A Complete Guide to Set Custom Navigation Bar Icons in Android Without Root

Android, or as we say Android OS, serves many purposes, all of which are aimed at making our lives easier. It establishes a connection between the machine and the user by providing support for heavy customisation and synchronising with day-to-day demands of this era. With this support, you can root your device if you want to tweak the features of your device to get the most of it. But, if you don't want to get your hands dirty or void your warranty, there are some alternate methods which don't require root. Android allows users to customise their phone endlessly. If you want to customise your Android phone to have a navigation bar that looks like the Pixel or the S8, here is how to set custom navigation bar icons in Android:

> Installing and Setting up the Custom Navigation Bar:

  • Launch the app, and tap on “Get Started”. This will take you to a screen with instructions on how to give the app permissions to change the navigation bar icons on your phone. You’ll need ADB for this, so connect your phone to your laptop and allow USB Debugging.
  • Launch Terminal (or CMD on Windows), and type the following commands:
    adb shell
    pm grant xyz.paphonb.systemuituner android.permission.WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS

  • Once you’ve done that, the yellow screen in the app will turn green, signifying that the app has the required permissions. Tap on the right arrow in the bottom right of the screen. You’ll be required to run a compatibility test for your phone. Just tap on “Start“.

> Set Custom Icons

Now that you’ve set up the Custom Navigation Bar app, you can play around with the settings and change the navigation bar icons on your phone to suit your needs. For demonstration, I’ll change the icons on my Nexus 5X to those of Galaxy S8. You’ll have to download the image files for the icons. You can find readily available ones on the internet. Once you have that, just follow the steps below:
  • Launch the app and tap on “Navigation Bar“. Here, tap on “Experimental Tweaks“.
  • Under “Back“, tap on “Type“, and select “Keycode“.
  • Then, under “Back“, tap on “Keycode“, and select “Back“.
  • Then, tap on “Icon“, scroll down and tap on “Browse File…“.
  • Select the downloaded image for the back key, and tap on “Ok“.
  • Repeat the process for each of the Navigation Bar keys, and select the appropriate images. The keycode for the “Home” key is “Home”, and for the “Recent Apps” key is “App Switch”.
Once you’ve done that, your navigation bar should have the icons that you want. Check out this Nexus 5X with a navigation bar that looks like the Galaxy S8’s.
The Custom Navigation Bar app has a number of preset themes available as well. However, they are only available in the Pro version of the app, which will cost you ~$1.99. 
Custom Navigation Bar is a very powerful app that you can use to change the overall look of how you navigate. You change the icons to ones you desire to have or you can use the preset themes in the app to apply a different look. There are a lot of other features in the app as well and it’s definitely worth a try. If you know of a different way to change the look of the navigation bar on your Android device, do let us know about it in the comments section below.

Kailash Sudhakar
An engineering undergrad student who loves all things tech. He has a soft spot for Android.
A Complete Guide to Set Custom Navigation Bar Icons in Android Without Root A Complete Guide to Set Custom Navigation Bar Icons in Android Without Root Reviewed by Unknown on 6/08/2017 12:07:00 PM
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