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Android's System UI Tuner: What it is and how to use it

Michael Simon | Jan. 11, 2017
We'll teach you how to find the hidden menu, which contains a bunch of useful tweaks.

Over its near-two-year existence, the System UI Tuner has contained a variety of options, some of which have been moved into the main settings and others that have disappeared. For example, during the Nougat beta testing, both a night mode and a dark theme could be enabled via the System UI Tuner, but only the night mode made it into the shipping version (as Night Light), while we’re still waiting for a dark theme to re-emerge.


Depending on the version you’re running, you’ll see different options inside System UI Tuner. For phones that are still on Marshmallow, there will be three: Status bar, Show embedded battery percentage and Demo mode. And in its most recent incarnation in Nougat, there are also three options, for Status bar, Do not disturb, and Other.

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You can select which status bar icons you want to show inside System UI Tuner.

As you might have guessed, the Status bar tab does the same thing across both versions. Tap on it and you’ll see a page of toggles representing each of the icons that appear in the status bar. If you’re tired of staring at the same icons every day, you can turn some (or all) of them off to stop them from appearing.

Marshmallow’s Embedded battery percentage option (which can be found at the bottom of the Status bar tab in Nougat) lets you show how much juice you have left via a tiny number inside the icon. Marshmallow’s Demo mode might not be as useful, however, unless you’re a developer or a tech journalist who takes a lot of screenshots. All it does is strip the status bar of any notification icons and makes sure the battery icon shows fully charged. In Nougat, it’s been moved to the Developer options tab.

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As its name suggests, the Power notifications toggle gives you greater control over your alerts.

Power trip

Nougat’s Do not disturb settings are fairly straightforward. Inside the tab you’ll find two options: Show with volume controls and Volume buttons shortcut. Turn the first one on and you’ll see a Do not disturb switch whenever you raise or lower the volume. Toggle the second and you’ll be able to quickly turn on DND by lowering the volume all the way and pressing the volume down button one more time.

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When you want to turn off System UI Tuner, just tap the three dots in the upper right corner.


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