Both of my Galaxy S3s have a problem with their proximity sensors. I make a call, put the phone to my ear, but then if I want to hang up the screen is dead and won't wake up. I cannot disconnect the call until their answering machine hangs up. If they don't have an answering machine, the call just rings and rings until I remove my battery. This is my second S3. Is there a fix for this?

  • 1
    Do you use some kind of screen protector or smartphone case?
    – Flow
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 9:11
  • It could be that a screen protector is possibly interfering with the proximity sensor. Same thing happened on my old phone.
    – user30364
    Commented Mar 16, 2013 at 23:10

10 Answers 10


I had exactly the same problem, then set the power button to end calls. But actually if you go to Dialer(keypad), go to Call Settings and untick "Turn off screen during calls".

It works, as I had this problem since I bought the phone so I think it was set to that as default, because I never even knew how to get in to Call Settings before this problem.


There is a diagnostics mode on the Samsung Galaxy S3 - There is a sensor test you can run to make sure nothing is wrong with the proximity sensor. Follow the link Diagnostics mode

  • 1
    +1 - nice find. Would you mind pulling some of the essential information from the linked article into your answer for posterity?
    – Mr. Buster
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 21:27

You can activate an option in Accessibility Settings that allows you to end the ongoing call by pressing the lock/power button on the side of the phone.

You can test the functionality of your proximity sensor by entering *#*#0588#*#*

  • That is dependent on the ROM and may not work across all ROMs...
    – t0mm13b
    Commented Jan 16, 2013 at 20:16

This was happening to me. I found if I put my headset in, the screen would come on then I could hang up the call. I recently changed my screen protector so this may be the culprit. I changed the setting "turn screen off during calls". Hopefully, this all helps since digging for my earpiece is not very convenient.


This is not a fix but it works. While you are on the phone plug it in to a power source and it will wake up and put you back at the unlock screen.


A little late but I have solved the problem by downloading an app called Intelliscreen. Works for almost any device, just follow prompts to activate. When it asks for the apps that you want the screen to stay awake for make sure you choose the phone app. You can set the app to start automatically when you boot up your phone.


Clean you screen. I had that problem because of the dirty screen protecting cover. It was blocking the motion sensors, so the phone thought it was at my ear. Once I removed the cover, the phone works just fine.


I had this issue and found that it was being caused by dust buildup under the glass in the proximity sensor and front camera area. The dust was also affecting the front camera picture quality, you could plainly see the dust covering the inside of the camera lens area.

I completely fixed both problems just with a can of compressed air. I just pulled the back of the phone off and and shot compressed air (using the small straw attachment on the air can) all around the area of the phone. I think the spot that actually got air in there was the tiny noise rejection hole on the top edge. I could visibly see the dust clear away from the camera lens.

Immediately after that the proximity sensor started working perfectly again.

  • The compressed air trick completely fixed my problem. I was actually on a phone call (on hold) and having the "black screen" problem while I was reading this post. I removed the back cover and blew all around but the problem continued. I then blew air into the row of small holes at the top on the front of S4 and like magic, it woke up. Thank you Automaticman! PS... I'm still on hold (but at least I can hang up now if I want to :-))
    – user46962
    Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 15:27

Amazing, but true - use canned air to blow into the ear piece. Dust might have gotten inside the case and be blocking the proximity sensor, causing this behavior. You might even be able to see it with a magnifying glass. I saw this suggestion here - http://forums.androidcentral.com/samsung-galaxy-s4/310276-galaxy-s4-proximity-sensors-activates-but-doesnt-turn-off-2.html and wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't tried it myself and IT WORKED!!


My proximity sensor is broken. I spent 10 hours looking for app, which would prevent screen from going black during calls. After 10 hours I found this app, which finally solved my issue:

Proximity AutoLock

I just wanted to share and hope others will find this usefull and won't spend that much time searching as I did.

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