Smartphones are so fragile that even a little drop sometimes causes them severely damaged or even useless. But sometimes, even if a phone is never dropped, it might still fail at some point – like when its power button stops working. You know the phone is fine, but you just can’t wake it up from standby, just because that tiny little button is broken. How awful would it be?
While you can do a lot to fix software problems, broken buttons can be a lot more troublesome. Luckily, the case isn’t as bad with phones that have a physical home button, such as the majority of Samsung’s Android handsets (Samsung S7/S6/S5), where te home key can be used to wake up the phone. Phones that can be turned on with a double tap on the screen, such as HTC One M9 Plus, Xperia Z5/Z4, LG G6/G5 are also fine. BIf unfortunately, neither of these features available on your Android device, it is literally torture when the power button on Android is not working.
Well, not to worry, there are a few things that can be done to remedy the situation and keep your device in a working state even with a damaged power button.
NOTE: Not every method works for all devices. Here, we have compiled a number of ways to deal with a broken power button and you can choose the one that works for you.
Part 1: Wake up your phone
Firstly, try not to let your device shut down completely for whatever reason because it is a lot of easier to find a workaround to the situation if your phone is on.
If you feel that your power button is acting up, the most important things you need to do in order to make sure that you don’t lose access to your device is – to turn on USB debugging and Scheduled Power ON.
How to Turn on USB Debugging on Android?
Go to Settings app on your phone.
Look for ‘Developer Options’ and tap on it.
If you don’t see ‘Developer Options’ in Settings, you can turn it ON by going to ‘About phone’ and then tap on ‘Build Number’ a few times till you see a pop-up message that reads “You are now a developer”.
Now you will get Developer Options. Tap on it and toggle the switch to turn it ON.
Find ‘USB debugging’ under Developer Options and toggle the switch to turn it ON.
How To Turn on Scheduled Power ON?
If your device supports Scheduled power ON/OFF, you can turn it ON in Settings to automate power ON and power OFF. So, in case your power button is damaged and your device shuts down, you need not worry as it will boot up automatically at the pre-set time. To turn it on, follow these steps:
Go to Settings app on the home screen
Search for “Scheduled power ON/OFF” from the search bar in the upper right corner.
Toggle Power ON and set the time you want it to power ON every day.
Part 2: Restart Android Phone without Power Button (When your phone is still Turned Off)
There are several ways to restart an Android phone when the device is turned off, without relying on its power key.
Method 1: Plug in your Android phone to a charger
Chances are that your phone could have simply turned off due to low battery. Simply connecting your device to the charger may restart your device. If this is the case, it means that the power button is not working because your phone is not charged enough. Try to test your power button once again after when your phone’s battery gets charged, and it might work without any trouble.
Method 2: Restart your device from the boot menu
Try to press your volume buttons in different combinations to get into recovery menu. The key combination to enter your phone’s recovery menu can change from one device to another. Most of the times, one can get the recovery menu by long pressing the Home, Power, and Volume up button simultaneously. As soon as you get the ‘Recovery Menu’ option, there you can select “Reboot system now” by tapping on the Home button and simply restart your device without any trouble.
Method 3: Restart your device with ADB (USB debugging enabled)
If you are still not able to restart your Android phone without the power button, then you can take the assistance of ADB (Android Debug Bridge) commands. Before you proceed, you just need to ensure that the ‘USB Debugging’ feature on your phone has already been enabled.
To start with, download and install Android Studio and SDK tools on your system. You can download those tools from its official developer website.
After installing it successfully, visit the directory where you have installed ADB. Now, just open the command prompt and navigate to the respective location of your ADB directory.
Now connect your phone to your system using a USB cable. Don’t worry even if it is turned off. You can restart it by giving the related ADB commands.
Firstly, enter the command “adb devices” in the command prompt. This will show your device’s ID and name. If you don’t get any device name, then it means either your device’s drivers are not installed or its USB debugging feature has not been enabled.
Note down your device ID and then enter the command “adb –s <device ID> reboot”. This will simply restart your device. You can also provide the “adb reboot” command as well.
Part 3: Restart Android Phone without Power Button (When your phone is ON)
There are many ways to restart your phone without power button if it is already switched on. Here, we have listed a few simple alternatives.
Method 1: Common ways to restart Android
If your phone is not responsive or in a sleep mode (but still switched on), then you can always try to restart it using a few simple techniques.
Firstly, plug your phone to the charger or a USB cable to turn the screen on and let you access your phone. It can break the ongoing sleep mode and restart your device on its own. If it doesn’t work, then call your device from another number. It would activate your device and you can get your problem fixed afterward.
Additionally, if your phone has a physical camera button, hold it down in order to wake it. This can also be done by long pressing the home button (and not a sensor for the home button) on your device, as well. If your phone has a fingerprint sensor, it will wake up with the touch of your fingertip.
Method 2: Use Apps to replace the power button
Well, Google Play has few apps to compensate for the power button. With these apps, you can easily turn OFF your screen, wake up the display, perform the most necessary task of booting up your device, and restart your phone without power button by substituting its action with any other key (like volume or camera key).
Gravity Screen is a highly useful app if you have a broken power button. It uses the phone’s sensors to determine its orientation, and if the phone is placed on a flat surface or put back in a pocket, its screen gets turned off. You can choose to keep the screen ON while the device is in motion. When it detects that you are holding your phone, it turns its screen on automatically. The angles at which the screen gets turned on or off can be modified as well.
Gravity screen allows you to set your own parameters to calibrate its various sensitivities to your preference.
This is another good app that might help in the case of a broken power button. This is an app that does exactly what its name implies – it allows your volume button act like a power button to turn your screen on. It can also show a persistent notification in your notification panel with which you can turn your screen off when you tap on it. However, you cannot use this app to restart your device.
Your volume buttons should work normally, controlling your phone’s volume, while its screen is on. This app does not require root access and it should be compatible with most Android smartphones.
Proximity Actions is an app that uses your phone’s proximity sensor to trigger specific actions. For those not familiar, the proximity sensor is located next to your phone’s earpiece. It is what tells a phone to turn its screen off when it is against your cheek during a call.
With this app, you to control your device with gestures. You can wave hands over proximity sensor to lock and unlock screen, to play or pause music and apps, etc.
To use Proximity Actions, open it and go to Hold Actions > When screen is off. This will give you a list of commands that can be performed. For example, select ‘waking up your phone’ action in the “Hold 1” slot, and from then onwards, if you hold and remove your finger over the proximity sensor, your screen will turn itself on. If you want to turn your screen off the same way, enable the same command in the “When screen is on” setting.
Keep in mind that most lower-end phones don’t have a proximity sensor, which makes them incompatible with this app.
Shake to Lock/Unlock
Apps of this kind generally use device administrator rights. So, before uninstalling them, you need to go to Settings > Device Administrators and then uncheck the app from the list of apps.
Although these apps are helpful, they can be heavy on your battery and can damage your battery life in the long term. Consider these apps and techniques as a temporary solution and get your device fixed permanently by visiting some nearby store.
How do you find these ways to deal with a broken power button? Do you have any alternative solutions to recommend? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.