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Maybe it’s just me, but I have real trouble answering the phone on my Samsung Galaxy S9. The swipe gesture just doesn’t seem to work half the time, leaving me frantically pawing at the screen every time it rings. The good news is a recent update means it’s now possible to remap the Bixby button to answer phone calls, meaning you can avoid that situation altogether. It’s quite a convoluted process, but here’s how it’s done.
What is the Bixby button?
First, let’s just make sure we’re all clear what we’re talking about here. The Bixby Button – found on handsets from the Galaxy S8 upwards – is the physical button beneath the volume controls on the left-hand flank of the phone.
Bixby is Samsung’s voice assistant, a poor relation to Siri or Google Assistant. You won’t miss it, which is why people have been crying out for a way to put that button to better use. Which Samsung has finally let us do.
How to remap the Bixby button to answer calls
The first thing to do is to check you’ve got the latest update to the Bixby app.
Open the Galaxy Store app on your phone (the easiest way is to search for it) and then click the three dots in the top right-hand side of the app. Select My Page and then Update, and install any Bixby-related updates.
Once that’s complete, open the main Settings app, select Advanced Features and then Bixby Key.
If you’ve never used Bixby before, Samsung will now force you to set it up. Just go along with whatever it tells you to do.
Samsung will still force you to use the Bixby key to open the blasted voice assistant one way or another, but what we’re going to do is set it up so that two presses of the button opens Bixby and a single press answers phone calls. That way, you don’t really need to be bothered by Bixby.
How do you pull this off? In those Bixby key settings, select the option that says “Double press to open Bixby”. Beneath that, there’s also the option to “Use single press” – make sure that is selected.
When you click on that, you’re given two options: open app or run quick command. If you want to assign the Bixby button to open a particular app, go ahead and do it, but we’re going to select the option to run a quick command.
When you select that, you’ll be presented with a screen showing Recommended commands. Ignore those and press the + button at the top.
On the screen that follows, type “Answer Phone” at the top and then press Add a Command.
From the following screen, press Select a Command and scroll down until you see Phone. Then select Accept this call.
If everything has worked out correctly, the next time your phone rings, you should be able to answer the call using the Bixby button.
NOW READ THIS: How do I disable the Bixby button on a Samsung Galaxy S9?