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How to switch the position of the navigation buttons on the Galaxy S8

The Galaxy S8 is the first Samsung phone with on-screen navigation buttons, which is a big change for the company, and its users! By default, though, the Galaxy S8 puts those virtual buttons in the same position as Samsung's older phones, with the "back" button to the right of the "home" button, and the "multitasking" button to the left.

Thankfully, these can be reversed, making it easier for people coming from other phones to adjust to the new Galaxy S8! Want to switch around the position of those buttons? Easy!

Put the back button where it should be on the Galaxy S8!

  1. From the home screen, swipe down to reveal the notification shade.
  2. Tap on the Settings button (cog icon).
  3. Tap on the Display menu.

  1. Scroll down and tap on Navigation bar menu.
  2. Tap on Button layout.
  3. Switch orientation to Back-Home-Recents (if applicable).

That's it! Now you can let your brain calm down and your mind open up to navigating Android just as Google intended.

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

25 Comments
  • Can you switch the buttons on the Pixel to put recent apps on the left? That was the first thing I did with my Honor 8.
  • No, that would be considered a feature.
  • I prefer the back button on the right. I hold the phone with my left hand so it's easier to use it with my right.
  • Me, too. I use one handed with my left hand. It's easier to reach on the right than the left.
  • Funny, I find it easier to hit the back button on the right with my right hand, because reaching across the device is more difficult, in my opinion.
  • But it's already the right way? Personally it makes no sense for it to be where it is on stock android. You reach over to press back and your palm hits recents. It's stupid.
  • With the back button being on the left side of virtually all other UI's including android apps, it just makes it more consistent.
  • Who cares??! Consistent? Who says? The norm is to have the Back button on the right side. Also, Samsung sells more phones than any one.. and they have always had it on the right side. soz thaaaaat is what is consistent (and also more common)
  • In six years of owning phones with onscreen buttons in the stock Android layout, I've literally never done that, and I have some pretty pudgy palms. I guess it could happen if you have really short fingers, but then I'd say you should just stop tweeting so much and it'd be less of a problem, Mr. President. ;)
  • It's more ergonomic having it on the left side. It's awkward for me to use the back button on the right as I have to bend my thumb to much inwards.
  • It is most ergonomic to have the back button on the riiiiight side. right side is right.
  • Having never used an LG device I've been eyeing up both the V20 and the G6. The screenshots I've seen of the devices looks like the back button is on the right in their UI as well. This would drive me insane. Is the same setting available on LG devices to reverse the nav buttons?
  • On LG devices the back button is on the left by default. But yes you can rearrange them. You can even add a couple different buttons (max of 5) and arrange them as you please. I loved the level of customization you get with LGs UI. Not a huge fan of the icons or launcher so I just switch to Nova. I'm using a Pixel now which I love but there's many less options than there were on my V10 and I miss them. *sad face*
  • Nice that they give you the flexibility to change it if you want to. I am used to it the way it is.
  • So glad they wrote a completely separate article on this. It's crazy complicated! /s
  • Hi Wizzy - totally off topic and perhaps none of my business, but for the life of me I can't figure out your avatar... where it is from, what it means, etc. I've seen it over and over again in your posts and I finally had to break down and ask. Apologies if you find this intrusive :)
  • In Chrome, you can right click and select "Search Google for image"
    In case you aren't on Chrome (desktop), here are the results: goo.gl/252R3H
  • "The Galaxy S8 is the first Samsung phone with on-screen navigation buttons" First TouchWiz Samsung phone, maybe. *cough*Galaxy Nexus*cough*
  • Damn, you're right.
  • But you won't correct the article to fix your mistake?
  • Technically, a Nexus device isn't really considered a Samsung/HTC or what have you.
  • I actually started using Android from samsung s4 abc got used to back on left. So even on my nexus I've done it like samsung. It's easier for me.
  • I prefer the icons where they are now, the same areas where they were on previous phones. You get used to them being there, and I wouldn't want to switch them around.
  • It's about time they let you set it the correct way. When I was toying with it at Best Buy I was setting them all with the back button on the left. =)
  • On my Note 4, when I use it left-handed, I would simply swipe in virtual buttons on the left of the screen. I have them configured from top to bottom: app tray/menu/back button. Works like a charm!