How to hide virtual buttons on Android

How to hide virtual buttons on Android

Android navigation bar

Although mobile gesture navigation systems are all the rage, and everything points to Android 10 being the version that sets this option as the platform's default method, many devices still reach the market with the classic virtual keypad which has been accompanying the operating system since its first versions.

These virtual buttons, although they are the easiest to use navigation method – mainly because we are already familiar with them -, take up valuable device screen space that could be used to show more content, and make the most of the large panels with which manufacturers endow their phones.

Fortunately, thanks to the freedom offered by the operating system, it is possible to hide the virtual buttons in a simple way, and without having to resort to advanced processes such as unlocking the bootloader or obtaining superuser permissions.

Easily hide your mobile virtual buttons with this app

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There are several tools and apps that allow you to hide the Android virtual navigation bar. Simply shop around the Google Play Store customization category, to see how several dozen manufacturers have chosen to develop similar utilities, whose goal after all is exactly the same: allow users to get rid of buttons temporarily, and take full advantage of the size of your mobile screen.

Although the process is similar in most applications, in this case we have decided to use the app Hide Navigation Bar for being totally free, although others such as Granular Immersive Mode or Immersive Mode Manager offer other extra functions such as the possibility of Choose in which applications the buttons should be hidden automatically.

Once the application has been installed, there are two ways to make it work. One of them requires superuser permissions or rootwhile for the other We only need a computer with ADB drivers installed, and a USB cable.

By selecting the option based on ADB, the app itself indicates the instructions to follow. First, they must enable developer options and enable USB debugging. Now you can connect the mobile to the computer with the installed ADB drivers, and through a command console, execute the following instruction:

adb shell pm grant com.ivianuu.hidenavbar android.permission.WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS

After executing the command, it is already possible to disconnect the mobile from the computer, and return to the main screen of the Hide Nav Bar app. Ah, a option called “Main Switch” that must be enabled. This will unlock the "Hide Navigation Bar" function that allows show or hide navigation buttons.

Keep in mind, once the virtual buttons are hidden, it will not be possible to show them again unless the option is deactivated from the app. To do this, it is possible to access directly from the persistent notification to appear on the system's warning panel.

Now that it is possible to hide or show the navigation bar at our leisure, it can be a good time to resort to one of the third-party applications that allow you to use gesture navigation on any mobile. One of our favorite options is Vivid Navigation Gestures, which we already discussed in more detail at the time, although in the Play Store we can find other interesting alternatives such as Pie Controls or Fluid Navigation Gestures.

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About Christian Collado