Touch screens have altered how we engage with our phones. They are easier to operate, and since they eliminate the need for physical keyboards, screens are now larger and better. Unfortunately, however, touchscreen displays are prone to unintentional touches that degrade user experience.
However, it’s possible to temporarily disable touchscreen input on your smartphone to get around this problem. In this article, I’ll show you how to successfully minimize or disable touchscreen input whether you own an Android or an iPhone.
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How Can You Disable Touchscreen Input on Your Smartphone?
It can be rather frustrating to constantly interact with your phone unintentionally through the display. Since this is a rather common issue, it’s great that there are ways to disable touchscreen input on your smartphone. You can do this for a certain app or your entire device, and below are different techniques to help you do this easily.
How to Disable Touchscreen Input on iPhone
The iPhone has a built-in feature that allows you to temporarily disable touchscreen input. The Guided Access function enables you to lock down physical buttons as well as disable specific screen sections. The steps to activate guided access in order to disable touchscreen input are as follows:
- Go to Settings > Accessibility > Guided Access.
- Turn on Guided Access.
- To set a Passcode or Touch/Face ID if you ever need to end Guided Access, tap on Passcode Settings.
- Finally, activate Accessibility Shortcut. This enables you to access Guided Access at any moment by clicking the Home button three times.
Here’s how to use Guided Access to disable touchscreen input after it’s enabled:
- Launch the app whose screen you want to disable touchscreen input for.
- To enter Guided Access, triple-click the Home button.
- Make a circle around the parts of the screen you want to disable. If you want to disable touchscreen input on the full screen, draw a circle around it.
- To disable the Power or Volume buttons, click on Options in the at the bottom-left screen portion.
- Click Done.
- Finally, touch Start at the top of the screen to launch Guided Access.
The disabled sections of the screen should appear grayed out meaning that they won’t respond to any touch. You can triple-click the Home button to exit guided access. To exit, enter the passcode you set during the configuration process, or use your Touch or Face ID.
Disable Touchscreen Input on Android
You have different options to disable touchscreen input on Android devices. Consider the following suggestions:
Use a Third-Party App to Disable Touchscreen Input
You can download one of the many touch lock apps as a great way to lock your phone screen and disable touchscreen input on Android. The Touch Protector app is one such option.
After installation, you must grant the app permission to display over other apps and to display notifications. It is also necessary to create an unlock pattern.
You can enable numerous options when using the touch protector. These options are divided into four tabs: Shake, Proximity, Upside down, and Hard keys. The While Locked tab is another option that offers the choice to permit access to certain settings.
If you want to lock the display to disable touchscreen input, choose an unlock method that is enabled (volume up is enabled by default), then follow these steps:
- Access the Notifications section.
- Click on the Touch here to Lock Screen option
- Your phone’s screen will now be turned off.
If you want, you can simply use the chosen unlock method to unlock the touchscreen. Your phone’s touchscreen should revert to normal afterward.
Use App Pinning to Temporarily Disable Touchscreen Input
If you own an Android, instead of completely turning off the touchscreen function, there is a better option to temporarily disable touchscreen input known as screen/app pinning.
App pinning is a feature in Android that allows you to restrict your phone to a single app. If, for instance, you have kids who use your phone for games or videos, you can use app pinning to restrict their access to your phone and prevent them from using the touchscreen to mess up your settings.
Here’s how to enable the app pinning to disable touchscreen input in Android 13:
- Navigate to Settings > Password & Security > System security.
- Locate and select App Pinning (you can also look for it by searching for “app pinning“).
- Set the App Pinning toggle to On (keep in mind that navigation gestures must be disabled enabled in order to use app pinning).
- Also consider activating the Lock screen after unpinning option. It is a helpful backup in case the app pinning feature is removed.
To pin an app after you’ve followed the above instructions to enable the option in Settings, do the following:
- Start the app you want to pin.
- Select Recents.
- Swipe to the app.
- Tap the Menu button and then select Pin.
At this point, you’ve been able to disable touchscreen input through app pinning. You should see instructions needed to unpin the app if necessary.
How to Use Screen Pinning on Older Android Models
For Android 8.1 and earlier, do the following to pin your phone’s screen:
- Launch the app you wish to pin.
- Click the Overview/Recent Apps button.
- Swipe up on the Recent card and hit the pin icon in the lower right corner.
However, if you have Android 9 or a later Android device, follow these steps:
- First, launch the app you wish to pin.
- Depending on how you navigate, open the app switcher.
- Tap the square Recents button if you’re using the classic three-button navigation.
- Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and hold for a moment to display your recent apps if you’re using the newer two-button navigation or Android 10’s revised gestures.
- Press the icon at the top of the app you want to lock, then select Pin.
Sadly, this feature only functions well in a select few circumstances, such as when you want to lock a screen and minimize access. It does nothing to prevent accidental interactions or ghost touch issues.
To solve this problem, you must disable your touchscreen input totally through the third-party app as described earlier.
To conclude, with the instructions provided above, you should be able to disable touchscreen input on your Android or iPhone and prevent accidental interactions with your device.