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Android Marshmallow tips and tricks: 15 you should try

Android Marshmallow is spreading to more devices by the week. As some of its improvements may go unnoticed, we've put together a few Android Marshmallow tips and tricks to help you get the most from the new software. There's even a guide to enabling multi-window mode, which was left out of the final build, and how to get Marshmallow features on old devices.

AndroidPIT android 6 0 marshmallow 1 2
It's time to take a bite or two. / © ANDROIDPIT

Jump to:

1. Uninstall apps from your home screen or app drawer

In Android Marshmallow you can now uninstall an app on your home screen or in your app drawer simply by long-pressing it. At the top of the screen you'll now see options for Remove or Uninstall on the home screen, or App Info and Uninstall in the app drawer. Simply drag the app icon to the one you want.

This is a neat way to save a few seconds over uninstalling apps in older versions of Android. 

AndroidPIT Android M preview uninstall app direct
You can now instantly uninstall apps from the home screen or app drawer. / © ANDROIDPIT

2. Activate Developer options

Developer options are nothing new, but there are a few new ones in Android Marshmallow. To access Developer options, go to Settings > About Phone and tap Build Number seven times until a toast pop-up notifies you that you are now a developer.

Back up a step and you'll see Developer options listed right above About Phone. This is where you can enable USB Debugging, OEM unlocking or Show touches, tweak animations or access some of the other tips below.

AndroidPIT Android M preview developer options enabled
Enabling Developer Options is always one of the first things we do. / © ANDROIDPIT

3. Grant app permissions individually

Granular app permissions was the holy grail of the Android Marshmallow release. We all hoped it would pan out but no one really believed it would. We had always been told that denying specific app permissions within a third-party app could break it.

Now, however, Android lets you manage app permissions individually, without developers having had to do anything, and everything seems to work swimmingly.

AndroidPIT Android M preview AnTuTu permissions
You can view and toggle permissions for an individual app. / © ANDROIDPIT

To access app permissions, go to Settings > Apps and tap an individual app to see its permissions. Then simply flip the switch for the permissions you do or don't want to grant it.

You can also view a list of permissions to see which have been granted to which apps. Just go to Settings > Apps, then tap the overflow menu in the top right corner and go to Advanced > App Permissions.

AndroidPIT Android M preview app permissions location
You can also view app permissions by permission type. / © ANDROIDPIT

4. Customize Quick Settings using System UI Tuner

To enable the System UI Tuner, bring down your Quick Settings menu (swipe down from the top of your phone with two fingers) and tap and hold the settings button (cog wheel) for five seconds. When you let go you will be asked if you would like to enable System UI Tuner. Select yes and you'll see System UI Tuner at the bottom of your Settings list.

In System UI Tuner, tap Quick Settings and you'll see a mockup of your Quick Settings shade. You can add tiles (press the + at the bottom), move the toggles around (tap and drag) or delete toggles (tap and drag to the bottom). Your changes will be reflected in the Quick Settings menu.

AndroidPIT Android M preview system ui tuner
The UI Tuner lets you rearrange your Quick Settings menu. / © ANDROIDPIT

5. Get to know RAM Manager

Android Marshmallow is all about giving us even more power over our beloved Androids, and RAM is a huge part of that. Go to Settings > Memory > Memory used by apps, to see a list of all your memory-hogging apps.

Tapping an entry will show you detailed info and give you the option to force stop the app if necessary. Take some time to familiarize yourself with this part of your Android – it's a great tool to help you understand what RAM usage is normal and what's out of the ordinary.

androidpit ram manager android marshmallow
The new Memory section in the advanced app settings gives you a clear picture of RAM usage. / © ANDROIDPIT

6. Find your Downloaded, Running, All and Disabled app tabs

The RAM Manager is also effectively the new home for the 'Running' tab that was in previous versions of the Settings > Apps section. Unlike previous Android versions, Android Marshmallow doesn't break your apps list down into tabs for 'Downloaded', 'Running', 'All' and 'Disabled'.

The 'Running' tab now appears as RAM Manager; 'All' and 'Disabled' are now options in a drop-down menu, accessible once you've disabled at least one app. The default view in Settings > Apps is the 'All' apps tab. We'll have to wait and see how devices with SD cards display the information that was previously found in the 'SD Card' tab.

AndroidPIT Android M preview all apps tab disabled enabled
On the right, we now have a drop-down menu for disabled and enabled apps. / © ANDROIDPIT

7. Automatically associate links

Android Marshmallow allows you to automatically associate specific apps with specific types of links. So if someone emails you a Twitter link, for example, you can set Twitter as the default app for opening such links, rather than picking from a list every time.

Although you could set certain apps as default apps before, the system didn't work all that well. Now you can associate specific domain URLs with an app of your choice. For example, all links can be set to open either in Facebook, Tinfoil or another third-party Facebook app automatically.

To do this, go to Settings > Apps, then tap the overflow menu at the top right and go to Advanced > App Links, then flip the switch for the apps that you want to set to automatically intercept links from specific domains.

AndroidPIT Android M preview app links open by default facebook
Android Marshmallow gives you complete control over which apps handle certain domains. / © ANDROIDPIT

8. Ignore battery optimizations

Doze is pretty cool: it activates when your phone is left idle for a period of time, while unplugged and with the screen off. It will stop some CPU and network activity operating in the background for some Android apps, thus saving battery. 

You might not like it in every scenario though. Doze mode can interrupt the background activity of your apps in order to make these battery savings. So if you don't want this to happen to certain apps, you can disable Doze mode to keep these apps running. Follow the steps below to switch off the battery saving functionality of Doze.

How to disable doze in Android 6.0 Marshmallow

1. Head over to your phone's Settings.

2. Select Battery from the device list and select Battery optimization from the menu icon at the top-right of the screen.

3. Select All apps from the drop-down menu in the center of the display. Now you'll see all the apps that are Doze-enabled.

nexus 6 doze mode
Disabling Doze for particular apps isn't hard. / © ANDROIDPIT

4. You can now select any apps for which you'd like to disable Doze mode.

5. Select Don't optimize and then Done. Now you're set up.

Now the apps you've selected won't have Doze optimizations, just as you'd prefer. Let us know in the comments section if you see changes to battery life or app activity as a result of Doze, and if you think Doze is a good addition to Marshmallow.

9. Activate Google Now from the lock screen

You might have missed this one, but the lock screen shortcut to the dialer has been replaced by Google Now. This is a welcome change; you can use Google Now to call someone just by speaking (along with plenty of other things), so you haven't lost out on functionality by losing the dialer shortcut.

Simply swipe from the bottom left-hand corner of the lock screen to get Google Now ready to receive your voice command.

10. Enjoy Google Now on Tap

Google Now on Tap is easily my favorite feature in Android Marshmallow. It brings Google Now functionality to every part of your phone or tablet.

There's no need to switch apps or copy and paste phrases anymore – once it's enabled, you can bring up Google Now on Tap from any app, simply by selecting text and long-pressing the Home button.

AndroidPIT Google I O 2015 Google Now Now on Tap
Google Now on Tap can provide relevant content without even leaving the app you're in. / © ANDROIDPIT

11. Disable notification peeking 

Heads-up notifications, or 'peeking' as it is now referred to, is the feature that allows notifications to pop up over the top of your display. It was introduced in Android Lollipop, but since app developers now tend to enable peeking by default, Android Marshmallow gives you the power to decide if you want to allow it or not.

If these types of notifications bother you, you can go into Settings > Sound & Notifications > App Notifications, then select the app they're coming from, and switch off Allow peeking

androidpit app notifications marshmallow peek
If notification peeking in a particular app is bothering you, you can disable it for that app. / © ANDROIDPIT

12. Check out the Android Marshmallow Easter Egg

The Android Easter Egg is one of the most pointless but fun parts of any new Android version. You simply go to Settings > About Phone and repeatedly tap the Version Number to find it. In Lollipop you'd see a giant lollipop, and if you long-pressed it, you'd be taken to a Flappy Bird clone. 

In Marshmallow, tapping the version number, reveals a graphic of the letter M. When you tap it again, you get a marshmallow with android antenna.

android marshmallow easter egg
Tap once for M, twice for an antenna'ed marshmallow / © ANDROIDPIT

13. Access the Marshmallow file manager

Did you know Android Marshmallow comes with its own built-in file explorer? Well it does. Go to Settings > Storage & USB > Explore to... er, explore it.

Marshmallow's solution might not be as in-depth and feature packed as something like ES File Explorer, but it's also less intrusive. Check it out for a clean, minimal interface for browsing files. 

android marshmallow file explorer
It might not look fancy, but this is a useful file explorer. / © ANDROIDPIT

14. Navigate better with Bluetooth

GPS isn't a perfect system and it can't always pinpoint your location. On Android Marshmallow, however, you can give your GPS a hand by using Bluetooth. 

Go to Settings > Location and tap the hamburger (3 dots) icon. Next tap Scanning  and on the following page enable Bluetooth scanning (and Wi-Fi scanning for even greater accuracy).

Once you've done that, tap the return or back button and tap Mode, then select either High-accuracy or Battery saving mode to make use of the new setting. 

androidpit location bluetooth
Use Bluetooth to boost your GPS accuracy. / © ANDROIDPIT

15. Switch on multi-window mode

This final tip will need you to get your hands dirty with rooting and flashing, but we wanted to include it anyway. Multi-window mode lets you open a separate app in a new 'pop out' window, so you can run two at once.

This feature can already be seen on the Galaxy Note 4 and Note 5, but now you can get it on stock Android. 

modo multi janelas android marshmallow app
All you need to do is change a single field in "". / © ANDROIDPIT


  • A rooted phone running Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • A root file manager with text editor (like ES File Explorer) or Build Prop Editor
BuildProp Editor Install on Google Play

How to enable multi-window mode on Android 6.0 Marshmallow

1. Open Build Prop Editor and scroll down to Tap it and change the Property Value from user to userdebug.

2. Tap Save and then Yes to reboot your phone (this is necessary to apply the changes).

modo multi janelas android marshmallow app 2
Change the Property Value to "userdebug", save your changes and reboot. / © ANDROIDPIT

3. Once you've rebooted, go to Settings > Developer options > Multi-window mode and flip the switch. (If you don't already have Developer options enabled, go to Settings > About phone and tap Build number seven times until you see the notification.)

AndroidPIT Android 6 0 Marshmallow developer options multi window mode
Once you've edited the build.prop file, multi-window mode appears in Developer Options. / © ANDROIDPIT

Using multi-window mode on Android 6.0 Marshmallow

In your multi-tasking view (or recent apps list), you'll now see a square bracket in the upper right of each app card. Tap the target to choose the split-screen view you want: upper half, lower half or full screen. Note that top and bottom switch to left and right in landscape mode.

AndroidPIT ANdroid 6 0 Marshmallow recent apps multi window mode
You now have multi-window capabilities in Marshmallow. / © ANDROIDPIT

Once you've chosen your split-screen preference, the app will always appear in that view. So, for example, if you've chosen YouTube in top-half view then tapping YouTube in the multi-tasking list will always bring it up in the top half. If you want to go full screen you'll have to select that by tapping the square bracket in the top right of the app card again.

AndroidPIT split screen
In landscape mode, things go left/right, but occasionally you'll see some glitches. / © ANDROIDPIT

Multi-window mode on Marshmallow works surprisingly well for a feature that was left out. It's a bit clunky and occasionally you get weird overlaps, like as shown the upper left of the image above, but generally speaking, it works fine.

Unfortunately, you can't re-size the split-screen windows, but that's what you get from an unfinished developer feature. It's not perfect, but it is there and it is working – and that's half the battle.

Bonus: how to get Android Marshmallow features without Marshmallow

If you haven't received a Marshmallowy gift from your manufacturer or carrier, either because they're slow or your phone's too old, do not despair: you can get some Android Marshmallow features on your phone anyway.

1. Manage app permissions

Have you been happily clicking OK to every app’s permissions list and now worry they’re sending your personal information to God knows where? Android Marshmallow enables you to allow or deny permission retrospectively, so you’re not stuck with the decisions you make when you first download the app. It’s very useful but it isn’t part of Android Lollipop. If you have a rooted device, however, the excellent XPrivacy can bring the same features to your mobile or tablet today.

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Marshmallow doesn't make you stand by decisions you made ages ago.  / © AndroidPIT
[ROOT] X Privacy Installer Install on Google Play

2. Chrome Custom Tabs

Until Android 6.0 Marshmallow, clicking on a link within an application – such as a link you’ve been sent on WhatsApp or in an email – will automatically open the link in your default browser. And that’s fine, but a full browser has a hefty overhead that you don’t always want when you’re just investigating what the link is.

Chrome Custom Tabs in Marshmallow will address that by loading a stripped-back subset of Chrome that uses fewer system resources than the full Chrome browser. You can’t add it to Lollipop, but installing the ultra-light Link Bubble browser and making it the default will do much the same – no rooting required. What Link Bubble does is display a link in a little bubble, loading it in the background while you get on with what you’re doing.

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Can't get Chrome Custom Tabs? Try Link Bubble instead.  / © Google
Brave Browser - Link Bubble Install on Google Play

3. Smart Link

Sticking with the subject of navigation, Smart Link is one of those little features in Marshmallow that you’ll soon wonder how you managed without. Instead of opening every kind of link in the web browser, Smart Link opens them in the appropriate app – so, for example, a link to a tweet opens in your Twitter app without opening the browser or asking you what app you want to use. On older versions of Android, you can get much the same functionality by installing the excellent TapPath.

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TapPath does a pretty good job of delivering Smart Link for app links.  / © ANDROIDPIT
TapPath Browser Helper Install on Google Play

4. Support for fingerprint readers for payments

In Android Marshmallow, the fingerprint sensor is supported throughout the OS, not just for unlocking your phone but for authorizing things such as payments. You can get similar functionality in recent Samsung devices thanks to PayPal and FIDO: go to Settings > Fingerprints > Pay with PayPal to enable the feature.

If you don’t have a fingerprint reader don’t worry: you can use ICE Unlock to turn your camera into a scanner, although it’ll only unlock your phone. That’s because while it works perfectly well as a phone unlocker, the camera can’t process the same level of detail as a dedicated fingerprint scanner, so the security isn’t strong enough to be trusted with your debit or credit card details. Still, it’s enough to keep your pals out without having to bother with long passcodes.

AndroidPIT fingerprint sensor
Fingerprint unlocking and authorizing is really useful. / © ANDROIDPIT
ICE Unlock Fingerprint Scanner Install on Google Play

5. Memory management

The Task Manager in Android Marshmallow has been significantly improved over previous versions and enables you to see what’s using the most or least RAM on your device. And it’s easy to get that on older Androids too: since Android first appeared, the Play Store has been packed with Task Manager alternatives including rogue app killers and app managers that can analyze what’s doing what on your device. Here are some candidates:

androidpit network monitor mini
Apps such as Network Monitor Mini can help you diagnose performance issues.  / © ANDROIDPIT

6. Reorder the app drawer

The app drawer, the bit of Android that shows all the apps you’ve got on your device, has been changed for Android Marshmallow to make it more organized. The first four icons are your most-used apps, and after that the apps are organised alphabetically. In this case Google’s actually playing catch up with the Play Store, where you’ll find stacks of very good and very customizable app launchers. You’ll find some of our favorites here:

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There are stacks of great app launchers, including Action Launcher 3 (pictured). / © ANDROIDPIT

7. Doze and battery improvements

Battery life remains the Achilles heel of most devices, and in Android 6.0, Google has introduced a raft of energy-saving improvements including Doze and the ability to charge really quickly via USB-C. Sadly you can’t retrofit a USB-C port to your device but you can employ a variety of tricks to improve battery life and charging. We’ve included the best ones here:

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You can't retrofit USB-C, but you can boost your battery life without Marshmallow. / © ANDROIDPIT

8. Clever SD card support

Android Marshmallow can treat SD cards as if they were internal storage, without the limitations that applied to external storage. That means goodbye to storage limits for app installations or data associated with heavy duty apps. If you’ve rooted your device, Link2SD does much the same.

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Marshmallow treats microSD cards like internal storage. Link2SD does pretty much the same.  © ANDROIDPIT
Link2SD Install on Google Play

9. The Marshmallow boot animation

Customizing your boot animation will require root access and a ROM-based AOSP such as CyanogenMod or ParanoidAndroid. Once that's set up, here's what you need to do.

  • Download the APK provided by XDA Forum here.
  • Copy the file using Root Explorer or any similar application.
  • Go to System and select the Media folder.
  • Change the name of the '' file (hosted in Media) to 'bootanimation.bak'.
  • Paste the new file in to ''. 
  • Access the permissions of the new file and make sure that the options for read and write are set to owner, group and others. The option to run (execute) doesn't need be checked.
Install your own boot animation on Android Marshmallow. / © AndroidPIT

The process is totally reversible. If you want to go back to the original animation, just change the file names back (i.e from 'bootanimation.bak' to ''). 

You can also download Android Marshmallow wallpapers.

Found any other hot Android Marshmallow tips and tricks you can share? What's your favorite? Let us know in the comments.


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  • Refer Trick #15....... The problem is that when multi-window is enabled, the black square bracket appears superimposed above the lock icon on app cards in the task manager. So I inadvertently end up locking the app instead of getting it in another window. How to disable the lock icon ? Can someone please help ?

  • Is there is any way to remove guest user (disable it) and keep restricted account ? i think this problem with Android Marshmallow ?!!!

  • Whenever i go to recent apps to use multi window it shows a lock icon over the square and after pressing the multi window mode it just lock the recent tab. But it dont go to multi window mode. Any help.

  • how to change call receiving style change in marshmallow?

  • I'm facing a problem in Intex Cloud Fame Marshmallow. It doesn't connect with WiFi. When I click on WiFi, it searches all available WiFi connection. After putting password it shows 'Saved'. Again when trying to connect, it comes on 'Off' position. Can anyone help?

  • I just recd the Marshmallow update on my Lenovo K4 Note. But my app tray still scrolls in the same old way. How do i switch it to the new vertical scroll..? And why is it the same anyway..??

    • In your homescreen go to preference -> drawer settings. It's pretty cool because we can choose between vertical or paged style, we can also change the background of the drawer.

  • Lauren 4 months ago Link to comment

    How do I set a custom notification tone for my messaging? There no longer appears to be a way to add a sound, only the standard list is available. This makes me sadder than it should. #firstworldproblems

    Also, thanks for the excellent article. Bookmarking as I navigate this marshmallow world...

  • Dan Mason 5 months ago Link to comment

    you've completely missed off if you press and hold the marshmallow it takes you to a game?!

  • DayNa 5 months ago Link to comment

    I got the marshmallow update on my LG tablet now my game apps keep closing out for no reason. I moved the app to the SD card and it still closes out I clear the data and forced stop but the app still keeps closing out. Anybody have any ideas?

  • Milan K 5 months ago Link to comment

    Lollipop was lot better than this one in usage!!! Now my call recorder is not working.My wifi Hotspot too not working..!! It's really an headache..Need help!!!

    • You need to factory reset the phone..... take the backup first...... I have face same problem with my Lenovo Note 3...... after update with Android-6.0 ...... phone become toooooo slow... even hangs in call .... and I couldn't take the call .......... but after factory reset ...... amazingly .... only all apps and data gone... now OS is still Android 6.0 and I downloaded all the apps again (it's better coz they are new with new version)...... and now my same phone become a rocket speedy.....

  • Anne N 5 months ago Link to comment

    I'm using Note 5. Things I notice after the update.
    1- Before update my software I can use my flashlight together with camera, but after update if I turn on the camera, it will automatically switch off my flashlight.
    (I need flashlight for my camera... it give a better picture)

    2-my message no longer got bubble option (background still available.. hey but I love the bubbles ok)

    3-developer option no longer in setting

    Please advise.

  • CJ Brown 5 months ago Link to comment

    I will definitely be referring to this article as I navigate my way around Marshmallow iOS 6.0 -- plenty of changes to adjust to, wonder if OS N will continue the same style of menu buttons ( triangle circle square )

  • I've noticed that once I've moved an app to my sd card if I do an update of that app it moves it back to internal storage and acts as if its been newly installed. Frustrated with this as apps keep updating all the time and I'm continually moving them back to my sd card (I'm on an LG G4) any HELP?

  • Frustrated! Ever since the 6.0 marshmallow update I can not use my visual voice mail or voicemail all I get is alot of numbers letters and symbols they have been trying to fix it for about 2 weeks now . Also ever since the update my flash light won't work HELP

  • Customize Quick Settings using System UI Tuner - is it available in Note 5?

  • Alex R. 5 months ago Link to comment

    My device still runs on lollipop and I have a cyanogen os Phone and I'm very happy about it !!

  • i'm using the nexus 6p. ya think that the marshmallow 6.0.1 is better or android n preview 3 is better when it releses? i've used the preview 2, the experience was great, except for the stuttering... but i don't think i can get out of the fantastic android n lol:)

  • Dwarfer66 5 months ago Link to comment

    The Marshmallow boot animation
    Customizing your boot animation will require root access and a ROM-based AOSP such as CyanogenMod or ParanoidAndroid.

    Why do you keep pushing AOSP type roms? There are plenty of TouchWiz roms that are better than those. I have a custom boot animation and boot sound on my Samsung S6 edge running CarHDRom v22.

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