Samsung Galaxy S4 developer options

It's worth a quick reminder that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is one one of the first devices to actually launch with Android 4.2.2.  And it's also worth a reminder that the developer options are hidden by default starting with that version of Android. As those of us who have been using Nexus devices for the past quickly learned, you'll need to spend about 20 seconds and a few taps of the ol' index finger -- OK, any finger will do -- to open up the nether regions of your Galaxy S4. 

So. You're sure you want to do this? You want to unlock the developer options on your Galaxy S4? Cool. Here's how.

This is super simple, and it's the same as it is on the Nexus devices. 

  1. Head into the Settings menu. Samsung's done things a little differently and changed the way the settings menu looks, so you'll need to hit the "More" tab, and then get into the Software information.
  2. Look for "About device" at the bottom. Tap it.
  3. Hop on down to the build number, and tap it seven times. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. You'll get a little prompt saying you're about to unlock the developer settings. Hit that button one final time -- seven! -- and they're unlocked.

Now you've got developer settings on the Galaxy S4. Try to remember to only use your power for good.


Reader comments

How to get to the developer settings on the Galaxy S4


I don't have a S4 to test, but also as a reminder. To unlock the "BeanFlinger" Daydream, do the following:

Go to Settings-->About Phone. Tap on the "Android version" quickly until you see a jelly bean. Tap and hold that jelly bean until the screen turns to a legion of floating jelly beans. Send a few beans flying around, then return to Settings-->Display-->Daydream and the option of BeanFlinger should be there. Enjoy!

I did the steps above on my S3 and it gave me the floating Jelly Beans, it's only 4.1.2 so no day dream but I never knew it was there, thanks!

Guess this is Google attempting to protect us from ourselves? While I don't use developer options often, I hate the fact they hide it. Just leave it out in the open and not make me jump through these stupid hoops to get to it. Stop making things for the lowest common denominator! :(

More than 7 taps, had to google it first when trying to turn on USB debugging and couldn't find my Developer options on 4.2.2 on my GNex after the update from vzw

@Phil - This is also the case on my Sprint Galaxy Nexus running 4.2.1. I was looking for these settings the other day and thought I was losing my mind (still might be) because I know I used them in the past.

Just like you I like it when it's out in the open. But since I'm the one fixing the devices when they go bad I don't mind this kind of verification. Save me some trouble.

I agree, I see this kind of client every day:

"My phone's screen is flashing the whole time, there are strange lines al over the screen, etc.", says the client.
"Ah HA! I say, someone has been fiddling with the developer options", I say.
"I thought it would make my phone faster/make my battery last longer/another dumb reason, as I am not technically inclined enough to know what the hell I'm doing. Why are these options there if they mess up the phone?"

It saves a HUGE heap of trouble now that those functions are hidden till revealed by someone. Now, once the guy has come and we've had to do number transfers using a Cellebrite machine, the dev options HAVE to be put on for this to work. Now I send off the client with unlocked dev options and the guy is back next week, 'cos his kid enables a bunch of them and now his phone is acting weird.

Long story short, has anyone figured out how to hide them again without resetting the whole phone?

People there is one thing to remember. Most people buying these smartphones don't realize they are buying a Mini Computer. They actually think these are phones that do tricks. Only smart well informed people know that these are CPU's with cellular radios and a phone dailer app.

Apple knew most people buying their devices weren't going to be smart enough to use them. So don't be mad at Google for protecting you from yourself.

If you're a smart person that needs access to these options you'll be smart enough to get at them.

Ex. Game consoles don't put developer options in the main menu. If they did every child out there would have a broke system.

But is says "Developer" settings, NOT "End user". That should be warning enough to steer people away unless they really intend to go there. I could see adding a warning of some kind when trying to access Developer settings, something like "Caution, these settings are for advanced users only" and require a click to proceed. But to hide it and require numerous taps to unlock the settings is the epitome of designing for the lowest common denominator.

Are you serious? You know you only have to do it once, right? Then it's there in the open permanently. It took you longer to write that post than it would to unlock the dev settings... and yes, Android is designed for the masses, since - whether you like it or not - most users are non-technical.

You're missing the point. I'm not so much concerned with the extra steps involved, but the principle of continuing to dumb things down by designing for the least educated and/or ignorant users. It's a really crappy way of doing things and only contributes to keeping people ignorant and making things more difficult for the power user. It's a lose-lose setup.

LOL 7 taps and ppl complain. its hidden cuz the normal/average user tends to mess with things they dont understand. same reason side loading apps is off by default.

After I hold it for a few seconds, a message appears saying "no need, developer settings turned on already"

People complain because you do 1 extra step to get Developer Settings. Yet, look how many steps it takes to root your phone, flash a ROM, etc. I bet it upsets you that you have to install the SDK Manager on your computer.

Ok. So now that this is solved how about Internet call settings on the s4 active . Usually it's in the call settings area inside the phone app, at least that's how it was on my skyrocket.

Hi there.
Sorry for asking....
What does this all mean?
If I activate/open these settings, what will change or what will I have access too?

Does this get me to the "RTN" screen in order to tell if the phone has been refurbished or not? That's what I'm really looking for on a Verizon Galaxy S4. Thank you very much.