Let’s face it, not everyone is a fan of Bixby, Samsung’s virtual assistant. If you are a Samsung smartphone owner who chooses not to use Bixby, however, you may be wondering what you should do with the dedicated Bixby key on the edge of your Galaxy S9 or S10. Even though Samsung has built the Bixby dongle into the power button of the S20 and S21 series, you can still make it work for you if Bixby isn’t your thing.
Fortunately, you can remap the Bixby key, allowing you to improve the functionality of your device without Bixby enabled (you can always re-enable it if you don’t like it). To do so, just follow the steps below.
Remapping the Bixby key
On older phones like the Galaxy S9 and S10, the Bixby key will still open Bixby one way or another. The update simply gives you the option of launching another app via a single tap (then double tap will open Bixby), or double tap (where a single tap will open Bixby). Pressing and holding the button will also initiate walkie-talkie mode for Bixby. Unfortunately, there’s no native way to use the button to open Google Assistant, but we’ll get to that in a second.
Once you have the update head to Settings> Advanced features> Bixby key. We recommend that you choose Double tap to open Bixby, which means you will only have to press the button once to launch another app. Press on Use one press, and then tap the gear icon next to Open application. Find the app you want to launch – it could even be the Camera – and select it. That’s all! You have successfully remapped the Bixby button.
You will also see the option to trigger a Quick order when you press the Bixby button. Quick commands let you trigger a series of actions on your phone when you say a phrase. For example, saying “I’m driving” can turn off Wi-Fi on your phone, turn on Bluetooth, and start playing a “Daily Ride” playlist if you have one. Attaching a quick command to the Bixby key would mean you won’t have to say it out loud and can just press the button instead. Since there is a good chance of accidentally pressing the Bixby key, you might want to use it as a Press twice instead.
Bixby key remapping on Galaxy S20 and S21 phones
On newer phones like the S20, S20 FE, and S21 series, the Bixby key is built into the power button. Fortunately, you can always remap it. Here’s how:
- Hold down the power button, and then press Side key settings at the bottom of the screen.
- Under Press twicefaucet Quick launch camera to remap double tap to open the camera, or Open application to select the app you want, double-tap to launch it.
- You can also activate the Press twice deactivate to completely deactivate this function.
To turn off Bixby completely, you’ll also want to make sure you select Switch off the menu is selected under Press and hold. Once selected, press and hold the power button to bring up the Power off menu instead of waking Bixby.
Remap the Bixby key to open the Google Assistant
Note: This method works on any device that supports Bixby Button Remapping, which includes Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, S10 and S10 Plus, as well as Galaxy Note 8 and Note 9.
If you use Google Assistant a lot, you might want to launch it with the dedicated Bixby button instead of pressing the home button. There is a way to do this, but it requires a third-party app (which can still be a concern, in terms of security). The app and instructions come from the XDA developers.
We recommend that you first visit Settings> Biometrics and security> Install unknown applications and touch Chromium or Samsung Internet – whatever your current default browser. Activate Allow from this source. You can change it later, but this is what allows the browser to download unidentified files, which is necessary if you want to launch Google Assistant with the Bixby key.
Now head to this link and download XDA’s Bixby Remapper APK. We have tried this on several phones and the process worked without a problem. Follow the instructions to download the app and then install it.
Once installed, return to Settings> Advanced features> Bixby key. Tap Use one press, then click the gear icon next to Open application. Now look for an app called Bixby Button Assistant Remapper. That’s all.
Tap the Bixby button and you should have a choice of opening Google Assistant or Bixby (or it will automatically launch Google Assistant) – tap Google Assistant, then tap Always to make sure it will still open Google’s AI instead of Samsung’s.
There you go, you can now use the Bixby key to launch Google Assistant.