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Victor Kropp

Black navigation bar on Galaxy S9

I’ve been using Galaxy S9 since it’s official release. I liked my previous Nexus 6, but unfortunately, it fell off my pocket shortly before. And also I got a good trade-in deal for one of my old phones. Samsung hardware is and has always been great, but their software… meh. It has improved recently, and it’s possible to tune or disable most of the “features.” One thing bothered me though: the navigation bar at the bottom was always bright white. Using apps with a dark theme in the twilight was very uncomfortable.

There is an easy solution. It only requires adb tool from Android SDK.

❗ Do it on your own risk. I’m not responsible for any damage caused to your phone or computer by any of these actions.

Enable USB debugging. Connect the phone to a computer via a USB cable. Open Terminal and open a remote shell on your phone:

$ adb shell

To check current settings run the following command:

gsettings list global

If you’ve set up white navigation bar in System Settings, then among other preferences you’ll see:


You don’t need to remember these since you can always revert to original color in Settings.

And now update the color by issuing two following commands:

settings put global navigationbar_color=-16777216
settings put global navigationbar_current_color=-16777216

Congratulations, you now have a black navigation bar which doesn’t hurt your eyes in the dark!

❗ You may want to try other colors; here’s a color picker. Be careful and do not try to guess colors, if you put an incorrect value, the phone may refuse to boot and need a factory reset. It happened to me, unfortunately. Don’t repeat my mistakes.


When I applied this change, I noticed another option available there: airplane_mode_radios. Its default value is cell,bluetooth,wifi,nfc,wimax. A quick check verified my guess: this is the list of the connections disabled when the phone is in airplane mode. I always use my Bluetooth noise-canceling headphones when I travel, and I do it quite often. I hate to re-enable Bluetooth after I switch the phone to airplane mode before takeoff.

So now I know how to fix this problem, all I need is to remove bluetooth from the list:

settings put global airplane_mode_radios=cell,wifi,nfc,wimax

It takes just a few seconds to improve your experience from using the phone. It took me much longer to restore the phone after factory reset. And it took me even longer to finish this post.


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