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How to turn on flashlight mode for Android devices

Let there be light!
By
October 8, 2022

The flash on most smartphones isn’t just there to improve the lighting on 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’re having a hard time 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 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.

QUICK ANSWER

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.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Editor’s note: Unless otherwise specified, instructions in this article were put together using a Pixel 4a with 5G running Android 13. Remember that the steps might differ depending on your device and its software version.

Turn on flashlight mode with the quick toggle

Realme X50 Pro 5G quick settings toggle

Google first introduced a flashlight toggle with Android 5.0 Lollipop, located right in the quick settings. To access it, you must 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.

How to turn on the light on most Android phones:

  1. Pull down the notification area by sliding your finger down from the top of the screen.
  2. Slide your finger down from the top of the screen again.
  3. Find the Flashlight toggle and tap on it. That’s it!

If you don’t find the Quick Settings flashlight option, just add it:

  1. Pull down the notification bar by sliding your finger down from the top of the screen.
  2. Swipe down again to see more options.
  3. Tap on the Pencil button.
  4. Look for the Flashlight button. Tap and hold on to it.
  5. 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

If you don’t have a simple toggle in your quick settings, you may use 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.

Check out the steps you’ll need below:

  1. Find the 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: 5 Android settings you should change

Use Google Assistant to turn on the flashlight

Google Assistant stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Google Assistant made its debut 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, of course, turn on flashlight mode.

Using Google Assistant voice commands to turn on the flashlight:

  1. Launch Google Assistant. This can be done by pressing the microphone button on the search bar or saying, “OK, Google.”
  2. Say the command “Turn on the flashlight.”
  3. 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 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.”

Turn on flashlight mode with a gesture

Smartphone flashlight on stock photo 2
Edgar Cervantes / 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, you can use screen-ff gestures to turn on the flashlight, but it requires a little setting up beforehand.

Turn the flashlight on/off using OnePlus Screen Off Gestures:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go into Buttons & Gestures.
  3. Select Quick Gestures.
  4. Under Screen Off Gestures, select which letter you want to use to turn the flashlight on. You can pick between O, V, S, M, and W.
  5. Tap on Turn on/off flashlight.
  6. Turn the screen off.
  7. With the screen off, draw the letter you selected on the screen. The light will turn on!

Note: Steps put together using a OnePlus Nord N200 running Android 11.

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:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go into System.
  3. Hit Gestures.
  4. Select Quick Tap to start actions.
  5. Toggle Use Quick Tap on. Select Toggle flashlight.
  6. Tap twice on the back of your phone. The flashlight will toggle on/off.

FAQs

Not really. Most smartphones use LED lights for flashlights, 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.