How can the buttons be swapped in Android.
Looking back at the first button phones, it’s hard to imagine how long it took us to get used to the new interface and key placement. Changing them was difficult, as it would have required changing the entire design. In current mobile phones, this is different, since you can improve the position of the buttons and their appearance by changing a couple of values in the settings, without further ado. Let’s find out how to rearrange the controls on your Android.
What are the buttons at the bottom for?
Owners of phones running Android 10 and later may not even remember the existence of these buttons, as they have gradually been replaced by borderless screen mode, where all actions are done with taps and swipes.
However, if you return to classic mode in settings, the usual navigation keys at the bottom of the screen should reappear. Yes, navigation, because its main task is to navigate between applications, the desktop and the active program, as well as browser pages.
There are normally exactly three function keys installed:
- “All applications”. This button opens a list of running processes, allowing you to switch between them or close them. In some applications, this button, when long pressed, brings up an additional control menu (for example, in Chrome it is the side menu at the top right of the screen).
- “Home”. It is used to minimize the active application and switch to the home screen. When long pressed, it performs a programmed function, by default it calls Google Assistant.
- “Behind”. Go back to the previous page of the app or website. It can be used to close an application if it is pressed frequently. In browsers, long presses on this key will bring up the history of the last action.
A fourth key, the “Special Features” key, also appears occasionally. Allows you to operate the phone with one hand.
How to change your location
Depending on the device model, the key adjustment algorithm also changes considerably. We will only list the three most popular Android brands. Please note that the same steps will also work on phones with the same case.
For example, the actions for Huawei can work for Honor, and the actions for Xiaomi are identical for all phones with the MIUI shell.
The Chinese brand has taken care of such a beautiful detail as the navigation controls. And they have made it quite easy to use. The algorithm of actions:
- Open the Settings app. To do this, tap on the gray gear on the home screen.
- In the menu that opens, go to “System and updates”.
- Click on “System Navigation”.
- Next, select the “Three Navigation Buttons” option.
- In the selection menu that opens, select the desired key sequence.
Done. The option will change instantly.
The Korean mobile phone manufacturer also decided to take this nuance into account, but solved it in its own way. The algorithm for Samsung:
- Open the settings. To do this, simply open the notification shade (by sliding your finger down) and then select the gear in the upper right corner.
- Tap on “Display” in the list of settings.
- Open the “Navigation Bar” subsection.
- Select one of the two variants of the button layout.
The changes will also take effect immediately.
Another popular Chinese brand has added key personalization, which can be activated as follows:
- Go to “advanced settings”. It’s near the bottom of the menu.
- Next, open the “Unlimited Screen” subsection.
- Activate the toggle switch in front of “Swap Buttons”.
Done. To cancel the operation, the toggle switch must return to its original position. Note that “Buttons” and not “Unlimited Screen” should be selected.
Through the ADB
This method requires access to a computer, as well as some basic console knowledge. We recommend using this method as a last resort when nothing else works. Action algorithm:
- Turn on USB debugging on your phone. Read how to do it here.
- Install the ADB software on your computer. Follow this link to do so (the file will download immediately).
- Run the console in the ADB folder. To do this, just open the desired folder, click on “File” in the upper left corner and select “PowerShell” or “Command Prompt”.
- Connect the phone to the computer via USB.
- Make sure the device is found. To do this, enter “adb devices”. If a line appears in “List of connected devices”, the device is found.
- Enter the command “adb shell” to start the Android terminal.
- Enter the command “settings put secure sysui_nav_bar “space,recent;home;back,space”” to change the button sequence.
Done. The buttons at the bottom of the home screen will change. To set their order, exchange the commands in quotes separated by semicolons.
What to do if the buttons have disappeared
Sometimes it happens that the buttons just disappear after you have done some work. This is a nasty image, but getting the buttons back is pretty easy. Most likely you have enabled unlimited mode during setup. Unfortunately, the algorithm to disable it is different for each model. Therefore, we cannot offer a one-size-fits-all solution.
If the problem is not with the selected mode, try restarting the device. If this does not work either, follow the steps in the previous section again, indicating exactly the names of the buttons in point 7.
Unfortunately, even in operations as simple as this, something can go wrong. Problems usually occur in the last few steps, when the keys should have changed, but they didn’t.
If this is the case, we recommend taking the following steps to resolve the issue:
- Reboot the device.
- Clear Android cache.
- Check if the configuration changes have been saved.
We hope we have been able to help. Thank you for reading.