Saturday, 13 Jul 2024

How to Control an Android Device Without Any Hardware Buttons

While Android smartphones have come a long way in terms of using the screen for navigation, there are still some functions that depend on hardware buttons. It can be quite troublesome if one of these buttons stops working. But don’t worry, if you own an Android smartphone with non-functional hardware keys, we have a solution for you. Here’s how you can control your Android device without any hardware buttons.

Get Your Hardware Keys on Your Screen

Button Savior is a fantastic Android app that brings on-screen buttons for hardware keys like volume rockers, lock button, home, back, and multitasking. It even allows you to set custom shortcuts. It works similar to iPhone’s assistive touch and hovers at the corner of the screen, accessible from any app or screen.

To set up Button Savior:

  1. First, install the Button Savior (Non Root) app from the Play Store.
  2. After installing the app, go to Settings -> Accessibility and enable the app by tapping on “Setup”.

Button Savior accessibility permission

  1. Once enabled, you will see a small icon with an arrow design on the right edge of the display. Tap on it to access the buttons for different actions and tap on the three-dot icon for more buttons.

Button Savior on-screen buttons

  1. To add custom actions, tap on the three-dot button twice, then tap on the double square icon. You will see various plus buttons to add custom icons, choose one and select from the different actions like opening apps, webpages, showing notifications, or accessing quick settings.
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Button Savior custom buttons

Lock Your Phone From the Screen

If your lock button isn’t working, you can still lock your phone using the Button Savior app. To enable this feature, go to the “Advanced” tab within the app. Here, you will find the option to “Enable Screen Lock”. Tap on it and then hit “Activate” to grant the app administrator status, preventing it from being uninstalled. Once activated, you can lock your phone using the lock icon in the Button Savior sidebar. To uninstall the app, disable the lock option first.

Button Savior enable screen lock

The Button Savior app offers several customization options, including changing the theme of on-screen buttons, customizing buttons, icons, sidebar position, orientation, and more. You can also control their behavior, such as hiding them, enabling trigger mode, hover control, and more. Please note that some features like reordering buttons and setting the number of buttons in the sidebar are limited to the Pro version of the app.

Button Savior non-root app

Unlock Your Phone Through the Proximity Sensor

While Button Savior allows you to lock your Android smartphone from the screen, it doesn’t provide an option for unlocking. For that, you can use the DTSO app, which lets you unlock and lock your device by tapping on the proximity sensor or shaking your device. The proximity sensor is usually located on the top bezel of devices, next to the front-facing camera.

To set up the DTSO app:

  1. Open the DTSO app and select either the “Unlock” or “Lock” option. Grant the app administrator rights by tapping “Activate”.
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DTSO administrator permission

  1. The app will provide information on how to uninstall it. After reading, press “Ok”. Go back to the “Unlock” option, where you will find three options: proximity unlock, shake to unlock, and volume button unlock.

DTSO proximity unlock

  1. Enable “Proximity unlock” and tap on “Options” to set up the number of taps required to unlock.

DTSO customize taps

If you only want to lock and unlock your device without using the hardware power/lock button and without the virtual buttons offered by Button Savior, you can simply use the DTSO app.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use Button Savior on a non-rooted Android device?

A: Yes, Button Savior works for both rooted and non-rooted Android devices.

Q: Are the customization options available in Button Savior free?

A: Some customization options in Button Savior are only available in the Pro version, which requires a purchase.

Q: Can I uninstall the Button Savior app?

A: To uninstall the Button Savior app, you need to first disable the lock option within the app.


Now you know how to control your Android device without using any hardware buttons. Button Savior offers on-screen buttons for various actions, while the DTSO app allows you to lock and unlock your device using the proximity sensor or by shaking it. These apps are especially useful when hardware buttons are not functioning or are difficult to locate on large smartphones. Give them a try and let us know if you encounter any issues. Happy controlling!

Read also: How to Make Android More Accessible For People With Low Vision

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