Skip to content

How to activate Android proximity sensor

Rate this post

During calls on your Android smartphone, does it often happen that the screen remains on and, therefore, makes you press some key with your face by mistake, interrupting the conversation or accidentally turning off the microphone? Do not despair: your device is probably not broken, but simply has the proximity sensor (the one that automatically turns off the screen when the display is approached to the face) deactivated, or simply unresponsive.

To try to fix the problem, let me tell you how to activate the proximity sensor on Android . I will help you understand if the aforementioned component works on your device or not, if there is any option that you have disabled by mistake and more.

Do not worry, therefore: below are all the necessary indications that will allow you to dispel your doubts on the subject and, I hope, solve your current problems with the proximity sensor of the smartphone. That said, there is nothing left for me to do but wish you a good read and a big good luck for everything!

Preliminary information

Before going into the details of the procedure on how to activate the proximity sensor on Android , I think you may be interested in learning more about how everything works.

In fact, if you are not exactly a smartphone expert, you may not be clear about the usefulness of this sensor , as well as what are the main solutions on the market. Well, in short: the proximity sensor is generally positioned at the top in the front of mobile devices and is used to understand when the smartphone is approaching the ear to make a call .

The reason? Avoid accidental touches : In a properly functioning device, the display turns off as soon as you try to bring it close to your ear during a call. By doing so, it is essentially impossible to press the classic keys on the screen, which could potentially disable the microphone or clearly end the call.

In other words, the proximity sensor is a security that allows, in addition to saving a little in terms of autonomy, to make calls serenely by carrying the device to the ear: the screen is reactivated once the smartphone is moved from the classic position of call, so as to allow you to take advantage of options such as, precisely, the deactivation of the microphone during the call (useful, for example, if there is a lot of noise near you and you only need to listen to the interlocutor, so then the microphone can be reactivated in case of need) or obviously the closure of the call .

This can already allow you to understand what can happen in cases similar to those I indicated at the beginning. In fact, some users, perhaps not really experts in mobile devices, may have moved the smartphone more than necessary during the call phase, making the proximity sensor detect everything and leading to the consequent reactivation of the display : from then on you understand well that it could be an accidental touch , which can potentially result in the termination of the call, the mute, and so on.

Clear call Android proximity sensor

I can assure you that a good number of inquiries relating to alleged problems with this sensor are actually related to a call that was not perfect . Put simply, if it all happened in a single call and then the problem no longer occurred, it is very likely that it was a misunderstanding of that kind. In this context, you should try very simply to maintain the correct position during the call phase (or to tell this to whoever has asked you if their device is having problems with this).

A bit of clarity should then be made on the different types of this sensor available on the market. In fact, some manufacturers have chosen to adopt a virtual sensor instead of a classic one, which made fans turn their noses up a bit, as in general this solution, which usually uses the microphone capsule to understand the distance between the ears. and smartphones, it seems to be a little less precise in some cases (and therefore require the user to pay more attention during the call).

Given these necessary premises, which, however simple they may be, could be useful to those who are not exactly a smartphone expert, clearly the reasons behind such situations can go well beyond the issues of incorrect position during the call and of the sensor not the most precise. In fact, in some contexts there may actually be a real problem with the proximity sensor .

In this tutorial I will therefore focus on the search for a possible problem related to your smartphone, leading you to analyze the status of the proximity sensor and, if it works, in directing you to some settings you may want to get your hands on to improve your call experience.

How to activate Android proximity sensor

Now that you are aware of a little of all the preliminary issues related to this specific sensor, I would say that it is time to take action and show you how you can check the status of the proximity sensor , so as to better understand What can you do. Below you can find information related to settings , tests and apps that can help you reach your goal.

Call settings


If you can’t avoid accidental touches to the screen on a call, you may have made a simple mistake: disabling the proximity sensor unintentionally . This can usually happen mainly on slightly dated devices.

In fact, although the proximity sensor is active by default , some models provide the user with an additional option to disable its operation . This means that you may have accidentally disabled the latter perhaps while you were doing something else. In this way you may have defeated the security offered by the proximity sensor by deactivating it.

There are many different Android devices out there, so unfortunately I can’t give you precise information for your model (taking into account that in the most recent smartphones the option may just not appear), but in general check that everything is correctly activated by this point of view is a breeze.

Usually, just open the Phone app (using the handset icon that is generally present on the Home screen), tap on the three dots icon located at the top right and select the Call settings option from the menu that opens by checking then that the Turn off screen during calls box is set to ON (if it is not, it must be activated).

In some cases, however, to fix this option you may have to go, for example, to the path Smartphone settings> Apps> System app settings> Call settings> Incoming call settings and look for an option linked to the proximity sensor (such as already said previously, however, in the most recent devices it may not appear any setting in this regard).

Xiaomi incoming call settings

In any case, on some devices the proximity sensor can have other functions : for example, it can allow you to browse screens with gestures or it can prevent the device from turning on when it is in your pocket or bag. If these extra functions are also available on your smartphone, you should be able to locate them by opening the Settings app (the one linked to the gear icon usually present on the Home screen) and going to the Display / Screen section .

Unfortunately, I cannot go into specifics because, as I explained earlier, the procedures and functions available vary from device to device. In any case, I repeat that the setting relating to the deactivation of the proximity sensor no longer appears so often and therefore some relatively recent smartphones may just not allow this possibility. To dispel any doubts about it, you can do a Google search.

Sensor test

Android proximity sensor problems

In case your device does not make available call settings or that is not the problem, you might consider taking a look at the internal menus related to the smartphone, which in some cases may include tests related to the proximity sensor .

Yes, you got it right: for assistance or analysis reasons, smartphone manufacturers often hide special menus accessible via secret codes within their devices . This means that potentially, through the right sequence of numbers and symbols (or in any case through the right procedure), you may be able to access a series of settings that would usually be inaccessible, possibly arriving in this way to check the status of the proximity sensor .

Clearly, each device makes a story in itself and therefore you may not be able to reach your goal by following the instructions I am about to give you, but trying it costs nothing and you can eventually search for information relating to the specific model at your disposal with a classic Google search.

Well, one of the most used codes is *#*#4636#*#*, which usually allows you to access a Verification menu that can also contain indications related to the proximity sensor : to use the aforementioned code, just open the Phone app (the one with the handset), access the numeric keypad (the one you use to dial call numbers) and enter the code *#*#4636#*#*without initiating the call. If the code is working on your device, a page linked, for example, to the Verify menu will open automatically .

Secret code menu Android verification

In case the code doesn’t work, you might want to try the codes *#0*#or #7378423#*#*. In any case, once you have successfully reached the Verify menu (or similar), look for an option such as Sensor test / Service test / Phone information (depends on the device in your possession) and, in the screen that appears, tap on the item corresponding to the proximity sensor test (for example, Proximity Switch ).

Alternatively, if no option related to the latter appears, your device manufacturer has probably moved this test to another hidden menu . To give you a concrete example, in some Xiaomi smartphones (or in any case belonging to brands linked to the latter reality, for example POCO ) it is necessary to follow an alternative route to reach the aforementioned test.

More precisely, to enter the so-called CIT menu of Xiaomi smartphones, that is the one that includes the tests related to a little all the features of the device, generally you have to go to the Settings> System info> All specifications and press 5 times on the option Kernel version . In this way, you will see the CIT (or similar) menu appear on the display . The latter generally presents a vast number of options related to the sensors of the device: you are interested in tapping on the Proximity / Proximity sensor box .

In any case, once the page linked to the proximity sensor test is reached , a number will generally appear on the screen . The latter indicates what is detected by the sensor: generally 5 means that the ear is far from the sensor, while 0 indicates that there is a contact. In this context, the first test you can do is cover the top of the smartphone with your hand : if the number on the screen becomes 0 , it means that your device has a classic sensor and that it works .

Android proximity sensor test

If, on the other hand, even if you cover the upper area of ​​the device with your hand, the number on the screen remains 5, your smartphone could have a virtual sensor (I explained the matter better in the preliminary chapter ). Therefore, I invite you to carry out a further test: simulate the movement linked to the call , or bring the smartphone to your ear .

If, after carrying out this operation, the word PASS appears on the screen (or the number changes), it means that your device probably has a virtual sensor and it works .

App to activate Android proximity sensor

Sensor Test Android proximity sensor test app

If you just can’t find any built- in options to test the sensor, you might want to consider using the Sensor Test app , which is free and includes neither advertising nor in-app purchases.

To install it on your Android device, just open the Play Store , search for sensor test , press the app icon (which includes a white arrow to the left, the app is the one developed by Andrey Efremov) and tap the Install button . For any doubts, you can refer to my tutorial on how to download Android applications, while if you have an Android smartphone without Google services you can learn more about my guide on how to install apps through alternative stores.

Once the Sensor Test app is open , just press the TEST button , located next to the Proximity item , to access the page dedicated to the test. The latter includes a light bulb : therefore try to bring the smartphone to your ear , just like you would at the beginning of the call, perhaps looking at what happens on the screen with the corner of your eye. If the lamp goes out and the number becomes 0 , the movement is correctly recognized .

I recommended this test to you in order to immediately understand if the sensor works, both in the classic case and in the case in which it is virtual, but clearly if your device has a classic sensor the light bulb should go out even just by approaching the hand to the upper area of the front of the device.

In case of Android proximity sensor problems

In any case, if after all these tests the sensor really does not seem to want to know that it is working or perhaps an error message appears on the screen , there could be some real problem with the sensor . But be careful: the variables involved are many and I therefore invite you to take these tests as purely indicative. This is also due to the fact that each device makes its own story and the proximity sensor test may therefore have to be carried out in a slightly different way.

In any case, before going to assistance and thinking about a possible hardware problem , I recommend that you try to restart the device , as well as try to reset it , in order to try to understand if it is a problem. software . In this regard, I invite you to consult my guides on how to restart an Android device and how to reset an Android device for any doubts.

In case of problems

Android proximity sensor smartphone assistance

After having checked all the tests highlighted previously in the guide , you have come to think that the proximity sensor of your smartphone is not working properly.

In this context, if you have tried them all, including restart and reset (as recommended in the previous chapter ), you might think about trying to contact professionals , or the assistance of your smartphone manufacturer .

All major brands have dedicated service portals to find repair centers. For example, Samsung has a special portal dedicated to assistance , just as Xiaomi offers an official portal that allows you to find a service center as close as possible to where you are. In short, by doing some research online you shouldn’t have too much trouble understanding how you can get your device in service.