Android smartphones might be powerful, but they aren’t immune to the natural wear and tear of regular use. Physical buttons are the most likely to fail. After months and years of pressing down, they’ll break or stop working.
You might be able to do away with volume controls, but the power button is a bigger issue. Here’s how you can turn on your Android phone if the power button stops working.
1. Using Your Phone Charger
This method isn’t likely to work for all phones, but it’s a fairly simple solution, and one you should consider trying first.
If your Android phone is still on and has enough battery remaining, plugging it in should light your phone screen. This will allow you to handle the touchscreen and perform some of the actions below to bypass your power button on a more permanent basis.
If it isn’t on or the battery has depleted, connect your Android smartphone to your phone charger or to a PC using a USB cable. In some cases this will force your device to switch on automatically, but not all.
2. Using an Alternative Home Launcher
Thanks to third-party home launchers (your Android device’s user interface), you can add extra features to your Android device to control your device screen. This method will require your phone to be switched on to work, but once it’s on, you can bypass your power button, although in many cases, it will only allow you to turn your screen off rather than on.
Evie Launcher, for instance, will let you lock your screen by settings custom gestures like double-tapping or swiping the screen up or down. To do this, access your Evie Launcher settings and go to “Gestures.” Select your gesture method and choose “Screen lock.”
From here, select your “Screen lock method.” You can choose instant lock (where your screen will immediately lock) or timer lock (which will delay locking by a few seconds).
If required, click “Activate” to confirm your choice.
3. Use the Android Debug Bridge (ADB)
The Android Debug Bridge is a tool that lets you perform actions on your Android device from your PC. You can use it to allow you to switch your phone on if you can’t use your power button.
Once you’ve set up ADB on your PC, including enabling USB debugging on your phone, you’ll be able to send commands to your phone to do this.
Assuming your phone is off, connect it to your PC and immediately perform the actions to boot into your device’s “fastboot” mode by holding down your “volume down” button until the phone’s boot-up splash screen appears.
Once that’s done, open a command line or terminal and type
adb devices to check if your phone is detected. If it is, type
fastboot continue to allow your phone to switch on as normal.
Once that’s done, you can disconnect your phone and use it normally. You can also use some more common ADB commands like
adb reboot to reboot your device.
4. Once Your Device Is on, Remap Another Button
The power button doesn’t work, but you may be able to remap another physical button to wake the screen. The downside to this method is that it will only work if the phone is still on, so you’ll have to ensure the battery is never fully depleted.
Apps like Button Mapper will let you configure other physical buttons, like your volume controls or the Bixby button (available on certain Samsung phones).
Open Button Mapper and follow the instructions in the app to give the app the permissions it needs. Once that’s done, you’ll see a list of your physical buttons.
Tap on the one you want (for example, “Volume Buttons”), and in the next menu, tap “Customize.” Under “Single tap” you can select “Turn screen off” to be able to switch your phone screen off at will. Under “Long Press,” select “Power dialog” to access the power menu.
Unfortunately, Button Mapper doesn’t allow you to wake your screen, and it won’t turn it on if your phone is already off. An app like Gravity Screen will let you perform gestures to wake your screen on or turn it off.
Install the app and follow the instructions to provide the required permissions. Once it’s installed, activating your screen can be performed by simply swiping on your touchscreen.
No Power Button Required
It’s possible to turn on your phone without a working power button. Apps like Gravity Screen or Button Mapper let you wake your screen or switch it off. Your phone needs to be turned on to use them, however.
If your phone is off, using ADB is the best method to switch your phone on in these circumstances. You can use it alongside the apps above, as long as your phone stays switched on.