If you’ve been looking for a way to disable the Navigation Bar on the Nexus 6P then follow these steps outlined below.
Not everyone is a fan of the software navigation buttons that are used in Android right now. Some don’t like it that Google changed it from how it’s been for years to the shapes that it has been since Lollipop. Then there are some who dislike software navigation buttons altogether because of much screen space they take up. I am one of these people and I prefer one of the many navigation alternatives that are available for Android with a little tweak.
You might even be paranoid about the software button causing burn-in on your AMOLED screen and this can be common if you keep the brightness high all the time.
No matter what your reasons are and what alternative method you use to replace the traditional software navigation buttons, thankfully Android is as customizable as it is right now. I do want to give you a warning though. Do not disable the software navigation buttons without having your alternative solution in place(or a way for you to enable it). Depending on how you’re trying to set things up, you may get stuck and get forced to revert these changes, do a factory reset, or restore from a previously created Nandroid backup.
There are some ways to hide the software navigation bar without root, but to disable it completely, you will need to unlock the bootloader of the Nexus 6P, install a custom recovery on the Nexus 6P, and create a Nandroid backup of the Nexus 6P if you want the option of doing a restore like I mentioned above. You’ll also need to root the Nexus 6P so that you can make the required changes to the build.prop file.
Nexus 6P Disable Navigation Bar
- Download the Build Prop Editor Application
- Launch the Build Prop Editor App
- If Prompted, Let the Application Have Root Access via SuperSU
- Tap the Pencil Icon at the Bottom(or the 3-dot menu at the top right and then tap on edit)
- Scroll All the Way Down to the Bottom of the Build.Prop File
- Create a New Line at the End of the File
- Then Type or Paste the Following Text. . .
- qemu.hw.mainkeys = 1
- . . .And Then Press the Save/Disk Icon at the Top Right
- If Prompted, Grant Root Access to the Application Again
- Wait for the ‘Build Prop Saved’ Toast Message to Appear at the Bottom
- Press the Home Button to Close the Application
- Then Reboot the Nexus 6P
What we’re doing here is editing a file and adding code that tells Android to not display the software navigation bar. You’ll need to download the build.prop editor application listed in the tutorial, or you can use your favorite(or even a root file manager). With the new application installed and open, you can then scroll down to the bottom of the file and then create a new, empty line for the special code to go.
You’ll want the “qemu.hw.mainkeys = 1” code on a new line all of its own and I generally create a new, blank line after this just in case I need to add something else in the future(but this isn’t required). Once the changes have been made to the build.prop file, you’ll need to save it and then reboot the Nexus 6P. The changes we made will not take effect until we reboot the device. If you run into a bootloop, this is because you made changes to the build.prop that wasn’t supposed to be changed. It could have been something from another line that you messed with, or you could have put this new line of code in wrong.
To fix a bootloop after changing the build.prop file, you’ll need to revert those changes that you made. This can be done with an adb push command with a stock build.prop file(or a backup of the one you had), or you’ll need to restore from the Nandroid backup that you just created(if you created one). I have never run into a bootloop by using the build.prop editor application that I linked above for this specific mod. I have done it before by trying to change the DPI and doing it incorrectly, but not with this tutorial(mistakes can happen though).
This is why I always recommend doing a Nandroid backup because it’s better to be safe than sorry and it can save you a ton of time if you end up running into any issues.