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The Samsung Galaxy S5 still has a menu button, it's just hidden

You just have to know where to look for it

With the Galaxy S5, Samsung has at long last done away with the capacitive menu key and replaced it with the fast app switcher. The stock Touchwiz apps in their new form all sport a proper, on screen menu button now, and all is right with the world. But, what about when you come across a really old, but still totally necessary app that still uses a legacy menu button? Well, Samsung took it away...but not completely.

Read on to see where you'll find it on the Galaxy S5.

GS5 menu button

Thankfully the days of really crummy solutions to this are long gone – any one remember that awful black bar HTC ran with on the One X? Most apps have long since updated to add the proper menu button, but even if they have, this little trick will also open up those menus, too. After all, it's a big phone, you might not want to reach up to the top.

So, you'll want to be pressing the multitasking key. Press and hold it in until the menu pops up. That's literally all there is to it. No black magic, it's just hidden behind the very button that replaced it. And that's OK. Like a comfort blanket, it's there if we absolutely need it.

For more, see our Galaxy S5 help page, and swing by our GS5 forums!

105 Comments
  • Great.....less work for lazy Americans Posted via Android Central App
  • isn't this same phone sold overseas as well?
  • Lazy Americans? I'm an American I work 6 days a week at my job and everyday on my business. I out about 75 hours a week in. How many do you put in? Oh and I'm in my mid 50's
  • What are you wasting the other 93 hours on. This is why China are winning! :)
  • lol Posted via HTC One on Sprint
  • Hans Pederson for the win! Posted via Android Central App
  • +1 lol
  • You win the Internet today!!!
  • Hans, my wife and I LOAO at your comment. Thanks for making our day!
  • No China is winning because the people live in the factories they work in for low wages and poor quality of life. The only people winning in China are the people in the ruling class the government. The workers pay the price and make the government a lot of money but this type of set up can only last for so long before it collapses. The chinese economy has already been losing ground lately so it has already started. I see in the near future more companies bringing back manufacturing to the U.S. If we could just get someone in office to lower taxes on business and loosen regulations a little the U.S. would boom again. But your right he is wasting a lot of time and people can always find ways to sleep less and work a little longer hours. The most successful people work at least 80 hrs a week ! I just wasted 10 minutes writing this I better get back to work !
  • Androidholic, businesses don't pay taxes. Posted via Android Central App
  • I believe what you mean to say is most corporations don't pay taxes. If you file as a C-Corporation, both the shareholders and the corporation itself are taxpaying entities and have taxes levied on their income. If you file as some other types such as S-Corporations, partnerships, LLC's etc, the company may be able to avoid most types of taxes because they are what is known as a flow-through entity.
  • Most corporations hide their income overseas, so they don't have to pay American Taxes.
  • I've never seen the problem with tax on income overseas. It wasn't earned here thus isn't taxed until you try to bring it in. As soon as they try to import money it gets taxed.
  • I mean to say I don't see the problem with that income not being taxed. Posted via Android Central App
  • Even if a corporation is "hiding" money overseas, they do still have to pay American Taxes. You can't keep 100% of your money overseas. Plus, in addition to corporate tax, they also have to pay things like payroll tax. We need to fix the American economy, but the "big companies don't pay taxes" mentality is not constructive in that conversation.
  • Thank you!
  • I guess you must not be talking about America which has the highest corporate income taxes in the world.
  • Maybe people in China get a good education and don't spell like an 8 year old.
  • No, your sentence clearly show why China "are" "winning". Posted via Android Central App
  • I have a little theory for you buddy....
    You say China is better, correct? Most Americans wouldn't be offended by that because it's, honestly, funny. More importantly and the root of this argument because America's are clearly the ... I don't want to say better... err... favorable party. However if we said we were better you would probably be offended..... why? The favorable part doesn't care because they know their better but the unfavorable party gets angry because they are spiteful... let me explain with examples that are not so controversial;
    A fat person can make fun of a skinny person and it's a funny joke. A skinny person can't make fun of a fat person or its offensive and mean.
    A poor person can make fun of a rich person and it isn't offensive. However if a rich person makes fun of a poor person they are rude and stuck up.
    A ugly person can make fun of a pretty person and they just laugh. However a pretty person can't make fun of an ugly person or they are going to hurt their feelings.
    Here's an example that makes this theory, or should I say known fact, very easy to understand... If a person who is starving says to a person who just ate "haha you're so not hungry haha"... it doesn't make any sense.... but if the person who just ate says to the starving person "haha you're starving you broke idiot" it's offensive and rude. Why? BECAUSE THE HUNGRY PERSON IS IN THE UNFAVORABLE SITUATION. THEREFORE YOU SHOUTCAST NOT PICK AT THAT FACT.
    ULTIMATELY it is OK for you to say China is better due to the fact that you're in the unfavorable situation. However it is rude to talk about how you all have small wieners and have sweat shops that make all our products. I mean what will you say about us ? That were fat? At least we can eat buddy!! So people who commented below I know it is hard to resist. I couldn't lol I had to through in a few jabs their but... as Americans we know we are better... therefor it's not offensive... we all know it's true. They are just but hurt so don't give in and make us look bad. You know? :)
  • Think you took the bait a little too hard there buddy
    Posted via Android Central App
  • You call this work!!!!!
  • I guess you think everyone should be stupid like you.
  • Dick... ಠ益ಠ
  • It takes lazy to know lazy. Seriously though, why can't we just delete comments like this?
  • No mods or editors ever do a thing about crap like this. Not sure why...
  • Because of freedom of speech.
  • And it's entertaining to read. Posted via Android Central App
  • So I can come in here and belittle the entire country Mexico and its people and there isnt gonna be anything said or done about it? I call BULLSHIT.
  • This was the stupidest comment I've read on the internet all month. Thank you.
  • you're an idiot.
  • Samsung did this because they don't really want us holding the (fingerprint) home button to get to recent apps. Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, K00949438Yd FRAMILY!
  • shut up americans work more hours than any one in the world...and if your european i really hate you
  • oh samsung.... with your gingerbread era UI and phone layout...
  • The Gingerbread UK is now finally long gone. I'm really liking this new TouchWiz so far.
  • Mistaking androidcentral for androidpolice, ChrisGonzales90? :)
  • Long pressing a button is way better than reaching to the top of the phone. Fist thing I did with my g2 was figure out how to long press an on screen button for the menu. Posted via Android Central App
  • Aight. The top is getting farther away with every phone update (assuming it's android).
    Samsung should use its hover technology to reach the top by lifting your thumb ever so slightly about half way from the phone and show you a translucent small circle that knows if you want to swipe down or simply tap by your next action of you thumb.
  • Only if you know it's already there, long pressing isn't the most intuitive way to do things. As far as reach goes though yeah it's a ton easier. Posted via Android Central App
  • Stupidest comment eva!
  • The people who think that because Google does something a certain way, that's the best way, are as pathetic as the Apple fandom who think everything Apple is perfect. Unless you have very large hands, it's impossible to reach the menu button at the top of these phones one-handed. Google should have put it at the bottom. Since they didn't, this is an OK work-around.
  • Yup. I'm happy Samsung ditched the capacitive button, but I also have small hands. So this is probably the best solution they could have come up with all things considered.
  • But the new way is way better than the old one. The icons on top of the screen show you actions that you have immediately available and the overflow button shows that you have more actions available, even if they are hidden. The menu key hides all actions behind it and you have to actually open the menu to find out if you have additional actions.
  • Well, at least this way, you have both, so everybody wins :P
  • I'm with you on this. I find the menu button way easier than the Android way. I just ran through my apps to see which ones used the new system, and like 90% still require me to use the menu button to access settings (including the Android Central one). So I use my menu key more often than my task switcher, and I like it that way. I have to use two hand usually to hit the top menu Posted via Android Central App
  • Both menu buttons open the menu on the Android Central app. One button isn't required over another.
  • If you have a menu button, menu icon on the screen is automatically hidden. On my Nexus 5, all of the apps I have installed have a menu button on the action bar somewhere, or use the new drawer.
  • Amen! Kudos to Samsung for standing up to Google's faulty design decision about the menu button. No wonder Samsung is killing everyone in the smartphone market.
  • How do I open Google Search now? On my GS4 it opens by holding the settings button...now what? I have to actually open an app to go to Google Now? Posted via Android Central App
  • Hold down the home button, takes you right into Google Now
  • Ohh ok kinda like a Nexus Device Posted via Android Central App
  • Long-pressing the home button launches Google Now Posted via Android Central App
  • So how do I open Task Manager? I really want an S5 but it's becoming quite the non Samsung device haha Posted via Android Central App
  • Well it is good if it is same as every other Android device. I still hate the reversed placement of back and multitask buttons. Posted via Android Central App
  • Very true. However I have a Nexus 7 and still prefer the GS4. I can actually clear RAM and go more in depth. I see your point though. I guess the Task manager option pops up when you hit the recent apps button?
    Posted via Android Central App
  • The reason RAM clearing is hidden from plain view as before, is because it is recommended NOT to clear RAM with the newer versions of Android. Android has gotten very smart about handling RAM, and will automatically clear it put whenever it needs to close a task that is not being used. Got Nexus?
  • Just about to respond to this guy with same thought !
  • This comment makes its way into almost every Android discussion. I've seen it a thousand times yet on my nexus, play edition, and Samsung devices I can still tell a difference with some games and certain apps that the ram needs to free up space. Let it go. We've all heard it by now.
  • "We've all heard it by now." Then why do we keep having to have the discussion? Android will free up when on demand. Forcibly killing processes can actually make the device unstable. There are still some people who think that all that stuff loaded in RAM is a bad thing because they're used to how Windows loads applications. I can believe that you might see some games load faster if you manually kill processes before launching them, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you're doing anything Android wouldn't have done on it's own. When you launch an app that needs more RAM that is currently available, Android is going to start sending "shutdown commands" to memory-resident apps that you haven't used in a while. Depending on how much RAM has to be freed and what those apps do while closing themselves (like saving your game, or your place in a video, etc) that could take a few seconds and your active app may run slower until it's all done. But you should not see an ongoing performance improvement beyond the initial few seconds of loading a big app whether you manually close processes or let Android do it for you.
  • That would be the multi-tasking button described in the article that you long press for "menu". RTFA
  • I had to find this the hard way in one of the apps. But better than having the black bar. I'm sure that normal people will have no clue how to get to the menu.
    Hopefully this gets some developers to change and have the software menu button in their apps like all the good ones have. Posted via Android Central App
  • That's actually pretty cool. Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 via Android Central App
  • Yes it's cool. It's the exact layout I've been using on my PA Galaxy S3 for a long time now
  • That's very good news. I really like the new multitask button and now finding out that it is still the menu button is awesome! I'm loving my S5 more and more every day! And all these so called tech reviewers that are giving the finger scanner a bad wrap just don't know what they are doing because the one on my phone works perfectly if you know what you are doing... Posted via Android Central App
  • Exactly Posted via Android Central App
  • Went in to a tmo store just now and didn't like the S5. The interface feels like a kids phone to me. The screen quality and phone feel overall I did like. I'll pass on touch whizz.
  • So buy the Google edition. Posted via Android Central App
  • Oh, the one that doesn't exist? Yah, great idea.
  • Installing a different launcher or even a custom ROM is beyond many people obviously.
  • A custom ROM, yes. But a different launcher is no different from downloading any other app. Find one you like in the Play Store, hit download and, once it's installed, the next time you hit the "Home" key, it will ask which launcher you want to use.
  • You do realize that Android lets you replace the launcher, right? Personally, I don't like the look of TouchWiz, but I love my Note 3. I just run Action Launcher instead of TouchWiz and problem solved. There are plenty of good launchers out there to choose from, if you don't like the one included with your phone. You shouldn't let the launcher that comes on the device be the sole reason you decide not to get a device.
  • Just like the multitasking function was hidden order the back key-longpress. Wow, so innovative. Finally Samsung has become the thing it wanted the most: Apple Posted via Android Central App
  • I guess I don't understand the reasoning for it. On my note 2 I like the menu button over there, I don't use it a lot anyway. When I need to see the recent apps I just hold the home button down a tick longer. Can I still do that on the S5 or am I going to be forced to stretch my thumb all the way across or use my left hand every time I want the recent apps list? Posted via Android Central App
  • Anyone pick up the S5 yet? If so how do you like it so far? Posted Via AT&T Galaxy Note 3
  • I'm loving it. The changes made to TouchWiz are nice and it's smooth as butter.
  • i came from a att note 2. i love it. its fits just right in my hand where as the note 2 was always too big. software is excellent screen resolution is excellent. battery life is great. i highly recommend it.
  • I'm surprised that Samsung still hasn't released a phone with on screen buttons. Seems like they release a ton of different phones just to appeal to everyone, yet they're missing some people by not having a on-screen buttons phone.
  • Of course they'll keep the home button.... It's just like their idol, the iPhone Posted via Android Central App
  • I used to think the same way, but I've found that I have gotten so used to the physical home button that I actually like it now (not on an 12" tablet though, Samsung :| ) I actually use the home button to wake up my phone far more often than the actual power button. You're right, though, about how Samsung seems to try and make a phone for everybody, except the people who like on-screen buttons. I guess the rectangular home button is just part of their core design, now.
  • Im enjoying my gs5! And im loving the new button layouts..I do a lot of multitasking and this is a great feature for me..I really dont mind long pressing for menus..I could live with that. . Posted via Android Central App
  • I think the best thing google should have done is to let the menu button stay in the form of showing when it's available, and let a menu be shown on the bottom. Maybe even make it possible for developers to use it as a part of the SDK. The reason for this is that the actionBar is getting too far from the bottom of the screen with each screen getting larger...
  • thanks!!!! totally needed that info cuz not having a menu button was kinda annoying but not a serious issue
  • Verizon's 2013 droid line does this. It's pretty slick.
  • What about Google search on the S5? On the S4 I just long press on the menu button and search pops up,..but since the menu button has been changed to the multitasking button, and long pressing on it pulls up the menu, then Google search isn't exactly obvious. Posted via Android Central App
  • You hold down the home button.
  • This seems like the best possible solution. I wish there was a mod that worked on non-rooted phones to allow this kind of behavior on other phones. Sometimes it is a real hassle to reach the top of these ever growing phones... And why couldn't HTC have figured this out from the very beginning? If I'm not mistaken even the old HTC one (M7) used the black bar solution for a while. Posted via Android Central App
  • Thanks to gravity box, I've got the same config on my Note 3. _______________________________________________
    This message was brought to you by the numbers 0 and 1
  • I really need to look into the Xposed framework more. I use Home2Launcher so that I can launch Google Now voice search on my Note 3 when I double press the home button, but the long single press for the multi-tasking menu gets annoying sometimes. Thanks for the heads up.
  • What happens if you press and hold the home button on the S5?, seeing as the app switcher that used to appear from doing that has moved to the left capacitive.
  • Opens Google search/now Posted via Android Central App on nexus 7 (2nd gen)
  • Thanks for this tip. BTW yahoo messenger utilizes this feature.
  • What's with Android Central and their passionate hate for the very necessary and relevant Menu button? Posted via Android Central App
  • i stopped asking myself that same question a long time ago. Its the same people that scream "plastic plastic" - not realizing that you cant get wireless charging with a metal unibody. Nexus fanboys. I bet if nexus had physical buttons, they would bash the same way if samsung had onscreen buttons. I don´t care. My S5 has the best Android camera available (after hundreds of testphotos i shoot the last 3 days: this is a save bet), the best screen on a smartphone ever (my eyes completely agree with displaymate), and the buttons are awesome. You don´t agree - i dont care. I live in reality - not fanboy-troll land...
  • Is it too much to hope for consistency across the platform?
  • Possibly. LOL. The best and worst thing about Android.
  • I thought we were posting comments about this Great Phone Samsung Delivered to us... Lol
  • After using it for about 2 hours and setting it up for my wife, she wanted to go back to Nova Launcher...still a great phone though.
  • Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
  • Seeing as I use the menu button a lot more frequently than I use the task-switcher button, can I change it so that the default action when I press the button is Menu, and if I long press it, it becomes the task-switcher? HTC One X let me do this. I don't want an extra 3 dot button appearing in my apps, and I like the menu button always being in the same place instead of wherever the app developer decides to place it.
  • thanks for sharing this post http://whatsappbonus.blogspot.com/
  • Isn't there a way to change that particular button?. I want it to work like on the S3, where one push was menu and long press was running programs. And not the other way around :(. I actually find that I use the menu button more then the "running programs" function on my S5
  • Thank you!
  • Thank you. I was wondering about this.
  • I don't understand why Samsung has to act like a bunch of idiots and take away one of the best things they had going for them. I rely on my menu button and use it all the time. I have no use for the recent apps button because a long press is all i need. The menu key is right because it is always there and is like a right click on a computer. If people must have that crap, they should at least make it optional and have the ability to change it to menu without mods. Time to look into LG and Microsoft phones because I'm done.