How to Enable Developer Mode on Android

This useful Android mode isn't just for developers

What to Know

  • Go to Settings > About phone. Tap the Build number until you see You are now a developer!
  • Navigate to Settings > Developer options to access advanced options.
  • Turn off: Go to Settings > Developer options. Tap the On toggle to turn it Off.

This article explains how to enable the developer mode on Android. These instructions apply to phones running Android 7 and later.

How to Enable Android Developer Mode

Here's how to turn on Android developer mode:

  1. Navigate to Settings > About phone.

    On some Android versions, you may have to navigate to Settings > About device, or Settings > About > Software information > More, or something similar.

    Navigating to About phone on an Android device.
  2. Scroll down until you locate the Build number section.

  3. Tap the Build number until you see a message that says You are now a developer!

    an Android phone with developer mode being activated.

    You likely will not receive any feedback after the first few taps. Keep tapping and you'll eventually see a message that says, "You are now x steps away from being a developer." Before you can complete the process, your phone may ask you for your PIN.

  4. When you see the message that says you are a developer, that means you have successfully turned on developer mode. If you were trying to install or use an app that requires developer mode, you can return to that app and should have access to all of the exclusive developer options.

How to Access Developer Mode Options on Android

In some cases, activating developer mode isn't enough. For instance, if you're trying to spoof your GPS, you need to make additional changes in the developer options menu after you have enabled developer mode. Luckily, you can easily access the developer options menu from the system menu on your phone.

If an app requires developer mode and it is a trusted app, then turning developer mode on is generally safe. However, activating and changing various developer options without understanding what you're doing can have unwanted effects. Only use the developer options menu if you know what you're doing, or if you're carefully following instructions provided by such an app.

  1. Navigate to Settings > Developer options. You may have to search in Settings to find it.

  2. With the developer options menu open, you'll have access to information about your phone that you would not otherwise see. You will also have the ability to activate a variety of advanced options.

    Navigating to Developer options in Android.

How to Turn Off Developer Mode on Android

You can safely leave developer mode on, even if you aren't using it for anything. If you decide that you would rather not have developer mode enabled, you can turn it off from the developer options menu:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Developer options.

  2. Tap the "On" toggle at the top of the Developer options screen. It should change to Off.

    how to disable developer options.

What Is Android Developer Mode, and Who Needs It?

Developer mode is designed primarily for Android developers. It reveals options and settings that developers need access to when testing new apps. Average users usually don't have any need to access these options, which is why the mode is turned off by default.

Even though developer mode is designed for developers, it isn't just for developers, and it has uses that extend far beyond app creation and testing.

Enabling developer mode gives you access to a screen recorder, exposes settings to increase animation speeds and boost high-end game performance, and is a prerequisite for rooting your phone or installing a custom operating system.

Even something as simple as spoofing your GPS location, or fooling apps into thinking you're somewhere that you aren't, requires you to enable developer mode. For example, if you want to spoof your GPS in Pokemon Go, you need to enable developer mode.

If you install an app and it prompts you to enable developer mode, you have to choose between activating developer mode or not using the app. Before you proceed, make sure that you obtained the app from a trusted source, such as Google Play, and that the app isn't malware.

Developer mode enabled on an Android phone.
Jeremy Laukkonen 
  • How do I make Android faster with developer options?

    To make Android faster, use developer options to shorten the system animation scale. Go to Developer Options and set the Window animation scale, Transition animation scale, and Animator duration scale to .5x.

  • How do I turn Android safe mode on and off?

    To reboot into Android safe mode, once the screen is dark, press the Power button until a logo appears on the screen. On Samsungs and some older devices, press the Volume down button while the logo is on the screen. To exit safe mode, reboot the device.

  • How do I turn on USB debugging mode on Android?

    To turn on USB debugging mode on Android, go to Developer Options and tap the USB debugging toggle switch.

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