Wednesday, 12 Jun 2024

How to Customize Navigation Bar on Android

Most of the modern-day Android smartphones come with on-screen navigation buttons, providing a button-less display. The navigation bar, consisting of home, back, and recent/multitasking keys, serves its purpose. However, if you’re looking to customize it, there are options available for both rooted and non-rooted devices.

Customize Navigation Bar look with Navbar (Non-Rooted devices)

Navbar is a free app that allows you to add color and more to the navigation bar on stock Android. Here’s how you can customize the navigation bar on non-root devices using the Navbar app:

  1. Install the Navbar app on your Android device and grant it Accessibility permissions.
    Navbar Accessibility Permission

  2. From the Navbar app, choose a custom color for the navigation bar using the “Static Color” option. You can also select the “Active App” option to match the navigation bar’s color with the currently opened app.
    Navbar Static or Live Color

  3. Additionally, you can add widgets to the navigation bar such as a battery widget or display custom images. Some features require the Premium version of the app.

The Navbar app brings character to the navigation bar on non-rooted devices. However, if you seek more control or functionality, options are limited.

Add functionality to Navigation Bar buttons with Gravity Box (Rooted devices)

If you have a rooted Android device, you can use the Gravity Box app to customize the navigation bar’s functionality and appearance. Follow these steps:

  1. Download and install the Xposed installer APK file, enabling Unknown sources in Settings->Security. Install the Xposed Framework from the app.
    Xposed Installer Framework

  2. Search for Gravity Box in the “Download” section of the Xposed installer. Choose the version compatible with your Android release and install it.
    GravityBox Install

  3. After installation, activate the module and reboot your device.
    Enable GravityBox Module

  4. Open the GravityBox app and navigate to “Navigation bar tweaks.” Enable the “Master Switch” to activate the tweaks after rebooting.
    GravityBox Navigation bar tweaks

  5. Customize various options such as showing the menu key, swapping back and recent keys, adding custom keys, enabling colors, and adjusting the navigation bar’s height and width.
    Navigation Bar tweaks GravityBox

  6. In the “Navigation keys actions” option, you can assign single-tap, double-tap, and long-press actions to menu, home, back, and recent keys. You can also set custom actions with third-party apps.
    Navigation Keys Actions GravityBox

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After making the desired changes, reboot your device to apply them. Alternatively, you can explore other options like Xstana for theming the navigation bar or Swipe Navigation app for gesture-based navigation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I customize the navigation bar on non-rooted devices?
A: Yes, you can use the Navbar app to customize the navigation bar on non-rooted devices.

Q: What can I do to customize the navigation bar on rooted devices?
A: You can use the Gravity Box app to add functionality and customize the navigation bar on rooted devices.

Q: Are there any other options to customize the navigation bar?
A: If you’re using CyanogenMod, you can try the Navigate theme. Rooted Android users have additional options for customization.


While rooted Android users have various options to customize the navigation bar, non-rooted users can still make use of the Navbar app. We hope that Google’s built-in Navigation Bar Customizer becomes available for all Android users soon. Until then, the aforementioned solutions should suffice. Share your thoughts on Android’s navigation bar and its customization options in the comments section below.

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