smartphone flashlight

The flash on most smartphones isn’t just there to improve the lighting on your snapshots. It can also serve as a handy flashlight. It’s one of the most useful accessories on your phone, with applications in many different situations, like when you’re having a hard time unlocking your front door late at night or looking for something in a dark room. 

But how exactly can you turn on flashlight mode for your Android device? Well, there are more than a few to do it — with some being 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.

See also: 5 Android settings you should change

Option 1: Turn on flashlight mode with the quick toggle

Google first introduced a flashlight toggle with Android 5.0 Lollipop, located right in the quick settings. To access it, all you have to do is pull down the notification bar, find the toggle, and tap on it. The flashlight will be turned on instantly, and you can toggle it right back off when you no longer need it.

All current Android smartphones should have this feature, but in the rare case that yours doesn’t, use one of the other options listed below. Here’s a quick reminder on the steps you’ll need:

  1. Pull down the notification bar by sliding your finger down from the top of the screen.
  2. Find the Flashlight toggle and tap on it to turn on flashlight mode. That’s it!

Option 2: Use a dedicated app

If you don’t have a simple flashlight toggle in your quick settings, you may have an app instead. 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.

There are plenty of apps out there. Lucky for you, it won’t be necessary to search for the right one in a sea of options, because we have already done that for you! Check out the steps you’ll need below:

  1. Find the flashlight app that is right for you.
  2. Download the app from the Google Play Store
  3. Open the app and light your way.

See also: 10 best Android flashlight apps with no extra permissions

Option 3: Use a smart Assistant

google pixel 4 xl revisited assistant
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

Google Assistant made its debut back in October 2016 on the Pixel smartphones and allows 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, of course, turn on flashlight mode.

To launch Assistant, just long-press the home button, and it will pop up on your screen. After that, say something like, “Okay, Google, turn on the flashlight,” and wait for the digital assistant to do its magic. When you don’t need to use it anymore, say, “Okay, Google, turn off the flashlight.”

If you feel that talking to your phone is weird, you can also give your commands to the Assistant in writing. Just open it up, tap on the keyboard icon in the bottom left corner, and type in “turn on the flashlight.”

Samsung offers a similar smart assistant in the form of Bixby. While it may not be quite as popular as Google’s Assistant, the steps are essentially the same. Here’s what to do:

  1. Activate Google Assistant or Bixby with your home button, the Bixby button, or a voice command
  2. Say, “Okay, Google (or Bixby), turn on the flashlight.”
  3. Ask your assistant to turn the flashlight back off when you’re finished.

Option 4: Use a gesture

OnePlus 8T vs Nord close up of rear cameras
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

One final way to control your flashlight is with a gesture. Different phones offer different methods, but they’re among the easiest on OnePlus devices. If you own a OnePlus device, all you have to do is draw the letter V on the screen with your finger while it’s turned off. But before you can do that, you have to enable the function by going into the settings menu.

  1. Open the settings menu on your OnePlus device.
  2. Tap on “Gestures.”
  3. Enable the “Toggle flashlight” option.
  4. Once enabled, draw a V on the screen with your finger while it’s turned off.

If you have a Motorola device instead, you can shake your phone to activate your flashlight. We all remember the good old days where you could shake your phone to randomize some dice, and now we have a more practical implementation. If your phone doesn’t allow you to shake for the flashlight, you can always head back to the Play Store and download the functionality.