How to Keep Your Phone Screen from Turning Off While Viewing

Keep Display On When Looking At It Featured

Your phone’s display usually turns itself off automatically if it detects the device is not in use. The amount of time before the phone goes to sleep can be set according to your preferences. But what if your smartphone could tell when you’re looking straight at it and turn the screen off as you look away? Some phones have a feature which makes it possible to do just that. Here we show you how you can keep your phone screen from turning off while you are viewing it.

How to Keep Your Google Pixel Screen on When You’re Looking at It

If you have a Google Pixel 4 (or later) phone, then you can take advantage of something called “Screen Attention.” As Google explains, the option uses the front camera to see if someone is looking at the screen and prevents the screen from turning off. It works best when the screen is well-lit but not in direct sunlight. To turn it on for your device, follow these steps:

1. Open Settings on your Pixel device.

2. Go to Display.

Keep Display On When Looking At It Pixel Settings

3. Tap on Advanced to reveal additional options.

Keep Display On When Looking At It Pixel Advanced Settings

4. Find the “Screen attention” option and toggle it on.

Keep Display On When Looking At It Pixel Turn On Screen Attention

Now whenever the phone detects you’re glancing toward the screen, like when you’re reading for example, it will keep the display on. Super helpful, right?

How to Keep Your Samsung Galaxy Screen on When You’re Looking at It

The same feature is available on Samsung Galaxy devices, but under a different moniker: “Smart Stay.” Just like on the Pixel, Galaxy phones use the front camera to detect when someone is glancing at the display. Here’s how you can turn the option on.

1. Open Settings on your Samsung device.

2. Scroll down until you find the “Advanced features” section and tap on it.

Keep Display On When Looking At It Samsung Advanced Settings

3. Go to “Motions and gestures.”

Keep Display On When Looking At It Samsung Motions And Gestures

4. Look for the “Keep screen on while viewing” option and toggle it on.

Keep Display On When Looking At It Samsung Keep Screen On While Viewing

That’s it, you’re done! Now you can go back to using your Samsung Galaxy phone without worrying that the screen will remain on or shut off too soon.

How to Keep Your iPhone Screen on When You’re Looking at It

On iOS, the same feature is called “Attention Aware” and is available for those with an iPhone X or later. By default, it should be on, i but if it’s not, you can go ahead and find it following this route:

1. Open Settings on your iOS device.

2. Go to Accessibility.

Keep Display On When Looking At It Iphone Accessibility

3. Tap “Face ID & Attention.”

Keep Display On When Looking At It Iphone Face Id Attention

4. Toggle the “Attention Aware Features” on.

Keep Display On When Looking At It Iphone Attention Aware Features

With this feature enabled, your iPhone will check for attention before dimming the display. If it detects you’re glancing at the display, it will also expand notifications when locked or lower the volume on some alerts.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does my phone have this attention-detecting feature?

Unfortunately, not all phones offer this option. At this time, only some Pixel and Samsung owners, as well as iOS users with an iPhone X and later, can use this feature which detects when they are looking at the display.

2. What can I use to keep my phone screen on?

If you don’t have a model that supports this feature, don’t worry. You can simply extend the screen time-out period on your device. This way, you’ll make sure your device doesn’t turn off unprompted. The downside to this is that if you forget the display is on, it may not turn off for several minutes (depending on your configuration), which will impact your battery life.

To keep your screen on, on Android go to “Settings -> Display,” then look for “Sleep/Screen timeout” setting and configure it from there. On iOS, go to “Settings -> Display & Brightness -> Auto-lock” and extend the period according to your wishes.

3. How can I get my phone to stay on longer?

While on Android you can extend the screen timeout period up to 30 minutes (on iOS up to 5 minutes), you can opt for more than that. In most scenarios, this would be enough, but if you want to keep your phone screen on indefinitely, whether you’re actively tapping on it or not, you can. You’ll have to install a third-party app like Caffeine and configure it to prevent your phone from going to sleep under any circumstances.

Wrapping Up

The attention detection tool is a neat feature that can keep your phone screen from turning off. It is included in the Pixel package among other features. If you’re curious, here are 7 more hidden Pixel features you need to know and try. Also, it may be handy for you to know how to schedule dark mode to activate at sunset on your Android.

Alexandra Arici
Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox