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I have a Nexus 6 that I've been using now for almost a year.

Very recently, it started this odd behaviour of turning the screen black as soon as I swipe up to unlock it.

The screen works fine otherwise - it boots fine, it behaves in bootstrap and recovery mode, etc. The rest of the phone also seems to operate 'correctly' and I can see notifications occuring in the lock screen. There is no PIN or other unlock pattern - just the swipe upwards.

However, the moment that I try to unlock it, it goes black.

Apparently, there is a sensor for magnetic covers that can become biased and cause this issue. Some have noticed this occuring after prolonged use of a cover with a magnetic clasp - and sure enough, the phone has been used with one of these since when it was new.

Any ideas on how to fix this? Both a cache wipe AND a factory reset didn't solve the issue - which would be consistent with the cause above.

Some have suggested swiping a magnet to 'unbias' the sensor, but I am not sure about what kind of magnet and how to do this. Experiments with a fridge magnet have yielded no effect.

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I am not certain if there is the Nexus 6 is really using magnetic sensor to determine if it is in a holster but your mention of noticing this problem after prolonged use with a magnetic clasp makes it likely.

If this is your problem then a refrigerator magnet is way too weak. Ideally, you want an AC current generated magnetic field, similar to the old days when one needs to deGauss a CRT. You can try using a magnetic setup that is used to erase computer/audo tapes.

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  • Hm. Thanks for the suggestion - I was actually going to try removing the back and getting the magnet closer to the sensor - possibly with a stronger magnet as well, I do have some neodymium magnets from old drives... I'll try that and report back.
    – lfabio
    May 7, 2016 at 1:35

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