How to customize the physical buttons of your Android smartphone

Android has always been a mobile operating system for which the customization was a major competitive advantage. Your smartphone must be only yours, and the OS lets you master all. But did you know you can even customize the keys on your phone, to create various shortcuts? Follow our tutorial to learn.

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the greatest tool of Android has always resided in its customization. Where iOS took years to propose any changes to the look of its ecosystem, Android has always left free rein to imagination builders and users as well.

And it goes by a lot of things. Of course, you can customize the desktop as you think , including the ability to put widgets, and Android 7.0 even lets you change the size of the elements displayed on the screen .

But did you know you can go much further, and totally change the features being attached to your physical keys? If you’ve been dreaming to see your volume keys, home and other new utilities, this tutorial is for you.


, such manipulations were asking to be root . Indeed, access to the change of these elements was possible by changing the system. Now, thanks to new accessibility options, it is no longer required to be root.

However, you will need to download an application that is compatible with Android in version 4.3 and more. This prerequisite is not really disturbing in 2016, where the majority of phones are still under Kit Kat and Lollipop, you can consider that your phone is compatible as long as it is less than 3/4 years old.

Download the app Button Mapper

to redefine shortcuts associated with the physical keys on your phone, you need the application Button Mapper developed by flar2. He is an active member of the XDA Developers forum.

Don’t worry: Unlike many XDA applications, this one is available on the Store! Simply direct you to download here:

accept Button Mapper in accessibility Manager

as we explained above, the modification of these parameters is possible because of new accessibility options. Also, Button Mapper will be asked to accept as an accessibility service.


to launch the application, you will have a small notice at the bottom of your screen with a button ‘Go ‘. Click it, and you will arrive on the screen of the accessibility settings. Press on “Button map.”

When you activate Button Mapper, you will be prompted to set a password for accessibility options. This is quite normal. Once activated, you can return to the application.

Set up your buttons in Button Mapper

you have now unlocked the features, which can now redefine the usefulness of your buttons directly. The application automatically detects the buttons it can reassign, and displays at the top of the interface. In this case, only the volume buttons can be changed.


Note that, on a phone with capacitive keys and a home like the Samsung button for example, these would be present in the list.

You can now press the key you’re interested in, and customize up to 3 actions: a simple, double support and long-term support. For each of these 3 States, you will be able to define a specific action.

By pressing one of the States, you can choose an action to be defined. The simple actions of the phone are listed here, and for example allow you to turn your brightness key volume keys. But that’s not all.

You also have the ability to adjust them so that they launch a particular application. Even more, if some applications support shortcuts, these will be displayed in the ‘Shortcuts’ list and so allow you to launch a discussion WhatsApp or quickly call a contact for example.

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