How would one power down an Android phone (Moto X 2nd gen - Android 5.1) without the ability to interact with the screen? USB debugging not enabled, nor is custom recovery.

I know how to reboot it, that is not the question. The question is about turning off, not restarting, the device.

The phone has a broken screen (black screen, blank screen, cracked screen) and also does not respond to touch, so the answer should not include any screen interaction.

Is there a series of button presses, timings, and preconditions (if applicable) if executed will leave the phone in a true power off state?

  • Many (all?) devices without a removable battery will turn off if you press and hold the Power button for 10 seconds.
    – Chahk
    Mar 7, 2016 at 17:23
  • @Chahk I just tried on Motorola Nexus 6. It restarted the device at around 6th second. I tested it twice.
    – Firelord
    Mar 7, 2016 at 17:32
  • Not all. The device just restarts.
    – Dale
    Mar 7, 2016 at 17:32
  • If you're comfortable getting into the hardware, you could always open it up and disconnect the battery: ifixit.com/Guide/… (watch until 1:15)
    – mix3d
    Mar 9, 2016 at 19:29

5 Answers 5


I can't be sure that this is the optimal way to power-off the phone, but it seems to work.

  1. Press and hold power until it buzzes or about 15 seconds, then release.
  2. Press and hold volume-down and the power button for 20 seconds, then release.
  3. Press and release the power button once.

This procedure is demonstrated in a you tube video https://youtu.be/x_jx5u7dXK4

Tip: Even though the broken phone has no display functionality, if you view the phone with another camera, you can check activity of this phone by looking at the infrared emitters at the four corners of the device. Before power-down, these dots will be flickering. Afterwards, no flickering.


Came upon this when I was looking for a way to shut down my Moto Z with a broken screen and the method described by Dale (thank you) almost worked, but then I figured out it required one extra step. I probably won't be the only one in this predicament, so allow me to contribute. The procedure described above works by opening the fastboot menu and selecting the "power off" option using the power button. Problem is it would seem newer phones have "start" as the default option instead of "power off". The solution is simply to scroll down to "power off" by pressing the volume down key THREE TIMES and then push the power button.

In summary, to shut the phone down without being able to see what's on screen:

  1. Hold power button for about 15 seconds until it vibrates. This will initiate a restart.
  2. While phone is restarting, hold both the power and volume down button for 20 seconds. This will make the phone load up the fastboot menu.
  3. For Moto X, skip this step. For Moto Z, Z2, and possibly other models, press the volume down button exactly three times. For Moto E 2020, press the volume down button two times. This should scroll it down to "power off".
  4. Press power button to select "power off".

As mentioned before, if you're unsure if the phone's off or not, you can check the infrared emitters for glowing using another camera. Hope this helps anyone else who comes across here.


If you can, just take the battery out


Just found this solution which seems to have worked on my Sony Xperia XZ1. I know it's not a Motorola, but it seems less obnoxious than the other solutions:

  1. Plug the phone into a wall charger and verify it is charging.
  2. Hold the power and volume buttons simultaneously until the phone responds and shuts off.



If you do not have custom recovery installed, then try rebooting into the bootloader or the stock recovery itself, and use your volume(up and down) keys and navigate to the Shut Down option. If this doesn't work, then send it back to Motorola customer service center and let them do their thing.

  • "use your volume(up and down) keys and navigate to the Shut Down option." -- OP wrote "The phone has a broken screen (black screen, blank screen, cracked screen)". I also checked a YouTube video showing the UI of that device's bootloader and it doesn't offer power off.
    – Firelord
    Mar 8, 2016 at 14:41

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