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Is It An Issue If The Screen Protector Is Covering The Proximity Sensor?

screen protector covering proximity sensor

Let’s get straight into the crux of the matter:

Do you need to do anything about your phone’s screen protector covering the proximity sensor?

The proximity sensor on most smartphones is located on the front side of the device and usually located right next to the front camera.

The sensor is there to detect instances where you are holding your phone to your ear, and it turns off the display screen automatically as you do so.

This in part prevents unexpected keypad presses on the touchscreen with your face, and also saves battery consumption at the same time! Quite the useful function no doubt, but it does have the tendency not to work properly in certain situations.

Technically speaking, an appropriate screen protector should not cover the proximity sensor.

However, when you use a screen protector that is designed for another phone model on a different device, it can result in a proximity sensor that becomes obstructed.

This subsequently has the effect of compromising the sensor’s performance, resulting in the sensor not being able to detect movements correctly.

While it is not a big problem, it can still definitely be an annoying one!

Do Screen Protectors Affect The Proximity Sensor?

Do Screen Protectors Affect The Proximity Sensor?

Screen protectors that are fitted correctly should not affect a proximity sensor.

The plastic and tempered glass screen guards are designed to allow the front camera and the proximity sensor to do their job without any issues.

With that said, many users have faced difficulties with a screen protector that is either partially or fully blocking the proximity sensor or front camera- or both. While a screen protector that covers the front camera doesn’t really cause problems, it does affect how the proximity sensor works.

If a screen protector covers the proximity sensor, the light will not reach the sensor as it needs to. This means that the sensor doesn’t get the necessary input to determine if the phone’s screen is close to your face or not.

On the basis of the angle of light and the way you hold your phone, the sensor is usually able to detect your presence. However once this is even partially blocked, it can significantly affect the sensor’s sensitivity.

It is possible to check whether the screen protector is affecting the proximity sensor by performing a little test:

Make a call to another person and place your hand close to the phone screen.

Position your hand at different angles to determine whether the sensor recognizes a presence in all directions, or if a portion of the sensor has indeed been covered up. Move your hand back and forth and note whether the screen lit up each time as it should.

Another way to assess if the screen protector is affecting the proximity sensor is by examining your phone.

Take a look at the top of the phone where the proximity sensor is located. Is the screen protector covering it completely, or is there a cut-out section around the sensor and the front camera?

Tempered glass screen protectors tend to dull the sensor by partially blocking the light. In some instances, the screen protector may not be correctly installed, and a portion of the sensor might be blocked as a result.

In order to prevent these issues from occurring, it’s vital to use the correct screen protector based on your phone’s model.

Screen guards aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution, unfortunately. Using a screen protector that is designed for another model will lead to these issues more often than not!

What Can I Do If The Screen Protector Is Affecting The Proximity Sensor?

What Can I Do If The Screen Protector Is Affecting The Proximity Sensor

As you’ll have realized by now, the proximity sensor plays a vital role in the functioning of a phone.

Those that rely on facial recognition for unlocking their phone need a fully functioning proximity sensor. Moreover, the sensor will prevent accidental touches when the phone is in a pocket or purse.

But what if the screen protector is affecting the sensor? The issue then needs to be solved as quickly as possible.

A short-term solution is to turn off the proximity sensor. You can achieve this through the following steps:

  • Go to Settings -> Call Settings -> Incoming Call Settings -> Turn off Proximity Sensor

However, at the end of the day, you will still need to find a permanent solution to the problem.

Once you are sure that the screen protector is affecting the sensor, gently peel it away from the screen. Start at the top, near the proximity sensor, so you don’t have to completely remove the screen guard.

Test the sensor without the screen protector to see if it can capture light and detect your presence. If the sensor works perfectly, peel away the screen protector completely.

Following that, clean the screen and purchase another screen protector with a cut-out around the speaker, sensor, and front camera. Make sure to cross-check that the design matches the phone’s model. Get a technician if need be to install the screen protector in order to prevent it from covering the proximity sensor.

The solution is simple and inexpensive; unfortunately, there really isn’t a shortcut (not that you should need one!)

Note: Some models like Redmi Note3 have in-built issues with proximity sensors caused by known bugs. For these phones, you will need to update the software or have the phone tested by a technician in order to resolve these errors.

Related Questions

How do I Check the Proximity Sensor on My Phone?

Place the phone near your face or use your hand to check the proximity sensor. If you are not sure about the results, there are free apps that you can download from Play Store to run a sensor test.

There are also apps available that purportedly fan recalibrate the proximity sensor in case of glitches. Remember that these are third-party apps, so while they do exist we cannot guarantee the results of using them!

Can I Fix the Proximity Sensor on My iPhone?

Unfortunately, you cannot disable the proximity sensor on an iPhone. You can however try to reset it by trying the following methods:

Force restart the phone to clear memory space and reset the hardware so that it works without glitches.
Use a microfiber cloth to clean the phone screen, especially the area near the proximity sensor. Dust can affect the sensor’s performance. 
Check if there’s an iOS update you missed and update if necessary. This will help to fix any bugs related to outdated software and drivers. 
Remove the existing screen protector and install a new one.

Is a Screen Protector Compulsory for a Smartphone?

Most smartphones these days are built with Corning Gorilla Glass touchscreens.

While it is sturdy, durable, and scratch-resistant, even the aptly-named Gorilla glass can suffer damage. It is also prone to breaking upon hard impact, such as when a phone drops out of a pocket.

A screen protector provides an additional layer of protection to the phone screen and keeps it safe from scratches and cracks.

In most instances, a screen protector will take the impact of the fall and prevent the phone screen from breaking. A screen protector is not compulsory but is definitely recommended- especially if you want to save money on repair costs!

In Summary

A screen protector that is covering a proximity sensor on a smartphone undeniably affects its performance.

Additionally, tempered glass protectors that are all the rage nowadays are even more likely to affect the sensor than a plastic film. This is because tempered glass is thicker than plastic, and has the ability to block light from reaching the sensor effectively.

It is therefore wise to use a screen protector not only designed specifically for your phone but also one that has a cut-out area to prevent any contact with the proximity sensor.

If you find that the proximity sensor is not working correctly even with an appropriate screen guard installed, check for the presence of dust.

Dust accumulation around a screen protector’s cut-out can prevent the sensor from capturing light and detecting the user. Luckily, this is a pretty easy fix- just have a microfiber cloth handy, and wipe away!

Screen protectors are one of them. Want to know what the other 14 Most Essential Smartphone Accessories are this year? Click HERE to find out!

1 thought on “Is It An Issue If The Screen Protector Is Covering The Proximity Sensor?”

  1. Hi there, are there any screen protectors on the market that still work with the proximity sensor? I’ve had several screen protectors (fitted by professionals) and they all caused issues for the sensor, especially after listening to voicemails. Thanks


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