How to enable Developer Options on your Android phone or tablet

developer options nexus 5
Credit: Blake Stimac
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So you’ve finally decided to root your phone and install a custom ROM, or maybe you want to sideload an app from your computer. Before you can jump into ADB commands and perform some software surgery on your phone, you have to enable the Developer options.

Cleverly hidden away from the average user, enabling Developer options is incredibly easy to do if you know where to look.

Find the Android Build number in Settings

Android Build Number

Build number menu for the Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3, and HTC One (M8)

While enabling Developer Options is done in the same way for every Android phone or tablet, OEMs don’t always put the option in the same place. Navigate your phone to the “Build number” portion of the settings, which can be tucked away and buried in submenus.

Here’s how to get there on a few popular devices:

Stock Android: Settings > About phone > Build number

Samsung Galaxy S5: Settings > About device > Build number

LG G3: Settings > About phone > Software information > Build number

HTC One (M8): Settings > About > Software information > More > Build number

Once you’ve found the Build number section of the settings, tap on the section 7 times. After two taps, a small pop up notification should appear saying "you are now X steps away from being a developer" with a number that counts down with every additional tap.

unlocked developer options

When the Developer options are unlocked, you should see something like this.

After the 7th tap, the Developer options will be unlocked and available. They can usually be found in the main settings menu. You dive into that menu to do things like enable USB debugging (a frequent prerequisite to lots of hacks).

android developer options

Developer options for the Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3, and HTC One (M8).

Removing Developer options is possible, but only for certain phones

So you want to get rid of the developer options in the settings menu of your phone? Well, the sad truth is that the only sure-fire way to do this is to perform a factory reset. Luckily, a few phones can kill off the extra settings menu without wiping the phone completely. 

clear settings data

Clearing the Settings data will remove Developer options for some phones and tablets.

If you have a phone with stock Android or the HTC One (M8), Developer options can be removed completely from your phone without wiping it. Sorry, Galaxy S5 and LG G3 users, you’re gonna need to either live with the extra menu or wipe your phone. 

Go to Settings>Apps>Settings and tap on Clear Data. A popup will ask you to confirm, press OK, and you’re done. This method may work with more phones and tablets, so be sure to let us know in the comments below if it worked for you.

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