How to turn off 'Allow Gestures when Locked' on your BlackBerry Z10

Using gestures to unlock
By DJ Reyes on 12 Apr 2013 01:32 pm EDT

One of the coolest features of the BlackBerry 10 platform is the swipe to unlock feature. A feature that I have become so used to that every touchscreen phone I now pick up I try to swipe up to unlock.

It is definitely a feature I have come to love. However, there may be some of you out there who prefer to go old school and only unlock your device with the traditional unlock/lock button located at the top of the device.

This can still be done even with the gesture feature enabled, but if you wanted to complete turn off the gesture to unlock, you have the option to do this.

  • Go to settings by tapping Settings icon on the homescreen or by swiping down from the homescreen and tapping Settings
  • Tap Display from the list
  • Scroll down to Allow Gestures when Locked and toggle the option to off

That's it! You can no longer swipe up to unlock your BlackBerry device, you have to use the unlock/lock button at the top of the device.

If in the future you wish to turn the feature back on, just follow the steps above and toggle the option to on.

Don't forget you can read all our BlackBerry 10 how-tos and tips in our BlackBerry 10 Help section.

Reader comments

How to turn off 'Allow Gestures when Locked' on your BlackBerry Z10


If you check out the forums, quite a few people are experiencing improved battery life with this gesture turned off.

Posted via CB10

Yep. It has helped mine.

I like swiping to unlock but I'd rather have more battery life.

Posted via Crackberry Z10

With battery guru and the gestures turned on, I still get -0.03w on standby. Don't see how it can get any better than that.

Try this. With this feature if you're getting 10 hr battery life, disabling it will give you at least 5-6 more hours. I almost used my z10 for 2 days after disabling it.

Definitely better battery life, when this feature is turned off... It's still awesome to see what happens when you swipe up.

Posted via CB10

battery life improves when you shut the device off as well. Just grab an extra battery people and live your life

Posted via CB10 with my Zed 10

My battery lasts long enough with the gestures and I'm with you on the swiping every touch screen device to unlock, it's a habit now :-D

Posted Via CB10 Á La Z10

It's more about preventing accidental swipe from sliding it into/out of your pocket and less about battery life I'd think.

Still, turning it off shouldn't have much impact on battery: the phone is fully operated with touch after all. Maybe it's the fact that the screen stays off if you don't swipe and doesn't have to render the alpha blending effect?

Posted via CB10

I used to love this feature, but I was forced to turn it off in order to improve my battery life. If they make the feature more battery efficient in the future, then I will turn it back on.

You can also turn off syncing your social networks for an even bigger boost on battery life... To give you an idea... I had a full charge at 1pm and by 11pm i had 80% on my battery... If you can live without syncing your social networks then i suppose you can turn the gestures back on and see how that works for you instead.

I always swipe up to cool! I have never tried "switching off gesture" so I can't tell whether it helps save battery. After owning Z10 for a week, I am satisfied with the battery life ( off a charge after 10 hours with medium use, it is still sitting at 60%). It lasts longer than I expected so I still want to keep "swip up to unlock" :)

Get a case with a magnet to put the phone to sleep and you can keep gestures active, but don't get the battery drain associated with it. I have had Z10 in a magnetic case since I bought it 12 weeks ago and I get between 14 to 18 average ever day even with gestures on with medium usage, so the case disables gestures when it senses the magnet.

Posted via CB10 using my awesome BB Z10

Yep i have the red micro fiber pouch and it turns the screen off when its in the pouch so this wouldnt make a difference to my battery but for people, who dont have the BB pouches ie leather or micro fiber then its a handy tip.

I have the OEM holster and swipe to wake is on, I still get through my usual 18 hours off the charger with fairly similar usage as my 9810, although it finishes at 15% compared to my previous 30-40%. I'm not going to turn off the swipe feature, otherwise that will be one fewer thing that distinguishes the Z10 from the competition.

I only have poor battery life when I'm at work...and that's because my signal is ****** here.

Can someone explain to me why turning off this gesture would impact battery life so much? Is it really just accidentally activating the screen in your pocket? In that case, I probably wouldn't notice any difference as I have the Flip Shell which entirely deactivates the screen when closed. However, if it's because the screen is always in "waiting-for-gesture" mode with this feature turned on, I can see how this could drain your battery FAST. I'd still be interested to know whether deactivating the swipe-to-unlock gesture helped us Flip Shell users at all.

Posted via CB10

Hhhmmm very interesting forum and comments by bbry fans... I'm gona give switching off the gestures a try and see if there is any further improvements to battery life...

Thanks peeps...

Posted via CB10

Can someone from BlackBerry tell us officially if swipe to unlock draws on battery, because I see no difference in wattage draw with Battery Guru, but maybe it doesn't refresh frequent enough

Posted from my amazing Z10


Yes, having the gesture option turned on will force the phone to constantly check to see if there is a gesture that will signal it to do something. This operation will use up more battery power.

It's the same thing with Push vs. Pull email. Ideally you would want push as you don't want your phone to constantly go out and pull information from the email sever to only come back with nothing, that is a waste of battery.

Something with the gesture, you don't want the gesture operation to constantly be checking for a gesture, when it might be in your pocket for an hour or 2 or when you are sleeping, etc.

Posted via CB10

Tried it for one day, but needing to use a button first is really not my way. Switched it back to swiping and loving it.

Same, just swiping is why I love the Z10 (and PlayBook) and it frustrates me when everything else doesn't do it too! Not unintuitive at all, as some reviewers and critics keep calling it.

Correction from my last post:

"Something with gestures" should be "Same thing with gestures"

Didn't know you couldn't edit on the news comment area. At least not on the CB app...

Posted via CB10

The swipe up gesture is a daily occurrence mistake I make on every other phone . I will just continue to enjoy the swipe up gesture. The z10 seems incomplete without it.

Posted via CB10

Already turned off. Better battery life and less accidental swiping. Nice to have the option though.

Posted via CB10

I will continue to use the swipe gesture. I think it's cool. However it's to know how to turn it off. Thank you.

Post via CB10

I thought this option would let you bypass the swipe up, but I still have to do the gesture to get out of the lock screen? In addition to pushing the top button?

Posted via CB10

It deactivates touch sensor so that it does not have to be always awake and wait for user swipe. That will improve battery life. For me swipe is not a big deal and I can use power button. But battery life and reliability is everything for me.

Posted via CB10

Blackberry may consider detecting that the phone is in your pocket and take the touchscreen out of "waiting for gesture" mode and turn it off completely. They could then reactivate this mode the second they detect the phone is coming out of your pocket. Just a thought.


Wouldn't your suggestion still have the same affect as the gesture sensor?

You are just replacing it with another sensor... A put it in your pocket and take it out of your pocket sensor.

Both are sensors that will use battery.

Posted via CB10


using Z10 on Telus , STL100-3

If I turn off this gesture, I still have to swipe up after I click the top power button.
this gesture on just allows me to swipe, either way i have to swipe.

from what Im understanding with rest of comments that it should power on to home screen etc with gesture off and push of power button, NO SWIPPING needed ?

Any way to disable the button between the volume rockers? I always hit it by accident which starts the system audio (Music app or even sometimes browser)?

Posted via CB10

I turned it off. I've pocket dialed with the feature enabled, even though I locked it before putting it in my pocket.

Posted via CB10

Good to know for when there is a time that I don't get the chance to charge my phone within the 10 to 15 hour window.

Posted via CB10

My battery life is great but its good to have the option for those who need it. Personally, I'm going to keep swiping - its uniquely BB!).

Swipe to unlock is one of the few best feature of the z10, it's a pity to disable just to save a few minutes of battery life. Buy the z10 battery charger or other portable charger instead.

Posted via CB10

I am wondering if any feature allow open screen without any lock. That means I even do not need to swipe the screen and can directly use the phone.
I didn't use any lock screen when I use Android device.

Posted via CB10

I had turned this off, but turned it back on after just a day. I didn't realize how much I had gotten used to it until I turned it off. Now it's just a natural motion. And I didn't find it saving any battery drain when it was off, either.

This phone was to smart for its own good, locked and in pocket was making calls to my contact list, I think it was trying to convert my iphone friends, had to turn the feature off.

Posted via CB10

Can anyone tell me if there is an option to use the swipe feature with a password option to unlock the screen? I love the swipe feature but I am forced to use the power button as I would like to have a password to unlock the device.

Posted via CB10

I never turn off the gesture... it's a unique feature from z10... about battery life, I bought power bank so I can charge anytime and anywhere

Thanks for the tip. I have a Z30 (It's called swipe to wake on it) and I just turned it off after pocket dialing 911 twice within 2 weeks.