How do I disable hardware buttons on Android?

Android phones typically have three main hardware buttons – the home button, volume buttons, and power button. The home button takes you back to the home screen, volume buttons control the volume levels, and the power button turns the screen on/off and restarts the phone.

There are a few reasons why someone may want to disable the hardware buttons on their Android device:

  • Accidental presses – The buttons can sometimes be pressed accidentally, disrupting whatever you’re doing on the phone.
  • Kids – Disabling buttons can be useful for parents handing phones to kids.
  • Broken buttons – If the hardware buttons stop working or become unresponsive, disabling them prevents mispresses.
  • Customization – Some users prefer on-screen buttons or want to remap hardware buttons, so disabling them allows full customization.

Overall, disabling hardware buttons allows you to avoid accidental presses, customize your device, and prevent issues with broken buttons.

Access Settings

To disable hardware buttons on your Android device, you first need to open the Settings app. Here are the steps to access the Settings menu:

On your Android home screen, swipe down from the top of the screen to open the notification shade. Tap on the gear icon to open the Settings app.

Alternatively, open the app drawer and tap on the Settings app icon to launch it.

You can also use the Google Assistant by saying “Okay Google, open Settings” to open the Settings app via voice command.

Once the Settings app is open, you can navigate to the specific settings menus to disable your device’s hardware buttons as covered in the sections below.

Source: Opening Android Settings programmatically

Locate Button Settings

To disable the hardware buttons on your Android device, you first need to locate the button settings in your device’s Settings app. This is usually found in a section called “Buttons” or “Keys.”

To get there, open the Settings app on your phone or tablet. Then look for a section called “Buttons,” “Keys,” “Navigation,” or something similar. On Samsung Galaxy devices, for example, this is located under “Advanced features” then “Buttons.” On Pixel phones, it’s under “System” then “Gestures.”

The key is to look for a setting where you can configure or customize the hardware buttons on your device, like the home, back, and recent apps buttons. The exact path to find it may vary across manufacturers and Android versions, but it should be under a logical menu like “Buttons,” “Keys,” or “Navigation.”

Once you locate the proper screen for button settings, you can then proceed to disabling specific buttons as covered in the next sections.

Disable Home Button

The home button is one of the main navigation buttons on Android devices and is used to return to the home screen. However, some users may want to disable the home button for various reasons, such as preventing accidental presses while using certain apps or enabling guided access for kids.

To disable the home button on Android, first open the Settings app and go to System > Gestures [1]. Look for the “Swipe up for home” option and toggle it on. This will replace the home button with an on-screen home gesture. Once enabled, you will no longer be able to press the physical home button to go back home.

Alternatively, some devices may have a “Navigation bar” section in Settings. Go there and disable the “Home button” option specifically. This will turn off the home button while keeping other navigation buttons enabled.

With the home button disabled, you will need to swipe up from the bottom of the screen to go back home. Some devices will display an on-screen home button as well. Adjust any accessibility services accordingly.

Disable Volume Buttons

To disable the volume buttons, you’ll need to find the setting on your Android device to disable the sound and system controls for the volume buttons. According to, you can disable interaction control in the Accessibility settings:

“Open the Android Settings and go to Accessibility > Interaction and Dexterity > Interaction control > Interaction control settings. Set ‘Touch & hold delay’ to ‘No delay’. […] Turn ON ‘Power button ends call’ and toggle the switch for ‘Volume buttons control media’ to the OFF position.”

Additionally, from, you can go to the General Settings and disable changes to Ringer Volume, Media Volume, and Alarm Volume to fully disable the volume buttons.

By disabling interaction control and volume controls in Accessibility and Sound settings, you can effectively disable the volume buttons on your Android device.

Disable Power Button

The power button can be disabled so that the user can’t turn off the device by pressing the button. To disable the power button:

  • Go to Settings > Accessibility
  • Tap Interaction and dexterity > Interaction control
  • Turn on Power button ends call

This will prevent the power button from turning off the screen or device. You can also restrict usage of the power button in device administrator apps like Hexnode MDM. The MDM can disable user access to the power and lock buttons entirely.

Use On-Screen Buttons

If your device’s physical buttons are broken or disabled, you can enable on-screen navigation buttons as an alternative. On-screen buttons provide touchable versions of the Back, Home, and Recents buttons on your display (source). Here’s how to enable them:

  1. Go to Settings > System > Gestures & navigation
  2. Tap “Navigation bar” and ensure it is enabled
  3. Select “Gesture navigation” to disable it if enabled
  4. You should now see the on-screen buttons on your display, allowing navigation without hardware buttons

The on-screen buttons give you access to the same Back, Home and Recents functions even if your physical buttons stop working. You can customize their placement and appearance if desired. This provides an accessibility-friendly alternative to hardware buttons.

Accessibility Options

The Accessibility menu in Android settings can be used to disable certain hardware buttons like the home and volume buttons. The “Switch Access” service allows you to toggle on-screen buttons to replace hardware buttons.

To use Switch Access to disable hardware buttons:

  1. Open your device’s Settings app and select Accessibility.
  2. Choose Switch Access (source).
  3. Toggle the On/Off switch to turn Switch Access on.
  4. This will enable on-screen navigation buttons as a replacement, effectively disabling the hardware home, back and recent apps buttons.

Additionally, under Sound Notifications you can toggle “Sound Notifications shortcut” off to disable the accessibility shortcut button if needed (source).

Third-Party Apps

There are some reputable third-party Android apps that can help remap or disable hardware buttons, such as Button Mapper. According to the Button Mapper – Android App page on, Button Mapper is a free downloadable tool ranked highly for its usefulness. The app allows you to remap functions or disable buttons on your Android device.

As noted in a Reddit thread, Button Mapper can be useful for remapping buttons on Android TV remotes, like the Xiaomi remote, to better suit your usage needs. However, the post does note that Button Mapper unfortunately does not work properly with that specific remote.

There are also options like remapping features on specific devices, such as the squeeze function on Google Pixel phones. The linked guide discusses using Button Mapper’s desktop client to remap Active Edge on the Pixel 4.


In summary, there are a few main ways to disable the hardware buttons on your Android device:

  • – Go to your device Settings > Button Settings and toggle off Home, Volume, and Power buttons
  • – Enable On-Screen Navigation buttons to replace your device’s hardware Home button
  • – Use Accessibility Services to disable buttons through apps like Button Mapper

While disabling hardware buttons can help in certain use cases, it also carries some risks to be aware of. You may find your device less user-friendly without the usual Home and Volume controls. Critical functions like powering off your phone require hardware button access. And if you disable buttons through third-party apps, glitches could cause them to stop working properly.

Proceed with caution when disabling hardware buttons on your Android. Test out the alternatives like on-screen navigation first to ensure you can still effectively use your device.

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