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Enable System Tuner

How to Enable the System UI Tuner

In Marshmallow, Google gives its power users more ways to customize the device and today I’m going to show you how to enable the System UI Tuner.

To be fair, I had already written a tutorial about this feature back when Google had released the Android M Developer Preview. Looking back at it though, I see that the way to activate the System UI Tuner isn’t exactly the same as it was before. So instead of editing the old article, I decided to keep it there and write up a new one. This way, there should be less confusion and the original will always be there for referencing, archiving, etc.

Google say there are only 1.2% of the active Android users who are using Android 6.0.x Marshmallow. However, when I look at the community poll that I put up recently, I’m seeing that almost 50% of my readers are already on the latest version. This was the inspiration of doing this week’s tutorials because they are only available on Android 6.0 and higher. As with my device tutorials, I’m going to be breaking these up into bite-size tips so that they are more organized. This also helps when I need to reference back to a particular task in future tutorials as well.

Enable System UI Tuner

  1. Expand the Quick Settings Panel
  2. Tap and Hold the Settings Gear Icon
  3. After a Few Seconds, Let Go of the Setting Gear Icon
System UI Tuner Warning
Warning message when entering the System UI Tuner

Explanation

So, in order to enable the System UI Tuner in Android 6.0 Marshmallow, you will need to expand the Quick Settings panel. To do this, you can either swipe down from the top of the screen two times. Or, you can swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers. Both will result in your Quick Settings tiles being shown and this is where we need to be. At the top right of the Quick Settings panel, you should see a little gear icon. This is similar to the icon Google uses for the Android Settings app and it’s similar because if you just tap on this gear then it will launch the settings application.

However, if you tap and hold the gear icon, then it will start to spin. You probably can’t see it spinning because it’s so small, but if you nudge your finger/thumb over then you’ll notice it spinning. In the Android M Developer Preview, after holding this icon for a few seconds, the Settings app would automatically pop up and you will be told that the System UI Tuner has been added to your Settings app. In the final version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow though, this doesn’t automatically happen. You can tap and hold the gear icon for as long as you’d like and it will just keep on spinning. When you let go of the gear icon(after holding it for a few seconds), then you’ll notice the Settings app will pop up and you’ll be greeted with that toast message.

You’ll need to scroll down the page a little in order to reveal the System UI Tuner’s option from within the Settings. When you tap on it, you’ll be taken into the System UI Tuner page. If this is your first time looking in there since enabling it, you’ll be greeted with the dialog box as shown above. It’s just a little note from Google that tells you these experimental features may change over time and that you shouldn’t expect them to be there forever. I don’t see why Google would remove them(unless they added the feature elsewhere), but it’s nice they give us this little warning.

 


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13 thoughts on “How to Enable the System UI Tuner”

  1. John A Martinelli

    Just got 6.01 on my Sprint Galaxy S6 cannot get it to work! I see it in the application manager but cannot do that “gear thing”!!!

        1. Right. I’m seeing something similar in the Galaxy S7 and Samsung’s Marshmallow update.

          Samsung has removed the UI element to enable/disable the Adoptable Storage feature that Google put in Marshmallow.

          A workaround was to install ADB and fire off some commands via the terminal in order to enable the feature. I would imagine a similar thing is happening here.

          That Samsung has disabled the UI trigger from the Settings gear. So while the feature is still there, we might need to find alternative ways to enable it.

  2. I have the T-Mobile LG Stylo and I have it updated to the 6.0 and I cannot get the gear to start spending at all no matter how long I do it or what I do how do I go into the settings is there another way to enable it because I see it in my phone but there’s no way to adjust any settings

    1. Just like another person who commented here, sometimes OEMs just remove the feature from their build of Android. Unless we find a hidden way to access the menu, there’s not much else we can do. I’m sorry

        1. I actually still think it’s there(emphasis on the word think). I just think LG removed the trigger for the feature. That’s why I mention a hidden way to access the menu. Sometimes there’s ways(with like a Nova Launcher activity shortcut) to access parts of the Android OS that have been hidden

          I just don’t know how to go about accessing it from a Nova Launcher activity

  3. This is not available on samsung devices..i have the s6 edge plus.. if u scroll down with two fingers the gear will change to “edit” and i u scroll down with one finger and press and hold on the gear nothing will happen.. either samsung removed the feature or it has another way to do it which i donno how..and its the same on the note 4 and 5 i think

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