How To Use Android Phone Without Power or Volume Buttons
Like other hardware components, your Android phone’s physical buttons can also stop working. If your phone’s volume or power button has stopped working and you are not ready to get them fixed, then there are alternative methods to keep using their functions.
Whether you need to adjust the volume, turn on/off the phone screen, or restart the phone, all can be done from inside the phone without using the physical buttons. Below I’ll show you multiple ways to use the important functions of Android phone’s physical buttons when you can’t use them.
Turn on the screen without the power button
If you just broke your power button and haven’t set up a way to easily turn on the screen, then you have a few options to do it. The easiest would be to connect the phone charger and the phone screen will turn on and you can start using it. You can also call your phone from another phone, this will also turn the screen on.
If it’s difficult to access another device to turn on the phone, then try double or triple tapping on the phone screen. If “Double tap to wake screen” is enabled on your phone by default, then this should turn on the screen. You can also put your finger on the fingerprint sensor of the phone if your phone has a physical one.
Turn on double-tap to wake the screen
The above methods are good for one-time use, but if you need a consistent method to turn on your phone without the power button then you need to enable the “Double tap to wake screen” option.
All Android phones come with the option to turn on the screen by double-tapping on it. Usually, this option is disabled by default, so you’ll have to turn it on after unlocking the phone using the above methods. Here’s how:
Go to the phone’s “Settings” and access the “Lock screen” option here.
You should find an option named “Double tap to wake or turn off screen” here. Enable it and you’ll be able to turn on the screen just by double-tapping anywhere on the screen.
If you don’t find the option there, you can also use the search bar at the top of the Settings menu to search for “double tap” and it should open the location where the feature is listed.
Lock the phone without the power button
Even though phones automatically lock after 15-30 seconds of no activity by default, we still lock them manually when we are done using them to prevent accidental button presses and battery drain. Now that you don’t have the ease of hitting the power button to lock and turn off the screen, you need a software-based solution.
Thankfully, the Accessibility menu available on all Android phones offers a bunch of shortcuts, including a shortcut to lock the phone. Here’s how to enable it:
In the phone’s “Settings”, tap on the “Accessibility” option. On some phones, you might have to tap on the “Additional settings” option first.
Here tap on “Accessibility menu” and then enable the “Accessibility menu shortcut” option.
This will add a shortcut button at the bottom of the screen or a transparent button on the side of the screen. Tap on it and it will open a bunch of shortcuts, including a shortcut to lock the phone. Just tap on the shortcut and the phone will lock.
On some phones, you might also find the “Lock screen” shortcut in the quick settings menu. Swipe down from the top of the screen and it will open a bunch of quick settings buttons. Swipe around and see if the “Lock screen” button is available.
Alternatively, you can use an app like Lock Screen to lock the screen with a single tap.
Adjust volume without volume buttons
I am sure you can already guess that volume could also be adjusted from the sound options available in the phone Settings. However, it can be a bit inconvenient as you need to access three different menus just to adjust the volume.
For the fastest access, I believe using a third-party app is the best option. An app like Assistive Volume Button will add virtual volume buttons on the side of the screen to adjust volume with a single tap. You can also adjust button transparency so it doesn’t get in the way of your work.
Although if you don’t want to use an app, then you can add a shortcut to the home screen instead. Here’s how:
Tap and hold on an empty area of the home screen and then tap on “Widgets” when the button shows up.
Here look for the “Settings” widget and tap on it. This opens a list of all the settings shortcuts you can choose from. Select “Sound and vibration” here.
This will add a shortcut on the home screen that you can tap to open sound settings.
Alternatively, the volume shortcut is also available in the Accessibility menu shortcut that we enabled above. If you’ll be using that for locking the screen, then using it for adjusting volume is a given.
Restart the phone without the power button
You can restart or shut down the phone using the power menu. On Android, you can access the power menu from the Accessibility menu shortcut that I showed you how to enable above. You can also use an app like Power Menu to get a button to access the power menu.
However, if your Android phone is not turning on and your power button is broken, then things can get quite difficult. The power button is usually the only button that can switch on the phone. Although some of the things you can try are the following:
- Plugin the charger and see if the power button works afterward. It could be that the phone is completely dead so the power button isn’t working.
- Plugin the charger and hold the volume down key or both volume keys. This may open the recovery mode and you can use the volume keys there to select the “Restart phone” option.
The touch screen is all you need
As long as your phone’s touch screen is working, you should be able to use your phone’s full functionality. Of course, without the physical buttons, things will be a little inconvenient, but at least you are able to use the phone until you can get it fixed or replace it.
If you know of any other ways to use the phone without the power or volume buttons, let us know in the comments below.