How to Deter a Metal Detector From Detecting a Cell Phone

By Melissa King

Cellphones, once a rare and expensive commodity, are now a necessity for many people. Children and teenagers take cellphones to school, and adults use their phones to conduct business away from the office. Some places, such as schools, see cellphones as a distraction. Many schools ban cellphone use, and they monitor students who enter the building with a metal detector. Airport security checkpoints also employ metal detectors to help officers find potentially dangerous objects, like knives or pepper spray. If you do not want a metal detector to find your cellphone, it is possible to shield the device with your hand.

Step 1

Cup your hand around the cellphone. Ensure that your hand covers all parts of the cellphone. The metal detector will locate any uncovered parts.

Step 2

Press your hand firmly against either side of your body to form a shield around the phone.

Step 3

Walk through the metal detector portal as quickly as possible. When walking through, keep the cellphone away from the side of the metal detector.

Tips & Warnings

  • A dismantled cellphone, with the battery separated from the body, may also make it through a metal detector.
  • In some places, such as airports or courthouses, officers ask you to place your cellphone in a tray for scanning before you pass through the metal detector. This scan does not damage the phone, so there is no need to sneak the phone through the metal detector.
  • Do not attempt to sneak a cellphone through an airport security metal detector. If caught, security officers may pat you down or search you.