What happens if I press volume down and power button?

The volume down and power buttons are physical buttons found on most smartphones. They serve important functions related to controlling the phone’s volume, power state, and accessing certain features.

The volume down button, as its name suggests, is used to lower the volume level on the phone when pressed. This applies to lowering the general system volume, as well as the volume for media playback and phone calls.

The power button is used to lock the screen or turn the display on or off. Pressing and holding the power button brings up additional options like restarting the phone or activating airplane mode. The power button can also be used in certain emergency situations to place a call when the phone is locked.

Screen Shut Off

Pressing the power button briefly while the phone is on will turn off the screen and display. This puts the phone into sleep or standby mode, essentially locking the screen and turning off the display for battery saving and security purposes. Though the screen is off, the phone will still run apps and functions in the background and will instantly wake when the power button is pressed again (Source 1). On Android phones specifically, pressing the power button will turn off the screen and lock the device, requiring you to enter your passcode or use biometrics like a fingerprint to unlock it again (Source 2). So in summary, a quick tap of the power button essentially pauses the phone’s display while keeping all other functions running until unlocked again.

Silent/Vibrate Mode

Pressing and holding the volume down button on most Android and iOS smartphones will toggle silent or vibrate mode depending on your settings. This allows you to quickly mute an incoming call or notification without having to open your settings menu.

On Android devices, pressing and holding volume down will toggle between ring, vibrate, and silent modes 1. The current mode is indicated by an icon in the status bar. On an iPhone, pressing and holding volume down will toggle vibrate mode on or off for incoming calls and notifications 2.

You can customize whether volume down toggles vibrate or mute in your phone’s sound settings. For example, on some Android phones like OnePlus, you can disable this shortcut in Settings > Sound & Vibration > Shortcut to prevent ringing 3. This allows you to control the volume without accidentally muting your phone.


One of the most common actions when pressing both the volume down and power buttons at the same time on an Android phone is to take a screenshot (source). This key combination will immediately capture and save a screenshot of whatever is currently displayed on your phone’s screen.

Pressing and holding the volume down and power buttons simultaneously will take a screenshot and save it to your phone’s gallery. Once captured, you may see a small thumbnail preview of the screenshot appear briefly in the corner of your display. The full screenshot image will then be accessible in your Photos or Gallery app.

This shortcut method makes it quick and easy to grab screenshots on Android phones from any screen or app you have open. It can be useful for saving information you want to remember or share from your phone. Just be aware that taking screenshots of certain apps or confidential screens may not be advisable if the content is private or protected.

Hard Reset

Holding down the volume down and power buttons simultaneously for 10+ seconds will force restart your Android device, according to multiple sources including Reddit user u/webprotechtips (https://www.reddit.com/r/webprotechtips/comments/193yx10/how_to_force_restart_frozen_android_phone_tablet/). This is known as a “hard reset” and will reboot the phone even if the screen is frozen or unresponsive.

Press and hold both the volume down and power buttons for at least 10-15 seconds, or until you feel a vibration and see the phone restart. This bypasses the normal shutdown process and cuts power before restarting the device. It works as a last resort to reset a phone that is totally frozen or unresponsive.

According to the YouTube tech tutorial “How To Force Restart Frozen Android Phone / Tablet” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhpLq3AHUK0), holding the buttons for this long triggers a forced reboot that can unfreeze the system. This is an effective technique for any Android device, including Samsung, that is experiencing an unrecoverable crash or hang.

Power Off

One of the main functions of pressing and holding the power button and volume down button is to power off your Android device. Here’s how it works:

Press and hold the power button for a few seconds. This will bring up a power menu with various options, including “Power off.” Tapping “Power off” will initiate the shutdown process and turn your phone fully off (1).

Holding the power button for 5-10 seconds will force your phone to turn off, even if the touch screen is unresponsive. This acts as a “hard reset” to power down the device (2).

So in summary, a long press of the power button allows you to either manually select “Power off” from the menu, or it will automatically power down after several seconds. This provides a reliable way to fully shut down your Android phone.

(1) https://www.androidauthority.com/how-to-turn-off-android-phone-3327467/
(2) https://history-computer.com/how-to-turn-off-android-phone/

Emergency Calls

One of the most important functions of pressing the power and volume down buttons while your phone is locked is the ability to make emergency calls. Even if your phone is locked, you can still press and hold the power button and volume down button simultaneously to bring up the option to make an emergency call (Source 1).

On both iPhones and Android devices, pressing these two buttons will bring up the emergency call screen, allowing you to dial an emergency number like 911 even if you don’t know the phone’s passcode or cannot access the home screen. This ensures that you can still reach emergency services in the event that your phone is locked or unresponsive (Source 2).

Being able to make emergency calls from a locked phone is an important safety feature that could potentially save lives in critical situations where accessing the phone’s full capabilities is not possible. Users should be aware that they can press and hold the power and volume down buttons simultaneously to bring up the emergency call screen on a locked phone.


The volume and power buttons on Android phones can be used to enable various accessibility features that assist users with disabilities or impairments. According to Scope UK, Android phones have an Accessibility section in Settings where users can configure options like screen magnification, color correction, and screen readers (1).

For example, pressing the volume down and power button simultaneously can toggle magnifier mode, which enlarges part of the screen to make content easier to see. This is useful for users with limited vision. The University of Colorado notes that this shortcut works on Android 10 and higher (2). Other accessibility shortcuts may involve triple pressing the power button or long pressing the volume keys.

Enabling these Android accessibility services allows users with disabilities to fully utilize their devices. Instructions for customizing volume and power button shortcuts are available in the system settings.

Volume Control

When the volume down button is pressed on an Android device, it lowers the media volume for sounds like music, videos, games, and other media [1]. This decreases the loudness of audio playback without affecting your ringtone or notification volumes. Pressing volume down repeatedly will continue lowering the media volume incrementally until it is muted.

The volume buttons control the volume levels for different audio streams like media, alarms, and ringtones [2]. So pressing volume down lowers the volume specifically for whichever audio stream is currently active, which is typically media playback from apps like YouTube, Spotify, games, etc. This provides granular control over each audio stream’s volume.

Some Android devices also allow adjusting media volume from the notification shade or quick settings, using an on-screen slider instead of physical buttons [3]. But the effect remains the same – pressing volume down reduces media volume, whether using buttons or touch controls.


Pressing the power and volume down buttons on your smartphone can perform a variety of useful functions. The most common actions include turning off the screen or putting the phone in silent/vibrate mode. Pressing both buttons also allows you to take screenshots or completely reboot your device.

These two buttons working together provide quick access to some of the most used features on a smartphone. Whether you need to discreetly silence your ringer or reboot a frozen phone, knowing the power and volume down button functions will help you get the most out of your device.

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