Disable Android Pie Gestures on your Google Pixel 3

In case of ever using an Android smartphone before the Google Pixel 3, you know all about the 3 button navigation bar layout of back, home, and recent apps overview. In Android Pie, things are a bit different. I don’t say that Android Pie completely overhauls Google’s mobile operating system, but it does make some important steps forward. One of those was the first major change to Android’s navigation in years.

To be more precise, Google introduced gesture navigation. This lets you swipe up to see recent apps, swipe right to switch to the previous app, swipe right and hold to scroll between recent apps, press the back button, or press the home button. Google made this new style of navigation optional for all devices upgrading to Android Pie like the Google Pixel and Google Pixel 2, but it is mandatory on the Google Pixel 3.

Yes, OEMs are experimenting with their own gesture navigation, but Google has its agenda and wants Pie’s gestures to be the primary Android navigation method looking forward. The biggest question a lot of users are going to run into with these new gestures is how to disable Android Pie Gestures.

Google Pixel 3 owners are no exception, feeling that everything has already been decided for them, instead of being a matter of choice. You can though change that! Remember to install a 3rd-party launcher of your choice as long as you won’t have a launcher app left after applying the next steps and you have to set up ADB on your PC in order to complete this procedure.

Disable Android Pie Gestures on your Google Pixel 3:

  1. Connect your Pixel 3 to your PC and open up a command prompt/terminal in the directory where you downloaded the ADB binary;
  2. Enter the following command depending on your OS:
    Windows Command Prompt: adb shell
    Windows Power Shell: .\adb shell
    macOS/Linux Terminal: ./adb shell
  3. Now, enter this command to uninstall the Pixel Launcher:
    pm uninstall -k –user 0 com.google.android.apps.nexuslauncher
  4. It’s time enter this command to re-enable the stock navigation bar after reboot:
    settings put secure system_navigation_keys_enabled 1
  5. You can now reboot your Pixel 3.

If you want to go back to using the new gestures, you’ll need to re-install the Pixel Launcher. Just download it and then side-load it like you would any other app. It’s signed by Google, so it’s safe. After you side-load it, you’ll have to reboot to fix the crashing and bring back the old gestures.

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