Monday, 15 June 2015

Android Tricks: Enabling Soft Keys On Android Phone By Modifying Build.prop File [Requires ROOT]

Most of the Android users fancy on-screen soft navigation keys just like we see in most of the HTC devices, instead of physical keys that may or may not be backlit. This makes the usage difficult during night time. As we cannot simply switch our Android phones just for the on-screen navigation keys, today I've posted a simple trick that can enable soft keys on any Android phone that is ROOTED. Yes, it requires root.

If you are not sure what rooting is and how to perform it please go through it and return back to this tutorial. Rooting process varies for every device, so just Google it up and find it in xda forums.


  1. A Rooted Android phone.
  2. A File Manager App to Modify the build.prop file. In this tutorial we'll be using Root Explorer. Download it from here.

There are two main process to Enable soft keys:

  1. The Manual Method (By Editing build.prop file)
  2. The Automatic Method (By using SoftKey Enabler Application)

Method 1: By Editing build.prop file:

1. Download Root Explorer from the above given link and install it.
2. When you open the app for the first time, grant the superuser permissions.
3. Now, in the root explorer, navigate to /System/build.prop
4. Long press on the build.prop file and choose "Open in text editor".
5. Now scroll down to the bottom and add the below code in a new line.

6. Before saving the the file, check whether the above code already exists in your build.prop file. If it already exists, don't add the above code, just change the value of existing line to 0.
7. Now save the file and restart the phone. That's it! you'll see soft keys now!

Just reboot your phone and you can see soft keys enabled on your android device.

Method 2: By Using SoftKey Enabler App: 

1. Download SoftKey Enabler Android app from here and install it.
2. Open the app and click the big green button that says Enable.

yes, that's the big green guy! Tap him!

3. A success message appears, then reboot your phone.
4. That's it! Soft Keys are enabled.

Modifying build.prop file without any basic knowledge about it can brick your Android device. Do it at your own risk and I claim no responsibility.