As display technologies have got better, touchscreen sensitivity has improved leaps and bounds. The touchscreens on mobile devices rarely act up, and even if they do, resolving touchscreen problems is fairly easy. On the other hand, touchscreen displays are prone to accidental taps. Since almost all mobile devices now use a touchscreen instead of physical keys, senior citizens and kids might find themselves making more accidental taps.
Today, let’s have a look at how you can temporarily disable touchscreen controls on your mobile device. But before we dive into it, here are some scenarios where you might want to actually consider disabling touchscreen controls on your mobile device.
And for more like this, be sure to check out our iPhone cheatsheet!
When Disabling the Touchscreen Could Be Useful
Say you’re watching a slideshow of all the amazing pictures from your road trip, but someone accidentally touched the screen and interrupted it. Now you have to find and select the perfect music and play it again. However, if the touchscreen is disabled temporarily, any accidental touches would be ignored.
There are a lot of fantastic learning channels on YouTube that can keep your kids hooked. But the problem is that kids usually tend to mess around with your phone settings. In such cases, locking down your phone’s touchscreen could be helpful. The kids can continue watching the video, and you won’t need to worry about them messing around with the other apps on your phone.
A few phones like the OnePlus One and Moto G4 Plus have been plagued by ghost touch problems in the past. For the uninitiated, ghost touch is a touchscreen problem wherein the screen responds to touches you’re not actually making. Such problems can make your smartphone experience pretty annoying. One temporary solution you could try is to disable touch on the affected screen areas. While you’d still be required to fix the faulty screen eventually, it’s a good short-term fix.
With the increasing number of waterproof phones in the market, it’s tempting to film underwater. But usually, there’s a certain amount of ghost touching involved as the water comes in contact with the screen. Such accidental touches can lead to pausing or even exiting of the video recording. It’d be great if you could disable the touchscreen so you can take underwater video flawlessly.
Lock Your Phone to a Single App
If you find yourself amid the first two problems mentioned above, disabling the touchscreen temporarily can help.
However, there’s a better solution rather than having to disable the touchscreen entirely. Screen Pinning, a feature introduced in Android Lollipop, lets you lock your phone to a single app. For instance, you can “pin” the YouTube Kids app. Your kids will be able to navigate around inside the app, but they won’t be able to switch to other apps.
Here’s how to enable the Screen Pinning feature in Android.
- Open Settings > Security > Screen Pinning.
- Turn on Screen Pinning.
- Enable Ask for unlock pattern before unpinning. While turning it on is not mandatory, it’ll make sure that only you can unpin a particular app.
Once enabled, here’s how to use it.
- Open the app you want to pin.
- Tap Overview/Recent apps button.
- Swipe up the Recent card and tap the “Pin icon” on the bottom right.
To unpin an app, just hold the Back button on your device for about five seconds. You’ll be asked to enter your unlock pattern, after which the app will be unpinned.
While this feature works fine for a few instances, it’s not the solution to the other problems discussed above. For example, it wouldn’t help with the ghost touch problem. For such problems, you’ll need to actually disable your touchscreen.
Disable Touchscreen Input on Android
Touch Lock is a free Android app that lets you disable the touchscreen and soft keys/hardware keys temporarily. Once you download the app, here’s how to enable it.
- Swipe left to advance to the next step in the setup wizard.
- Tap on Enable Now. This will open Accessibility Settings. Here, find Touch Lock and enable it. Press the Back button to return to the setup wizard.
- Swipe to the final screen. Tap on Enable Now. Here, find Touch Lock and enable it. This step is required to enable locking of special apps such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Once enabled, pull down the notification panel and tap on the lock icon. Now, the touchscreen and buttons should be locked.
To unlock it, double-tap on the translucent icon on the top-right of the screen.
You can configure the number of taps required to unlock the touchscreen in the app settings. Along with it, there are also options to automatically unlock when receiving a call, show a hint of the unlock method, and keep the screen on. The app shows a five-second advertisement after every unlock, which can be done away with a $1.99 in-app purchase.
Download: Touch Lock (Free with ads)
Disable Touchscreen Input on iPhone
The iPhone comes with a built-in functionality to disable touchscreen input temporarily. Dubbed as Guided Access, it lets you disable certain areas of the screen and even lock down physical buttons. Here’s how to enable Guided Access.
- Open Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access.
- Enable Guided Access.
- Tap on Passcode Settings to set Passcode and Touch ID that’ll be used to end Guided Access.
- Finally, enable Accessibility Shortcut. This lets you triple-click the Home button to enter Guided Access anytime.
Once enabled, here’s how to use it.
- Open the app you’d like to lock down.
- Triple-click the Home button to enter Guided Access.
- Circle the areas on the screen you would like to disable. If you’d like to disable touch on the entire screen, draw around the complete screen area.
- Tap on Options in the bottom left corner to disable Sleep or Volume buttons.
- Tap Done.
- Finally, tap on Start at the top of the screen to start Guided Access.
The disabled areas of the screen will appear grayed out and will not respond to any touches.
To exit Guided Access, triple-click the Home button. Enter the correct Passcode or scan with Touch ID to exit.
Why Did You Disable Your Touchscreen?
Whether your touchscreen is experiencing ghost touch problems or you need to shoot underwater video flawlessly, disabling touchscreen temporarily can help with a lot of different problems. If you’re a parent looking to lock down access to your mobile phone, you might as well check out our excellent guide to parental controls.
Did you ever feel the need to disable the touchscreen on your mobile device? If so, we’d be happy to hear about it in the comments below.