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How To Run A Samsung Galaxy S8 In Full Screen Mode And Reclaim Precious Screen Real Estate

One of the many things we like about Samsung's flagship Galaxy S8 is the premium construction with barely any bezel to speak of. A full 80 percent of the front of the of the device is screen area, leaving only very thin top and bottom bezels. That said, Samsung detracts from this a bit with persistent on-screen navigation controls.that can artificially shorten the viewing area. Luckily this isn't a hardware design—has to do with software, which means we can tweak the phone to reclaim that bit of space at the bottom.

This is not a major issue with the Galaxy S8 or its bigger brother, the Galaxy S8+. And to Samsung's credit, the home, back, and recent buttons do disappear when viewing YouTube videos or looking at photos. However, the same courtesy is not extended to all apps. In Instagram, for example, the navigation bar avoids slinking into the background and stays at the ready when viewing Instagram Stories. A mild annoyance, but an annoyance nonetheless.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Since this is Android we're talking about, users have already found a way to mod the interface so that the navigation controls only appear when you summon them. The benefit is a bigger viewing areas for things like Instagram Stories or browsing the web on the Chrome. If that appeals to you, here is what you need to do.

First, turn on the developer options on your Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ handset. To do this, navigate to Settings > About Phone > Software Information and then tap on "build number" a whole bunch of times in quick succession.(up to around a dozen taps if necessary). Once you've done this enough times, a message will appear saying you've activated the developer options.

Next, attach your Galaxy S8/S8+ to your PC using your USB-C cable. Once it's connected, go into the developer options and turn on USB debug mode.

Now that you've taken care of some housekeeping chores on your handset, you need to download and install Android Debug Bridge (ADB). After it's installed, copy and paste adb shell settings put global policy_control immersive.navigation=* into the prompt that appears.

At this point, your phone should be in full screen mode without any navigation controls. Just swipe up from the bottom to see them. It's also worth mentioning that you can still use the Galaxy S8's force touch home button when the navigation controls are hidden. So if you're in Instagram, press the location of the home button more forcefully than a tap and it will bring you home. Groovy, right?

If you decide you don't like full screen more, you can go back to the way things were by copying and pasting adb shell settings put global policy_control null* into ADB.

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