Windows Your Phone Apps Page
Windows Your Phone Apps Page

I woke up this morning totally unable to turn off my Android phone’s alarm, as the minutes passed I realised that I couldn’t interact with the phone at all using the touchscreen.

It would register a finger pressed on the screen judging by the animations, but not actually do anything. I was left looking at the lock screen and even though it confirmed the phone was unlocked with Smart Lock it wouldn’t allow me to move off that page.

I also couldn’t force the phone to restart by holding down the power button! Yes, it initially went to the shutdown/restart menu but no matter how long I pressed the power button for it never went any further.

I was left with no option than to wait till the phone ran out of power, and with a fully charged Samsung Galaxy S10+ that could take a very long time if I wasn’t using the phone for work, music, games or, you know, as a phone. After I was left staring at an important incoming call that I couldn’t answer I was furious and frustrated – ready to grab a hammer and pound the somewhat expensive paperweight into oblivion. I calmed down eventually but it’s only because I was distracted by squirrels outside my living room window that the S10+ still exists.

Two hours later I was sat at my desk (working from home) when I remembered Windows Your Phone… in theory, if it would connect, then I could at least use the phone for calls and texts through the PC. That’s when I noticed that Your Phone got an update overnight with some new features. It now lets you control a few more functions on your phone straight from your computer.

You can :

  • Set and unset Do Not Disturb mode,
  • Adjust the volume,
  • Turn the audio player on and off (though I couldn’t find any track controls when I went back later to check),
  • Turn Bluetooth off and on.

It was while investigating these new Your Phone features that when I turned Bluetooth off I was suddenly able to use the phone as if nothing had happened. Even when turning Bluetooth back on using the Windows app I was still in full control of my phone and it was recognising screen input as it always used to.

So, if you also found that your phone was bricked this morning and it’s taunting you with alarms you cannot silence or calls you can’t answer, check your PC to see if an update designed to improve the user experience is the reason that you’re going out of your mind right now. If so, toggling the Bluetooth off and on again from the PC could well be the simple fix you’re looking for.

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