How to Disable Touch Screen Input on Android and iPhone

As technology improves and we move away from a physical keyboard to touch and voice input, we also witness an enhancement in touch screen sensitivity. It means the display is more responsive to the slightest of touch, accidental taps, ghost movements, and more.

Meaning, kids or seniors could alter your phone settings, or you might pocket dial and text someone unknowingly. That said, as phones with physical keys go extinct, and we switch to touch screens, we need a solution to prevent accidentally dialing emergency services, for example.

Android and iPhones both offer in-built features that allow users to temporarily switch off touch control for the entire screen or some areas. The blog highlights how you can disable your smartphone touch screen and some situations where it might be handy:

Why You Need to Lock Your Touch Screen

Unintentional engagement with your phone is troublesome, especially if you dial or text someone with whom you don’t have an amicable relationship. Accidental taps, kids or seniors are some situations when you wish to switch off the touch feature of your smartphone, others include:

  • When on the road with your phone mounted on the dashboard and GPS navigation open for directions.

  • When enjoying music to prevent accidentally pausing or skipping a track.

  • To prevent kids from messing with phone settings or switching to a different app, instead of watching cartoons or playing games.

  • When watching videos or enjoying Netflix to prevent existing the player or pausing the video.

  • Accidentally pausing or stopping recording video.

  • Ghost touch problems.

Ghost touch is a problem that every smartphone user has experienced. It is when your phone takes the lightest, unintentional contact as a command and carries out a response. It makes for terrible smartphone experience. But since more touch screen phones are emerging, knowing how to lock touch screen input temporarily can be a blessing.

Furthermore, as advancements in technology introduce waterproof phones, you might be enticed to capture shots underwater. But water ghosting across the screen surface can also carry out functions like pausing or stopping a video recording.

Accidental touches in the rain shower can also have a similar effect. So, if you want a beautiful picture or video in the rain or underwater, disabling the touch screen input will be quite useful.

Disable Touch Screen Input on Android

Both Android and iOS devices have different in-built features that support switching off touch screen input. But where iPhones and iPads have one option, called ‘Guided Access,’ Android offers two solutions, namely ‘screen pinning,’ and ‘Touch Lock app.’

Screen pinning, as the name suggests, locks the screen temporarily to display one app, whereas Touch Lock is the Android version of iPhone’s Guided Access. Let’s look at how you can disable touch screen input on Android following both ways:

How to Lock an Android Phone to a Single App

Screen pinning was introduced on Android with the launch of its Lollipop operating system.

If you want to prevent kids from opening other apps besides games or YouTube, then locking the screen to a single app is a convenient alternative than disabling touch entirely. It will also prevent you from exiting a video recording app, for example, when you are in the middle of filming.

Here’s how you can switch on the feature in your phones:

  • Open Settings, then move to Lock screen & security menu, tap Advanced and select Screen pinning. For Android 9 and above, Lock screen & Security is shortened to only Security.

  • When you turn on the toggle for screen pinning, also enable the ‘require pin for unpinning’ feature. It’s not essential to turn on, but it provides extra security to ensure your kids don’t accidentally unpin an app when you’re not looking.

Now that you know how to enable the ‘screen pinning’ feature, here’s how to use it to limit touch control on your phone:

On Android 8.1 and earlier, follow these steps:
  • Open the app you are looking to pin.
  • Tap the Overview or Recent Apps button on your Android.
  • Swipe up the Recent card and tap the pin icon you’ll find on the bottom right.
On Android 9 or newer, follow these steps:
  • Open the app you want to pin.
  • Open the app switcher or view recent apps based on your method of navigation: the standard three-button navigation for Androids or gesture navigation.
  • Tap the icon above the app you are locking, then select Pin.

Contrarily, to unpin the app, just hold the Back button for approximately five seconds. A message will pop-up asking you to type in your unlock PIN to unpin the app.

How to Lock Complete Touch Screen Input

Screen pinning is an in-built feature for Androids, but to lock touch controls entirely, you would need to download an app, ‘Touch Lock.’ It not only allows you to disable touch screen input but also locks all soft and hard keys of your Android, much like the Guided Access feature of iPhones.

Additionally, where screen pinning is efficient in preventing kids from roaming around in your phone, Touch Lock also prevents ghost touch issues.

Touch Lock is a free app with in-app purchases available for download in Google Play Store. Once you download and install the app, here’s how to use it:

  • Open the Touch Lock app and swipe left to advance to the next stage in its setup.
  • Tap ‘Enable Now,’ and you’ll be directed to Android’s Accessibility settings. Move to Touch Lock in the list and select ‘Use Service.’
  • Confirm the app permissions then return to the app.
  • Once the app is enabled, pull down the notification bar and tap on the respective icon to lock your screen and buttons.

Keep in mind that one of the app permissions include observing text that you type like financial details, passwords, and more. Be sure to disable the app beforehand!

To disable the feature, double-tap the translucent icon on the top-right of your phone’s screen. A noteworthy attribute is that you can configure the number of taps it takes to unlock touch controls in the app’s settings. It also automatically enables touch input in case of incoming calls, display an unlock hint, or keep the screen active.

Disable Touch Screen Input on iPhone or iPad

As mentioned before, certain situations occur where disabling touch screen input in an Android or iPhone is beneficial. Not only do iPhones restrict control to parts of the screen as in Androids, but an added advantage is that it allows parents to limit device usage.

Plus, users can set their phones to a ‘read-only’ mode that prevents others from interacting with the iPhone or iPad without authority. They also have the option to use their iPhones for display purposes. Marketing personnel, for example, can disable touch controls and use the device for multimedia marketing.

That said, let’s look at how you can enable and use the feature to disable touch input:

  1. Enable Guided Access
    Guided Access came about with iOS 6. iPhone 4, 4S, 6, 6+, 6S, and iPhone 6S+, as well as iPhone 7 series to iPhone X all, have the feature that allows users to disable touch screen input.

    It can lock entire screen controls, specific areas of the screen, orientation, and lock physical buttons like volume or power button. Aside from disabling touch controls, it also offers complete parental control on iOS devices.

    Meaning, users can limit phone use to a set time. For parents, it’s a great asset to ensure your kids don’t spend too much time stuck to the phone screen. After the set time expires, the screen will lock, and a notification will appear, alerting the user that the session has ended.

    As mentioned before, Guided Access works like Touch Lock for iOS devices, eliminating the need to download another app. That said, here’s how you can enable the feature before using it:

    – Open settings, from General, head to Accessibility and then Guided Access.
    – Tap the toggle to enable the feature.
    – You can set a passcode, enable Touch or Face ID for Security, which will ensure only you can unlock the settings.
    – To enable a time limit, set the alarm, or have your iPhone speak aloud the remaining time until the end of the session.

    Tip: Add Accessibility Shortcut to your home screen and enter Guided Access any time by triple-clicking the home button.

  2. Disable Touch Input
    Now that Guided Access is enabled, follow these steps to disable touch input for the entire screen or specific areas:

    – Open the app you want to lock.
    – Triple-click the Home button and open Guided Access; the power button, in case of iPhone X.
    – Draw a circle around the whole display or specific areas of the screen you want to disable.
    – On the bottom-left corner, tap Options and a window will open with Sleep/Wake Button, Keyboard, Motion, Volume Button, Touch, and Time Limit options.
    – Select what you want to enable or disable, then tap Done.
    – At the top right of the screen, tap Start to kick off Guided Access.

    The disabled areas will appear greyed and will be unresponsive to any touch commands.

How to Stop Guided Access

When you want to exit Guided Access, triple-click the home button, enter your passcode or touch/face ID, and unlock touch controls.

Alternatively, if you set a time limit, the session will end automatically when the time is up. A notification will pop-up, asking you to triple-click the home button and enter your passcode.

Alternative to Guided Access: Screen Time

Another option available on iPhones and iPad to control device usage is Screen time. It doesn’t allow users to disable touch input as Guided Access, but it helps you limit your device use.

You can add a time limit to a category like social apps or games, instead of one particular app. When the time exceeds the set limit, the apps grey out, and your phone will prevent you from using them again for the rest of the day.

Lock Touch Screen Controls on Your Smartphone

Well, there you have it! That concludes our blog on how to disable controls on your Android or iOS. Now you can lock your touch screen input, protect your privacy, limit phone use, avoid accidental interruptions, and much more.

I hope the blog helped solve your query! So, put a lock on your screen, the next time you are out, making underwater videos, or letting kids play games on your phone.