Caffeine: prevent sleep on Android devices

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 10, 2017
Updated • Jul 11, 2017
Apps, Google Android

Caffeine is a free application for Android devices that prevents sleep, lock or screen dimming automatically or manually.

Power saving modes are essential on mobile devices as these modes will preserve battery when active. That's handy on the one hand, but not so handy in other situations.

Take chat applications like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger for instance. If you don't write for a minute or so, your device may enter the power saving state already depending on how it is configured.

The same may be true when you connected it using an USB cable to a computer or AC charger.

Tip: Caffeine is also available as a PC program that is not related to the Android app, and available for Linux.


caffeine android prevent sleep

The Android application Caffeine has been designed to address these issues. Caffeine at its core can prevent sleep modes on Android devices manually or automatically.

The automated options are further divided into disabling sleep mode when certain applications run on the device, and when the device is connected using an USB cable.

Probably the most interesting option that Caffeine offers is that you may enable the functionality for individual applications. This means, basically, that sleep mode or lock/dim works exactly like before unless one of the selected applications is active.

Caffeine blocks sleep mode when that is the case, so that you don't have to unlock the device frequently when the application is used.

Developers on the other hand may like the USB mode even more than that.  The mode prevents sleep functionality whenever the Android device is connected with an USB cable. Caffeine blocks this when the device is connected to a computer or an AC charger by default. Users of the program may change the default so that it kicks in only when connected to an AC charger or a computer.

Automation improves the convenience significantly. If you want full control, you can use the manual mode exclusively as well.

Caffeine displays a control in the notification area that you may use to toggle its functionality. There is also a widget, if you prefer that. This works like an on and off switch, and prevents a power state change when activated.


The idea behind Caffeine for Android is a good one. The app supports automatic and manual modes which should please all users that give it a try.

I had a couple of issues getting the program to work at all on a recent Android device, and no issues at all on an older device. Regardless of what I tried on the modern device, Caffeine would not activate its functionality.I have yet to find a solution for the issue.

Now You: Do you use sleep or lock modes on your mobile devices?

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  1. said on March 7, 2022 at 1:58 am

    If this app does not keep my screen on what else is the phones problem?

  2. Markus said on July 22, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    I’ve used this app for YEARS… but now it’s no longer available ;-(

    Do you know of an app with similar features? I don’t mean those cheap clones that put themselfs into the Quick Settings and you’ll need to manually activate them.

    I mean a “per app” activation of Caffeine (+on pc connection)?


  3. Heimen Stoffels said on July 11, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Quick tip, Martin: in the linked article you mention that Caffeine is a program for Windows. But it’s also available on Linux and on GNOME Shell there’s even an extension for it so that you can quickly toggle it (and there’s also a Unity indicator). Maybe it’s worth mentioning in this or the linked article.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 11, 2017 at 11:35 am

      Heimen, thanks for the tip. Do you have a link that points to the Linux version?

      1. Heimen Stoffels said on July 11, 2017 at 11:46 am

        You’re welcome :)

        Here’s a link to the project page, which also mentions their PPA for installation on Ubuntu:

        But various other distros have Caffeine in their repos.

        And here’s a link to the GNOME Shell extension:

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on July 11, 2017 at 11:47 am

        Thanks. I have added the Linux link to the article.

  4. Julio said on July 11, 2017 at 10:29 am

    I prefer kinScreen. KinScreen automatically manages your device’s screen to keep it on when you need it and turn it off when you don’t. It just works for me.

  5. dmacleo said on July 10, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    I use stay alive, works well for what I need which is usually always on when plugged in. I have paid version so can customize per app if needed just never needed to.

  6. Ananya said on July 10, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    I use Caffeinate which has a quicktile so that I can hit a timer in 5-minute increments for keeping the screen awake:

  7. Yuliya said on July 10, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I just set the display light timeout to 10 minutes. Btw, this “caffeine” functionality is built-in LineageOS.

  8. Lucas S. said on July 10, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    I’m wondering how’s the interaction between this app and Greenify, without greenifying it, of course. Do they work okay with each other?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 10, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      I don’t run Greenify, so cannot tell you if there are compatibility issues.

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