Some Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL owners aren’t happy with how it is difficult to remove the Navigation Bar in Android these days. It used to require a simple build.prop edit but that no longer works. However, this quick tutorial walks you through how to disable it by flashing a simple ZIP file.
The methods us enthusiasts much use to do previously simple mods to our devices are getting more and more complicated. This isn’t to say that flashing a ZIP file in TWRP is very complicated right now, but it does require someone within the community to create this ZIP file for us instead of just requiring that we edit a universal build.prop file.
If you followed a previous guide I did on how to remove the Navigation Bar of the OnePlus 5T then you’ll see how things are progressing lately.
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Thankfully though, Android is a very open operating system and there’s almost always a way to tweak things the way we want. That is why the developer community is so great for Android and why I hope it continues to thrive because it helps millions of people enjoy their devices that much more. So today I’ll be focusing on the Pixel 2 Navigation Bar and showing you how to remove it completely (and not just hide it with immersive mode).
This mod does require that you use TWRP to flash a ZIP file, but it doesn’t need to be permanently installed (so you can temporarily boot it without flashing the TWRP ZIP file to completely install it). It also requires that you flash a specific ZIP file that matches your device and version of Android. These are provided by the community developer over on XDA so make sure you download the proper file.
Removing the Pixel 2 Navigation Bar
- Download the NavBar Gone mod from XDA for your version of Android (Pixel 2 – Pixel 2 XL)
- Move or copy that file to the internal storage of the Pixel 2
- Boot the Pixel 2 into Recovery Mode (eg. boot into TWRP)
- Browse to and tap the NavBar Gone ZIP file
- Swipe the white arrows to the right to confirm the installation
- Wait for TWRP to install the modification
- Then press the Reboot System button at the bottom right
This step by step tutorial is a detailed explanation of a topic I covered on my Pixel 2 Tips and Tricks article. I recommend you read through that if you're curious about learning the ins and outs of the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL.
Just like I explained when I did a similar tutorial with the OnePlus 5T, the goal here is to just get rid of Android’s traditional Navigation Bar. With that gone, this frees up your applications, games, and movies to use the entire screen without you incidentally hitting a button or expanding the Navigation Bar. Immersive Mode is enough for some people but that doesn’t work in all instances so I look for something a bit more permanent.
Sadly, we can’t just use an application from the Play Store (as of right now) for the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL like we can with the OnePlus 5T. So we need to go to the dedicated people over on XDA and thankfully the developer Tulsadiver has created some simple ZIP files for us. The threads I link to in step 1 of the tutorial above also go on to talk about their Tulsadiver Mods Installer and if that’s something you want to experiment with, then you should.
I am sticking with the specific task of just removing the Pixel 2 Navigation Bar here so we’ll be ignoring both of those. In the linked thread for your device above, you’ll see a couple of links toward the top that are labeled a specific version of Android. So, if you’re on the Pixel 2 with Android 8.0 and its November security patch, you want to download that ZIP file and use it. If you’re like me though, we’re on the final version of Android 8.1 Oreo so we’ll just be using that ZIP file.
I prefer to link to these articles since the developer could continue the upkeep for these mods with future version of Android. Once that ZIP file has been downloaded, make sure it has been moved or copied to the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL and then we can boot up into TWRP (permanently installed TWRP or just a temporary boot into TWRP). Locate the NavBar Gone ZIP file and flash it to get remove the Pixel 2 Navigation Bar and then reboot back into Android.
From here, you’ll notice the Navigation Bar is gone so I recommend that you immediately go into the Play Store to download the alternative navigation bar of your choice. Also, if at any time you want revert these changes then boot back into TWRP and go look in the /sdcard/ozop folder for a restore ZIP file that you can flash.