How to Enable Soft Keys on Android Phone

Soft keys (also known as Navigation Bar) were introduced on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich devices. Soft keys are hidden in most of the Android devices.

In this post, we will see the easy ways to enable it on Android [Both rooted and non-rooted devices]. Let’s get started.

Enable Soft Keys on Android

Editing Build.prop File [Rooted Device]

Video tutorial

Steps

  • To enable soft keys, you need to edit the build.prop file.
  • Go to /system. Copy the build.prop file and paste it in the SD Card. Now we have the backup of the build.prop.
  • Again go to /system and tap the build.prop file. Select ES Note Editor option.
  • Click on overflow menu at the top and select “Edit”.
  •  Add the following lines at the end

qemu.hw.mainkeys=0

  • Press back button and select “Yes” in the confirmation message.
  • Reboot your phone.

Now you can see the soft keys on your Android phone.

You can disable these keys by removing the code from the build.prop file. Alternatively, you can disable the soft keys at any time by changing the value 0 to 1.

qemu.hw.mainkeys=1

Xposed Installer [Rooted Device]

If you are a Xposed framework user, then you can use the GravityBox module to enable the soft keys. Here are the steps:

  • Install GravityBox module as per your Android device version.
  • Go to Navigation bar tweaks.
  • Enable the Master switch.

That’s all. Reboot your phone and you can see the navigation bar on your handset.

After reboot, Go to Navigation bar tweaks in GravityBox module.

There you can see many options to customize the navigation bar. I suggest you to play with the options and customize soft keys as per your wish.

Simple Control [Non-Rooted Devices]

You can get the soft keys on non-rooted Android devices by using this app.

  • Install and open the app.
  • At the first run, it will take you to the Accessibility. Enable it for the app.
  • This app has a lot of customization options. You can use them to customize the navigation bar as per your liking.

simple-control-app-settings

See: How to Disable Capacitive Buttons on Android

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