system UI tuner

The hidden System UI Tuner menu adds more settings to the many ways you can customize your Android device. You can change settings such as whether the battery indicator shows on the status bar and whether that icon shows the percentage of battery left.

The System UI Tuner menu is not available on every Android device. We tested it on a Google tablet, a Samsung tablet, and an LG phone. We were only able to access the System UI Tuner menu on the Google tablet, but not on the Samsung or LG devices.

Enabling the hidden System UI Tuner menu is easy, if your device supports it. Here are some of the settings you can currently change using it (as of the time this article was written).

Enabling The System UI Tuner Menu

To enable the System UI Tuner menu, swipe down from the top of the screen to open the Quick Settings menu. Then, hold your finger down on the “Settings” (gear) icon until it starts spinning, which should take about 5-7 seconds.

NOTE: When pressing down on the “Settings” icon with your finger, it can be hard to tell when the icon starts to spin. We found it was easier to tell if you use a stylus.

Tap and hold the Settings icon

Lift your finger once the icon starts to spin. The Settings automatically opens and a message displays saying that the System UI Tuner has been added to Settings.

System UI Tuner added to Settings

When the System UI Tuner menu is enabled, there’s a small wrench on the right side of the “Settings” gear icon.

Settings icon with wrench

Opening The System UI Tuner Menu

To open the System UI Tuner menu in the Settings, scroll to the bottom of the “Settings” screen and tap “System UI Tuner“.

Tap System UI Tuner in Settings

A warning dialog box displays, giving a disclaimer about how these features may change, break, or disappear in future Android releases. Tap “Got It” to close the dialog box.

Warning message for System UI Tuner menu

Changing The Status Bar Settings On The System UI Tuner Menu

The System UI Tuner menu opens, currently showing three options. First, we’ll go over the “Status bar” option, so tap on that.

You are also reminded again, at the bottom of the menu, about how the features in the System UI Tuner menu are experimental and may change, break, or disappear in future updates to the Android system.

Tap Status bar on System UI Tuner menu

A list of settings displays. These settings are icons that can, and will, display at one time or another on your status bar. If there are some settings you don’t use, you can turn them off.

To hide a setting on the status bar, click the slider button for that setting so it turns gray. Enabled settings have blue slider buttons.

Status bar settings on System UI Tuner menu

One of the more useful settings is “Battery“. You can hide the battery icon if you choose, or you can display it with or without (default) the percentage on the icon.

Tap Battery on Status bar screen

Tap the “Battery” option and select whether you want to show the icon at all, and whether you only want to show the percentage when charging or show it always.

You can also change the “Time” to show hours and minutes, to show hours, minutes, and seconds, or not display the time at all.

Tap Always show percentage

Changing The Do Not Disturb Settings On The System UI Tuner Menu

Now, tap the back button on your device to return to the main System UI Tuner menu and then tap “Do not disturb“.

Turn on the “Show with volume controls” slider button to show the “Do not disturb” slider button when using the volume controls. The “Volume buttons shortcut” setting allows you to turn on “Do not disturb” by turning the volume all the way down using the volume button.

Do not disturb options on System UI Tuner menu

Changing The Power Notification Controls On The Tuner Menu

Tap the back button again on your device to return to the main System UI Tuner menu. This time, tap “Other” and then tap “Power notification controls“.

Tap Power notification controls on System UI Tuner menu

The Android system provides a set of simple options to adjust notifications for each app in the settings. You can block all notifications for each app (in “Apps” under “Device“), silence all notifications for all apps (in “Sound” under “Device“), or prioritize them to override the “Do not disturb” mode (also in “Sound” under “Device“).

Tap the “Power notifications controls” slider button to turn the feature on. The button is blue when the feature is on. This will add a more granular six-level scale to the notification settings for each app. The levels are described on the “Power notification controls” screen.

The “peek” feature listed under the various levels is the process of popping a little card over the display.

Turn on Power notifications controls

With the “Power notification controls” setting on, you’ll see a line under “Importance” with six dots on it when you go to “Settings” > “Notifications” and select an app in the list.

Select the level of importance for the selected app’s notifications by tapping on a dot on the “Importance” line. The levels go from “0” on the left to “5” on the right.

The options below the “Importance” line vary depending on the selected level of “Importance“.

Facebook notification settings

Disabling The System UI Tuner Menu

If you decide you don’t want to use the settings in the System UI Tuner menu, you can easily remove the menu from within the Settings. You can do this either in the Settings or from the Home screen.

From the System UI Tuner menu screen in the Settings, tap the menu button (three vertical dots) in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Tap menu button in System UI Tuner

Tap “Remove from Settings” on the pop-up.

To remove the System UI Tuner menu from the Settings while on the Home screen, drag down from the top of the screen and then tap and hold down on the “Settings” (gear) icon again, until it spins.

Tap Remove from Settings

For either method you use to remove the System UI Tuner menu from the Settings, a dialog box displays asking if you want to remove the menu and stop using all of its features.

If you’re sure you want to remove the System UI Tuner, tap “Remove“.

Remove System UI Tuner confirmation dialog box

What settings have you used on the System UI Tuner menu? Which settings are you hoping they add as permanent options in the Settings? Let us know in the comments.

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.