How to activate or deactivate 'Developer Options' on Android.
Midjourney / edited by tecnoandroid ©

How to enable and disable developer options in Android

Modifying some parameters in this section can result in excellent gains in performance and fluidity. I show you how you can activate and deactivate these options.

Martial Triguero
By Martial Triguero
Fast answer

Here is a quick and easy guide to activate developer options:

Step 1: Locate the build number Go to Settings and select About phone. Here under Software Information you will find the Build Number.

Step 2: Activate developer options In the Build Number section, tap approximately seven times until a message indicates that you are a few steps away from being a developer. After the seventh tap, enter your PIN or security pattern.

Step 3: Check that developer options are active Go back to Settings and access the new Developer Options menu, making sure to turn on the top switch.

Now that you have access, you can customize your device by adjusting the speed of animations, background process limits, and turning on screen tap display. Research each setting before changing it, and make changes gradually to identify its specific effects.

To disable developer options, simply go to the Developer Options menu in Settings, turn off the top switch, and restart your device.

If when making any modification to your device you encounter any type of problem, you can always turn on android safe mode.

You've probably wondered how you could make your Android smartphone even smarter than it already is. And beyond the basic configurations that we all know, there is a “hidden” world of functions that allow you to personalize your device in ways you normally couldn't.

I'm talking about the developer options, a menu that, although it was initially designed for developers, is very useful for any user who wants to experiment or optimize (both inclusive) their experience with Android. And the best of all is that Turning these options on and off is much easier than you think. But… do you really know what they are and why you might want to use them? I'm going to explain everything you need to know.

What are developer options in Android?

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All options explained in detail

First things first: Developer options are not black magic tools or anything, they are simply a set of special settings that allow you to tune your Android operating system to a deeper level. These options are initially designed for application developers so that they can test and debug their products effectively.

In this hidden menu, you will find functions that can help you improve the performance of your device, control the graphic display, simulate different GPS settings, speed up the animation between transitions (this is the first thing I do when I launch or format my Android, giving as result in a feeling of agility and speed to the device) and much more. For example, you can enable “USB Debugging,” which is essential for developing apps directly on your device, or “Show Touches on Screen,” which is very useful for recording tutorials or performing usability tests.

Overall, although the developer options were created with a professional purpose in mind, their usefulness extends to any user who wants to experiment and customize their Android experience thoroughly. It's like having a small test lab in your pocket, where you can change settings that are normally out of reach of the average user. But, as with any powerful tool, it comes with a clear warning label: you need to use them wisely.

Preparations before activating developer options

Before you jump into activating developer options on your Android, there are a couple of things you should consider. (Believe me, a little preparation can save you a lot of headaches later.)

First, it is crucial to understand that these options are not toys; They can significantly change how your device works. So make sure you know what each setting is for before changing it. If you're not sure, a quick Google search can be your best ally.

What you need

  • Android device: Yes of course. Any recent model should work, but make sure it is updated with the latest operating system version available.
  • Basic knowledge of Android: Knowing how to navigate the menus and understand basic terms will be enough.
  • Use common sense: Before making any changes here, make sure what you are modifying so you don't have to regret it later.

With these preparations in place, you are now ready to make more in-depth modifications to your device.

Warning

Although exploring developer options is exciting, modifying some settings without proper knowledge can lead to unexpected behavior on your device. Proceed with caution.

Activating developer options

If you're ready to take the leap and unlock these advanced options, I'm going to tell you step by step how to activate developer options on your Android device (It's easier than it seems!)

Step 1: Find the build number

First, go to Settings and then to About of the phone. Here, look for the section that says Software Information.

Step 2: Activate developer options

Once in the software information, scroll until you find Build Number. Tap this option about seven times. You'll see a message telling you how many taps you need to be a developer (it's a bit of a funny process, but this is how it's done!)

After the seventh tap, you will be asked to enter your PIN or unlock pattern, as a security measure (although it may vary depending on your Android version and manufacturer).

Step 3: Verify that developer options are active

Go back to the Settings and enter the new menu that will have appeared: Developer Options. Make sure the switch at the top is on.

Warning (I insist)

By activating these options, you will have access to many powerful tools. Use them wisely! (And remember, if something doesn't sound familiar to you or you're not sure what it's for, don't touch it.)

Customization through developer options

Now that you have developer options enabled, it's time to explore how you can customize your device.

Settings you can modify

  • Animation speed: As I told you before, this option is my favorite. You can speed up or slow down transitions and animations on your device. This not only affects how using the device feels, but can also make it feel faster.
  • Background process limits: This allows you to control the number of processes running in the background, which can free up resources and improve the performance of your device if you have a low-end device.
  • Show touches on screen: Ideal for developers or for creating tutorials, as it visually shows the touches on the screen.

Tips for personalizing safely and effectively

  • Research each option: Before changing any settings, make sure you understand what it does. A quick search on the Internet (or the video I showed you a couple of sections above) can help you avoid common mistakes.
  • Make changes one at a time: This will help you identify what specific change is affecting your device, in case something doesn't work as expected.
  • Use online forums and communities: Learning from other users' experiences can offer you new ideas and solutions to common problems.

Disabling developer options

If at any point you decide that you no longer need to have developer options activated, the process to deactivate them is as simple as it was to activate them.

Step 1: Access the developer options menu

First, go to Settings on your device and then go to System (depending on your Android model, this step may vary a little).

Step 2: Disable developer options

Within the menu Developer Options, you will find a switch at the top. Just disable it. You will see that the menu is hidden again in your system settings.

Step 3: Confirmation and reboot

After disabling the options, it is advisable to restart your device to ensure that all changes are applied correctly.

Note

Turning off developer options will return all custom settings to their standard defaults (so if you changed something you really liked, you'll need to turn the options on and adjust it again).

Additional Resources and Support

If you want to go deeper into the developer options or need specific help, here are some resources that can be of great help:

  • Visit Android developer official website for detailed information and technical guides.
  • Explore online forums and communities like XDA Developers, where experienced users share their knowledge and answer questions from other users.

(Remember, the developer community is huge and always willing to help).

Exploring the developer options on your Android device can open up a world of possibilities for customizing and improving your user experience. But always remember that it is very important to handle this tool with minimal knowledge and great caution. I hope this article has better “equipped” you to take advantage of these advanced options safely and effectively.

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Technology veteran with more than 20 years of experience, passionate about mobile devices, home automation and artificial intelligence. In addition to my fascination with movies and series, I have solid experience in server and database administration. Committed to continuous learning, I always seek to stay up to date with the latest technological trends.
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