Powering On The Nexus One Without The Power Button

Category: Hacks

Yesterday evening the inevitable happened; my Nexus One powered off one last time and the finicky power button finally gave leaving me with no way to start the phone. For a while I had been getting by without ever using the power button. I've rooted my phone a while back and the ROM came with a few nice features on the notifications menu such as "Reboot" and "Power Off". It also had the option to wake up the phone with the Track-Ball.

But late last night, after I started charging the Nexus One, I started to press and press & hold the powers button in hope that one magic touch might kick it into powering up again. Complete failure. The Nexus One's power button was dead. So I began planning out for a few days without the phone while I thought I would have to purchase the parts online and get to work on a fix.

The Temporary Solution

After a bit of researching online to determine what I needed in order to fix my phone I came upon a very nice solution that helped me in the mean time. Here are the steps to power the Nexus One without the power button:

  1. get the Nexus One, a USB charging cable and find a power source
  2. plug the USB cable into the power source and connect it to the phone
  3. wait for the charging indicator LED to come on
  4. disconnect the battery (leaving the USB cable connected)
  5. wait for the charging indicator LED to turn off
  6. reconnect the battery: the phone will turn on

Note: Step 6 above must be done before the charging-indicator starts flashing. This will take 2-3 seconds from the time you've disconnected the battery (Step 4). Then the phone will indicate the battery was disconnected by flashing the indicator and then the indicator will become solid again. You have to reconnect the battery while the indicator is off.

That's it. The procedure works wonderfully and it saved me the trouble of being without my phone until I get the parts to actually fix this.

Update: The Nexus One was a great phone. I used it with the broken power button up until it simply got too slow for modern apps and it started constantly running out of memory. Then I upgraded to the Nexus 4 which, while a pretty good deal from a price/performance stand-point was nowhere near the build quality of the Nexus One. I wrote a post on issues with the Nexus 4 here.


is the founder of Donaq, a software development consulting company with a focus on mobility. You can find Mike on Google+ and on LinkedIn.
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