminal without an active internet connection.

4. Does Google Pay support NFC payments?

Yes, Google Pay supports contactless payments via NFC.

Tap Away in Style

Restore the tap-to-pay functionality on your Android phone by following the steps above so that you can make your payment experience all the more convenient. Generally, when NFC is not working on Android, the problem is with establishing a connection so try the solutions involving the case and tapping in the right place first.

Last updated on 08 September, 2022

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