How to disable the Bixby key on your Galaxy S8 (although Samsung doesn't want you to)

A simple way to turn off that button

If you're a Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus or Galaxy Note 8 owner, then one of the most irritating things about your phone has just been addressed by Samsung: you can turn off the physical Bixby button on the side.

Sadly, if you decide to use the official method from Samsung below to turn off the feature, you'll only have the choice of deactivating the button or leaving it be – there's no way to change what the Bixby button does altogether. 

Early versions of the Samsung Galaxy S8 pair allowed users to re-map the key to perform other functions, but that function was removed because Samsung wanted to make sure users got the 'full Bixby effect', and so ensured the button could only be used to launch its smart assistant.

"We got a lot of anger, a lot of emails from many, many people [saying]: 'Wouldn’t it be nice if I could map it to camera?'," Injong Rhee, Executive VP and Head of R&D, Software and Services at Samsung, told TechRadar. 

"But what I’m saying is that this is such a sticky area. I mean, people don’t see it right now but once they start seeing the behaviour behind Bixby I don’t think they’ll want to map it to anything else."

However, it's clear that Bixby isn't as desirable as Samsung once thought – and the key is in a position where it easily can be hit – so the company has made it possible to remove the functionality. Whether that's a precursor to enabling re-mapping again in the future remains to be seen.

How to turn off the Samsung Bixby key

Before we begin: this method works for the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 Plus and Note 8, so you can disable the key on any Bixby-enabled phone.

To turn off the Bixby button, you'll need to boot up Bixby itself. Ironically, the easiest way to do this will be to press the Bixby button on the left-hand side of the phone.

If your phone's software is up to date, you'll see the toggle to turn off the feature at the top of the Bixby homepage. If not, you'll need to head into the Galaxy App store on your phone to push the update through.

The simple toggle will make it easy to turn off the feature

If you're up to date and you can turn off the feature, you'll see the screen above at the top of your Bixby home screen. It's then just a simple matter of tapping on the toggle you see above.

You'll then be greeted by a pop-up that asks whether you want to turn the feature off for good, and here you'll want to select the option that reads 'Don't open anything'.

So far we've seen this update land in the UK, but it may not come to other territories until a later date. Be sure to check back to see if it has landed at a later date if it's not already there for you.