You can follow these steps below to completely turn off and disable the backlight on the HTC 10 navigation buttons, but it does require root access.

Yesterday I explained how HTC lets you customize the backlight buttons for the HTC 10. Sadly, there’s not many options here to choose from. So you either have the ability to keep the backlight on whenever the screen is on, or you can let the backlight turn off after a few seconds of inactivity.

By default the backlight will turn off after a few seconds, but there’s an option built into Sense that will let you keep them on when the screen is on.

This is great for those who want to keep the backlight on for the HTC 10 Navigation buttons, but it doesn’t help those who want to turn it off completely. I’m not sure why HTC didn’t include a third option here. It’s not like turning the backlight off will disable the buttons completely. So if someone accidentally turned them off, they could easily go back into the the Settings application and turn them back on.


Thankfully there is a way for us to disable and turn off the backlight for the HTC 10 navigation buttons completely, but it will require root access. So, if you haven’t already done this before then be sure to follow the guide I wrote that explains how to unlock the bootloader of the HTC 10. After that, you’ll need to install TWRP on the HTC 10, which is required so that you can root the HTC 10. Once all of that is done, then you can proceed with the tutorial below.

If you’re confused about any of the steps of this tutorial, be sure to watch the embedded video below it as I walk you through the entire process. The process is rather easy, but it can seem complicated at first. So just take it one step at a time and again, follow along with the video if you need help.

HTC 10 Turn Off Navigation Button Backlight

  1. Download and install a root file explorer on the HTC 10 (I suggest Solid Explorer)
  2. Create a file with the following text. . .
  • #! /system/bin/sh
  • echo 0 > /sys/class/leds/button-backlight/brightness
  • echo 0 > /sys/class/leds/button-backlight/max_brightness
  1. . . .and name the file something like “backlight” (no file extension and no quotes)
  2. Launch the file explorer and copy/move the file to the following directory. . .
  3. /su/su.d (or /system/etc/init.d if your firmware supports it)
  4. . . .then change the permissions of the file to 755
  5. Reboot the HTC and the backlight will be turned off


So, what we’re doing here is changing the contents of 2 specific files to 0. It’s these files that control the strength of the backlight for the HTC 10 navigation buttons. So technically, you could use a root file explorer and edit the /sys/class/leds/button-backlight/max_brightness file, change the value from 255 to 0 and the backlight of the navigation buttons will instantly turn off. The thing is, this change will not carry over after a reboot.

So, we need to create a script (with the contents included in the guide above) and move it to a specific directory. As shown in the video above, I needed to move it to the /su/su.d folder because stock firmware doesn’t support init.d. This uses the SuperSU version and gives us the same result. If you’re using a custom ROM like MaximusHD, then you likely have this init.d folder and can simply put the script/file in that directory.

After you have copied or moved the file to the proper directory, you’ll need to change the permissions of the file. This is required because without giving it the permission to execute, then the script cannot be run. Different root file explorers handle the setting of permissions differently, but in the end you need it set to 755. You need the Owner to have Read, Write, Execute permission, Group to have Read and Execute permission and lastly Global to have Read and Execute permission.

Once the permission have been set and the changes have been saved, you can go ahead and reboot the HTC 10. Remember, nothing is being changed until that script is executed and that script will only be executed during the boot sequence. So go ahead and reboot the HTC 10 and then unlock the device once you get back into Android. You should be able to tap the Recents and Back buttons and notice that the backlight has been disabled and turned off completely.

If you’re still seeing them lit up, then you either have something wrong with the script (make sure it matches exactly), you didn’t move it to the proper directory, or the permissions have not been set correctly. Some have said installing BusyBox helped to get it working properly, but I didn’t need it.


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