Starting with the S9, Samsung began adding the Bixby button to its smartphones. Its purpose is, apparently, to take the user to Bixby, Samsung's virtual assistant. However, this addition has received mixed reactions, with some users wanting to get rid of it right away. While Samsung has not yet made it possible to completely get rid of Bixby, there is a way to make accidental activation more difficult. Also, you can remap the button, even on Google Assistant. Stay with us to see how.
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THE CLOSEST THING TO DISABLING BIXBY
While there are better solutions to this problem, the closest thing to disabling Bixby that you can do without using third-party apps is to make it harder to open. Before that, however, you need to disable Bixby Home:
- Tap an empty area on your phone's Home screen.
- When the Home screen gets smaller, swipe right.
- This will show the small Bixby Home screen in the center and a "Bixby Home" slider next to it. Tap the slider to turn off Bixby Home.
After disabling it:
- Go to Settings.
- Open the "Advanced Features" menu.
- Choose "Bixby Button".
- In the Bixby key menu, select "Double press to open Bixby". Now you will have to press the button twice to open Bixby, making it much more difficult to do it accidentally.
REMAP THE BIXBY KEY
You can also use the Bixby key to open a certain app:
- Run Bixby by pressing the Bixby button.
- There are three vertical dots on the right side of the screen. Touch them.
- Choose "Settings".
- Select "Bixby Button".
- Choose whether you want to open Bixby by pressing the button once or twice. If you've chosen to open it by pressing the button twice to make it harder, you can map the button to open another application when you tap it once.
- Open the “Use single / double press” menu, whichever is available to you.
- Enable the function by setting the slider to “Active”.
- Tap “Open app” to choose which app will open when you press the button once.
Note: Instead of choosing "Open app", you can select "Run shortcut" to assign one to the Bixby button. You can choose one of the suggested shortcuts right away, or simply tap "Go to shortcuts" to choose the one that works best for you.
REMAP THE BIXBY BUTTON WITH QUICK COMMANDS
The Bixby button can also open the Google Assistant using only the quick commands feature:
- Run Bixby Voice.
- Tap the menu icon and select "Quick Commands".
- Use the plus button in the upper right corner to create a new command. Call it "Assistant".
- Set the command phrase to "Assistant".
- In the "Insert command" menu, select "Type a command".
- Type "open assistant". If that doesn't work, try "open Google assistant".
- Save the command.
- Now go to the Settings.
- Choose "Bixby Button".
- Choose "Double press to open Bixby".
- Choose "Quick Command" and choose the "Assistant" command from the Quick Command options.
USE THE BXACTIONS BIXBY BUTTON REMAPPER
If you are ok with using third party apps, you should try bxActions. It allows you to remap both the Bixby keys and the volume keys. You can choose from over 35 actions, including mute the phone, answer calls, return to the last used app, and open an app. The list also includes Google Assistant.
As it turns out, bxActions also lets you disable the Bixby button altogether. However, be aware that Samsung may block this app in the future.
USE THE REMAPPER OF BUTTON ASSISTANT BIXBY TO ACCESS ANOTHER ASSISTANT
Xda Developers' Bixby Button Assistant Remapper is an app that lets you access a non-Bixby assistant by pressing the Bixby button. It's a harmless app, but it's not in the Play Store yet. Here's how to remap the Bixby button with this app.
- Download the .apk file of the app on your smartphone.
- Open the file and follow the steps to install the app.
- Go to “Bixby Voice Settings”. You can do this by pressing the Bixby button and going to settings from there.
- Choose the "Bixby Key" option.
- It's best to select "Double-tap to open Bixby", but it's all up to you.
- If you have selected the double press option, the “Use single press” option will become available and vice versa. Activate the one at your disposal.
- With the “Use single press” (or double) option enabled, select “Open app” and tap the gear icon.
- Here, you need to select an app that you want to open via the Bixby button. Select the "Bixby Button Assistant Remapper".
- After pressing the Bixby button for the first time after, the phone will ask you to choose an assistant app you want to use. Select the one you prefer and tap "Always" to avoid future requests.
SEE YOU AFTER, BIXBY!
It seems like Bixby is only getting worse and more restrictive as time goes on. Fortunately, now you can get around it. Consider avoiding Bixby updates and check for phone updates before installing them to avoid Bixby.
Why would you want to disable the Bixby button? What do you think Samsung could have done better to improve Bixby? Let us know in the comments below.