Customize the Nexus 5X

9 Ways to Customize the Nexus 5X

The LG Nexus 5X is a great device that keeps up with most premium handsets on the market. Which is commendable considering its mid-range pricing. If you’re looking for a solid, dependable handset, it’s a decent option.

Must Read: 13 Best Features of the Nexus 5X

If you’re reading this article it’s highly likely that you’ve already bought the phone, so let’s kick off this list of 9 ways to customize your Nexus 5X without wasting any more time.

Screen Pinning

This is a feature that allows you to keep an app’s screen in view until you unpin it.

You can use it to make sure that you won’t accidentally exit an app or game while you’re using your device, and it’s handy if a younger child wants to play a game on your phone.

Step 1:

First, you’ll have to enable screen pinning from the settings.

  • Open your Settings, and tap on the Security
  • Tap Screen Pinning.
  • You’ll be able to enable the feature via the switch located at the top of the screen. You may be asked to enter your unlock pattern when you enable the setting.

Step 2:

Once you’ve enabled it from the settings;

  • Open the app you would like to pin and navigate to the screen you want to pin.
  • Tap the square Overview button to reveal the pin icon. (It’s shaped like a pin, in the bottom right corner of the screen you selected.)
  • Touch the pin and the screen will be saved.
  • To unpin a screen, make sure you’re on the screen that is pinned.
  • Hold Back (the backwards triangle)and Overview at the same time.
  • Release both buttons to unpin the screen.
  • You may need to enter your lock screen code as an added measure of security.

That’s it, you’re now ready to pin apps to your hearts content.

2. Customize the Quick Settings Bar

The ability to customize the quick settings bar is new to Marshmallow 6.0, and it’s handy if you use it often. You’ll be able to choose which icons are shown when you open the quick drop down menu, as well as their order in the list.

Step 1:

Pull down the notification bar and hold the gear-shaped Settings icon for 2-4 seconds.

Step 2:

You should see a popup on screen informing you that you’ve added the System UI Tuner to your Settings.


Step 3:

You’ll find the System UI Tuner listed at the bottom in your Settings menu.

Step 4:

Tap it, and tap Quick Settings.

3. Setting App Permissions

If you want to limit the information certain apps can access on your device—and let’s face it, who doesn’t—you can do so on the 5X thanks to Marshmallow. It’s best if you’re the one in control of your phone, so make sure you know which apps can access your personal information, camera and microphone.

Step 1:

In your Settings menu, tap Applications.

Step 2:

Find the app that you want to set permissions for, and tap it to open another menu.

Step 3:

From here, tap App Permissions, and you’ll be able to turn them on and off as you wish.


Note: If applications start acting strangely or not at all, they may need certain permissions to perform their primary functions. So you’ll need to decide which is more necessary, the app having access to your information or your privacy.

4. Install External Apps

The 5X is set to not allow for downloading external applications by default. It’s a safety measure to protect you from downloading dodgy apps, but it can be annoying if you need to download something that isn’t available on the store.

It only takes a few taps to allow for external downloads.

Step 1:

In your Settings menu, find and tap Security.

Step 2:

In the menu that opens, you’ll find an option called Unknown sources. Check the box to allow for installation of apps from sources other than the Play Store.

You should now be ready to start your download, but remember to be careful when you download files from the internet to your phone. You can always manage the permissions of any apps you’ve downloaded by following the steps in the last section.

5. Activate the Notification LED

The Nexus 5X comes equipped with an RGB LED notification light, but you’ll have to enable it from the settings first.The notification LED will alert you if you miss a call or message, and you can customize the alerts by using a third party app such as Light Flow to change the colors.


(The 5X has no inbuilt customization controls for the LED light.)

Step 1:

In your Settings menu, tap Sound & notification.

Step 2:

Find the option called Pulse Notification light.

Use the switch to turn the notifications off and on.

As I mentioned before, if you want to change the color of the notification LED, you can download an app like Light Flow.

Download at Google play7

6. Unlock the System UI Tuner (Show Your Battery Percentage)

The system UI Tuner is a built in secret menu that allows advanced users to mess around with the user interface settings on their phone. One of the options will allow your device to show how much battery power you have left as a percentage, which is a lot better than looking at the bar and taking a rough guess.

Step 1:

You’ll need to enable Developer Options on your phone. Go to your Settings, tap About Phone, and scroll down to the bottom of this menu.

Step 2:

You’ll see the Build Number Tap it several times in succession and back out into the main Settings menu again.

Step 3:

Pull down the notification bar and hold the gear-shaped Settings icon for 2-4 seconds.

Step 4:

You should see a popup on screen informing you that you’ve added the System UI Tuner to your Settings. (You can find the System UI Tuner menu at the bottom of the page in your Settings menu.)

Step 5:

Open the System UI Tuner menu, and you’ll see an option to Show embedded battery percentage. Tap the toggle to the right and you’ll now be able to tell just how much battery you have left.

Here’s a video that shows how to access the System UI menu:

7. Set up your Default Apps (SMS, Camera, etc.)

It’s annoying if your phone can’t decide what to use when you want to open something, or if you’ve set the wrong app to open your files by default.

You can change your default apps pretty easily in your Settings;

Step 1:

Go to Apps in your Settings.

Step 2:

Tap the gear in the top right corner of the screen.

Step 3:

Tap Default Apps.

From this menu you can pick and choose your default apps.

8. Install a New Wallpaper

You can do away with the default wallpaper easily on the Nexus 5X, and there are loads of new ones to choose from in the Play Store.

To set a new wallpaper on your device;

Step 1:

Touch and hold any open space on your Home Screen.

Step 2:

A list of wallpaper options will now appear.

Step 3:

You will now have a choice between the images on your device as well as any live wallpapers you have saved.

Step 4:

Tap Set Wallpaper to save your wallpaper, or you can crop an image here to set it as your wallpaper too.


9. Voice Controls

You can use your voice for a large number of tasks on the 5X, as the device supports always-listening voice control. It can be useful if you want to use the phone while driving, and it gets better at recognizing what you say as you use it more.


Step 1:

Open the Google app and tap the three bars in the top left hand corner.

Step 2:

Go to Settings, and tap the Voice option to open up a new menu.

Step 3:

Tap Ok Google detection, and you’ll be able to choose when it’s active.

To change the language, go back into the Voice menu and tap Language.


The Nexus 5X is a great device, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting the most from your handset. Hopefully, you’ll be able to customize the 5X with the tips on this list to make the device even more useful.

If you’re having problems, we’ve prepared a list with 14 troubleshooting tips and solutions for your 5X.

If we’ve missed a great tip for the Nexus 5X, or you have questions about one of the tips on this list, let us know in the comments below.

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