When it comes to software, Samsung follows a maximalist approach, giving you everything you could ask for and a whole lot more. The pros of this approach are obvious: you get more features, can customize your phone to a great degree, and don’t have to download unreliable third-party apps for any task.
At the same time, it also invites confusion, especially among non-techy users regarding how to better interact with your Galaxy phone. To make this easier, let’s list the seven things we think every user should do on a new Samsung phone, no matter if you’re a regular user, enthusiast, power user, or gamer.
1. Set Up a Samsung Account
The first thing you need to do when setting up your Galaxy device is to create a Samsung account. This helps back up your data to Samsung Cloud in case your phone gets lost, or you simply want to restore it when upgrading to a new Galaxy device later on.
Speaking of losing your phone, you also need a Samsung account to use the Find My Mobile services. Without this service, Samsung won’t be able to help you find your lost device.
If you don’t already have a Samsung account, you can create one by going to your device Settings > Accounts and backup > Manage accounts > Add account > Samsung account and follow the account creation process from there.
It’s obvious that long-pressing the power button should open the power-off menu. But on Galaxy phones, doing so activates Samsung’s native voice assistant Bixby by default.
This is unlikely to be how you want to use your phone on a regular basis; having to speak voice commands than simply tapping a button is very counter-intuitive and takes more time. To change this setting, go to Settings > Advanced features > Side key and select Power off menu under Press and hold.
Now, when you long-press the power button, your phone will show the power-off menu where you can turn off or restart your phone, turn on Emergency mode, or launch your device in Safe mode instead of waking up Bixby. This is one of the most basic ways to make your Samsung phone more user-friendly.
3. Swipe Down From the Home Screen to Access the Notification Panel
A very simple yet useful setting that’s not turned on by default on Samsung phones is swiping down from the home screen to open the notification panel. Because of this, you’re forced to reach at top of your screen, making the device less usable for people with smaller hands.
To change this setting, go to Settings > Home screen and toggle on Swipe down for notification panel. Now, you can swipe down anywhere on the home screen and it’ll pull down the notification panel. Swipe down once again and it’ll access the Quick Settings panel.
4. Switch the Default Apps to Google Apps
If you prefer using Google apps as opposed to Samsung’s alternatives, you can set them as your default option by going to Settings > Apps > Choose default apps.
Tap a category such as Browser app and choose from Samsung Internet or Google Chrome or any other installed browser on your device. Do the same for other categories including Digital assistant app, Phone app, SMS app, and more.
5. Uninstall Unwanted Samsung Apps
On any given Galaxy phone, there are roughly 30 Samsung apps that come pre-installed, and that’s excluding system apps such as Clock and Calendar. Some of these are useful, others not so much. To uninstall unwanted apps, go to Settings > Apps and tap on an app to open its info page, then tap Uninstall > OK to delete it.
If you want to uninstall a lot of apps at once, this method might take a lot of time. In that case, you can bulk uninstall apps like so:
- Pull up your app drawer and long-press an app you want to delete.
- On the pop-up menu, tap Select.
- Select all the apps you want to delete and tap Uninstall.
- Keep tapping OK on each pop-up as they come.
Do note that some Samsung apps including Galaxy Store, Bixby, Secure Folder, My Galaxy, AR Zone, Samsung Free, and more can’t be uninstalled as they are an integral part of One UI. Some of these can’t even be disabled.
6. Hide Unwanted Apps From the App Drawer
For apps that can’t be uninstalled or disabled, there’s still a way you can at least move them out of your sight. You can hide them away so they don’t clutter up your app drawer and make it unnecessarily harder to find your favorite apps.
To do this, go to Settings > Home screen > Hide apps and select all the apps you want to hide from your home screen as well as the app drawer (or Apps screen as Samsung calls it). Once selected, tap Done.
7. Double-Tap the Power Key to Quick Launch the Camera
Hate missing shots because it takes so long to open the camera? Luckily, you can set your Samsung phone to quickly launch the camera by double-pressing the power button.
Here’s how to do so:
- Go to Settings > Advanced features > Side key.
- Toggle on Double press and select Quick launch camera.
- If you use a third-party camera app instead of the default one, select Open app and tap the Settings icon, then tap the app you want to launch from the app drawer.
The First Seven Things to Do on Your Samsung Phone
Samsung phones come with so many features that it can be a bit overwhelming trying to navigate them. Although most default settings work fine, some are set intentionally to market Samsung services while others serve as optional extras that can be manually turned on to reduce the problems you might face with your phone.
Aside from the seven we saw above, there are many other settings and features you can tweak to make the most use of your Samsung phone and use it like a pro. Feel free to spend some time exploring the Settings app and find new features you might find interesting.