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How to turn the flashlight on or off on Android
The flash on most smartphones isn’t just there to improve the lighting of your photos. It can also serve as a handy flashlight. It’s one of the most valuable accessories on your phone, with applications in many different situations, like when you have difficulty unlocking your front door late at night or looking for something in a dark room.
How exactly can you turn on flashlight mode for your Android device? There are more than a few ways to do it — some specific to certain smartphones. You’ll be all set to light your way the next time you come home late from a party with the flashlight options below.
Turn on flashlight mode on your Android phone by opening your notification area and looking for the Flashlight option on your quick toggles. Tap on it, and your flashlight should turn on. This method works on most Android phones.
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Editor’s note: Unless otherwise specified, instructions in this article were put together using a Google Pixel 7 running Android 13. Remember that the steps might differ depending on your device and software version.
Turn on flashlight mode with the quick toggle
Google first introduced a flashlight toggle with Android 5.0 Lollipop in the Quick Settings, and you can still access it from this location on Android builds nearly a decade later.
How to turn on the flashlight using Android Quick Settings:
- Pull down the notification area by sliding your finger down from the top of the screen.
- Slide your finger down from the top of the screen again.
- Find the Flashlight toggle and tap on it. That’s it!
If you don’t find the Quick Settings flashlight option, add it:
- Pull down the notification bar by sliding your finger down from the top of the screen.
- Swipe down again to see more options.
- Tap on the Pencil button.
- Look for the Flashlight button. Tap and hold on to it.
- Drag the button up to your active toggles.
All current Android smartphones should have this feature, but if yours doesn’t, use one of the other options listed below.
Turn on flashlight mode with a dedicated app
You may use a flashlight app instead if you don’t have a simple toggle in your Quick Settings. However, there’s always the offhand chance that you have neither, and you’ll have to head to the Play Store for a solution. Don’t worry. Most are free, and you have many different options to choose from.
Check out the steps you’ll need below:
- Find the app that is right for you. Here’s a list of our favorite flashlight apps.
- Download the app from the Google Play Store
- Open the app and light your way.
Use Google Assistant to turn on the flashlight
Google Assistant debuted in October 2016 with the first Pixel smartphones, allowing you to interact with your device using voice commands. It’s now available on all smartphones running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above and is smart enough to play the music you want, give you a weather update, and turn on flashlight mode.
Using Google Assistant voice commands to turn on the flashlight:
- Launch Google Assistant. This can be done by pressing the microphone button on the search bar or saying, “OK, Google.”
- Say the command, “Turn on the flashlight.”
- Alternatively, you can turn it off by saying, “Turn off the flashlight.”
If you feel that talking to your phone is weird, you can also write your commands to the Assistant. Open it up, tap the keyboard icon in the bottom left corner, and type “Turn on the flashlight.”
By default, Android now uses the side button to launch Google Assistant. Just press and hold the side button, and Google Assistant will launch. If you changed what the side button does, we can show you how to edit its action.
How to change what the Android side button does:
- Launch the Settings app.
- Go into System.
- Select Gestures.
- Tap on Press & hold power button.
- Select what you want the button to do. In this case, it would be Digital assistant.
Now, you can press and hold the side button to pull up Google Assistant and tell it to “turn on the flashlight.”
Turn on flashlight mode with a gesture
One final way to control your flashlight is with a gesture. Different phones offer different methods but are among the easiest on OnePlus devices. If you own a OnePlus device, you can use screen gestures to turn on the flashlight, but it requires a little setting up beforehand.
Turn the flashlight on/off using OnePlus Screen Off Gestures:
- Open the Settings app.
- Go into System settings.
- Select Gestures & motions.
- Tap on Screen Off Gestures.
- Toggle on Draw a V to turn flashlight on or off.
- Tap on the Got it button.
- Turn off the screen and test it. Just draw a V on the display while it’s off.
Note: Steps put together using a OnePlus Nord N200 running Android 12.
You can shake your phone to activate your light if you have a Motorola device. This is a much more convenient feature, as you don’t have to think about gestures or buttons too much.
Additionally, Pixel phones can now use Quick Tap to toggle the flashlight on and off. This feature works on Pixel 4a 5G and newer Google phones.
How to use Quick Tap to toggle flashlight on Pixel phones:
- Open the Settings app.
- Go into System.
- Hit Gestures.
- Select Quick Tap to start actions.
- Toggle Use Quick Tap on. Select Toggle flashlight.
- Tap twice on the back of your phone. The flashlight will toggle on/off.
Android flashlight FAQs
Not really. Most smartphones use LED lights, and these are estimated to last anywhere between 20,000 to 50,000 hours before they die. Assuming you never turn it off, this means a flashlight should be able to stay on for 2.28 to 5.71 years before it dies. Chances are you won’t leave the flashlight on at all times. Even if you do, you still will likely replace a phone before said flashlight “burns out.”
As mentioned above, you likely won’t see any issues with your smartphone flashlight. However, leaving the light on for long periods might heat up your phone or drain your battery quicker than usual.
While this would be a great feature, it’s not one we’ve seen Android phones featuring yet. If a flashlight turns off by itself, this is usually due to software bugs or hardware issues.