On the newest firmware, a simple setting change will banish one of this phone's major annoyances

The HTC One's unsightly on-screen menu bar was never the most elegant way to handle apps that still use Android's legacy "menu" key. We said as much in our review of the phone back in March. Thankfully with the new Android 4.2 update that's now rolling out in some countries, it's now possible to get rid of it entirely, and use a long-press of the home key to access menu functionality instead.

Menu key option

In the new Android 4.2-based firmware, the option that controls the way buttons work is found under Settings > Display, gestures & buttons > Home button. The first choice, selected by default, lets you get to Google Now by long-pressing the home key, or swiping up on it. The second option maps a long-press of the home key to the menu key, thus eliminating the need for an on-screen menu bar. As you can still swipe up to access Google Now, you don't lose any functionality there either.

Simple. Easy. And we're a little surprised it's not this way by default. In any case, if there's one setting you'll want change after getting the 4.2 update for your HTC One, this is it. So long, on-screen menu bar.

There are 21 comments

moosc says:

Alex Rocks!

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Whyzor says:

Epic fail on HTC to not just have the menu button in the bottom row like all the other devices that have capacitive buttons. Instead it has non-functional HTC logo taking up space.

I'm certain they did this as a desperate marketing move. From that perspective it worked because everybody who looks at the phone now knows that it's an HTC product even if they never had heard of HTC before.

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Whyzor says:

If they really can't cram the HTC logo somewhere else, could've at least kept it a button, like HTC inside a house icon to signify "HOME", and have 2 other capacitive buttons. Just utter failure. HTC is really not in the same league as Samsung & even LG when it comes to design.

romdude says:

I know your comment is a while back but if your phone is rooted, you can kinda use the HTC logo for that reason. There are some sensors I think that can be turned on that is underneath, not sure but go to xda and look.

zhelf says:

wow great tip! i wonder why htc didn't think of this out of the box still doesnt explain the quirky button layout but really helps improve the overall functionality of the device.

vividrich says:

Perplexed that they didn't make this change default. Only thing I can think of is they didn't want the tech support calls from people who wonder where the menu bar went. A lot of folks (most?) don't dive into the settings first thing to see what they can tweak.

Shooti says:

Because being forced to remember when to press the menu button with absolutely no cue is far worse for regular folks. That's why Google moved to onscreen buttons and the overflow menu on Nexus devices.

HTC made the right call since the black menu bar/strip for the legacy menu only really bothers power users/experienced users, and they are more able/willing to dig through menus.


Yo alex send an email to HTC asking when we getting the UK update

MonkeyNews says:

Great! Now if only I could get 4.2.2...I love the phone, but not too impressed with how HTC handle the updates.

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1. That is very useful info.
2. Damn I miss webOS.

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MonkeyNews says:

I can thank you now!

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gksmithlcw says:

I'll be so glad when this update makes it to my Sprint HTC One....

JHK1984 says:

Trey Beno says:

Wow. Another "just root your phone" post instead of being on topic or being truly helpful. Rooting is just an excuse to let manufacturers off the hook. We shouldn't have to root to have functionality, security fixes, or common sense additions. It's great that you can root, but please, just stop


DWR_31 says:

Trey, you can manually update your phone without root in some cases.

Posted via my Totally Android Central Themed including FX Cased, Rooted Sprint GSIII named "White Dragon".

making an awesome phone even better than it already is cant wait for this update to hit america

mallyuk says:

They did exactly the same with the One X.. provided this same workaround in the next software update.

It boggles my mind they did the same thing again. Oh dear HTC :(

mallyuk says:

They did exactly the same with the One X.. provided this same workaround in the next software update.

It boggles my mind they did the same thing again. Oh dear HTC :(

bgeaman says:

thank you alex! worked perfectly on my htc one!