Customize The Android Home Button Action

Android is a very customizable system, but there are some things you can’t easily customize, such as the Android Home button action. Pressing the Home button once takes you to the Home screen on any device. But, double-pressing or long-pressing the Home button will perform different actions, depending on your device.

You can customize the Android Home button action on any device with a physical Home button. We tested changing the Home button action on an Android device with a soft Home button on the screen, but couldn’t change it.

Today we will show you how to use a free app called Home2 Shortcut to choose the action that happens when you double-press the physical Home button on your Android device.

Install the Home2 Shortcut app

Step 1: Change The Android Home Button Action

To change the Android Home button action, tap “Choose Application” under “Step1“.

Tap Choose Application for Home button double-press action

When you double-press the Home button, you can open any app installed on your device or various shortcuts or plug-ins. For our example, we’re going to open Chrome when we double-press the Home button.

So, tap “Installed Applications” on the “Select One” dialog box.

NOTE: If you want to return the double-press of the Home button to its default action, select “Unused” on this dialog box.

Tap Installed Applications for Home button double-press action

On the “Choose Start Application” dialog box, tap the “Chrome” option button (or whichever app you want to open). Then, tap “OK“.

Tap Chrome for Home button double-press action

Set Shortcuts For Other Home-Based Button Combinations

You can also set shortcuts for other Home-based button combinations, such as pressing “Home > Back” and pressing “Home > Menu“.

To set up shortcuts for other Home-based button combinations, tap “Other key settings” under “Step1“.

NOTE: Home2 Shortcut has been around a while, so you’ll see Home-based button combinations such as “Home > Search“, long press on the “Search” key, and long press on the “Camera” key.

Some older Android devices used to have a “Search” key and a “Camera” key. If you have a device with these buttons, you can set up shortcuts for them too.

Tap Other key settings

We’re going to set up a shortcut to the Calculator app using the Home and Back buttons, so tap “Choose Application” under “Home > Back“.

Tap Choose Application for Home and Back button action

Then, tap “Installed Applications” on the “Select One” dialog box.

Tap Installed Application for Home and Back buttons action

On the “Choose Start Application” dialog box, tap the “Calculator” option button (or whichever app you want). Then, tap “OK“.

Tap Calculator for Home and Back buttons action

The app you chose to open using the “Home” and “Back” button combination displays under “Home > Back“. Scroll down to the bottom of this screen and tap “Back“.

Now, when you press the Home button immediately followed by the Back button, the Calculator app (or the app you chose) will open.

Tap Back button on Other key settings pageStep 2: Set The Double-Tap Interval

You can adjust the speed of the double-press, or double-tap, interval. By default, the interval is set to “Normal“. We recommend you try that first to see if it works for you.

If you decide to change the interval, tap on the drop-down list under “Step2“.

Tap Interval drop-down list

Select the interval you want on the “Double tap interval” dialog box.

Double tap interval dialog box

Step 3: Choose The Home Application

Next, you need to choose the Home application you always use. Tap “Choose Home Application” under “Step3“.

Tap Choose Home Application

If you’ve installed a launcher app, such as “Nova Launcher“, tap that on the “Choose Home Application” dialog box. Otherwise, select the default launcher, such as “TouchWiz” (for Samsung devices). Then, click “OK“.

As we’re using Home2 Shortcut to remap the Home button action, this tells Home2 Shortcut where to take us when we press the Home button once. So, tapping once on the Home button will be the normal, default action.

Select Home application

Step 4: Close Home2 Shortcut & Select The Launcher

Click “Close” in the Home2 Shortcut app or press the Home button on your device once.

Tap Close in Home2 Shortcut app

On the “Select launcher” pop-up dialog box, tap “Home2 Shortcut“. This makes Home2 Shortcut your default launcher. However, when you press the Home button, your selected launcher will still open.

NOTE: This dialog may be different on your device.

Now, when you double-press the Home button, Chrome (or the app you chose) will open.

Tap Home2 Shortcut on Select launcher dialog box

Have you found any other apps that allow you to assign a different action to the Home button? How have you set up your Home-button based shortcuts? Let us know in the comments.

Lori Kaufman
Lori Kaufman
Freelance technical writer living in the Sacramento, CA area. A gadget and tech geek who loves to write how-to articles about a wide range of topics. Loves watching and reading mysteries, cross stitching, attending musical theatre, and is an avid Doctor Who fan.