HTC Desire – problems with proximity sensor — [Fixed with solution]

Since earlier today I started experiencing problems on my HTC Desire with the proximity sensor.  For those that does not know, the proximity sensor switches the screen off when you receive or make a call and places the phone against your ear.  When the call is completed and you remove the phone from your ear, the screen become active again.

In my case the moment I make or receive a call, the screen gets disabled.  I do not even have to put the phone against my ear.  It also means that the touchscreen is disabled and all buttons are disabled which means I cannot end the call, switch on the speaker or enable the keypad. None of the buttons, even the power one works. When the call gets ended by the other party the the screen will be enabled again. The only way to get a working phone again when there is nobody on the other side to end the call is to remove the battery.

What I also find weird is where the sensor should be, top left next to the HTC logo, is nothing.  Does not matter how I look at it, there is just the black strip.

I have found some form of work around by using the earbuds and making/receiving calls like that.  This is not ideal but it is a working solution.  

I have searched to see if there is some app that can disable the proximity sensor since I do not really need it but have found nothing.  So if anybody knows of an app that can disable the proximity sensor then I would appreciate the link. If you have any other suggestions, please comment below.

Update: Based on the comment from Bob Peers, I used a vacuum cleaner and vacuumed over the top area of the phone.  This must have suched all the dust out of there since the sensor is now working as it should be.  Who would have thought it is something so simple. Thanks again Bob.

12 Responses to “HTC Desire – problems with proximity sensor — [Fixed with solution]”

  1. Hilton says:

    Mine is doing something similar, its works great until I want to end the call, then my screen freezes in the disabled mode. I found that holding in return button just before taking the phone from my ear reactivates the screen.
    In really bright sunlight, I have seen the two small dots which make up the sensor.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Hilton, will try your suggestion.

  3. Bob Peers says:

    Same problem here but fixed now. Dust gets into the sensor, see the fix here:

  4. admin says:

    Thanks Bob, will give it a try and see if it fix the problem

  5. admin says:

    Bob, I used a vacuum cleaner to vacuum the dust out and the sensor is working now as it should, thanks again. Have updated the post.

  6. Jones says:

    Screen protector was causing the issue for me. There was some dust between screen and protector, and cutting up left corner of from screen protector was fixing the issue.

  7. Eric says:

    Looks like the solution is to blow hard into the space between the screen and the sensor. I have just tried this and it is back to normal. Caution – one quick blow may not get it working so try as many times as necessary. Short but hard bursts should do the trick. HTC Desire

  8. admin says:

    I use a vacuum cleaner that have a small nozzle and it works perfectly. Apparently it is dust that sits on the sensor .. dust gets in everywhere.

  9. anonymous says:

    I have the same problem. I spilled water on my phone so the cvacuum cleaner didn’t do the trick for me. With the new firmware though, which can be downloaded from, the screen lightens up when pressing the lock button once when calling. Maybe this helps some people having this issue.

  10. Kern says:

    Vacuum cleaner worked for me! I vacuumed the front and took the battery out of the back and had a suck around in there, did the trick! Nice oneeeeeeee.

  11. ian says:

    thanks .this fix simple..but you would not think to do this.

  12. Oscar says:

    The vacuum cleaning didn’t work for me, but blowing some high pressure air against the proximity sensor hole did, so it definitely was just a dust problem 🙂

    Thx for making us aware of this!

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