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Cover image for Staying Alive: The Screen Wake Lock API
Mads Stoumann
Mads Stoumann

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Staying Alive: The Screen Wake Lock API

Friday night I was cooking a delicious vegetarian bolognese — but was annoyed that my iPhone kept dimming the screen, and soon after locking the screen. I know that I can change the "time-to-lock" (or whatever it's called!?) in Settings, but wouldn't it be smarter, if we could tell a webpage to "stay alive"?

The Screen Wake Lock API does exactly that — but, at the moment, only in Chrome.

To test it, I used Chrome on my MacBook.

First, I set the Turn display off after to 1 min:

Battery Settings BigSur

Then I added a checkbox for turning on/off the Wake Lock API. The checkbox is hidden and it's label shown as an icon — the crossed-out, grey eye at the top right corner:


Then, when pressed, the icon changes to an open, green eye:


The JavaScript-code for toggling the Screen Wake Lock is pretty straight-forward:

const wakeLockToggle = document.querySelector('[data-wake-lock] > input');
if (wakeLockToggle && ('wakeLock' in navigator)) {
  let wakeLock = null;
  const wakeLockEnable = async () => { 
    try {
      wakeLock = await navigator.wakeLock.request('screen');
    } catch (err) {
      console.error(`${}, ${err.message}`);
  wakeLockToggle.addEventListener('click', () => {
    if (wakeLockToggle.checked) {
    else {
      .then(() => {
        wakeLock = null;
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Next, I left the MacBook open, touching nothing.

As predicted, it dimmed the screen after one minute. Then I turned on the Screen Wake Lock — and after 3 minutes the screen hadn't dimmed. Hooray!


Unfortunately, Codepen prevents the Screen Wake Lock API from loading due to a feature policy, but I've uploaded a demo here!

Bonus: Structured Markup

Using Google's Rich Snippets is a SEO bonus, so I've added it to the demo-recipe. Using Google's Rich Result Testing Tool, you can preview what Google sees:

Rich Snippet



I used CSS Logical Properties for some of the styles, including border-block-start-width, padding-inline-start and margin-block-end.

If you inspect the demo-markup, change ltr to rtl at the top of the document:

<html lang="en-US" dir="ltr">
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I can only encourage sites with recipes to embrace the Screen Wake Lock API!

Thanks for reading!

Discussion (1)

mattmarquise profile image
Matthew Marquise

This is brilliant! Great post, keep writing!