Android Hints Tweaks and Tips

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Find WiFi Direct Devices

Settings > Network & Internet > WiFi > WiFi Preferences > Advanced > WiFi Direct

Hidden Test Menu



Changing The Auto Fill Service

Backup Apps using SKIT

Play Store


Backup Apps Using APK Export

Backup Apps Using ADB

Read System Logs Using ADB Logcat

sudo -i
adb devices
adb logcat >/tmp/logcat.txt
adb logcat |grep -i 'whatever'

Thanks -

Backup Apps and Data Using ADB

Switch to root user and check phone is seen...

sudo -i
adb devices

Single App and Data...

adb backup -apk com.king.candycrushsaga -f /path/to/backup_candycrushsaga_20180724.ab

All Apps and Data..

adb backup -apk -all -f /path/to/backup_apps_20180724.ab

All Apps and Data and SD Card Contents...

adb backup -apk -all -shared -f /path/to/backup20180724.ab

Show Seconds In Status Bar Clock

Enable the System UI Tuner (below) then...

Settings > System > System UI Tuner > Status Bar > Time > Show hours, minutes and seconds

Enable System UI Tuner

Android 8

To enable the System UI tuner menu, swipe down on the status bar and tap-and-long-hold on the gear icon. That will enable the System UI tuner menu in Settings.

Android 9


Android Beta Program

Check Your IMEI Number

How to tether on Samsung J5 (2017 Model)

Android 8.0 Oreo Disable Background Notifications

How to Disable the "Is Running in the Background" Notification on Android Oreo

Control Your Notifications

Control Your Notifications

How to use Android Oreo Notifications Properly

WiFi On? Data Off?

This is absolutely redundant and unnecesary, when the phone connects to a wifi, it disables 3g/LTE data connection by itself. When you connect to a wifi you can see how the 3g/H/H+ icon above radio signal dissapears. The radio chip inside this phones can be used in Wifi mode or 3g/4g mode for data connection, but not both at a time. It is technically not possible.

HOWTO: Change Your IMEI Number

If you have damaged your /efs partition, then you can recover your EFS and IMEI Number.

  1. The IMEI Number of the Phone is under the battery
  2. Check that it has not been blacklisted here -
  3. Install the Xposed Framework For S3 I9300 CM13 Mashmallow Android 6.0 via TWRP Recovery
  4. Install IMEI Changer
  5. Start Xposed Framework App > Modules > Tick IMEI Changer > Reboot
  6. Check IMEI Number in Phone Dialer by dialling *#06#

HOWTO: Backup EFS Partition

The /efs/ partition is where your IMEI, MAC Address, etc. is stored and if this is lost or corrupted, you cannot make any phone calls or connect to wifi.

To backup, use TWRP Custom Recovery...

Backup > EFS > Swipe

...then copy the folder to your computer and then copy that to the cloud.

adb pull -p -a /sdcard/TWRP ~/TWRP
aws s3 sync ~/TWRP s3://bucket/TWRP

...and then you can sleep at night :)

HOWTO: UnRoot and ReRoot or Toggle Root

If you would like Android Pay or Pokemon Go to work on a rooted phone, then you need to just delete or move the 'su' binary from the folders it is located in.

I initally did this using 'ES File Exporer' Root Explorer feature, but once you do it, you cannot do it BACK again.

So, I came up with a better method using a laptop and a cable.

You will be logging in to the phone as root, remounting the system folder as read-write, creating some folders, moving the 'su' binary to those folders, and then remounting the system folder as read-only. We then download a copy of the 'su' binary to our laptop for good measure. Then, we test that we can pass the 'SafetyNet' test using a free simple no-ads app from the Play Store.

These instructions are at your own risk. You have been warned if you brick your phone. I accept no responsibility.


  1. Enable Developer Options
  2. Enable Root ADB and APPS
  3. Enable ADB Debugging
  4. Plug USB cable in to computer and phone
sudo -i
adb devices
adb root
adb shell
/system/bin/mount -o remount,rw /system
mkdir -p /sdcard/system/bin
mkdir -p /sdcard/system/xbin
cp /system/bin/su /sdcard/system/bin/
ll /sdcard/system/bin/su
cp /system/xbin/su /sdcard/system/xbin/
ll /sdcard/system/xbin/su
rm -i /system/bin/su
rm -i /system/xbin/su
/system/bin/mount -o remount,ro /system   (if this fails do not worry)
adb reboot

Reboot the phone.

Test with SafetyNet Helper Sample app.


  1. Enable Developer Options
  2. Enable Root ADB and APPS
  3. Enable ADB Debugging
  4. Plug USB cable in to computer and phone
sudo -i
adb devices
adb root
adb shell
/system/bin/mount -o remount,rw /system
mv -v /sdcard/system/bin/su /system/bin/
ll /system/bin/su
mv -v /sdcard/system/xbin/su /system/xbin/
ll /system/xbin/su
/system/bin/mount -o remount,ro /system   (if this fails do not worry)

Reboot the phone.

Test with SafetyNet Helper Sample app.

CyanogenMod Phone Backup and Update

  1. CyanogenMod Update
  2. Titanium Backup
  3. UnRoot
  4. Reboot

HOWTO: Clear App Cache

Android 6 Marshmallow

Settings > Storage & USB > Internal Storage > Cached Data

Android 5 Lollipop

Settings > Storage > Cached Data > Clean

ADB Push and Pull Files and Folders

Push File

adb push ~/path/to/file /sdcard/

Pull File

adb pull /data/app/file ~/path/to/my/folder/

Pull Folder

adb pull /sdcard/. ~/path/to/my/folder/

Thanks -

Thanks -


adb pull /sdcard backup
failed to copy '/sdcard' to 'backup': Is a directory

The trick is to add /. to the name of the folder you want to copy.

adb pull /sdcard/. backup

Capturing A Screen Video

adb devices
adb shell screenrecord --size 360x640 /sdcard/video.mp4
adb pull /sdcard/video.mp4 .
vlc video.mp4

Thanks -

Combating Stagefright

Android File System Filesystem Layout

HOWTO: Auto Answer Phone Call In Tasker App

Profile context State -> Phone -> Call -> Incoming.
Action 1: Phone -> Take Call, action 2: Audio Settings -> Speakerphone -> On.


<TaskerData sr="" dvi="1" tv="5.0u6m">
 <Task sr="task26">
 <nme>Auto Answer Phone</nme>
 <Action sr="act0" ve="7">
 <Int sr="arg0" val="1"/>

HOWTO: Send Random Text In Tasker App

HOWTO: Disable / Enable Data In Tasker App (Root)

Run Shell -> svc data enable/disable (with root)

Thanks -




Android 4.4.x KitKat PA Gapps Variants:

  • Stock - Recommended for most users
  • Full
  • Mini
  • Mico
  • Nano - Recommended if you have an older device/limited storage
  • Pico - Recommend if you have an older device/limited storage
  • Pico(Uni)


HOWTO: Convert The File System To F2FS

  • Boot into TWRP recovery.
  • Choose Wipe then Advanced Wipe.
  • Check System and press Repair or Change File System.
  • Choose Change File System and select F2FS.
  • Once the conversion is complete, repeat for the Cache partition.
  • Then reboot the device back into TWRP/Recovery to ensure that TWRP has updated itself for the new file system.
  • Then reboot again into the normal system.

Thanks -

HOWTO: Clean Install

A Clean install consists of the following:

  1. Factory Reset (or manually wipe (format) Data partition - Internal Storage wipe is NOT necessary)
  2. Manually wipe (format) your System partition
  3. Flash your ROM
  4. Flash GApps package
  5. Flash any Addon Modules (optional)
  6. Wipe the Dalvik & cache
  7. Reboot

Thanks -

HOWTO: Change Hostname

Prerequisite: Full root access

In /system locate build.prop

Open it in an editor and add the following line at the end of the file add the following (and nothing else):


Save and close.

Reboot to be on the safe side.

Thanks go to [drakxtwo].

HOWTO: Force Update On Compatible Devices

Settings > Apps > All > Google Framework Services > Clear Data > Force Stop > Settings > About phone > System updates > Check now

Thanks -

HOWTO: Set The Proxy For A Wi-Fi Network

  1. Connect to Wi-Fi network
  2. Settings > Wi-Fi
  3. Press and HOLD on connected network's name
  4. Modify Network
  5. Show advanced options
  6. Set proxy settings

Thanks -

HOWTO: Change Mobile Data Cycle

System Settings > Data > Cycle > Change Cycle



To delete all the contacts on your Android phone, do this...

  1. Start the People app > Menu button > Accounts > untick 'Auto-sync app data'
  2. Close the People app
  3. Start the System Settings app > Apps > (scroll to the right) > All > Contacts Storage > Clear Data
  4. Close the System Settings app
  5. Reboot phone

HOWTO: Add Custom Ringtones


Incorrect Country Dialling Code

  • Settings
  • More
  • Mobile Networks
  • Network Operators (depending on your devices and Android version you may need to repeat this step).
  • Choose automatically

This problems occurred on a client's dual SIM ASUS after a business trip to Qatar where he purchased a local SIM. On returning to the UK and replacing the Qatari SIM with a Vodafone one the phone still asked if it was to dial the selected phone number as if it was still in Qatar.

TitaniumBackup Insufficient Space

SuperSu > Settings > untick Mount Namespace Separation > Reboot

4.4 KitKat: No APN specified on device

  1. System Settings
  2. Mobile Networks
  3. Access Point Names
  4. Options (top right 3 dots)
  5. Reset to default
  6. Press the actual dot next to your correct Option (e.g. O2 UK)

Thanks to Google Products Forum.

Gallery Not Refreshing After Item Deletion

Settings >> Apps >> Gallery
Clear cache >> clear data >> force close
Settings >> Apps >> Media storage
Clear cache >> clear data >> force close

Restart Gallery app and wait until it repopulates. If it does not click the options button (triple dots) and select 'Refresh'. If that does not work reboot the device.

Thanks to djMyKey.

Insufficient Storage Space Available

After months of normal usage, the internal space on an Android phone will fill up to nearly full.

This will mean you cannot update or install apps.

To fix this, you need to clear the following items:-

  • Cache
  • Phone Calls Log
  • Text Messages
  • Downloads

To clear all this easily, install a nice app to do it for you called Clean Master

It cleared 200Mb on a quick first go.

Problem. Solved.

WidgetLocker Lock Screen

WidgetLocker is a nice lockscreen app to provide extra options and shortcuts.

How To -

Play Store -

Download APK Files

Lifehacker: Rooting Mobile Phones Glossary and Guide

Google Rootz Wiki

Download Latest Google Play Store APK File

Google Android Developer Hosting Files

Lost Your Android Phone

Finding Information About Your Phone

Open the dial pad and type the following:



Splitting Audio Between Bluetooth And Headphones

Settings > Wireless & Network > Bluetooth Settings > Scroll down to the device you're connected to,
then tap & hold, selecting Options > Uncheck Media.

Disable A2DP

Settings > Wireless & Network > Bluetooth Settings > Scroll down to the device you're connected to,
then tap & hold, selecting Options > Uncheck Media.

Call Duration

Individual Calls

Phone [app] > Contacts [tab] > History [tab] > Choose Entry (with a green arrow pointing left) at the time you made the call.


Contacts [app] > History [tab] > Choose Entry (with a green arrow pointing left) at the time you made the call.

Total Calls

Phone [app] > Logs [tab] > Settings [button] > Call Duration

Tips & Tricks

Star B92M

Routing Bluetooth Audio

Splitting Audio Between Bluetooth And Headphones

Settings > Wireless & Network > Bluetooth Settings > Scroll down to the device you're connected to,
then tap & hold, selecting Options > Uncheck Media.


Android Keyboard Shortcuts: All The Hotkeys You Need

Market / Play

Installed Apps

If you change your mobile phone, your apps will have gone. Don't worry. Google keeps a record of all the apps you have installed so that you can quickly re-install them again. Just log in to your Google account and go to this page...

Just click the Install button for each app you would like to have again.

Clever Google.

Multiple (Maybe Old) Devices

Maybe you upgraded your phone and forgot to tell Google it's no longer yours? Don't worry. Just go to the 'My Account' page on Google Play (at the bottom of every page) and edit or remove your devices as you need.

Clever Google.

USB Storage

Mode Choice

On a Samsung device, to turn off the automatic choice of Samsung Kies, go to...

Settings > Wireless and Network > USB Settings > Ask on Connection

To Connect

Connect the device to the USB port of your computer, then from the pop-up window choose...

Mass Storage > Connect USB Storage > OK

The device will now show USB Storage In Use.

To Disconnect

Click Unmount or Safely Remove the drive device from your computer first. Then, on the Andoid device choose...

USB Storage In Use > Turn Off

Now you can cancel the USB screen, return home and remove the cable from your computer and Android device.


Settings > About Phone > Status