How to disable or reassign the Bixby key on your Samsung Galaxy smartphone

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Bixby key — the dedicated way to access Samsung’s digital assistant Bixby — burned bright, but not for particularly long. After debuting on the Samsung Galaxy S8, we bid farewell to the dedicated Bixby button on the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus. While Bixby itself will remain, it seems the Bixby key will be absent from Samsung’s flagship phones going forward.

That’s likely to be good news for a number of people. While Bixby has gotten a lot better since it was first introduced, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. One of the biggest complaints is people opening Bixby by accidentally pressing the Bixby key. If you’re not a fan of the A.I. assistant, or would just prefer to use it with just your voice, it’s possible to change the way the Bixby key works on a number of Galaxy smartphones. While you can no longer disable the Bixby key entirely, you can make it harder to accidentally access. Here’s how.

How to disable the Bixby key’s single press

There are four main Bixby modes: Bixby Home, Bixby Vision, Bixby Voice, and Bixby Reminders. The latter is an app you can access in the App Drawer. You can press and hold the Bixby key to use Bixby Voice to talk to the assistant. Open the camera and tap the Bixby icon to open Bixby Vision. Finally, a swipe to the right on the home screen will open Bixby Home, as will a press of the physical Bixby key.

You used to be able to disable the Bixby key on most Galaxy smartphones, but with software updates, that’s no longer the case. However, while you can’t stop the Bixby key from activating Bixby, you can make it harder to accidentally trigger by requiring a double-press to bring up Bixby Home. To do so, you’ll need to access a specific setting in a specific part of Bixby — as nothing tied to Bixby is allowed to be simple, apparently.

To get started, you’ll ironically need to press the Bixby key. This will bring up the Bixby Home page. From there, tap the three vertical dots and tap Settings. Then scroll down until you find the option titled Bixby key. Change your option to Double press to open Bixby to make it harder to accidentally open Bixby. That’s all you need to do.

Reassigning the Bixby key

You can also reassign the Bixby key to launch other apps. Of course, it’s best not to head down this path if your reason for disabling the Bixby key is to stop something from accidentally launching. But if you just don’t use Bixby much, you may see the wisdom in using that little key to open a favorite app, like Google Maps or the camera, or to launch a preset Quick Command.

To do so, you’ll need to head back to Bixby Home and the area where you changed the Bixby key originally. Tap (or double-tap, if you’ve already changed the Bixby key) to open Bixby Home, then tap the three vertical dots. Then hit Settings > Bixby key. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to enable Double press to open Bixby. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to select the option to Use single press. Tap the slider to turn it on. Tap Open app to choose a single app from your list of currently installed apps to launch that one, or tap Run quick command to run a Bixby quick command when pressed. You can find a bunch of good examples by tapping Go to Quick commands after tapping Run Quick command.

If for whatever reason you’d like to set Bixby back to a single tap, it’s as easy as heading back to the same settings menu and selecting Single press to open Bixby. Keep in mind this will overwrite any reassignments of the Bixby key you’ve set up.

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