Our infant son threw me wife's phone. Since then the top 1 cm row of the screen is no longer responsive to touch. The display works perfectly, but touching it has no effect. Because of that she can no longer swipe down the notification tray in portrait mode. She has to open some app, rotate to landscape orientation, and swipe down.

Some apps which do not rotate or reorients the buttons in such a way that it is always in unresponsive zone are impossible to use. We can use split screen as the last workaround sometimes.

Anyway. I was wondering if there is any app for Android which force the whole OS to render in the responsive region only. I can manually select the responsive rectangular region. (Buying a new phone or changing the screen is not an option right now.)

  • 1
    Try finding something in the Settings that will enable an option like one-handed mode or similar. That mode will shrink the whole screen, including the status bar, so that you have touch access to that top 1cm of the screen. – Lloyd Dominic Apr 12 '18 at 12:44
  • Seems like One hand mode is not part of stock Android but MUI. – AppleGrew Apr 12 '18 at 13:35

When I had this problem, I think I learned from this answer.

One option is to use adb, i.e., the command line client/tool that comes with the Android SDK. It does a variety of things, but the thing that is most relevant here is the ability to use it to reconfigure your display.

Specifically, you want to access the shell commands to change the window manager's overscan setting with adb shell wm overscan L,D,R,U.

So you will want to use adb shell wm overscan 0,0,X,0 to push the top of the screen down by Xdp.

You can revert to normal with adb shell overscan wm reset or adb shell overscan wm 0,0,0,0.

If you don't know how to adb, it doesn't take much to get to the point where you can type that command in. I can relate because I used to have a device that had a partially functioning screen and I spent a lot of time rotating the phone and using this!

Within Settings > Developer Options is some options that will help you diagnose the problem, such as Show Pointer Location, or perhaps Show Touches. Or you could create a small app that simply displayed touch input.

  • Shouldn't it be adb shell wm overscan reset? I don't know what is L,D,R,U. From other answer found this to be LEFT,TOP,RIGHT,BOTTOM – AppleGrew May 8 '18 at 17:46
  • Left, Down, Right, Up. Apologies, good thing you worked it out yourself. And yes it should be, I've now added the missing "shell" to the examples of the command on that line – Saik Caskey May 8 '18 at 17:49

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