First of all for those who do not know what soft keys are, some devices do not have any hardware buttons below the screen but have on-screen virtual buttons. These soft keys were first introduced in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich devices.

Enable soft keys on Android

Warning: Before moving any further you should know that there is a risk to brick your device and your device may enter into bootloop. We won’t be held responsible for any damage caused to your device.

Pre-requirements:

  • Root access on your android device. Check out how to root your android device.
  • File manager on your device like X-plore or ES File Explorer or Root Explorer through which you can access your root memory.
  • The device must be charged at least upto 70%.

    Enable Soft keys

    • Open the file manager
    • Navigate to /system in the root folder
    • Take a backup of the file build.prop for safety just in case something goes wrong
    • Open build.prop in a text editor
    • Add the following at the end
    qemu.hw.mainkeys=0‎
    • Save the file
    • Reboot your device

    Disable the Soft keys

    If you wish to disable the soft keys that you enabled on your android device follow this procedure.

    • Open the file manager
    • Navigate to /system in the root folder
    • Open build.prop in a text editor
    • At the end replace 0 with 1 or just restore the backup of build.prop

    Original:

    qemu.hw.mainkeys=0

    New:

    qemu.hw.mainkeys=1
    • Save the file
    • Reboot your device

    Disable Capacitive buttons

    Some mobiles will have only two capacitive buttons viz, back and menu. Some mobiles may have three capacitive buttons viz, back, home and app switch or; back, home and menu. So modify the file accordingly and dont mess with other parts of the code or else you will end up damaging your phone software.

    • Open the file manager
    • Navigate to /system/usr/keylayout in the root folder
    • Take a backup of the file Generic.kl for safety just in case something goes wrong
    • Open Generic.kl in a text editor
    • Add # before the following lines

    Original:

    key 139 MENU
    key 158 BACK
    key 172 HOME
    key 580 APP_SWITCH‎

    New:

    # key 139 MENU
    # key 158 BACK
    # key 172 HOME
    # key 580 APP_SWITCH‎
    • Save the file
    • Reboot your device

    Disable the home button

    Some devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5 will have a physical home button. To disable the home button follow this procedure. But it is advised not to disable this button.

    • Open the file manager
    • Navigate to /system/usr/keylayout in the root folder
    • Take a backup of the file gpio-keys.kl for safety just in case something goes wrong
    • Open gpio-keys.kl in a text editor
    • Add # before the following line

    Original:

    key 102 HOME WAKE

    New:

    # key 102 HOME WAKE
    • Save the file
    • Reboot your device

    Customize Soft keys

    SoftKeyZSoftKeyZ Root is an application available at the play store using which you can easily customize your soft keys or navigation buttons on your rooted android device. This app works properly on all the Nexus devices and most Mototrola devices. We wont be held responsible for any damage to your mobile phone. Use this app at your own risk.

Advertisements