Casio 5600 LCD Test Screen

Casio G-Shock Secret Features and Hidden Screens

Posted by Mike Johnson on in Tutorials

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gshock_button_reference Casio G-shocks are fun and affordable digital watches that pack a surprising amount of useful features. World time, stopwatch, timer, tide-graph, and moon phase are just a few of the things an ordinary G-shock is capable of. What’s even better, most G-Shock owners aren’t even aware of some of their watches have hidden and secret capabilities.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the lesser known Casio G-shock secret features along with some interesting diagnostic modes that can help you discover functionality and even find potential problems.

See also: Our Complete G-Shock “Master of G” Collector’s Guide.

LCD Display Test

Casio G-Shock LCD Display Test Mode

Casio G-Shock LCD Display Test Mode

Just like a car’s dashboard, most Casio G-Shock models have an LCD test that will illuminate every possible segment of the LCD display. This can help you determine if there is any damage to a particular display function that might prevent you from knowing if it’s activated or not. This is also a neat way to see all of the hidden display features embedded in your watch.

To access LCD diagnostic mode:

  • In timekeeping mode, press buttons (A), (C) and (D) simultaneously
  • All segments of the LCD display will activate
  • Press (D) to cycle through display test modes
  • Last screen will show Casio module number
  • Press any button to return to normal

Tilt Sensor Test Screen

Casio G-Shock Tilt Sensor Diagnostic Mode

Casio G-Shock Tilt Sensor Diagnostic Mode

All Casio models with the auto-illumination feature use a basic tilt sensor to determine the position of the watch face. If you’re having problems with your Auto-EL, you may have a faulty tilt sensor. Luckily, Casio engineers have built in a tilt-sensor diagnostic mode that you can use to diagnose potential problems.

To access the tilt-sensor diagnostic screen:

  • In timekeeping mode, press buttons (A), (B) and (C) simultaneously
  • The screen will display TLT
  • The display will show ‘8888’ when the sensor is activated
  • Press any button to return to normal

Our 4 Favorite G-Shocks

  • The G-Shock 5610 Solar Atomic

    The G-Shock 5610 Solar Atomic

  • The G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400

    The G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400

  • The G-Shock G-Rescue 7900B

    The G-Shock G-Rescue 7900B

  • The G-Shock Mudman

    The G-Shock Mudman

Solar Panel Test

Casio G-Shock Solar Sensor Diagnostic Mode

Casio G-Shock Solar Sensor Diagnostic Mode

G-Shock models with the “tough solar” designation use special batteries and an array of small solar panels to stay charged. If you’re having problems charging your watch even when it’s exposed to direct sunlight, you may have damaged your solar panels. To test if your solar panels are functional, you can use the built in solar diagnostic mode.

To access the solar diagnostic screen:

  • In timekeeping mode, press buttons (A), (B) and (D) simultaneously
  • The screen will display SLR
  • The display will show ‘8888’ when the solar cell is receiving light
  • Press any button to return to normal

If the battery is completely charged, the solar panels may not accept additional sunlight.

Power Saving Mode

Casio G-Shock Power Saving Mode

Casio G-Shock Power Saving Mode

Another great feature buried in the Casio G-Shock manual is the ability to automatically conserve power when not in use. The power-saving feature will automatically turn off the display after 60-70 minutes of inactivity. In this sleep mode, all other functions of the watch (including alarm and radio sync) remain active. After 6 or 7 days of inactivity, the watch will go into “deep sleep” mode which turns off auto-receive, beeps and tones, illumination, and display.

To turn on power saving mode:

  • In time-keeping mode, hold down button (A) until the city code starts to flash
  • Press (C) nine times until power settings screen appears (will display PS)
  • Press (D) to toggle on or off
  • Press (A) again to set and exit


G-Shock Auto Illuminator Mode Activated

G-Shock Auto Illuminator Mode Activated

This is probably one of the better-known hidden features of the Casio G-Shock, but still one that many people don’t realize exists. Most G-Shocks with the backlight illumination feature actually have an “auto-illumination” mode, a nifty feature that automatically illuminates the watch when it is tilted towards your face 15 degrees. Although this feature is known to drain your battery faster, it’s smart enough to disable itself if the watch falls below full charge. Additionally, the feature will only remain active for six hours before needing to be re-activated manually.

To turn on auto-illumination:

  • Hold down button (B) for 3 seconds
  • The wording “A. El” will appear on the dial if successful
  • Hold down button (B) for 3 seconds to manually disable, otherwise it will self-disable after 6 hours.

Unfortunately, not all Casio watches have access to these hidden or secret features. The only way to know if your watch can do the above is to test it yourself.

We hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial on accessing secret and hidden features inside your Casio G-shock, please post any secret or hidden functions we may have missed in the comments below!

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About the Author

Mike Johnson

Mike Johnson is the managing editor and primary contributor to Born into a military family as the son of US Navy pilot, Mike spent many of his formative years studying Computer Science and User Experience Design. When not obsessing over watches, Mike spends time hiking, traveling, and spending time with his family in Phoenix, Arizona.

Comments 34

  1. VangelisA

    I own CASIO’S (G-Shock mostly) from 1983 and it’s the first time to know about these diagnostic tricks.Very important and helpfull.Thanks.
    I made the “Tilt Sensor Test Sceen” to one of my recent G-Shocks (GW-5510-1) and 8888 never appeared.I know that the AUTO-EL doesn’t work from a moment and after, but I wanted to make the test anyway.
    All other tests OK.Any idea about the Tilt Sensor not working??
    I try to find new module to replace it but I can’t find a seller.
    Any help will be much appreciated.

    1. Post
      Mike Johnson

      Hmm, that’s a tough one. If your watch is from 1983, you’ve got an original model. Not only is it 34 years old, but it was the first generation G-shock. It’s likely the tilt sensor just no longer works, which would also cause the Auto-EL not to work. I’m not sure you can fix that without replacing the entire module, so I would just live with it as a quirk of a really unique vintage digital watch.

  2. Don Kinghan

    Hi I have just taken delivery of Protrek PWR3500. The battery was dead on arrival. One day later after charging, the time now shows BUT some of the LCD segments are not showing on all displays….I tried the LCD test above but doesnt seem to work for the Protrek.

    Do you know if there is a similar test for the Protrek? Does it just need more charging because it arrived dead or does this sound like it is a definite display problem…I will need to return it to the supplier if it is a problem.

    1. Post
      Mike Johnson

      Yeah these tests don’t work on the Protreks. Honestly, it sounds like you just got a faulty display (especially if it’s new). I would return it and get a functioning one.

  3. Amir Sharifuddin Bin Md Zahari

    Hi just received my G-Shock GX-56BB-1DR…the module no. is 3221 which is written on the paper casing (box) on the owner’s manual booklet and also stamped on the st.steel back but when I check on the watch itself (pressing buttons A+C+D then D) the module no displayed was 3179….can you kindly comment on this…Thank you very much

    1. Vlatko

      Hi Amir
      I know it’s been 2 years since you posted this but just curious.
      I just purchased a frogman and did the same think checked for the module and same think. Module 3184 is on the watch the instructions but when I do the acd test it comes up as module 3193. Did you get an answer elsewhere for your question you posted above. I would appreciate if you did and let me know
      Thank you

    2. Darren Williams

      hi bro, mine is the same too, seems that it is still original base on other forum and articles.

  4. David

    As I was testing these features I held down ‘C’ by accident and the sound feature stopped working. Held it again and started again. Great to find all these extra little tricks. Probably sounds like a dinosaur these days with the new fitbits etc. but I like the usability of the G-Shock

  5. Alex Nikolla

    Hi. My 3405 (?)
    Has suddenly stopped it’s auto resetting of the time and date like it has been since the beginning. Nothing had changed as far as my location of where I am sleeping, etc. It would change every night, sometimes skipping a night or two, randomly between 1:05 and 3:05 am….. I checked to see if the feature was still on. I even shut it then put it back on. Any thoughts??

  6. Skyhawk

    Casio knowingly sold 1000’s of watches (gw7900) among others, that had defective micro-switches, causing the auto light feature inoperative.
    So what if you can diagnose it? Casio has, and will continue to, refuse to honor the warranty on those watches.
    After telling me that it would be covered under warranty and to send it in for repair at MY expense, they held my watch hostage and demanded I pay for the repair and return shipping.
    I told them to stick their piece of junk up their arse.
    I will never buy another Casio product.

  7. siamak gilasi

    hi. i have g-shock ga 1100 serie and when i do press buttons (A), (B) ,(C) and (D) simultaneously the all of hand turn to 12 o’clock and lcd just showing 1 00 . It can be said that this is the same as power saving in this models?! plz help me and if you want to see that i can send you picture about that. thnx

  8. Manish

    Just received my G-shock (Module 5081). Was just wondering is there any way to make the digital display little brighter or can change the contrast?? The watch is fine but the digital display is too dim 🙁

  9. Martin Bučko

    Thank you for this site, they are very helpful. In verifying the information I found another hidden function. In radio setting mode, press buttons B, C, D and the display will show “J 40”. Pressing the D button further changes to “J 60”, “U 60”, “G 77”, “L 60”, “B 01”, “D 02”, “G 03”, “T 04”. I return to the default mode with C. Do you know what those symbols mean?

  10. Sean Dobbs

    I have a 9052 from way back (still love it) and upon finding your article I followed the A,C,D display test and it worked fine. But the follow up D press just brought me back to the time setting. According to several sites this indicates a fake. Since this was bought around 98-2000 I ask, could the watch not have the option test function for this model? Am I not running the test correctly?
    I bought it at an authorized dealer. It was way before I bought online.
    Thanks for any thoughts.

  11. Toussaint

    For the LCD diagnostic mode, when you begin cycling using the D button, the first (not the last screen) will show the Casio module number. For those mechanical watch enthusiasts, a module is similar to a movement in the Casio quartz world.

  12. Youssef Qassem

    I tried those diagnostic tests and all passed except Solar Panel Test. I do have GX-56BB, I tried to perform the steps several times but no reponse and SLR does not show… Any advice?

  13. DocG

    in time keeping mode my watch is stuck on UTC. Model 3193 3200 solar atomic. tried resetting my city many times (to LAX) but no joy: always goes back to UTC. Suggestions?

  14. Phil Gilbert

    I have an interesting problem; I’ve had the GW-7900 for some time now, and very pleased EXCEPT one thing. if I turn on the power saving, often it won’t come back to life for some time, despite movement, pushing buttons, sunlight etc. When it eventually starts up, the time is set to 12:00 and the date 1/1/00, and it’s a hassle to have to reset it as it doesn’t always receive the time signal. I now avoid turning on the power saving although I feel it’s a good feature. Any thoughts?

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