IMG_8759

If there’s one argument I’ve seen made for capacitive buttons on Android (as opposed to on-screen navigation), it’s that you get more information displayed on the screen—that means more time reading and less time scrolling. If you have a Samsung Galaxy device, then you’re already on the capacitive buttons train, but there’s also a way to get more info on the screen if you want. It’s called “Display Scaling,” and you can get it on the S7, S6, and Note 5.

Display Scaling is a default option on the S7/Edge. There’s also a workaround to access it on the S6 and Note 5, which we’ll cover down below. Before we get started, it’s worth noting that this makes everything on the screen smaller, and thus harder to read. If you’re okay with that, let’s roll with it.

How to Access Display Scaling on the Galaxy S7

If you have an S7 or S7 Edge, this is easy. Samsung enabled this option by default, so getting to it is pretty straightforward.

The first thing you’ll need to do is jump into the Settings menu by pulling down the notification shade and tapping the cog icon.

Screenshot_20160617-115219

Once in there, scroll down to the “Display” option and tap that.

Screenshot_20160617-112342

Down the screen just a bit is an option for “Display scaling.” That’s the one you want.

Screenshot_20160617-112349

When you open this menu, you’ll have two options: “Standard“ and “Condensed.” The former is default, and when you tap the “Condensed” option, the preview area below will give you an example of what to expect from the change. And really, if you find that you don’t like it, you can always change it back later.

Screenshot_20160617-112356 Screenshot_20160617-112401

Once you’ve confirmed that you’re into the change, just hit “Done.” A popup will let you know that you need to restart your device, so just go ahead and hit “Restart” to apply the change.

Screenshot_20160617-112417

Boom, you’re done. Easy peasy, right?

How to Access Display Scaling on the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge+, and Note 5

RELATED: How to Install Nova Launcher for a More Powerful, Customizable Android Home Screen

The exact same menu is available on older Galaxy devices, but for some reason Samsung decided to hide this option. That means getting to it is a little more convoluted, but fortunately it’s not that difficult.

The first thing you’ll need to do is install Nova Launcher, because it offers advanced widget and shortcut access not available on stock launchers. But really, it’s an excellent launcher on its own, so you really should give it a go either way.

Once it’s installed, just hit the Home button and select Nova.

Screenshot_20160617-114051

From there, long-press anywhere on the home screen and select “Widgets.” The first row of options are Nova shortcuts—you’re looking for “Activities,” which should be the third one in the list. Long-press and drag it to the home screen.

Screenshot_20160617-114119Screenshot_20160617-120624

The Activities menu will take a few seconds to populate, as there are a lot of options here. Once it’s loaded, though, scroll down to “Settings” and tap the drop-down arrow.

Screenshot_20160617-114321 Screenshot_20160617-115131

In this list, you’re looking for “.DisplayScalingActivity.” Once you’ve found it, just give it a tap. This will generate a new shortcut on the home screen.

Screenshot_20160617-115148

Tapping that shortcut will open the same menu shown above on the Galaxy S7, and all instructions from there are the exact same.

Screenshot_20160617-112356 Screenshot_20160617-112401

Pick your setting, apply, reboot, and you’re finished.


Seeing more info on the screen is nice, but if at any point you decide that a condensed format just isn’t right for you, going back is easy—just repeat the above steps and select “Standard.” Nothing to it.