All Android phones come with the Google app and Google Assistant preinstalled. Ideally, that should be enough for your digital assistant needs, especially considering that the Big G's solution is one of the best around. However, budget and high-end Samsung Galaxy phones come with Bixby — bundled with One UI — on top of Google's defaults.
The problem is that Bixby has a troubled reputation. On one hand, the voice assistant is terrible and should never be used. On the other hand, Bixby Routines has become indispensable for many and is one of the best automation apps available. And Bixby and Bixby Routines work independently, and turning off the former doesn't hurt the latter. You may want to turn it off if you don't use Bixby. Here's how.
These tips apply to all Samsung Galaxy devices from the Note 10 and newer, as they don't have dedicated Bixby buttons. The Samsung Galaxy S8, S9, S10, Note 8, and Note 9 have dedicated Bixby buttons that can't be fully deactivated. However, they can be remapped.
What is Bixby?
Bixby is Samsung's take on voice assistants like Google Assistant and Siri. Although Bixby has been on Samsung phones since 2017, it has never managed to become as popular as competing voice-enabled assistants. Over the past few years, Bixby seems to have taken a back seat in the grand scheme of things at Samsung. The voice assistant is still slow, supports selected languages, and remains far from perfect. If you feel the same, use the tricks below to turn off Bixby on your Samsung phone or tablet. We have an in-depth Bixby guide if you want to learn more about it. Otherwise, we'll walk you through the process of disabling the feature below.
How to disable Bixby on your Samsung Galaxy's Side key
By default, newer Samsung phones open Bixby when you hold down the Side key — the key you'd expect to function as a power button. It's like when Google changed the side key's default function on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Here's how to revert the experience to the familiar power-off menu:
- Swipe down on your homescreen once to show your notifications, then swipe a second time to expand the quick settings.
- Tap the power icon in the upper-right corner of the screen to open the Power menu.
- Tap Side key settings.2 Images
- Under Press and hold, select Power off menu.
How to disable 'Hi Bixby' detection
In the same way that the Google Assistant listens for "Hey Google," Bixby listens for "Hi Bixby." It's a unique-sounding phrase, so you're not likely to trigger it accidentally. Still, if you want to turn it off, follow these steps:
- Open the Bixby app.
- Tap the settings icon at the bottom.
- Select Voice wake-up.
- Turn off the toggle from the following menu.3 Images
Disable Bixby's advanced features
As a part of Bixby's advanced features, you can use Samsung's voice assistant without waking it up. For example, you can ask Bixby to answer a call, snooze an alarm, or set a timer without the wake-up word. Here's how you can turn off Bixby's advanced features:
- Go to Bixby Settings (check the steps above).
- Scroll to Advanced features and open Talk to Bixby without wake-up.
- Deactivate the option to turn off Bixby in Samsung apps.2 Images
Turn off Bixby text call
Starting with the One UI 5.1 update, Samsung offers Bixby text call that's similar to Google Assistant's Call Screening feature. When you receive an incoming call on your Samsung Galaxy phone, you can use Bixby to answer the call with pre-defined questions and record the conversation transcript. It's available in English and Korean languages only. Follow the steps below to deactivate it.
- Open the Phone app on your Samsung Galaxy phone.
- Tap the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner. Go to Settings.
- Select Bixby text call and turn off the toggle.3 Images
Bixby only works when you're signed in to a Samsung account. When you're not using other Samsung-specific features, sign out under Manage accounts in your phone's settings.
I'm sorry, Bixby, I'm afraid I can't do that
Follow the steps above, and just like that, Bixby stops getting in your way all the time. Then, you'll be free to use Google Assistant, which has many more useful features. Bixby is only one aspect of using a Samsung phone, albeit a poor one. If you're new to the One UI and the Galaxy experience or want to become more familiar with it, we have other helpful guides like the best features you should be using and how to use custom icon packs on your Samsung phone.