Owners of the Galaxy S8 will no longer be frustrated by pressing the button on the side of the phone and accidentally waking up Samsung’s artificially intelligent assistant, Bixby. A software update being sent out to devices with the Bixby button, adding an option under the settings menu to disable it. Once activated, Bixby can’t be summoned using the button, which is awkwardly placed below the volume keys on the Galaxy S8, and is easily pressed instead.
While this will be welcomed by those who haven’t found a use for Bixby yet, it does leave a pointless button sitting idle on the side of the phone, and the update doesn’t introduce the chance to re-assign it to a different feature. Samsung has been opposed to such customization, and has actively blocked third-party workarounds in the past. There is a chance the ability to turn off the button will lead to adding such a feature officially in the future; but this is speculation on our part at the moment.
How do you wave goodbye to Bixby? It’s important Bixby and the Bixby Home apps are up to date, so check if any updates are available in the Galaxy App Store before looking for the option. To find the toggle for the Bixby button, open Bixby and select the Settings icon. From there, you should immediately see the toggle to stop Bixby from activating when pressing the button. Samsung has also added the option to the Bixby Key menu under Android Settings.
The change was highlighted on Reddit, and has been spotted by Galaxy S8 owners across the world, including in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Because both Bixby apps must be updated, it may take a while for the new software to arrive globally, so be patient if it’s not available on your phone yet. The Galaxy Note 8 also has a Bixby Key, and should also have the option to disable it.
If, after stopping the Bixby Key from working, you miss the virtual assistant; it’s easy to bring Bixby back either by swiping to the Bixby Home screen, or with your voice. Provided Voice is available where you live, it should have been set up the first time you used Bixby after the feature was added, and saying “Hey Bixby” should see the assistant pop up.