Galaxy S5 Features: What to Enable and Disable

 Galaxy S5 Features to Enable and Disable

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is one of the most advanced smartphones ever created, with a slew of helpful features that make it easier to multitask, share files, take photos and more. However, some of the most important features may be turned off by default while other useless capabilities come toggled on out of the box. These are 5 features you should enable on the Galaxy S5 and 5 should disable with extreme prejudice.

Disable Touch and Unlock Sounds 

When you first turn on Galaxy S5 and start navigating through its UI and clicking icons,  you’ll keep hearing a “bloop” noise. Unlock the phone and you’ll probably hear water rippling. While these sounds are cute the first few times you hear them, they quickly become annoying, particularly when you’re trying to check your phone discretely. 

To disable the Galaxy S5’s annoying touch and unlock sounds:

1. Select Sound from the Settings menu.

Select Sound

2. Toggle “Touch sounds” to off if it is checked.

touch sounds

3. Toggle “Screen lock sound” to off if it is checked.

Screen lock sounds

4.  Uncheck “Dialing keypad tone” if you don’t want the Galaxy S5 to make noises while you’re entering a phone number to call.

Dialing keypad tone

Enable Personalized Predictions on Keyboard

The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with one of the best virtual keyboards available on any phone, but to take full advantage of this powerful input tool, you need to tweak a few settings. The keyboard suggests words as you type, but it works much better if you allow the software to analyze your word patterns from emails and posts in Gmail, Facebook and Twitter. With this function enabled, next time you type the words “Game of,” it will suggest “Thrones” as the next word because you’ve used that phrase before in one of your accounts.

By default, your Galaxy S5 also probably comes with keyboard vibrations turned on. It provides good tactile feedback, but it’s a bit too weak. You can turn the intensity of these vibrations up and make sure the keyboard improves its next-word prediction ability by learning from things you’ve already written.

To tweak your Galaxy S5 keyboard:

1. Select Sound from the settings menu.

Select Sound

2. Tap “Vibration intensity.”

Vibration intensity

3. Slide the “Haptic feedback” slider all the way to the right and tap OK.

Haptic feedback

4. Toggle “Vibrate when tapped” to on under “Samsung Keyboard” if it is off

Vibrate when tapped

5. Navigate to Language and Input in the settings menu.

Language and input

6. Tap the gear icon to the right of “Samsung keyboard.” 

select Samsung keyboard settings

7. Tap “Predictive Text.”

Predictive Text

8. Toggle “Personalized data” to on if it is off.

personalized data

9. Select “Learn from Gmail.”

Select Learn from Gmail

10. Log into your Gmail account if necessary.

sign in with Google

11. Tap Accept to give the keyboard permission to learn from your Gmails.

tap accept

12. Repeat steps 9 through 11 for Facebook, Twitter and other accounts. The Samsung keyboard will use your previous posts and emails to learn about which words and phrases you use and make more accurate next-word predictions when you type. 

Disable Bloatware

Your phone carrier has likely packed your phone with a slew of apps you neither need nor want. Some of these apps provide pricey carrier services, including paid navigation services that are not as good as the free Google Maps app, and others just aren’t particularly useful. Many of these bloatware apps run in the background and waste valuable system resources, even when you’re not using them.

All of these apps pollute your app drawer, making it harder to find and tap on the ones you want to run. Fortunately, Samsung makes it easy to “disable” unwanted apps. Technically, the apps themselves are not erased from your storage, but they are hidden and prevented from using system resources.

To disable bloatware on the Galaxy S5:

1. Navigate to the app drawer.

2. Select “Uninstall/disable apps” from the menu. Minus signs appear on top of all of the app icons.

Uninstall / Disable apps

3. Tap on an app you want to remove.

tap an app to remove

4. Tap Disable to confirm.

Tap Disable

5. Repeat this process for all apps you want to disable.

Enable Remote Control on Your Lock Screen, Notification Drawer

Thanks to a built-in infrared port and helpful Smart Remote app, the Samsung Galaxy S5 doubles as a univsersal remote control you can use to change channels on your TV, control your set top box or jog tracks on your home stereo. Considering how often most of us reach for the remote control, you don’t want to have to open a separate app every time you want to raise the volume on your home theater. Fortunately, if you enable the right settings, you can put a miniature version of the on-screen remote in the app drawer and on the lock screen, where the volume, channel and power buttons are always a swipe or button press away.

Smart Remote in Notification Drawer

To place the Galaxy S5 remote on your notification drawer and lock screen:

1. Launch Smart Remote. You can find it in the app drawer.

Launch Smart Remote

2. Set up Smart Remote if you haven’t already. You’ll be asked to select your cable provider.

3. Add remote control devices if you haven’t already.  You add a device by tapping the remote icon in the upper right corner of the screen and selecting your TV and set-top box providers.

Add remote

3. Select Settings from the menu in the upper right corner of the screen.

Select Settings

4. Check “Show remote control on notification panel.” 

Check show remote control on notification panel

5. Check  “Auto display remote control on lock screen.”

Check auto display remote control on lock screen

MORE: 12 Worst Android Annoyances and How to Fix Them

Increase Screen Timeout, Disable Smart Stay

By default, the Galaxy S5’s screen turns off way too quickly. If you’re reading a web page or an email and not actively touching the screen, your device can go to sleep (and lock) before you want it to. Samsung has an optional feature called Smart Stay, which uses the webcam to see if you’re looking at the screen. However, this feature wastes system resources by looking at you through the webcam. Instead, just change the display timeout to 3 minutes (or more).

To change the display timeout:

1. Select Display from the Settings menu.

Select display

2. Uncheck “Smart stay” if it is enabled. 

disable smart stay

3. Tap “Screen timeout.”

tap screen timeout

4. Select a time of 3 minutes. 

3 minutes  

Enable Multi Window Mode

The Galaxy S5’s 5.1-inch, 1080p display is big and sharp enough to let you do more than one thing at a time, provided that you have multi window mode turned on. With multi window mode, you can see two different apps on screen at once and even transfer data between them. Just imagine dragging an image from the gallery into an open email message or watching YouTube on the right side of your screen while you read text messages from the boss on the left.

Multi Window

To enable Multi Window mode:

1. Select Multi window from the settings menu.

Select Multi Window

 2. Toggle Multi window to on.

Enable Multi window

3. Check “Open in multi window view.” Enabling this setting will cause email attachments to open in a separate window by default, allowing you to keep reading your message while viewing that cute baby picture or spreadsheet that came with it.

Enable open in multi window view

MORE: 5 Ways to Speed Up Your Android Phone in Under 5 Minutes

Disable Animations

By default, every time you unlock the lock screen, the Galaxy S5 shows a special effect that looks like a ripple or popping colors or some other cute thing. Every time you open an app or return to the home screen, there’s a small animation that makes it look the app is popping open or closed. These animations may look pretty, but they make you wait longer to switch tasks. 

To disable the lock screen animation:

1. Select Lock screen from the settings menu.lock screen

2. Tap “Unlock effect.”

tap unlock effect

3. Select None.

Select None

To disable animations on the home screens and app drawer:

1. Long-press on a blank area of the home screen then select Home screen settings.You can also select Home screen from the Settings menu if it is listed there. Some versions of the Galaxy S5 omit this icon from the settings menu.

long press and select home screen settings

2. Tap “Transition effect.”

Tap Transition effect

3. Select None.

Select None

To disable app open animations:

1. Select About device from the settings menu.

Select About device

2. Tap the Build number 7 times. You will get a message saying that “Developer mode has been turned on.” A developer options icon will now appear in the settings menu.

tap Build number 7 times

3. Select Developer options from Settings.

Developer options

4. Tap “Window animation scale.”

tap Window animation scale

5. Select “Animation is off.”

Set Animation to Off

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for “Transition animation scale.” and “Animator duration scale.”

transition animation scale and animator duration scale

MORE: 10 Smartphones with the Longest Battery Life

Enable NFC

Like every other modern Android phone, the Galaxy S5 comes with an NFC (Near Field Communications) chip that allows users to make mobile payments, pair with accessories or transfer files between phones with just a single tap. You can even buy a lock for  your house that opens via NFC. Despite these obvious advantages, some Galaxy S5 phones come with NFC turned off by default.

To make sure NFC is enabled:

1. Select NFC from the settings menu.

NFC in Settings Menu

2. Toggle NFC to On if it is off.

Enable NFC

3. Set Android Beam and S Beam to On if they are disabled. These features will allow you transfer files, URLs, contacts or other data by tapping the back of your phone against another Android handset.

Enable Android Beam

Disable the Home Key’s Ability to Launch S Voice

Out of the box, the Galaxy S5’s home key will launch Samsung’s S Voice assistant if you double tap it. Even if you’ve never used this shortcut, the phone imposes a small delay every time you hit the home button, just to see if you are going to double tap. 

To disable the S Voice launch shortcut:

1. Launch S Voice. You can find it in the app drawer.

S Voice

2. Set up S Voice if you haven’t already done so.

Set up S Voice

3. Select Settings from the menu in the upper right corner of the screen.

Select Settings

4. Uncheck “Open via home key.”

Uncheck open via home key

Enable Air View

Like the Galaxy S4 before it, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a helpful feature called Air View, which shows additional information about certain objects when you hover over the screen with your finger. With Air View, when you hover over messages in your email inbox, you get to see a preview of the message body floating above each entry. Hovering over a day in the calendar app shows appointments for that day while hovering over image thumbnails in the gallery app blows them up. Sadly, Air View may not be enabled by default on your Galaxy S5.

To enable Air View:

1. Select Air View from the settings menu.

select air view

2. Toggle Air View to on if it is off.

toggle Air view to on

Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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Submit Comments

  1. theresa Says:

    Can you tell me how to set up my calendar with payment reminders for two week intervals? That option was in the galaxy 3 and when I upgraded to the S5, I could not find that option.


  2. Ray Says:

    #1.Is there a way to remove / disable the clock from the lock screen on the samsung galaxy s5?

    #2. If it cannot be removed, Is there a way to remove the ‘AM-PM’ that shows with the clock display?

  3. tiffany Says:

    so i was texting an the text letter screen is on my texts an moves around the screen how do i fix it to normal

  4. Francois Says:

    When I open my Google play icon it show “Google Play Store needs background data be enabled

  5. sue Says:

    I cannot open any attachments on my email, t mobile can’t figure it out. Any suggestions?

  6. Lekan Says:

    Must one always double tap or click to connect any activity. This waste so much time. I want to change it to single click or tap like S4. What do I do? This double clicking is driving me nuts.

  7. Phil Says:

    How can I view more than two days of email history? Can only see today and yesterday. Would like to be able to scroll down through a month’s worth of email if possible.

  8. Zhane Says:

    Great stuff! I’m wondering is there a way to look at email, social media while “talking” on the Galaxy S5? I was able to multi-task like this on my S2. You would think-the S5 would allow for this. Talking to my carrier, they said at this time there is not way to do this….?! They said, I “might” be able to do this while using Wi-Fi…but didn’t sound sure. Thanks.

  9. Kevin d. Says:

    I want a dialing keypad tone but I don’t want the bloop sound. How can I change this to a DTMF tone or a click or something less… bloopy?

  10. Mike Eisenberg Says:

    Excellent article, Avram. Probably best on the web, so far, for the S5.

    Here’s one for you. On my S2 I could zoom a web page with my fingers, then double tap the screen and the galaxy 2 would re-justify the article/text to fit the screen. My S5 wont do that. If I zoom the web page the zoomed text goes beyond the screen and I have to pan the page.

    Thank you.

    Best Wishes,

    Mike E.

  11. Dana Says:

    your tutorial was great! Is there a way to undisable my text msgs. I cant send out texts?

  12. Janelle Says:

    Is there a way to get your emails to adjust to the size of the screen like the iphone. my emails seem to be too big and I have to move across the screen to see, also takes ages to download the pictures is there a way to turn it on so the pictures are automatically downloaded when the email arrives on the phone…?

    Thanks heaps for your help :)

  13. lisa Says:

    My microphone in texting does not work. How can I fix it.

  14. alroy Says:

    i cant open or enable/disable my multi window,what should i do?

  15. Vienna T Says:

    Do you know if there is a way to disable “photo preview” after a photo is taken? Every time I take a picture, it shows it on the screen instead of just saving it to the album and I have to exit before taking another. Thank you!

  16. dave Says:

    my new s5 installs this everyday-Beaming Service for Beep’nGo.
    I dont want it but cant uninstall or disable it, is there anyway to get rid of it. wish i had bought the lg g3 now cuz its driving me nuts.

  17. Jimmie Says:

    How do I stop notification pausing my music?

  18. Arabelle Says:

    hi Janelle, if you haven’t figured this out yet…. to minimize your emails, go to settings>emails and make sure auto fit content is checked. make sure Auto-Fit messages is checked also in the Gmail app. once you add your gmail account, all should be good. just got this phone and it was bothering me all day trying to figure it out… hope this helps.

  19. Denise Says:

    I can not find where to turn off the annoying reminder to close the cover when I unplug my phone from the charge. Cell phone class 101 I learned that I don’t need a reminder. How DO I TURN THIS OFF On THE 5S

  20. Ellen Says:

    My location on Weatherbug says it is disabled, when it is enabled. Help!

  21. Ricky Says:

    I have the galaxy S5, And I can not get pictures to come in and download in Messaging. Can you help me with this ?

  22. Matteo Says:

    Standard keypad tones not working (just a single weird sound). I have tried call/settings and variations. Can you please help? I need that for conference call codes etc

  23. Tom Says:

    My galaxy. S5 has no easy mode installed ?

  24. Karrol Says:

    How do I remove the clock ticking noise when I make or receive phone calls? I can hear it in the background.

  25. miguel Says:

    need help.
    my s5 is missing the private button and the fingerprint button on the personalization settings menu.

    cant change from fingerprint to code to unlock the screen.

    my hunch is that this happened after a recent security update.

    appreciate your help on this.


  26. Sue Says:

    I can send a text message using svoice on my phone.Where on my phone does the reply appear?

  27. andrew Says:

    How can I disable the feature that takes contacts and email addresses from my laptop and puts them on my phone? I enabled it thinking it would just gather my contacts, but it has added every email address I have ever sent or received from or it appears that way. I have a lot of deleting to do.


  28. katrin Says:

    Hello… wanted to know how i can use the location on some 1 who is texing me?

  29. Stephanie Lieb Says:

    You can browse the web and talk on the phone if you’re in a Wi-Fi network or in a 4G LTE network.

  30. Alireza Says:

    Would you please tell me how I could turn off Camera Flashing of My Galaxy S5 during the Incoming Calls, Notifications,..?
    Please be advised that I did the Instruction Setting<< Accessebility<<Hearing<< Flash Notification , but no effect.

  31. shirzad Says:

    Is that possible with double click on my Screen touch of my galaxy s5 for Turn off and turn on ? if its possible how can i enable that? or is there application for this action ?

  32. richard foltz Says:

    just upgraded to gallaxy s5 samsum phone. We can recieve message from I phones. What do we need to do to fix this?

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