Experiencing a black screen during calls can be frustrating. Dive into this comprehensive guide to understand the causes and solutions to this common issue.
Imagine you’re on an important video call, and suddenly, your screen goes black. Not only is it inconvenient, but it can also be embarrassing, especially during professional meetings. Whether you’re using a smartphone, tablet, or computer, this guide will provide actionable solutions to address the black screen issue during calls.
What’s the main reason why your screen goes black during a phone call? Your proximity sensor. The proximity sensor is a small component usually located at the top of your phone, near the logo or speaker. Its primary function is to detect when you hold your phone up to your ear. When it senses this, it locks the phone, turning the screen black. This prevents any accidental key presses with your cheek during the call and also saves battery life (not having to power the screen when you aren’t really looking at it). Once you finish your conversation and move the phone away from your ear, the sensor should unlock the screen, allowing you to end the call.
Understanding the Causes
Before delving into the solutions, it’s crucial to understand the potential causes behind the black screen during calls.
- Proximity Sensors Most smartphones come equipped with proximity sensors that detect when the phone is near your ear and turn off the screen to prevent accidental touches.
- Software Glitches Sometimes, software bugs or conflicts can cause the screen to go black during calls.
- Hardware Issues Damaged or malfunctioning hardware components, like a faulty screen, can also lead to this problem.
Testing the Proximity Sensor
If you suspect that your phone’s proximity sensor might be malfunctioning, you can run a diagnostic test. Here are some codes you can type into your dial pad to access the Device Diagnostic Tool:
*#7353#: For Samsung phones and some other smartphones (excluding HTC).
*#*#3424#*#*: For HTC Android phones. Some HTC phones might have the option to test the proximity sensor through this tool.
*#*#0588#*#*: This code can also run a Proximity Sensor Test on some smartphones.
If these codes don't work or you're unsure about the test results, you can manually test the sensor. Make a call and hover your hand over the top of the display. If the screen turns black and then comes back when you remove your hand, your sensor is likely working.
Other Potential Causes
If your sensor seems to be functioning correctly, other issues might be causing the black screen. These can include:
- Obstructions: Ensure that there's no oil from your skin, makeup, or a phone case covering the sensor.
- Software glitches: Sometimes, bugs or glitches in the phone's software can cause this issue. In such cases, backing up your data and performing a full reset might help.
Troubleshooting the Black Screen Issue
Addressing the black screen issue requires a systematic approach to identify and resolve the root cause.
- Check Proximity Sensor Ensure that your hand or phone case isn't covering the proximity sensor. Clean the sensor area to remove any dirt or debris that might interfere with its functionality. Protective casings or screen protectors might cover the proximity sensor, causing it to misbehave. The sensor, typically located above the display near the call speaker, uses infrared to gauge distance. If it's obstructed, it might turn off the screen during calls and fail to turn it back on.
- Restart Your Device A simple restart can often resolve many software-related issues. Turn off your device, wait for a few seconds, and then turn it back on.
- Update Your Software Ensure that your device's operating system and calling app are updated to the latest versions. Developers often release updates to fix known bugs. Some manufacturers have had long-standing issues with proximity sensors. An update might have addressed this, so ensure your device's firmware is up-to-date. Additionally, try uninstalling updates for the Phone app to see if that resolves the issue.
- Clear App Cache For smartphones, go to 'Settings', navigate to 'Apps', select your calling app, and clear its cache. This action can resolve any temporary glitches.
- Check Hardware Components If you suspect a hardware issue, consider consulting a professional or visiting a service center. They can run diagnostic tests to identify any malfunctioning components.
- Test and Re-calibrate the Proximity Sensor Android phones come equipped with the CIT (Control and Identification Toolbox), a built-in tool for hardware testing and diagnostics. This tool can also calibrate sensors, including the proximity sensor. Accessing CIT varies across devices, so it's best to search for your specific handset's instructions. Once in CIT, navigate to the proximity sensor and check its readings. If the sensor seems fine but the issue persists, further troubleshooting is required.
If the standard troubleshooting steps don't work, consider these alternative solutions.
- Safe Mode Booting your device in safe mode can help identify if third-party apps are causing the issue. If the problem doesn't persist in safe mode, consider uninstalling recently added apps. If the problem disappears in Safe Mode, consider uninstalling or limiting certain apps. Also, enabling Adaptive Brightness might be worth a shot.
- Factory Reset As a last resort, consider performing a factory reset. This action will erase all data and settings, returning your device to its original state. Ensure you back up all essential data before proceeding.
- Turn Off Proximity Sensor Functionality: iPhone users can't do this, but some Android phones will allow you to turn your proximity sensor functionality on or off via settings. You can check your phone by following these steps:
- From a Home screen, tap Phone (lower-left).
- Tap Menu .
- Tap Call settings or Settings.If needed, tap Call on the settings page.
- Tap Turn off screen during calls to enable or disable.
A black screen during calls can disrupt your communication, but with the right knowledge and approach, you can quickly resolve the issue. By understanding the causes and following the solutions outlined in this guide, you can ensure smooth and uninterrupted calls.
If you ever been in the middle of a call and suddenly found your screen going black the root cause of this issue often lies in the phone's proximity sensor. Understanding the role of the proximity sensor and how to test it can help you diagnose and potentially fix the problem. If all else fails, consider seeking professional assistance or visiting the phone's service center.
- Why does my screen go black during video calls? The proximity sensor, software glitches, or hardware issues are common causes. Ensure the sensor isn't obstructed and consider the troubleshooting steps mentioned above.
- Can screen protectors cause a black screen during calls? Yes, if a screen protector covers the proximity sensor, it can trigger the black screen issue. Ensure it's correctly applied.
- How do I know if it's a hardware issue? If you've tried all software-related solutions and the problem persists, it might be a hardware issue. Consider seeking professional assistance.
- Is the black screen issue common across all devices? While more prevalent in smartphones, the issue can occur in tablets and computers, especially if they have proximity sensors or are using specific calling apps.
- Can third-party calling apps resolve the issue? Sometimes, switching to a different calling app can bypass the problem, especially if it's related to a specific app's bug.
- Where is the proximity sensor located? It's usually located at the top of your phone, near the logo or speaker.
- How can I test if my proximity sensor is working? You can use specific codes to access the Device Diagnostic Tool on your phone. Alternatively, make a call and hover your hand over the top of the display to see if the screen turns black. You can use the built-in CIT tool on Android phones. Accessing it might require specific codes or steps, depending on the device.
- What should I do if my screen still goes black during calls, even after testing the sensor? Ensure there are no obstructions covering the sensor. If the issue persists, consider backing up your data and performing a full reset on your phone. If the issue remains unresolved, consider a factory reset or seeking professional assistance.
- Can I turn off the proximity sensor functionality for my phone? For iPhone users, No! iOS does not give an option to do this. For Android users, some of you may be able to do this by going into your Phone Settings.
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