Microsoft's Continuum for phone is certainly one of the more interesting aspects of the new Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. While some people are dismissive of it, many change their mind once they see using your phone as a PC can be quite useful.
However, all is not perfect. One complaint I have seen a lot of is in regards to the phone's display staying on 100% of the time. If you turn the display power off using the side button, it also kills the Continuum function. This inability to power off the display could be a problem for some who would prefer to leave their phone connected to the Display Dock for hours on end with a wired mouse. While the phone does use the USB-Quick Charge feature diagnostics tells us that the number one power drain is an active display on the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL.
Luckily, there is now a freeware app called simply Disable Screen and that is all it does – it blanks and disables the display while connected to Continuum. This function should allow more rapid charging of the battery and keep the heat down maybe as well.
To use Disable Screen just connect to the Display Dock and once setup navigate on your phone to the app and enable it (you could do it through Continuum on your external display, but this will cause the two to shift focus and is a tad confusing).
Of course, the next question you may have his How to power it back on? Turns out, the app is cleverer than you would think.
While the display is off and it does not respond to touch, you can still swipe up from the bottom to bring back the action keys (Back, Start, Search). Once those are visible, you can hit the Windows key or Back key to go to a live display. This function means at no point you need to break the Continuum connection to the Display Dock.
Overall, Disable Screen is a win-win app in our book. I've been using it for the last 20 minutes without any immediate issues, and I feel confident to recommend it. I hope to see Microsoft build such a feature into Windows Phone at some point, but I can see how discoverability and control could be an issue.
Regardless, for now, you can download it for free and start being even more productive...like a boss.
Thanks, Zsolt M., for the tip!
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.