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How to disable Bixby on your Samsung phone and Samsung TV

Disable, delete or remove Bixby

(Image: © Samsung)

So, you’re looking to disable Bixby? You're not the only one. The smart assistant from Samsung hasn't quite caught on as much as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant – and there’s a reason for that. 

Aside from smartphone and tablet apps, Alexa has a host of different smart home devices making the case for an Echo smart speaker in your home – whether the Amazon Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Show 5, or otherwise – while Google’s search engine smarts has made its AI assistant possibly the smartest of the lot. (The Google Home, Home Mini, Home Max, Home Hub and Nest Hub Max are worth a look as well.)

Bixby, on the other hand, doesn’t quite have the same hardware to push it in people’s homes. You’ll get the choice of Bixby on Samsung phones or Samsung TVs, but it’s far from a necessary feature, and you may well opt to use Alexa or Google Assistant functionality in those devices and disable Bixby instead. 

The Bixby-enabled Samsung Galaxy speaker is still nowhere to be seen – possibly because Bixby’s capabilities just aren’t really there yet.

While you can’t quite erase Bixby from these devices entirely – unless you have some mad hacking skills – it’s very possibly to set up your gadgets to use an alternative, or just ditch the voice interface entirely. Here’s the most you can do in your quest to remove Bixby from your smartphone or TV.

How to disable Bixby on Samsung phones (Android Pie)

Recent flagship smartphones from Samsung (from the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus onwards) have included a dedicated Bixby button on the side of the handset, to encourage you to use its voice assistant for navigation, calls, or any other queries you can think of. However, if you’re not in the habit of using Bixby, it can be an irritating waste of button functionality.

Thankfully Samsung has a workaround. For phones with the Android Pie OS (or Android Oreo on the Galaxy Note 9), you can swipe right on the home screen into the Bixby Home hub, and toggle the "Bixby Key" off – to disable Bixby for as long as you like. If you head to Settings > Advanced Features > Bixby Key, you can also remap it onto another function.

If you want to remove the Bixby Home menu pane entirely, you should press down on a blank section of the home screen, which will bring all of the smartphone’s menu panes into view. In the top right corner of the Bixby Home pane is a toggle to remove it.

How to disable Bixby (Android Oreo)

(Image credit: Samsung)

For phones with the older Android Oreo OS, click the Bixby button (under the volume controls) or swipe right on the home screen to get into Bixby Home. Then select the three-dot menu and go to Settings > Bixby Voice. You can also uncheck "Bixby Key" here to stop the side button on your phone from summoning the assistant by accident.

As above, if you want to remove the Bixby Home menu pane entirely, you should press down on a blank section of the home screen until the OS's various menu panes come into view. Then, toggle the Bixby Home pane off in the top right corner to remove it.

How to disable Bixby on your Samsung TV

(Image credit: Samsung)

For those of you who aren’t a fan of shouting out commands at immaterial robot voices, it’s by no means a necessity. TVs still ship with physical remotes, and even voice-activated smart speakers can be used for Bluetooth music playback without ever having to utter the assistant’s name.

This does defeat the point of many smart home gadgets, but there are plenty of Bluetooth speakers for those of you who like your gadgets ‘dumb’.

The remote you get with premium Samsung TVs also uses a hold-to-speak feature, meaning Bixby isn’t listening out for your commands until you summon it.

Disable Bixby – and replace it with something else

Maybe you like voice assistants just fine, but just want something with slightly more accuracy than Bixby, or which works in tandem with certain smart home devices in your home.

You can download the Alexa or Google Assistant app into your smartphone – the latter being installed on Android devices by default – and open the app whenever you want to use that device instead. Siri is not available for Android, though. 

To make another smart assistant the default on your Android Pie phone, head to Settings > Apps > Default > Assist and voice input > Assist app. For Android Oreo phones, this becomes Settings > Apps and notifications > Advanced > Assist and Voice Input > Assist app.