How to hide the notch on the Google Pixel 3 XL

Pixel 3XL in hand
Pixel 3XL in hand

With the Pixel 3 XL, Google has retained the stereo speakers while offering dual cameras up front. The components need to go somewhere, and the end result is that the Pixel 3 XL has a huge notch. Google does offer a way to hide it, but doing so requires going into the developer options.

Hiding the notch makes using the Pixel 3 XL much more enjoyable. If anything, it adds some symmetry to the device as there are considerable bezels at the bottom as well. Here's how you can hide the notch on the Pixel 3 XL.

How to hide the notch on the Pixel 3 XL

  1. Open Settings from your app drawer or home screen.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.
  3. Tap System.

How to hide the notch on the Pixel 3 XL

  1. Tap About phone.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom.
  3. Tap the Build number field seven times until you see a dialog box that says, "you are now a developer"

How to hide the notch on the Pixel 3 XL

  1. Go back to the Settings page and type notch in the search bar at the top.
  2. You'll see a single result called Display cutout. Tap the link to go to the Developer options menu.
  3. Select Hide to hide the notch.

How to hide the notch on the Pixel 3 XL

That's all there is to it. The Pixel 3 XL has a lot to offer, particularly when it comes to the camera side of things, and while the notch negatively affects the overall experience of the device, at least there's an option to hide it away.

As a word of caution, there's no guarantee that everything will work perfectly fine when you load up third-party apps from the Play Store with the notch disabled. The whole point of these developer options for managing the notch is to make it easier for developers to test their apps with a variety of screen shapes, and things may get a little weird. But if this is the only way you'd ever consider using a Pixel 3 XL, you now know how to manage that notch so you can happily use the phone.

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

41 Comments
  • Now, if Google had competent engineers this would also move the clock to the right and unlock the number of notification icons that can be displayed.
  • Or have another option that allows you to have two rows of notifications and status icons...seems like it would fit and couldnt possibly be uglier than how it is out of the box. -sortasarcastic
  • Yep
  • Notch on - 6.3 inch screen Notch off - 5.9 inch ! Lol, kind regards Richard U.K
  • Yea. These notched phones definitely overadvertise screen size.
  • I read somewhere that hiding the notch from this setting pushes the notification icon down below the notch effectively giving you less screen real estate.
  • You don't need to read that somewhere, lol. It's pretty obvious.
  • Oh...the third picture didn't load when when I made that comment, lol.
  • From what I've seen that just pushes the notifications down basically losing screen. This is more what I'd want. https://i.imgur.com/qxP9F5F.png
  • Yup this is what I'm hoping for and will look the best.
  • Yes... This. This. This. It looks like it's not what we get now but wonder if this could be done in a future update?
  • That is how OnePlus does it.
  • Just edit any wallpaper to add the appropriate black bar at the top and you have what you want.....
  • That would be perfect!!!
  • Want. Want. Want. That's an elegant solution utilizing the notch without realizing.
  • Well, it's a hack. But I thought I read somewhere that Android Pie was made to support notches :D It seems hiding was not part of their plan.
    If this is The Google Way With Notches, Nokia might not be able to bring "proper" notch hiding back while using Android One?
  • On the other hand, I want exactly this to happen, push notifications below the notch. I need to see all my stuff in the statusbar.
  • I like this option and was hoping for this. Might keep my annual pixel update going.
  • Headline could also read: "How to give yourself less screen space".
  • I'm a big fan of the goggle pixels I have pixel 2xl but I was so happy to get the new 3xl but after seeing the big notch in the middle of the screen I think that's so stupid and ungly and it turned me off from getting a 3xl I will be keeping my 2xl no 3xl for me I pass I go back to the note over this 3 xl looking like this
  • Lol this was funny to read
  • That notch is no where near as bad as many make it out to be. If I did not pick up the Note 9 this bad boy would of been my phone for sure.
  • The notch is deep AF, and the screen sits assymetrically on the face of the device. It's the combination of the two that leads one to conclude that it's flugly to look at. And that's what we do with phones. Look at them. All the time. Samsung was right to keep small bezels on their phones. The notches make little sense other than bragging about screen to body ratio, now that bezels are quite small on everything. The deep notch also results in a drastically overestimated/overadvertised screen size. You're still using, basically, a device with a 5.9" screen, but paying the 6.3" premium. That has always been an issue with Notches. The iPhone X/XS has less usable screen real estate (~5.3") than an 8 Plus (5.5"), because of the notch. On top of the price and weird aspect ratio, that's why many people went for the 8/8 Plus over it.
  • Have you seen any size comparison between the iPhone 8 plus and the iPhone X?? Because, sir, here you're talking horsesh|t. The iPhones are the only phones with a notch + overall design/experience that make sense. The rest are all trying to reach for that user experience. The pixel 3xl use of the notch, it's just fake trend, nothing else.
  • I blame all who screamed for less bezels. OEMs answered with passive aggression.
  • I don't know why but am not bothered by the notch.
  • Lawlz...Being completely honest I've been watching all this endless discussion/argument/tears about "notch" for months now by reading the headline and scrolling by. This article finally made me look and see what all the fuss is about...wow. It tells me just how much technology has plateaued when so many wars are being fought over such an incredibly inconsequential GUI issue.
    Whatever floats your boat!
  • Google was able to do some awesome things with the camera software, but man... they can't do hardware design to save their lives. The 3 is decent... it has top and bottom bezels, but the symmetry is there. The 3XL - gigantic robot with a lazy eye notch and big chin... why? Hide the notch and you end up with... a slightly bigger Pixel 3... why? At least keep the notifications and clock in the notch area when it's hidden... that's obvious to even a 1st year engineering student. Given their craptastic design and stratospheric pricing, makes me wonder if Google wants to be in the hardware business at all.
  • I agree, you get the Pixel for the software, not the hardware. I don't need the Pixel to be leading edge from a hardware design standpoint, but I also don't want it to be trailing edge given the prices they are charging! I don't care about awesome front firing speakers, yet this feature seems to be driving the HUGE notch, as well as a larger XL bottom bezel than other flagships (even year old flagships!). And the smaller 3 looks more out of date than an LG G6 to me (speakers I don't care about, again). I used to make fun of the boring Apple designs that never changed and had huge top/bottom bezels, but now all of their phones are beautiful. I'm somewhat of a phone addict, but see no reason to get a Pixel 3 or 3XL. Maybe I'll look for a great deal on a 2XL.
  • Okay. I REALLY like that they give you the option! It seems to me, not in terms of quality and performance, but in terms of functional screen space, effective screen size, bezel-to-screen ratio, and overall symmetry, changing the setting to "hide" essentially converts the Pixel 3XL design (and user) experience into the Pixel 2XL design (and user) experience - for better and/or worse. One the one hand, it is quite literally wasted screen real estate to do it. And it moves you back in time in terms of bezels that are larger than 2018. But if you just can't stand the notch, you have recourse. And as a current Pixel 2XL user, I definitely think the screen size and bezel situation is more than satisfactory. Now, I don't hate the notch, and I like that you have even just that little bit of extra screen real estate on the new phone. So, if I had a 3XL (which I really, REALLY want), I think I'd start with the notch visible. If I really came to hate it, it's nice to know that in the ways I'd want to go back to the 2XL, I can - without having to go back in the ways I wouldn't. I REALLY like that! I'm kinda torn between the notch and the bezel anyway. The notch is uglier, and the lack of symmetry is jarring. The 2XL is super symmetrical, and more "classically beautiful", which I appreciate. But the bezels [speaking of classical] which felt pleasantly small to me in 2017 now feel big and stupid, and really outdated to me in 2018. It feels like the physical body of the phone is so much bigger than it needs to be. At least with the notch, we get closer to that edge to edge display that makes the overall size feel more justifiable. I know, we still have the chin, and the notch. But still. Closer than we were before. Uglier than before. And yes, still less modern than the competition. But still, more modern than before. Also, love it or hate it, beautiful or ugly, that notch tells everybody that you're on a 3XL. And as a proud member of #teampixel, I really like the idea of so flagrantly "Flying the P". But I am still of two minds on the he notch vs the bezel. And that's why I LOVE that I could have either one on the 3XL. On my 2XL, that decision (for better or worse) is made for me. Should I upgrade, I know which way I'd begin. But I'm only so sure I know which way I'd land. But once again, the best part is that I get to choose! And I can change my mind at any time! I love it! Only two wishes: one, they'd at least enable the option for two rows of icons in the horns so that it at least sorta justifies the size of that notch. 2) they'd move the hide notch setting out of developer options and into the open. Developer options isn't a problem for me. I'm set up as a developer too. But for the casual user, it hides it behind a wall unnecessarily, and they may never even come to realize they have recourse. Cheers!
  • What's the point of hiding that monster notch, only to give your phone an even fatter forehead than before, and which all that engineering and screen redesign effort sought to eliminate? Seems like one expensive step forward and two experience degradation steps back.
  • Well, as I said in my long comment above, it's a feature I doubt that I would personally use if I had the phone. But I actually REALLY like that they give us the option. Now granted, we could all say, "well why didn't Google just choose a better design than the notch to begin with?" I get it, and I'm not even sure that I'm not sympathetic with it on some level. But that horse has left the barn, and so all we are doing at this point is whining if we insist on continuing to go down that road. We have a phone with a great big notch. For most of us, I think myself included, we'd rather have the ugly notch, with the extra screen real estate, and more forward thinking design, than a big bezel that puts the phone back in time two years, even if that older design is more symmetrical, less jarring, and more "classically beautiful" - especially when that bezel is artificial, and is actually disabled screen. But there are some (myself not included) who find that notch so detestable that they'd rather skip the phone altogether than have to live with it. If you're thinking that's silly, and short sighted, and stupid of them ..well, I don't disagree with you on any of those points - except with the caveat "to each their own". But do you really mean to tell me that it's BETTER to force the notch on those who won't accept the notch, than to create a "simulated Pixel 2XL front end" to accommodate and possibly draw in ones for whom the older design, even if outdated is palatable whereas the more forward thinking design is not? Please forgive me if I am misreading you, and reacting to that misread instead of to your actual intent. But what I'm hearing is almost sounding like you'd have liked it better had they not offered the alternative, which is a perspective I just don't get at all. So, they have a design that person A likes and person B hates, they have a way to appease person B without impinging on the happiness of person A in the process, and it's almost like I'm hearing "no, you shouldn't have made person B happy." It's options, my man. And options are almost never ever a bad thing. If people want the power and features and cool points of 3XL, but the look and feel of 2XL, and Google makes a way for them to have it without forcing it on anyone else, then I see literally no downsides to this. :-) Cheers!
  • That is actually pretty cool
  • Heartily agree! The power, features, and cool points of a 3XL, with a simulated 2XL front end for those who simply can't deal with the notch. I myself do not hate the notch (though I don't exactly love it either), and were I in a position to upgrade, I doubt very much that I'd turn on this option, opting instead to live with the notch and the horns for the extra screen real estate and forward thinking elements. But I know that the notch is a real barrier to some people, and this is a brilliant way around it - even if it does bring back the big bezels of yesteryear. Cheers!
  • Here's how: No one buy it so they fire the designers who made it so it won't be there next year.
  • The best way to hide the notch, would be to not buy a phone without a notch.
  • Pushing the notification down instead of leaving it where it was but with a black background (like other companies have done), is beyond stupid.
  • "How to hide the notch on the Google Pixel 3 XL" Seriously...you need to retitle this article to "How to create a giant-ass bezel on your Google Pixel 3 XL"
  • Notchgate more than shows that Android fans are just as bad and Windows Mobile fans when it comes to assorted specs and phone designs. It's like I never switched phones.
  • And if you don't want to do that, you can also wrap electrical tape around the top of the phone. That will hide the notch, too. Or, just don't buy a phone with a notch in the first place.
  • Can we see a video comparison of the 2 XL and 3 XL with the notch disabled? I want to see a hands-on side-by-side of the two in that way. Am I the only one?