Whether the power button doesn’t work on Android or you’re just tired of pressing it constantly, there are many alternative ways to unlock and lock your Android device.
Unlock Your Android phone screen Without the Power Button
You can automate the whole process, wake it up by running your hand over the screen, etc. Here are several ways to unlock your Android phone with a broken screen or when the power button is not working.
1. Automatically wake or sleep your phone
Gravity Screen removes all of the manual labor required to turn your phone screen on or off. This not only makes the power key obsolete, but doesn’t require any interaction on your part either.
Gravity Screen is a smart application that can detect the movements of your phone. Based on sensor data, it can unlock the phone as soon as you take it or take it out of your pocket. The app can also work in opposite ways. So when you place your phone on a table or in your pocket, Gravity Screen automatically turns it off.
You don’t need to do much to configure Gravity Screen. First, go ahead and download the app from the Play Store. Once installed, launch it and grant device administrator permission . That’s all.
But in case you find it inaccurate, you can adjust the trigger angle. On the Gravity Screen home page, you have simple bars for Pocket and Table sensors. Slide and test different angles until you are satisfied.
Download: Gravity Screen (free, premium version available)
2. Take advantage of your phone’s biometric sensors
On phones with fingerprint sensors or facial recognition features, you don’t need a power button or a third-party app to unlock your phone. All you have to do is swipe your finger or show your face. So, if they are available on your phone, go ahead and configure them. You should be able to locate them under Settings> Security .
In addition, Android also has a software-based facial unlock authentication mode. It does not require any special sensor and only relies on the front camera to scan your face. Before learning how to use it, keep in mind that it is not as secure as a PIN / fingerprint lock.
The Android face unlock feature is found in Settings> Security> Smart Lock> Trusted Face .
Biometric authentication covers the unlocking process. But what about when you want to manually lock your phone and don’t wait for the screen timer to go off? To do this, you will need to install a third-party application such as Screen Off.
Screen Off adds a handy shortcut to your phone’s home screen. You can tap it to immediately lock your phone. The app also supports Google Assistant. So you can say “Hey Google, open screen off” and the voice assistant will automatically turn off the screen.
Download: Screen Off (free)
3. Wave to unlock and lock your phone
You can also replace the power key with your hands. An application called WaveUp allows you to wake up or lock the phone by passing your hand over the proximity sensors. Similar to Gravity Screen, WaveUp can turn on the screen when you take the phone out of your pocket.
In addition, you can customize the wave combinations. So, for example, to avoid accidentally triggering the service, you can ask WaveUp to wake up the phone only when you cover and uncover the sensor twice in a row.
WaveUp also has a quick configuration process. By default, it is activated with the unlocking gesture. To use it to lock the phone, activate the Lock screen option and grant accessibility permission .
There are a handful of other settings that you can customize to make sure that WakeUp doesn’t interrupt you when you play, for example, a game. You can exclude specific apps, add a buffer before locking, so you have the possibility to suspend it, to specify if it should operate in landscape mode, etc.
Download: WaveUp (free)
4. Explore your phone’s built-in gestures
Phones from a range of manufacturers have built-in gestures that you can explore to replicate the functions of the power key. The most common is the Double Tap to Wake gesture . It is available on phones from Google, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Samsung, etc. The shortcut allows you to wake up the phone by double-tapping the screen.
Another gesture you can check is to double tap to lock . Once activated, you can double tap anywhere in any empty space on the Home screen to lock the phone.
By searching for the gesture’s name in the search bar at the top of Settings , you should be able to find the relevant options in most scenarios. Otherwise, you can go to Settings> Display or visit the Help section on the manufacturer’s website.
Some phones like those running Android Pie also have a gesture called Lift to Check Phone . When active, your phone screen will turn on as soon as you lift the phone.
How to install apps when the power button doesn’t work
You may be wondering how to configure these alternative methods if your power button is not working and you cannot turn on the screen. Fortunately, here’s how to unlock your phone with a broken screen.
The easiest solution is to charge your phone. Once you have connected the cable, the screen will light up to confirm that the battery is charging. At this point, you can manually enter your PIN or password on the lock screen and access your phone settings or the Google Play Store as usual.
How to uninstall these applications
To support the main functions of your phone, such as waking the screen, some of these applications may have asked for permission from the device administrator. This means that you will not be able to uninstall them directly if you want to in the future.
Instead, you will first need to revoke their device administrator permission. To do this, go to Settings> Applications & notifications> Advanced> Special access to applications> Device administration applications . Disable the permission for the app you want to remove, then continue with the standard uninstall steps.
Get the most out of your phone’s physical buttons
These apps and tips offer nifty replacements for your phone’s power button. They’ll come in handy whether you’re bored pressing buttons or the power button on your Android device isn’t working.