Added in the section about restarting Pixel devices.
Removed outdated links and added newer ones.
Checked apps (all still active and working)
I removed the YouTube video since it was out of date and didn’t contribute anything.
Physical buttons on phones are becoming more uncommon these days. However, we still depend on a few buttons to do fundamental tasks like as awakening the screen and changing the volume. Mechanical keys might wear down over time due to our frequent interaction with them.
If your volume or power buttons aren’t functioning, don’t hurry to the service center just yet. If you’re wondering what to do when your phone’s buttons stop working, here are some tips to help you repair the soft keys on your Android.
1. Check if the Button Is Really Dead
If your phone’s buttons aren’t functioning, it’s possible that a software bug is to blame. We suggest going through the following simple troubleshooting procedures to check the key is indeed dead.
Reboot Your Phone
The first thing you should do is reset your computer. This will restart all background services and refresh the fundamental components of your phone in case anything has crashed or malfunctioned.
If you have a Google Pixel that is running Android 12 or Android 13, you can reset your phone without using any buttons.
- To restart, access the quick settings menu by swiping down twice on your home screen.
- At the bottom of your screen, tap the power symbol.
- Then tap Restart.
If the power button on your Samsung phone is not functioning, you may restart it using the Auto Restart option. This works if your phone’s screen is switched off and the battery is more than 30% charged.
- Navigate to your phone’s settings and look for a section labeled Battery and Device Care or something similar.
- Select Automation from the ellipsis in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.
- The option to Auto restart at certain intervals may be found here.
- Turn on auto-restart, then choose today’s date and time for your phone to restart.
- Within one hour of the time you choose, your phone will resume.
If you don’t have a Samsung smartphone and don’t have a comparable capability, you may utilize the Android accessibility settings to reset your phone when the power button isn’t functioning.
Select Settings > Accessibility to enable the Accessibility Menu. On the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a new shortcut that looks like a human with spread arms. Tap that, then choose Power and Restart from the menu that opens.
If you don’t see this option, you may activate it by downloading Google’s Android Accessibility Suite software.
Download: Android Accessibility Suite (Free)
Boot Into Safe Mode
Booting into safe mode is another technique to see whether a software flaw is causing your button trouble. Safe mode, at its heart, is an isolated environment that limits your phone to the software that came with it.
As a result, none of the third-party services or applications that you’ve installed will work in safe mode. If the affected button works properly in safe mode, you may be certain that the offender is a third-party service.
On most new Android smartphones, press and hold the power button to enter safe mode. Touch and hold the Power off button in the resulting menu. After you accept the prompt, your phone will reboot in safe mode. To leave safe mode, repeat the process, this time choosing the Restart option.
If you can’t enter the power menu because your power button isn’t functioning, follow the instructions above to open it using the accessibility shortcut.
Diagnose Your Phone’s Hardware Buttons
The last way to establish if your issue is due to hardware breakdown is to use a third-party program to diagnose your phone’s buttons.
Install the TestM app from the Play Store to do this. On the home page, launch it and choose Hardware. Following that, choose Hardware Buttons and follow the on-screen instructions. If TestM detects your button inputs, you’ve proven that your issue is software-related.
Based on the results of these tests, you should have a good idea if your phone’s button is indeed dead. If it’s a software problem, try deleting current programs as well as ones you don’t trust or haven’t used in a long time. If that fails, you may do a full factory reset by going to Settings > System > Advanced > Reset options.
Download: TestM (Free, premium version available)
2. Clean the Gaps Around the Button
The volume buttons on your phone are often exposed to the outside world and all of its filth. It’s likely that the spaces between them have gathered some little debris, which might interfere with the internal connections.
While there isn’t much you can do without expert assistance, you may blow bottled air within the possibly impacted regions and clean them with a toothpick. This may sometimes be enough to start them going again.
3. Virtually Replicate Button Actions With Apps
You may use virtual replacement programs before seeking expert assistance. These programs can simulate button operations, allowing you to avoid using physical keys entirely. Gesture control applications may help you navigate your Android phone more easily, so give them a go.
Lock and Unlock Your Phone Without a Power Button
If your power button isn’t functioning, the first problem is waking up your phone from sleep.
The best way ahead is to set up applications that allow you to unlock your phone without pressing the power button. If you have a phone with a fingerprint sensor, you won’t have to worry about this since you can unlock it with it. You have a few alternatives for the remainder.
You may use an app like Gravity Screen to detect your phone’s vibrations and wake it up as soon as you pick it up. When you place your phone in your pocket or on a table, the software may even lock it.
You may also configure a double-tap to wake screen gesture. Once enabled, you may activate the screen by double-tapping it. Many phone manufacturers, like OnePlus and Samsung, have a built-in option for this. If you can’t find it, try searching for it in the settings app’s search box.
Download: Gravity Screen (Free, premium version available)
Android Accessibility Suite
The previously stated Google Android Accessibility Suite is a solid option for practically mimicking button operations. The program has a panel of shortcuts for common activities including power, volume up and down, brightness adjustment, multitasking, and more.
The Android Accessibility Suite is pre-installed on phones running Android 9 Pie or above and can be found in Settings > Accessibility. Otherwise, it’s a free download from Google Play.
Download: Android Accessibility Suite (Free)
Assistive Volume Button
If your Android volume button is broken and you don’t want to utilize your phone’s built-in accessibility suite, there are applications that can assist you circumvent broken buttons.
The Assistive Volume Button app is designed for users who desire a simple replacement for their phone’s broken volume buttons. Assistive Volume Button adds two floating buttons to the screen’s edge for adjusting the volume.
When you touch on one of them, you’ll receive three bars to adjust the media, call, and notification levels independently. You may also change the appearance, size, and other aspects of the virtual buttons.
If you have the correct app loaded on your phone, you won’t even notice if your side volume buttons aren’t functioning.
Assistive Volume Button (Download) (Free, premium version available)
4. Possibility of Water Damage? Let It Dry
Many phones now have an IP certification, however this does not make them waterproof. Check the IP rating of your phone to see how waterproof it is, and then care for it properly. You should not do anything if your phone’s buttons have ceased functioning as a result of a water mishap. First, make certain that your phone’s internals are fully dry.
There are many ways to save a phone that has been dropped in water. Turn off your gadget immediately, let it to dry fully, and then begin troubleshooting.
5. Get Professional Help
You should be able to discover a solution in at least one of the stages described in most instances. In the event of dead volume keys, in particular, a virtual replacement should suffice.
Of course, your final option is to go to a service center and receive expert assistance. As long as there is no water damage and your phone is still under warranty, you should be OK.
Before you replace your gadget or take it to a specialist, there are plenty of applications available to assist you self-diagnose the problem.
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