Top 15 Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts Every Android Pro Should Know About

Reading time: 9 Minutes

Interestingly, Android has lots of hidden menus, options, and features that give users more control over their devices. To discover these, gadget fanatics and tech aficionados try to analyze every possible Android device available on the market. In this post, we emphasize the most amazing and freshest top Android tips and hacks. Hopefully, after reading, you will know how to unlock your device using facial recognition or even use your device as a security device for motion recording and detection.

1. Force Install Apps On Your SD Card.

Some app developers are not in favor of installing apps directly to the SD card. For them, doing so will only limit the ability of the app they created.

Now, if you want an app installed on the SD card, you need to go to Settings > Developer Options. After that, select Force Allow Apps on External. Next, reboot your app. You should see that you can now move your app from your device’s storage to your SD card.

Note that some apps will not work if you force install them on your SD card. It is because some app developers design their apps to only work in a device’s internal storage. To prevent problems like this, avoid moving system apps, including the pre-installed Google apps.

2. Enable Recovery Mode.

For those who want to maximize what their Android devices can do, we suggest you enter Recovery Mode. Entering this mode allows you to reset your device to its factory settings and apply OTA updates. Also, it is also one of the first few steps to root an Android device.

To enter Recovery Mode, turn off your device. Then, with your device still switched off, hold down the power and volume buttons until your device turns on. Use the volume buttons to explore the options available. To select an option, press the power button.

Now, if you think that was easy, you can enter Recovery Mode in a faster way. Although it is not available on some devices, it works on most. All you have to do is go to Settings > Developer Options. Next, enable the Advanced Reboot option. After doing that, whenever you long-press the power button, you have the option to choose Reboot, Bootloader, and Recovery.

3. Gain Access To More Folders Using The Default File Manager.

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do with the default File Manager of your Android device. Aside from showing only the Downloads folder, it will also only display and scan certain file types, such as videos, audios, and images. Then again, there is a way to gain access to all folders on your device’s internal storage without having to install a third-party app.

Go to Settings > Storage. Depending on your device, choose the option Files or Explore. After that, you should be able to open your File Manager and let it display all files and folders in your internal storage.

4. Force Update Google Play Store.

Google regularly rolls out updates to the Play Store app, but the thing is, they do it silently. That means you will not have any idea if there is a new update for Play Store.

To manually check if there is an update, open the Play Store app and head over to the side navigation menu. Select Settings > Play Store Version. Though it appears as an option that is included in the list, Play Store Version is a button that forces the app to check for new updates.

5. Access Websites As If They Are Apps.

Though Google Play Store already has more than 3 million apps, you can download and use, a lot of websites still haven’t developed an app for their mobile users. Fortunately, there is a way to access your favorite sites as if they are apps from Play Store. And the best thing about it is you only need to use Google Chrome.

In case you don’t know it yet, Google Chrome supports a feature called Progressive Web Apps. These are web apps that allow web pages to run the same way as mobile apps. They can be saved on your home screen for quick and easy access. They are also designed to respond to touch. But, these PWAs do not work with all websites. Web developers need to create in-support to allow a site to operate as a mobile app.

To check if your favorite website supports this feature, open Google Chrome on your device and visit the website. Once it has completely loaded, tap the Menu button and select Add to Home Screen. If the site supports PWA, a pop-up will emerge, allowing you to change the name of your icon.

6. Shorten Or Delay Auto-Lock.

When your screen times out, your Android device will wait a couple of seconds before it locks. If you want, you can adjust the waiting time to make it shorter or longer.

Go to Settings > Security. Click the gear icon next to Screen Lock. Select Automatically Lock. A menu will pop up, allowing you to adjust the period when your device’s display goes to sleep.

The default time when the screen will lock is 5 seconds. If you want to improve your security, you can change the settings to lock immediately. Otherwise, if you’re going to delay, select a value longer than the current time.

7. Enable Force Split Screen Mode When Using Apps.

Android Nougat came with the handy feature called split screen. It allows you to open multiple apps at the same time. Unfortunately, not all apps support this feature. But, there is a way to force all apps to support split screen.

First, go to Settings > About Phone. Next, tap Build Number 7 times. And then, go back to Settings. This time, choose Developer Options. Enable Force Activities to Be Resizable.

Be mindful that the apps that do not initially support the feature might become unstable when opened in split-screen mode. In rare occasions, they may crash. So, this isn’t always a good idea.

8. Improve And Speed Up Your Device’s Animations.

There is a way to improve and speed up the performance of your Android device. When done the right direction, it does not only make your new device snappier. It also boosts the speed of older Android devices without the need to factory-reset them.

To do this, go to Settings > About Phone. Tap Build Number 7 times. Return to the main Settings page and select Drawing. Under this option, you can make changes to three settings: Animator Duration Scale, Transition Animation Scale, and Window Animation Scale.

9. Learn To Hide Folders.

Although there are File Manager and Gallery apps that can hide folders, there’s a secret method in Android for hiding folders that does not require the help of any third-party app.

Open the default File Manager app and create a new folder with a name that begins with a dot (.), for example, ‘.folder’ or ‘.secretfiles.’ After that, move your private files to the folder you created. Rest assured they will no longer show up in your Gallery.

10. Hide The Icons In The Status Bar.

Though you can hide the icons in your status bar using Developer Options, there is another handy menu that lets you do the same. It is called the System UI Tuner.

To access the System UI Tuner, open Settings > About Phone. Tap Build Number 7 times. Next, go to your Quick Settings menu. Tap and hold the gear icon for 5 to 10 seconds. Once you let go of your hold, a message will pop up on your screen saying “System UI Tuner Unlocked.”

Now that you have unlocked the System UI feature, head over to Settings > System > System UI Tuner. Select Status Bar to enable or disable the icons that appear in the status bar.

11. Use Your Android Device In Safe Mode.

Knowing that there is plenty of malware out there, you cannot just play safe. While there are reliable apps like Outbyte Android Care that can help take care of your privacy and remove the virus, sometimes, running your device on Safe Mode is the best solution.

When you use your device in Safe Mode, your system will stop third-party apps from running. You can also quickly locate and disable potential threats.

To enable this mode, long-press the Power button. Next, long-press the Power Off option. You will then be asked to confirm if you would like to proceed with entering Safe Mode. Select OK. If you no longer want to use this mode, restart your device.

12. Lock An App To The Screen.

When somebody asks if they could borrow your phone, you often feel worried because he or she might go around and check every file, folder, or app they are not supposed to see. Luckily, Android has released an impressive feature that could prevent others from navigating outside a particular app, unless he or she knows your PIN code.

To enable this feature, go to Settings > Security. Select the Screen Pinning option. Toggle the Ask for a PIN before unpinning option if it is still disabled. Now, open a specific app that you wish to lock in place and press the Recent Apps button on your screen. Scroll up until you reach the bottom of the app’s card. Press the Pin icon.

By pinning the app, any person who will use your device can only access that current app. But, take note that he or she can still navigate through and explore the app and its features. For instance, if you pin the Messaging app, a user can even see your messages and read them.

To disable screen pin, tap the Back and Recent Apps buttons together. You will then be sent to the lock screen that requires your fingerprint or PIN code.

13. Control Your Data Usage.

Most of us may have subscribed to limited data plans because many wireless network data carriers are slowly getting rid of their unlimited data plans. Because of that, we often feel the need to monitor and control our data usage to avoid high bills.

Though most carriers send out warning messages when you have almost consumed your data usage, Android has a much better solution.

Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Data Usage. From there, you will see different tools you can use in managing your data, so you don’t exceed your monthly limit. If you press Usage, you will see a graph that represents the current percentage of data you used. If the data usage is higher than, you can start limiting data usage of background programs and apps by switching to Data Saver.

If you toggle Mobile Data, you will see a list of apps that are using up your data plan. Choose a particular app on the list, and more controls will open up.

Additionally, you can make sure your mobile data usage is correct and accurate. Go to Billing Cycle and then, choose Billing Cycle again. Change the default day to the same day you have on your monthly billing cycle.

Under the Data Usage option, you can set your device to send out alerts whenever your data plan is nearly running out. And if you want to avoid exceeding your data, set a data limit. You can do this by selecting Set Data Limit. Once it is enabled, your device will automatically turn off data usage when the set limit is reached.

14. Zoom Google Maps With One Hand.

If you feel the need to use Google Maps with one hand, there is a way. Open Google Maps, double tap the screen and slide up and down to zoom in and out. It’s a more convenient way to use this app than pinching your fingers and holding your device at the same time.

15. Find The App That Is Sending Annoying Notifications.

Do you always see app notifications, but you are not sure which specific app is sending it? There is a way for you to find the app. Long-press the notification and your Android device will tell you.


With these Android shortcuts, tips, and tricks, you will gain full control of your device and make the most out of it. Do take note that some of the steps may vary a bit from one Android device to another because of the differences in their OS version and build. Just don’t be afraid to explore.

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