How to Reprogram the Samsung Bixby Button

Change the Bixby button so it behaves the way you want

Samsung Galaxy S10 with the Bixby Button called out.

If you're a Samsung Galaxy user that doesn't care much for the Bixby voice assistant, you're not alone. Many Samsung users prefer other voice assistants, such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or even Microsoft Cortana. The good news is, you can remap the Bixby button to use it to access a different application with just a few taps. And, while it's a little more involved and requires an additional application, you can even reprogram Bixby to use a different voice assistant instead.

The instructions in this article apply to the following versions of Samsung Galaxy devices: Galaxy S8, S8+, S9, S9+, S10, S10+, S10e, Note 8, and Note 9.

How to Remap the Bixby Button

Remapping the Bixby button means changing the application it opens when you press the button. Unfortunately, you can't turn the button off completely, and you can't completely prevent it from calling up Bixby, but you can change the way it behaves with a single- or double-press action.

Before you begin the process, Bixby Voice must be updated to at least version 2.1.04.18. To check the version of Bixby you have got to Settings > Apps > Bixby Voice. Scroll to the bottom of the Bixby Voice App info page to find the version that's installed.

If your Samsung device is running Android 9 Pie, then Bixby Voice was updated when the Pie update was download and installed.

If you're running a version of Bixby Voice earlier than 2.1.04.18, then you need to update the app before proceeding. To update, go to the Galaxy Store app. The Galaxy Store is different from the Google Play store, so be sure you're selecting the correct app. In the Galaxy Store, tap the three dot menu in the upper right corner select My Page. Tap Update. If you have an update for Bixby Voice, install it before you continue.

How to update Bixby from the galaxy store.

Once you've made sure you're running the right version of Bixby Voice, then follow these steps to remap your Bixby button:

  1. Pull down the window shade from the top of your screen and tap Settings.

  2. Got to Advanced Features > Bixby Key.

    Samsung Advanced Settings to select Bixby Key.
  3. On the Bixby key settings page, you have two options. You can choose to have Bixby open with a single press, in which case you can assign a double-press to open something else. Or you can reverse that and have a single press on the Bixby key open an app of your choosing and have a double press open Bixby.

    There is no way to completely disable the Bixby key.

  4. Select the option you prefer. In this example, Double press to open Bixby is selected.

  5. With the desired option selected for Bixby, a second option is enabled. (In this example Use Single Press.) Tap that option.

  6. On the Use single press (or, if you chose the other option, Use double press) page, tap the gear icon to the right of Open app.

  7. You will be taken to a page full of apps where you can select the one you would prefer to open when you press the Bixby key the desired number of times.

    Galaxy screenshots for how to remap Bixby Key.
  8. Once you've selected the desired app, you're returned to the previous screen, and you can close out of Settings and try your Bixby key to ensure it does what you want when you press the key one or two times.

Run a Quick Command in Bixby

Another option you may have noticed as you were remapping your Bixby key is that rather than assign the second action of the Bixby key to a specific app, you can choose to Run a quick command.

A quick command is a set of actions that you choose to happen when you press the Bixby key one or two times. For example, if you want to set your phone up to automatically reduce distractions while you're driving, you can set the quick command option to turn on Do Not Disturb, turn off the Wi-Fi, and turn off the Always on Display.

To do that, instead of selecting Open app on the Use single (or double) press page, tap Run quick command, and then follow the on-screen instructions to set up the quick command routine you want to use.

How to Reprogram the Bixby Button

If you're disappointed that you can't automatically use the Bixby button to access a different virtual assistant, you're not alone. But all is not lost. There are some third party apps that will help you do this.

One such app, BixAssist or BixLexa. Both of these are paid apps, but at $0.99 they might be worth the investment. Still, there's another way to reassign your Bixby button using the Bixby Assistant Remapper APK. It's a little more involved, but it's free.

Here's how that works:

  1. On your Samsung phone, download the Bixby Button Assistant Remapper APK.

    You may receive a security warning on your device. Click Continue or Allow to continue with the download.

  2. Once the download is complete pull down the windows shade and tap the download to open it and begin the installation. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the installation.

    You will have to allow installation from Unknown Sources in order to install this software. You will be prompted to allow these permissions. Don't worry, the app doesn't request any special permissions, so it's safe to choose Allow from this source when prompted.

  3. Once the installation is complete, go to Settings > Advanced Features > Bixby Key and tap Double press to open Bixby.

  4. Tap Use single press.

  5. If it's not already on, toggle the feature on with the toggle switch at the top of the screen, then press the gear icon next to Open app.

  6. Find and select Bixby Button Assistant Remapper. When you've done that, you can close out of Settings.

  7. Now, press the Bixby key one time and in the selection screen that comes up, choose the voice assistant you want to use and tap Always.

    How to use the Bixby Button Assistant Remap App.
  8. Now, when you want to use your alternative virtual assistant, all you have to do is press your Bixby key one time.