How To Scan NFC Tags Without Unlocking Your Android Device [Guide]

How to scan NFC Tags without unlocking your Android device – The acronym NFC stands for Near Field Communication or Proximity Communication and is a technology that provides two-way wireless (wireless) connectivity over a short distance and that allows you to have access in this way to various information. For example, nowadays in many countries around the world, you might find advertisements at the bus stop or even business cards with NFC tags. To know what is contained in these NFC Tags, all you have to do is scan them using a compatible Android device, such as a smartphone that uses NFC technology, and in this way, you will be able to obtain complete information on what the NFC Tag contains. In many countries around the world, it is even possible to make a payment using this technology.

The NFC Tag can be scanned at very short distances, a maximum of about 10 cm with speeds higher than those of the usual QR Codes or barcodes. To be able to scan these NFC Tags, the user only needs to unlock their NFC compatible device, bring it closer, and start the scan. However, many users would like to scan NFC Tags without unlocking their Android device and if you are among them, you should know that there is a handy module for Magisk Manager called NFC Screen Off, which can allow those who install it on the phone to be able to do just this task in a very easy way. Once the module is installed, it will no longer be necessary to unlock the device to scan the NFC Tags, but simply place the device, still locked, next to an NFC Tag and you’re done, no longer wasting time with unlocking and locking the phone.

But before listing the steps to be able to use this module that allows you to scan NFC Tags without unlocking your Android device, there are some important things that are worth knowing:

  • In order to scan NFC tags without unlocking the device, the Android device must have the Root permissions active and consequently, the Bootloader must also be unlocked. You must also have installed a custom recovery such as TWRP
  • You must have Magisk Manager installed on your device
  • This module will directly modify the system NfcNci.apk file. Because of that, the device may not be able to satisfy the test SafetyNet of Google and consequently, you will not be able to use NFC payments. Well, you might consider this limitation as a blessing in disguise. This is because making contactless payments on devices that allow payment without unlocking the phone and therefore even when you have the device in your pocket or purse, is never a good idea from a security point of view. If payments via NFC are important to you, despite the danger of a payment made with the screen off (and perhaps without you noticing it), you can fool the Android operating system into believing that Magisk Manager is not present on the phone by installing a module called Magisk Hide. in this way you can avoid problems due to Google SafetyNet.
  • Generally, the installation of any module for Magisk, if the device is compatible, does not lead to negative consequences, but it must also be said that installing this module (like any other module for Magisk Manager) to scan NFC Tags with the screen off, in the most extreme cases it could lead to damage to the device’s operating system or give rise to bootloops. In this case, the TechVaz staff will not be held responsible, so proceed at your own risk, and before installing the module run a nandroid backup so at least play it safe because you will have a backup copy on your phone in case something goes wrong. However, in the case of a bootloop, it is usually easily solved by uninstalling the module via TWRP Recovery

Having said this and warned the user, even on the most catastrophic scenarios that could happen if something were to go wrong by installing the module for Magisk Manager, which however is valid for any module that is installed, here’s how to scan NFC Tags without unlock your android device:

  • Open the Magisk Manager app and tap the icon at the top left that allows you to access the menu
  • Go now to the Download section
  • Using the search bar visible on the screen, type the name of the NFC Screen Off module. This module will give you a way to scan NFC Tags without unlocking your Android device
  • Then tap the Download icon next to it and then press Install
  • Wait for the module to be installed on the smartphone, which usually happens within a few seconds, and at the end, restart the device by pressing the Restart item located at the bottom right of the screen
  • When your phone restarts, you will be able to scan NFC tags without unlocking your Android device

That’s all for this guide and now you can easily scan any NFC tag without the need to unlock your Android device every time, but just bring the device close to the NFC Tag to have it scan even if the screen is off. However, keep in mind that every time you restart your device, you should wait for at least a period of 30 seconds before scanning any NFC tags. Magisk Manager also has many other modules.

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Samuel Afolabi is a lazy tech-savvy that loves writing almost all tech-related kinds of stuff. He is the Editor-in-Chief of TechVaz. You can connect with him socially :)