Here’s how to disable the Bixby Key on your Samsung Galaxy smartphone

samsung galaxy s9 review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

With Samsung’s digital assistant Bixby, it is easy to complete the most common tasks on your phone. Samsung’s goal is to help you complete tasks with your voice that are traditionally done by touch. While Bixby has gotten a lot better since it was first introduced last year, there is still plenty of room for improvement. One of the biggest complaints, however, is people accidentally opening Bixby Home by pressing the Bixby key on the side of the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S8, and Note 8. If you’re not a fan of the artificially intelligent assistant, or would just prefer to use it with just your voice, Samsung has made disabling the Bixby key simple.

There are four modes to Bixby: Bixby Home, Bixby Vision, Bixby Voice, and Bixby Reminders. The latter is an app you can access, and you can press and hold the Bixby key to use Bixby Voice to talk to the assistant. Open the camera and tap the Bixby icon to open Bixby Vision, and swipe to the right on the home screen to open Bixby Home. Home also opens when you press the physical Bixby key.

While disabling the Bixby key can keep you from inadvertently activating it when you’re trying to adjust the volume on your phone, you can still press and hold it to talk to Bixby to complete voice commands. Sadly, Samsung doesn’t let you remap the button to another app or service, and the company has actively blocked third-party workarounds in the past.

How do you wave goodbye to Bixby?  If you have a Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus, you will be able to disable it simply by going into its settings. Once you have the most recent version of Bixby, swipe right from the home screen to open Bixby and select the gear icon. From there, you should immediately see the toggle to stop Bixby from activating when pressing the button.

If, after stopping the Bixby Key from working, you miss the virtual assistant, it’s easy to bring Bixby back either by swiping to the Bixby Home screen, or with your voice. If you set up voice activation you can also simply say, “Hey Bixby” to open the assistant.

Digital Trends first revealed the existence of Bixby in March 2017, following interviews with the head of research and development at Samsung Mobile Communications Business Group in South Korea.

“Philosophically, what we’re looking at is revolutionizing the interface,” Injong Rhee, former head of Research and Development at Samsung Mobile Communications, told Digital Trends.