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Tip: Turning on Accessibility Options in Sense 5 on the HTC One Breaks the Lock Screen

htc one lock screen

Since day 1 with my unlocked HTC One, I have experienced issues with the lock screen of the device, and for the life of me could not figure out the problem. Well, until today, thanks to the Play store release of Floating Notifications. During the initial launch tutorial for the app, the developer made reference to an HTC Sense 5 bug that was breaking the lock screen if a user enabled any of the services under the Accessibility setting. As someone who uses a Pebble, and it’s pairing app that requires an Accessibility service to be turned on, this was the exact root to my problems. 

The video below demonstrates the issue, but I’ll explain it anyway. You see, the traditional Sense 5 lock screen requires a swipe up anywhere on the screen or the dragging and dropping of your dock app shortcuts in order to unlock. With an Accessibility service turned on, the entire thing breaks. With a service turned on, all you need to do is touch your screen with a single finger and the device becomes unlocked. No swiping needed.

Where my blood boiled, was when the device would automatically answer incoming calls should I receive one and pull the phone out of my pocket. On almost every occasion, the phone would answer calls before I could even flip it over to see who was trying to reach me. Also, even if the phone was lying on my desk, the broken lock screen would make it almost impossible to decline a call.

This issue affects anyone who wants to pair their Pebble to their One, or who use apps like Floating Notifications that requires an Accessibility service to be turned on. It’s a pretty significant bug, to say the least, and one that I’m surprised HTC has ignored for this long. Then again, maybe they were unaware of the fix for all this time, just like I was.

I should point out that WidgetLocker can be installed to fix the device from unlocking with a single tap, though the dialer will bypass third party lock screens when receiving calls, so it won’t fix that problem.

You can try using Pattern or PIN options through Sense 5, but that adds another step to accessing shortcuts and such (sort of defeats the purpose). It also doesn’t fix the incoming call bug.

We were able to replicate the issue on a Sprint HTC One as well, so it’s not just the unlocked version. We weren’t able to test it on an AT&T version, though I wouldn’t be surprised if the issue was there.


  • Erik Gil

    thank you so much, the touch screen to unlock was so annoying because i like changing songs through my lock screen and i wasnt able to do that. i had flash alerts on and it didnt mess up. i think this problem is caused when you install floating notifications.

  • This is indeed a great site! Very informative and
    interesting to read.

  • Josh Shaw

    Works fine on Sense 5, on 4.2.2. So I guess HTC fixed it 😀

  • jordan

    All you have to do to make the lockscreen work with accessibility is turn off explore by touch settings–accessibility- talkback screen hit menu button in the top right-settings scroll towards the bottom and uncheck/turnoff explore by touch

    Once you do this you should have no problem using the lock screen with accessibility on

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Damn it!…Yo Kellen any new rumors about Launch Date for the One on Verizon. The Resale value of my GS4 is dropping by the week.

    • Justin Winker

      My sources say sometime this “summer”. Your welcome.

      • Blue Sun

        Per Sarge?

        • Justin Winker

          No, per Peter Chou.

  • Blue Sun

    Sense causing a bug? This is a first.

    • LionStone

      Which software is perfect without bugs?

      • Blue Sun

        True, true… I should be looking at these bugs as features!

        • Josh Shaw

          But this is HTC we’re talking about, not Samsung.

  • David Wanless

    floating notifications needs to be named “floatifications”

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      You win.

  • jordanb

    Maybe Verizon knew about it…

    • Dylan Patel

      That’s why they don’t have the phone dude.

      • zwade

        That’s the joke…

        • Dylan Patel

          I know, I was going along with the joke.

  • Stewie

    Heck, same goes for Google’s own browser, when JB was released, having accessibility options on breaks Quick Controls on the stock browser, something many many many have implored google to take a look at. But since they want to foist chrome upon us, and it’s still under “Labs” they just don’t seem to care ….

  • Sol

    AT&T HTC One owner here. I have the same problem too. I learned about this when I tried using Notify Me! Widgetlocker fixes the issue, but I really like the Sense5 lockscreen!

  • David Triscari

    I need larger fonts due to vision issues. This makes me a sad panda.

    • djinn123

      Not all options in the Accessibility Menu causes the problem. The issue is with activating remotely connected devices via the Accessibility Menu. Other options like font size, etc, have no issues

  • Ryan Stewart

    And that is one of the many reasons that, despite loving their hardware, I dropped HTC a while ago for Nexus devices. The skins of all manufacturers always seem to have some impact on APIs or don’t play nice with specific applications. I ran into it all of the time on my old Evo, 3rd party apps wouldn’t play nice with the skin or the skin wouldn’t play nice with them or Android features.

    Now, if they made a Google Edition One that had on-screen buttons instead of those oddly laid out capacitive ones I’d consider them again (only briefly though as long as Google is piratically giving the Nexus away.

    • Drome

      Have you used 4.2.2 on a nexus? It is buggy as hell.

      • JMonkeYJ

        that’s true, but as someone who just switched from Nexus 4 to HTC One, i can tell you that Sense is buggier. i don’t regret my switch at all, tho, and maybe i’ll be able to switch back to stock after the 26th….

        • Justin Winker

          I personally disagree.. I haven’t experienced any bugs with the Sense software myself. My N4 was speedy, but my N10 has massive input lag/lag in general, and I prefer the look of Sense at the moment. I, of course, am excited to see what’s changed in the next major release of Android, though.

          • Drome

            I second justin. I also switched from a nexus 4 to HTC One. Sense is much smoother and faster in every way, especially on long lists like text messages. Not to mention i dont get MSM_HSICHOST wakelocks any more and my bluetooth works.

          • Justin Winker

            There are a ton of things both have, but BlinkFeed and AVRCP 1.4 are both things I enjoy as well – I hated not having Metadata on my car’s in-dash unit.

          • JMonkeYJ

            I guess it’s a combination of all the small things that make it seem so buggy to me: the flickering notification bar when you go in and out of apps, pulling up on the media player on the lock screen doesn’t open the media player (but other notifications open their apps), the inability the shut down the phone from the lock screen, I could go on. Again I love the phone and do not regret the switch at all, I just wanted to point out distinct examples of what could be called “lack of polish” in the nicest of terms, but feel like bugs to me.

          • Justin Winker

            I never noticed the Notification shade flickering until you mentioned it, but the lock screen is definitely inconsistent. I’m interested in the updates 4.2 brings to Sense 5. I’d think better (read: customizable) lockscreen widgets would be on the table. My biggest pet peeve is about the Play Music widget on it – the Pause/Play button is way too reactive.. I always try to change the song and instead it just pauses it. I spose that’s not an HTC thing, though.

          • JMonkeYJ

            oh no…hope i didn’t ruin it for you by drawing your attention to the flicker. haha!

      • Ryan Stewart

        As in? My Nexus 4 is running great. As was my GNex prior. The N10 isn’t as fast but that was to be expected with the dual and ridiculous display.

        But my previous two HTC phones any app that was expecting the android gallery, music player, lock screen, camera, etc always struggled because HTC replaced them.

      • sk3litor

        4.2x was janky on all devices. The best build Android ever made was 4.1.2 I personally think

    • LionStone

      Sorry man, even my stock Nexus 7, is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Especially after the latest update.

      • Kevin McDole

        Mine lags so bad. Every time it hangs on me, I wonder why everybody seems to love stock so much. My Rezound lags a lot of the time, but it never locks up on me.

  • I really hope that they fix this by the time it launches on Viva Movil!

    • El_Big_CHRIS

      I’m surprised no one here complained that this joke was overused.

      • michael arazan

        Come on, its fun to say, but it does sound like a cold play song

  • Jaxon Wright

    cue Apple fanboys

  • As someone waiting for the Verizon HTC One and a Pebble, this makes me sad to see. Hopefully it is fixed by the time it releases.

    • Justin Winker

      Rumor had it the One on Vzw would launch with 4.2.2, but I don’t know if it’s been confirmed or anything. I would think they would fix this bug in that release.

      • LionStone

        That would be pretty nice to get 4.2.2 with the bugs all worked out. I’d say that rumour is not too far off given the extra time they have with it before releasing it on VZW.

        • Justin Winker

          Agreed. If 4.2.2 launches for the One in the next week or so, as is rumored, I don’t see a reason HTC wouldn’t launch it with the Vzw version. If they don’t, the Vzw One won’t be seeing 4.2.2 for quite some time…

          • LionStone

            HTC has to know because the ONE doesn’t have 4.2.2, it is a point of contention, therefore are working furiously to get it done. I won’t buy it when it comes to VZW if it doesn’t have the latest update. I’ll wait, I’m in no hurry I’m still enjoying my DNA 🙂