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Bixby Routines is the best Samsung Galaxy feature you're not using

Bixby Routines on the Galaxy S20 Ultra
Bixby Routines on the Galaxy S20 Ultra (Image credit: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

Bixby is used as a punchline more than as a smart assistant, and for the most part, it's justified. But there's another "Bixby" feature that doesn't have anything to do with Bixby at all: Bixby Routines. And interestingly, unlike most of Bixby, Routines is an amazing feature that more people should be using — but most don't even know it exists.

Bixby Routines was introduced with the Galaxy S10, and it didn't get much attention at the time — probably because it's a bit mechanical and requires lots of manual set up, rather than being something that happens automatically and intelligently. Nonetheless, everyone with a Samsung Galaxy phone from the last couple of generations should be trying out Bixby Routines — there's a great chance you'll find something useful it can do for you.

How to use Bixby Routines on Samsung Galaxy phones

Bixby Routines is similar to the likes of Tasker (opens in new tab) or IFTTT (opens in new tab), in that it automates a series of actions based on specific triggers. The simplest triggers to understand are locations, times, and phone states like Wi-Fi networks, charging status, etc. You then create a simple combination of actions to happen when a trigger is tripped — at this time, change this setting; or at this place, take this action. It's super simple. (You can also set up routines that can only be triggered manually, if you wish.)

Source: Android Central and Android central

You can access Bixby Routines through the quick settings pane, or in the full phone settings, and get started from there. Here's a (far from comprehensive) list of simple Bixby Routines that are useful every single day; some of which I use, and others that have been suggested and shared with me:

  • When you arrive at work or school, your phone goes on silent; when you leave, your phone's volume turns back on
  • When you connect to your car's Bluetooth, set messages to read aloud and keep your phone unlocked
  • When you arrive home, increase your ringer volume and turn on Wi-Fi
  • At bedtime, set volume to silent, turn on the blue light filter, turn down your screen brightness, and turn off Always On Display
  • When you connect Bluetooth headphones, set the media volume to 30% and launch a music app
  • If it reaches midnight and your phone isn't plugged in, turn on Medium Power Saving Mode
  • When you open specific video apps, turn on auto-rotate for the display
  • When you open photo apps (Gallery, Google Photos, Lightroom, etc.) turn off the Blue Light Filter
  • When you launch a specific game(s), turn on Do Not Disturb and change the video profile

There's no reason you should be doing all of these things manually every day.

Your routine doesn't have to start with a single trigger, either — you can make sure multiple parameters are met before it runs. For example, a time and a place, or a specific network is connected and a certain device setting is on. Then, the number of actions your phone can take automatically is incredible: at the time of writing, there are 47 different settings, functions, and actions that can be changed with a trigger; and again, multiple things can be done at once. The possibilities are huge.

The best part about Bixby Routines is that once you set up a routine, you never have to think about it again unless you want to change the parameters of the routine. And now you're automating a whole bunch of things you do on a weekly or daily basis — all handled automatically without you giving them a second thought. You can even keep Bixby Routines from even notifying you that a routine has run, for a completely seamless experience.

If you haven't given Bixby Routines a look yet, you really should now — it's one of the best features your phone has.

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

17 Comments
  • Forcing bixby on me combined with only 2 years of updates is why I will never buy another galaxy phone.
  • Which part? Bixby isn't one thing, it's a range of services of differing quality. I expect you don't mean Bixby but Bixby Home and Bixby Voice.
  • How about Samsung Push Services? That's another feature I am not using and don't want! It's just Samsung ad notifications! Can't Uninstall it. Can only turn off notifications but it still uses space, memory, battery and data.
  • Because I expect you'd break a tonne of features if you did. You're buying a Samsung phone.
  • Or I could use Tasker and IFTT, and never have to do anything in Bixby ever again.
  • Bixby routine is a way better than Tasker et al. It's easy and built in. Just give it a try
  • Yes I love using Bixby routines, I have it set to change all volumes to low at night and then back to max in the morning, Bixby still may be far from perfect but using it to control your phone works very well. I can say "bixby" open music app, it will open, the tell bixby to push play and it will start playing music. All hands free. People knock Samsung so much, but like 70% of their features end up on Stock google a few years down the road.
  • Saw this article, so I tried a few basic routines like keeping the phone unlocked when at home, or connected to a BT device. I know Google provides "Smart Lock" but it is so inconsistent. So far, the routines seems to be working for that. I also set it up to stop an app I have that crashes whenever I get a phone call so I don't have to deal with the stupid popup telling me it stopped working (dev is trying to squash this bug). This is my first Samsung phone, coming from a Pixel 2XL. Not sure I will stick with Samsung tho.
  • Despite the "Bixby" name it is actually part of Good Lock. So it has nothing to do with Bixby. I have everything Bixby disabled and still ran routines. Alas I found it to be much lacking. I do a lot of stuff with Tasker and only a few could be replaced by BR. Since I don't need two apps doing pretty much the same thing I stayed with Tasker and it's much larger usage possibilities.
  • Why do people have such negative things to say about Bixby?
  • I've used on S10e. A little clunky to set up, not too bad. I've found my auto rotate routine is highly unreliable. Others work fine. I'm intrigued by the feature of keeping the phone unlocked--I too find location-based Smart Lock to be unreliable.
  • User error! If you add more than one condition, it uses AND logic between them, not OR. Auto rotate routine works swimmingly now!
  • This might be the worst paid article I've ever seen.
  • This might be the worst post I've ever seen
  • Agreed it's awesome.
  • Yes, my Note 8 and the Bixby button made me HATE anything with the name Bixby. It was intrusive, did not work well, and I could not control it. I have been using MacroDroid for years and did not even know about Bixby Routines. I just checked them out, and yes it would provide some basic functionality, but can't come near replacing MacroDroid for me.
  • Makes me feel dumb for not using the bixby routines all these while but instead downloading frss tasker. When I can have more than 3 automation sets. Another reason I'm never leaving Samsung.