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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to disable Android’s Back Gesture on the left side to make hamburger menus easier to open «Android :: Gadget Hacks

How to disable Android’s Back Gesture on the left side to make hamburger menus easier to open «Android :: Gadget Hacks



Gesture navigation introduced with Android 10 did wonders by giving you more of your screen and less tapping. Android 11 offers the ability to fine-tune the sensitivity of back gestures for the left and right sides of the screen. However, the problem still stands for people who like to use the left swipe menu in apps to open menus with burgers.

If you rely on your left swipe action rather than tapping the menu icon in your favorite apps, it will probably get on your nerves. It is a problem without any official fix right now, but there is a simple solution you can do even without root access. You need to know the ADB commands, but the guide below will show you everything you need to know to enjoy your gestures again.

Step 1
: Download SDK Platform Tools

Before you can run ADB commands, you need to get the latest version of the Google Platform Toolkit on your computer. This is a standalone ZIP file that contains everything you need in one folder – no cluttered drivers or anything like that. Click the link below that corresponds to your operating system, and then save and extract the file to your desktop for easy access.

Step 2: Activate developer options

Enabling this setting is fairly easy for most Android devices, but if you are a Pixel user, you will need to go to the “About Phone” section in Settings. Find “Building Number” and press it seven times to activate the hidden “developer options” on your device.

Step 3: Enable USB debugging

Now, go to Settings -> System -> Advanced -> Developer Options. Locate the “USB Troubleshooting” option and turn the switch to enable the setting. Connect your phone to your computer with a USB data cable, then a USB troubleshooting window will appear on the phone. Press “OK” and then check the box next to “Always allow from this computer.” Finally, press “Allow” to confirm your selection.

Step 4: Open a command window in the Platform-Tools folder

Then it’s time to open a command window in the Platform Tools folder on your computer. If you are running a Windows computer, you can click on the address bar at the top of the Platform Tools folder and type “cmd” without quotation marks. After doing so, press enter to open the command window immediately without any problems.

Image of Dallas Thomas / Gadget Hacks

If you are using a Mac or Linux computer, just open the Terminal app, type “cd” followed by a space, but do not press enter yet. You want to drag and drop the platform tool folder directly into the terminal window itself, which enters its location directly. As a side note, Windows users can actually do the same thing as well.

Image of Dallas Thomas / Gadget Hacks

Step 5: Run the ADB command

Finally, it’s time to enter the ADB command that will change the left screen gesture of your Android 11 device. In the platform-tools command window on your computer, type the command below, and then press enter.

adb shell settings put secure back_gesture_inset_scale_left 0

If you get a command that was not found incorrectly, add ./ to the beginning of the command and send it again:

./adb shell settings put secure back_gesture_inset_scale_left 0

Once the command has been transferred to your phone, go into an app with an expandable hamburger menu. If you can swipe left on the screen and the menu comes up rather than the back it went!

If this did not work for your device, enter the command below instead (include a -1 at the end):

adb shell settings put secure back_gesture_inset_scale_left -1

Again, you may need to add ./ to the beginning of that command:

./adb shell settings put secure back_gesture_inset_scale_left -1

Try the app again and swipe left on the screen to check it again. If the first two commands did not work for you, you may need to play around with the number at the end to make it fit your device.

Step 6: Reverse the changes (optional)

If nothing works or if you just do not like these changes, you can always reverse them with the simple command below:

adb shell settings put secure back_gesture_inset_scale_left default

Again, for computers that received a command that was not found incorrectly in step 5, you need to add ./ to the beginning:

./adb shell settings put secure back_gesture_inset_scale_left default

To quickly return to the default settings without using the ADB command, go to Settings -> System -> Gestures -> System Navigation on your device. Touch the gear icon, then adjust the left edge motion sensitivity slider to return to normal. This allows you to return to the default settings at any time without being tied to your computer. Ready!

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Cover image and screenshots by Stephen Perkins / Gadget Hacks

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