How to create quick Android shortcuts to any setting

androidpit nexus 6 setting widgets
© NextPit

Down the years Android has gradually improved access to its all-seeing all-doing Settings app, though there are still times when you'll find yourself lost amongst its many menus and option panels. If you want to speed the process up, on anything from a Galaxy S4 to a Nexus 6, there is a way.

androidpit nexus 6 setting widgets
Create a whole screen of settings shortcuts if you want. / © NextPit

By creating widgets from the Settings menus, you can link to any screen of your choice — pick the one that you delve into most often, and it can be right there on your Nexus 5 home screen (or whichever device you're using). It's a useful alternative for options not already available in the notification drawer.

These instructions apply to the latest version of Android Lollipop but the process is similar on older versions and modded editions from the likes of Samsung, HTC and LG.

Creating widgets

Tap and hold on a blank area of any home screen to bring up the Widgets option. Tap this to see all of the widgets currently available on your device, based on the apps you've got installed. As the Settings widgets are built into Android itself, it doesn't matter which apps you're currently using.

androidpit nexus 6 settings menu
Most menus and some individual options are covered. / © NextPit

Scroll right until you reach the Settings shortcut — tap and hold and drag the icon to the home screen of your choice. With that done, a new list appears, enabling you to choose which menu pops up when you tap the shortcut. All the main menus are available plus some specific options (like Battery Saver).

There's nothing to stop you filling up a screen with Settings shortcuts if you want to, but you'll probably want to pick out one or two. Of particular note is the Notification log, because this isn't available anywhere else — it shows previous notifications that you've dismissed in case you want to review them.

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David Nield

David Nield

David is a freelance technology journalist who has been writing about Android apps and gadgets since the earliest days of the platform. He spends most of his time experimenting with phones, tablets and most other types of tech, particularly if it's Google-related.

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  • DougieD Jul 17, 2019 Link to comment

    To ANY setting? The list looks pretty limited. I'm trying to get a shortcut to USB Configuration under Developer Options/Networking - none of which is available to me. "Any setting" is quite a stretch. Words - especially superlatives - mean things; choose them carefully.

  • Eric Rotmil Jun 18, 2016 Link to comment

    on this tutorial/tip how do I remove shortcuts that i've added? , using an XBMC box android 5.1