April 5, 2021
Samsung phones may be the world’s largest producer of Android phones, however, that doesn’t guarantee these devices are flawless right out of the box. In reality, most of these phones come with a slew of issues at first—how here’s to fix a lot of them.
Altering the launcher, using custom themes, moving to all Google apps, and more are all steps in this process. We have a thorough guide that will walk you through all of the steps to make your Galaxy phone feel more stock-like, so I recommend reading it. The best part is that you don’t have to make any of the changes at once; it’s not an all-or-nothing situation.
So, this is a little bit more personal than the rest. If you want to use a Samsung phone but enjoy the stock Android experience, you can do so.
Almost all Samsung phones come with a many of extra junk loaded right out of the box. Some of it could be from your provider, and others could be from Samsung. Although you should be given the choice of whether or not to install Samsung apps during the setup process, you can always delete them later if you think you don’t really need them.
Drop down the notification shade and tap the cog icon in the upper right corner to begin removing bloatware from your screen. Tap the “Apps” option in the Settings menu.
Click any app you want to get rid of in the Apps menu. Either of two choices will most likely be available: Uninstall or Disable. The former deletes the app from your phone, while the latter simply places it in a “dormant” state. It will not appear in your app drawer, and you will not receive updates from it. It’s gone for all intents and purposes.
However, certain device apps, such as Bixby Vision, cannot be removed or disabled because they are essential to the system. Since it’s part of a larger software tool called Bixby, disabling it will ruin other features, so Samsung won’t let you uninstall it.
If you have a modern Galaxy phone with a Bixby Button, such as the S9 or Note 8, there’s a fair chance you don’t even want (or need) it.
Fortunately, Bixby can be turned off. Samsung doesn’t have a quick tap-to-disable button for Bixby; instead, it needs several steps.
The problem is that with Bixby disabled, you’re left with a useless icon on the side of your screen. You can remap the button to use it if you want to. Since Samsung doesn’t support this feature natively, you’ll need to use a third-party app. If you’re interested in learning more about the Bixby button, we have a complete explainer and tutorial available.
It might not happen immediately, but Samsung’s own app store—Galaxy Apps—will almost certainly begin to bombard you with alerts. You’ll need to disable alerts for Galaxy Apps to get rid of them (or prevent them from starting).
To get started, open the Galaxy Apps store (if you’re using the stock launcher, it’s in the Samsung folder) and then tap the three-dot menu button in the upper right corner. Select the “Settings” command from the dropdown menu.
Pick Notifications from the Settings tab. Slide the “General Notifications” toggle to the off spot on the App Notifications tab.
Samsung has always been about “Edge Panels”—small menus on the side of the monitor that add functionality—since the S7 Edge. Edge Panels, on the other hand, get in the way if you don’t use them.
You can, fortunately, turn them off. To switch off the edge panels, go to Settings > Display > Edge Screen and toggle the “Edge Panels” toggle.
Always-on displays are a great way to get quick access to details without sacrificing battery life. You can customize Always On Display on any Galaxy phone to make it all the more useful.
Go to Settings > Lock Screen and Security > Always On Display to customize this function. You can set the time when Always On Display is turned on (so it isn’t noisy at night), the brightness level, and the content that is displayed here.
Go to Settings > Lock Screen and Security > Clock and FaceWidgets to take it a step further. You can customize the clock design as well as the widgets that appear on the Always On Display, which Samsung refers to as “FaceWidgets” for some reason.
If you don’t like the Always On Display, you can switch it off in the Settings > Lock Screen and Security menu by sliding the toggle next to Always On Display.
Any Android purist would inform you that the correct navigation bar style is Back-Home-Recents. If you’re coming from a stock Android phone (or one of several others), the Recents-Home-Back interface can be disorienting—muscle memory can sometimes cause you to make mistakes.
The good news is that you have the power to modify it. With the S8, Samsung finally ditched the obnoxious home button in favor of on-screen keys, which can be customized. To repair it, go to Settings > Display > Navigation bar > Button Layout.