modify and customize the Android navigation bar
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How to modify and customize the Android navigation bar?

In all these years as an Android user, one of the phones that I remember most fondly is the Oukitel Mix 2. A terminal with a very cool screen, which, however, had a small detail that bothered me a lot. The navigation bar had the order of the icons moved.

On my previous smartphones, the button to go back had always been on the right, and the one to show all open apps, the typical square icon, on the left. In phones like this Mix 2 or any other modern smartphone that does not have haptic buttons, the navigation bar is essential, and it is important that we can use it comfortably. Can it be customized?

How to change the order of the navigation bar icons on Android

Although Android does not offer many customization options as far as virtual navigation buttons are concerned, it does allow ordering them –or hiding them if we wish-.

To configure the order of the icons on the navigation bar, we must enter the Android Settings menu:

Customize and change the icons and buttons of the Android navigation bar activate or deactivate the virtual navigation buttons of the mobile explained step by step

We go to “Device -> Screen.”

We drove to “Navigation bar ” or ” Navigation bar.”

From here, we can activate or deactivate the brand change the order of the buttons on the navigation bar. Once the appropriate changes are made, they are updated instantly.

Customize and change the icons and buttons of the Android navigation bar to activate or deactivate the virtual navigation buttons of the mobile explained step by step.

So much better!

Adjusting the navigation bar on Samsung Galaxy devices

If your phone has a customization layer for Android, you may have to go another way to get to the settings menu of the navigation bar. For example, if we have a Samsung Galaxy mobile, our Android will be using a One UI customization layer, which also allows this type of modification.

Enter the “Settings” menu of your device.

Navigate to «Display -> Navigation bar» and select the desired layout. From here, we can choose between gesture navigation or conventional buttons, and we can also decide their order.

Android 10 and gesture navigation

With the release of Android 10 Google introduced gesture navigation. A function allows us to control the device without using the navigation bar, simply performing gestures such as swiping up, dragging from left to right, etc.

If we have a smartphone with Android 10 and we want to customize the navigation bar, the system allows us to adjust this aspect as follows:

Open the phone’s “Settings” menu.

Navigate to “System -> Gestures -> System Navigation”.

Here Android will offer us 3 different navigation systems: Gesture navigation, Navigation with 2 buttons, or the classic menu of Navigation with 3 buttons that we already know from previous versions of Android. Select the desired option to activate it automatically.

If we have an Android version before Android 10 but want to use gesture navigation on the mobile, we can also do it thanks to the « Fluid Navigation Gestures « application. The configuration process has its crumbs, so if you are interested before installing the application, take a look at the following configuration tutorial. The truth is that it is a most interesting utility. Do not lose sight of it!

How to customize the navigation bar buttons

If our navigation bar has disappeared or the physical buttons of our mobile / tablet have been broken or damaged, we also have the option of adding a personalized navigation bar.

Note: Not all Android terminals have a navigation bar, especially among those that already have touch buttons.

For this, we can install the Simple Control app, which is responsible for offering us a new navigation bar that we can customize to our liking. We can change the design of the navigation icons and even the bar’s location – allowing us to move it to one of the sides of the screen.

Simple Control is a free (non-root) app with a 4.2-star rating and more than 5 million downloads on Google Play. You can install it directly from the following link:

In addition to the app above, Google Play has a good number of similar applications, such as the S8 Navigation bar, an application with which we can customize our Android device with the navigation bar of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

This app is designed for devices that do not have a navigation bar natively. This means that if we already have a navigation bar, it will be located on top of the existing one. We can always hide the original bar so that only the Note 8 is visible, but it is much more practical on devices without a native bar.

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About Erica Pearson

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