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How to customize your Android home button shortcut

The best thing about Android is how customizable it is. Not everyone likes the default actions assigned to certain buttons or button combinations, and one of the most common complaints is with the home button on Samsung Galaxy devices. It is possible to make the home button do what you want, rather than what the manufacturer decided, using the following workaround.

samsung galaxy s6 5
Make your home button do whatever you want it to. / © ANDROIDPIT

We're demonstrating the process using a Galaxy S6 on Android Lollipop, although it should work on most phones that have a physical home button. By default, a double-tab of the S6 home button takes you to the camera shortcut but, for the purposes of this tutorial, we want to make it launch the Play Store instead. On older Galaxy devices, a single tap of the physical home button will bring you to your home screen, a double-tap launches S Voice, and long-press launch Google Now with a long press.

First, you’ll need the app Home2 Shortcut from the Google Play Store, so download and install it on your device. There are other apps exist that provide the same functionality, but for this example, we’re using Home2 Shortcut.

Home2 Shortcut Install on Google Play

How to change the home button action

1. When you fire up the Home2 Shortcut app, it will provide a step-by-step walkthrough of how to program your home button for different actions. In this example, we’ll customize what happens with a double-tap. 

2. In Home2 Shortcut you'll see a four-step process. It will ask you to choose an application that you want the double tap button combination to launch. Tap Choose application and select the Play Store from the list (or any other app you prefer).

AndroidPIT customize home button home2 shortcut touchwiz galaxy s6 1
Select the app you want to be your default double-tap shortcut. / © ANDROIDPIT

3. Next, choose how long you want the double-press interval to be.

4. When it asks you to choose your Home application, either pick TouchWiz home if that's the only launcher you're using, or your preferred Android launcher, if you have an alternative one installed. 

5. Finally, when you press the Home button, you'll see a window pop up asking you which launcher you want to use. Select Home2 Shortcut and tap Always. If you ever want to go back to  how it was before, you can clear your app defaults in Settings.

AndroidPIT customize home button home2 shortcut touchwiz galaxy s6 2
Choose your default launcher and select Home2 Shortcut as your home button launcher. / © ANDROIDPIT

Now when you double tap the home button next you'll be taken to the camera app. Wait, what? Yes, on our Galaxy S6 we were taken to the default camera app shortcut rather than the Play Store, as we'd selected.

There's one more thing you need to go. Go into your camera settings and flip the switch for Quick launch. Now, when you double-press the home button, your Home2 Shortcut action will be the one that takes place.

We actually think that the way the S6 launches the camera from a double-tap of the home button is a really useful feature, so If you have an older Galaxy device, you can use Home2 Shortcut to make the double-press a camera shortcut rather than an S Voice shortcut. As above, you may need to go into your S Voice settings and flip the switch for the S Voice home button shortcut in order to to give Home2 Shortcut priority.

Happy customizing! What other cool modifications have you made to your Galaxy? Tell us about them in the comments.


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  • Alex R. 5 months ago Link to comment

    I am sorry,The title is misleading and also when you have a launcher like Nova Launcher where you can customize everything action ,you don't need a separate app just for home screen actions.

  • rspear 7 months ago Link to comment

    the title is misleading. you aren't customizing your home button action, you're changing the double tap or long press action.
    when are we going to get the ability to change the actual home button to something we actually use and better yet do away with the home screen entirely? it's inefficient.

  • So my s5 when i hit the sleep button on the side to power up screen. The screen stays black. The screen still has full function. I can feel phone vibrate i can unlock because i have swipe pattern but can not see screen. Sometimes it works perfectly fine. An the other half the time it dose wat i dose wat i described early its not the brightness, i also did all updates. Took to service provider tech.. they say he can not find nothing wrong with it. Please help anyone else had this problem

  • storm 9 months ago Link to comment

    Screen buttons hide quite well in Android. It's certainly not a problem I've had with buttons interfering with games.

  • Mark G. 9 months ago Link to comment

    My home button on my great Samsung Galaxy S5 is now mostly redundant as I use a great app called floating Toucher, it's a super charged version of the Samsung app "Toolbox". It allows me to lock the screen, flip between regular used apps and quick settings and has a home screen button.
    I have also changed the settings to allow "Air Wake up" settings - Device - accessibility - dexterity. This allows you to wake up my S5 by waving my hand over the phone.
    I only use the home button on rare occasions that the light sensor fails or microphone doesn't pick up Google now request.
    Though now I can set up the home button im going to have to play around see if it's time to start using it again.

    Peace ✌

  • storm 9 months ago Link to comment

    Android phone makers need to abandon the lame ideas of apple and adopt the smooth slick screen of what Android itself is designed for. On screen buttons are much better than the lame and outdated home button concept.

    It's sad that such an article is pertinent to Android at the start of 2016.

    • Paolo 9 months ago Link to comment

      Don't be so harsh. I prefer the physical home button than the on screen buttons. For one, the screen is used for 100% of my content every single time, especially in games, when on screen buttons don't even hide in a number of games to begin with. Also, it's easier to customise with a blank slate (all screen) as supposed to omnipresent on screen buttons...

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