How to activate the secret accessibility menu with the basic functions of Android

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Android has a menu accessibility that is something hidden and that allows adding virtual buttons with which replace the use of the power button, the volume button and even take a screenshot. We tell you how to activate that menu in most manufacturers and what uses you can give it.

Changing the functions of a button on your mobile is easy with apps like Button Mapper, we can also transfer the actions of said button to the screen with a launcher that allows gestures, such as Nova Launcher. However, Often the customizations do not require any app because Android itself already provides them. This is the case of the accessibility menu, a somewhat hidden option that is tremendously useful. Did you know her?


Turn off the screen, turn up the volume, take snapshots …

Secret Menu Accessibility Left, default menu on Android (Google Pixel); right, support menu on Samsung Galaxy

As its name suggests, the accessibility menu is an option intended for make Android easier to use for people with vision, hearing, or both difficulties. It is a menu that offers direct access to essential functions of the phone, those that are performed through the physical buttons of the device.

The accessibility menu is very useful to have centralized phone management on a portion of the screen. Once this menu is activated, just make a gesture, or click on an icon in the navigation menu (it all depends on the mobile phone and the Android version), to have at hand the shutdown of the screen, the captures, the display of the last open apps or the volume buttons. And without installing applications since the accessibility menu is included as standard in Android.

For activate the accessibility menu in Android the basic method is such that:

  • Go to your mobile settings and go to the accessibility options.
  • Look for the ‘Accessibility Menu’ option.
  • Activate the menu by clicking on ‘Direct access to Accessibility menu’.
Secret Menu Accessibility

If you use the navigation gestures, you can display the menu by scrolling the screen from the bottom edge up using two fingers (in Android 11). In the event that you use the navigation buttons, the launch gesture remains on the start icon: you have to press and scroll up; it is also likely that a small doll icon appears in the navigation button area: is the accessibility menu icon. Besides, you can launch this menu by holding down the volume keys if you choose that option.

Secret Menu Accessibility Launch of accessibility menu with active navigation buttons

So far the generic and the simplest way. In the rest of brands the activation varies and can be much more hidden. It may even change the name of the function, as with Samsung.

How to activate the accessibility menu on Samsung mobiles

Secret Menu Accessibility

First stumbling block: the accessibility menu as such does not exist since Samsung changes the name to ‘Assistance menu‘. Of course, the brand adds remarkable power, also greater versatility. Even buttons can be customized, an option that Google does not natively allow on Android.

To activate the assistance menu in the Samsung Galaxy you must do the following:

  • Go to your phone’s settings and go to ‘Accessibility’.
  • Go to ‘Interaction and skill’.
  • Look for the ‘Assistance menu‘is at the top. Activate it.
  • You can customize menu items, transparency and even interaction with certain apps on your phone.

In Samsung the assistance menu is a floating icon (It can also be set as a border icon, but it is not that useful). Once you activate it, just click on the shortcut to launch the actions you want. And you can move the menu button to any area of ​​the screen: it will be superimposed on the rest of the apps.

How to activate the accessibility menu on Huawei and Honor phones

Secret Menu Accessibility

In the Chinese brand the accessibility menu is called like that, but the manufacturer hides its location somewhat more since it is necessary to carry out several additional steps. What are they:

  • Go to the mobile settings and enter ‘Smart assistance’.
  • Scroll down to ‘Accessibility shortcut’ and click on the option. Most likely, you have ‘TalkBack’ marked.
  • Click on ‘Select functions’ and activate ‘Accessibility menu’.
  • Hold down both volume buttons and you will see a small doll appear in the navigation area, on the right. It is the direct access to the accessibility menu.
  • To remove the shortcut, press and hold the volume buttons again.

The accessibility menu does not work with navigation gestures, so you will have to activate the virtual buttons to use it.


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How to activate the secret accessibility menu with the basic functions of Android

was originally published in

Xataka Android

by
Ivan Linares

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