17 Ways To Customize Your Samsung Galaxy S5: Give Your Phone Personality

Whenever I get a new Android smartphone, it takes me a couple of days to customize it and make it my own. If I don’t customize my phone, then I just don’t feel that the device belongs to me. In order to get that personal feeling with your phone, you can use different types of customization options.

Customization on the S5 is possible through certain apps, phone accessories and rooting tactics.

If you just purchased your Samsung Galaxy S5 or you’re looking to change how your phone feels, you can easily customize your phone as there are lots of great customization apps available on the Google Play Store. Continue reading to find out the ways that you can customize your Samsung Galaxy S5.

1. Change Fonts

fonts s5

Fonts are one of the most important design options on all Android phones and the great thing is that the Galaxy S5 has a built-in font changer. Some people think that fonts don’t play a big role, but you’ll be surprised to see how much of a difference these fonts make.

In order to change fonts, go to Display in Settings and tap on Font. Select Font style to change the font and select Font size to change the size of your font. You can also download additional fonts.

2. Install Custom ROMs


The best and most extreme way to customize any Android smartphone is to install a custom ROM. These custom ROMs not only improve the overall performance and battery life of the phone, but they also bring in interface, theme and design changes.

As the Galaxy S5 is one of the most popular Android smartphones currently available in the market, there are loads of custom ROMs available on the XDA forums. If you want to narrow down your options, feel free to check out our list of the best custom ROMs for the Galaxy S5. Installing custom ROMs require root access, which is why installing ROMs is not a great option for users who don’t want to take the risk and void their manufacturer’s warranty.

3. Custom Launchers

While ROMs change almost everything on the phone, custom launchers can also modify the phone significantly and I personally feel this is the next best alternative to installing custom ROMs. I don’t really like the TouchWiz launcher because I like things simple.

If you’re looking for a different launcher, you can head over to the Google Play Store and check out the launchers available, such as Nova Launcher and Apex Launcher.

4. Change Folder Colors

If you have a lot of folders on your homescreen, then you’ll like this great customization feature. The Galaxy S5 lets you change the color of your folder and now you can easily create multiple colorful folders on your homescreen.

Tap on the Menu button in the folder and you’ll now see different color options. Tap on the color that you want to use for the folder.



One of the most popular customization apps available on the Google Play Store is ZEDGE and this is an all in one app to download wallpapers, live wallpapers, notification sounds and ringtones.

The ZEDGE website has been around for years with millions of users using it to customize their phones. The app also lets you set ringtones, notification sounds and wallpapers directly from within the app.

Download on Google Play

6. Change the Screen Mode

screen mode

The Galaxy S5 also lets you customize the screen mode and you can choose from different options such as Standard, Cinema and Professional photo. In order to change the screen mode, go to Display in the Settings app and tap on Screen mode. Select your desired option.

7. Use 3D Homescreen Rotation

This is one of the coolest features on the Galaxy S5. Screen transition effects can really liven up the phone and the Galaxy S5 comes with a 3D screen rotation option.

In order to enable it, hold on an empty area on your homescreen, select Home screen settings and tap on Transition effect. Select 3D rotation from the list of options.

8. Daydream

If you’re a fan of screensavers on PCs, then you’ll love this option. Daydream lets you display a screensaver on your Galaxy S5 while it is docked or charging. There are different types of options, such as colors and photo frame. You can also get additional options through the Google Play Store.

Go to Settings, select Display and tap on Daydream. Enable the toggle on the top and select your desired Daydream type. You can edit additional settings by tapping on the Settings icon next to the option that you selected.

9. Lock Screen Customization

lock screen

You can edit various areas of the lock screen according to your preferences on the Galaxy S5. You can customize options such as unlock effect, lock type and clock size.

My favorite lock screen option is displaying your name on the lock screen. In order to display your name, go to Lock screen in the Settings app, tap on Owner information and enter your name.

10. Arrange The App Drawer

You can also customize the way apps are arranged in your app drawer. Go to Menu in the app drawer, tap on View as and select your desired arrangement.

11. Get A New Keyboard

There are lots of great keyboards available on the Google Play Store and one of the most popular options is SwiftKey Keyboard. My personal favorite it Emoji Android L Keyboard and you’ll love it if you’re a fan of Android L.

12. Speed Up Window And Transition Animations

One of the easiest ways to make your phone feel snappy is to play around with window and transition animation scales. Go to About phone in the Settings app and keep tapping on Build number until you see a You are now a developer popup message. This will enable Developer options on your phone.

Go to Developer options in the Settings app, select Window animation scale and set it to 0.5x. Do the same for Transition animation scale.

13. Increase The Touch Sensitivity

touch sensitivity

While there is no problem with the touch sensitivity on most phones, you can still increase it on the Galaxy S5. The might be really useful if you like wearing gloves while using your phone. In order to increase touch sensitivity, go to Display in the Settings app and enable the Increase touch sensitivity option.

14. Enable/Disable Touch Sounds And Vibration

With the built-in settings menu, you can also enable or disable touch screen sounds and vibration. Go to Sound in the Settings app and scroll down to Feedback. You can now enable/disable touch sounds, haptic feedback, screen lock sound and keypad sound.

15. Zooper Widget

zooper widget

One of the most popular widget apps available on the Google Play Store is Zooper Widget. The app lets you make highly customized widgets for your homescreen according to your preferences.

Download on Google Play

16. Wallbase Wallpapers


One of the best ways to customize any Android device is to use HD wallpapers. Live wallpapers got really popular when they first came out and you can still find lots of cool live wallpapers on the Google Play Store.

However, if you feel that live wallpapers drain a lot of battery and slow down the phone, then the Wallbase Wallpapers app is the perfect option for getting normal HD wallpapers.

Download on Google Play

17. Customize Quick Settings

Quick settings on the Galaxy S5 makes it easier for users to access various functions. If you want to customize quick settings according to your needs, then go to the Settings app, tap on Menu and select the Edit quick settings option.


The Galaxy S5 is a great Android smartphone from Samsung and there is a lot that you can do with your phone. If you just purchased your phone, then I would highly recommend learning how to customize your Samsung Galaxy S5 so that you can get comfortable with it.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section below and let us know your favorite customization apps for the Galaxy S5. What’s next? Learn about the best S5 cases and how to troubleshoot the phone if you have any problems.

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  1. Just had an upgrade load today on my Samsung 5 and now everything is ORANGE or YELLOW -or PINK – how do I get my old muted blues and greens back?

  2. I would like to know, how to change the standard tone that I hear when I turn, on or off my Samsung Galaxy S5 thanks! ☺ Toni

  3. i was on my phone & was falling asleep.. next thing i knew when i awoke my phone is all black & white. i need help on changing it back to color

  4. I hate the “water drop” sound when tapping on something, but I like to have a sound when doing so. How can I change the touch sound for a simple sharp tap sound? Is it possible?

    1. You might be able to do so, but you’ll need root access in order to replace the sound file. The location of the touch sound file is this I believe. system/media/audio/ui/TW_touch.ogg

      1. How do I access “system/media/audio/ui/TW_touch.ogg” on my phone? where do I type this in?
        Is there an app that can change notification and tapping tones?

  5. Is there a way to change the settings in the default Email app from forwarding HTML emails in “alternative text version” to forwarding them in HTML? I forward a lot of emails regularly and I can’t figure out how to stop it from sending them in alternative text version. It is exchange email in my default email app. I do not want to merge it into my Gmail app. I do not like the Gmail app functionality wise.

    Thanks for your help.

      1. I too, like Heidi, wish to be able to change preset colors and the like, but fear this “rooting” process as it is supposed to void the warranty and protection offered by ATT.

        Must you root the phone to utilize these ROM’s you’ve described?

        Is there any chance you could further define exactly what it means to root your phone?


        1. Hi George,
          The rooting fear is something I, myself, feel I can definitely relate to.

          Rooting a device, well, gives you root access. An easily way to imagine it, is administrator privileges, like you’d get on a PC. Giving you access to all the tucked away files of your android device.

          I hope this helps your understanding a little.

  6. I see when I’m typing on Samsung keyboard that there are 2 different emoji styles availible,but I can only access one. I would like to be able to switch the emoji styles

  7. I want to use my own voice (and sounds) instead of the sound notification choices given. I am able to “add” my own under the ringtone selection, but not on the notification menu. Is there a way to do this? Thank you in advance for your answer.

    1. Hi Doris,
      If you want set your voice as a ringtone for a contact on you S5, all you have to do is:

      You can record your voice by using the stock Voice recorder app and then set it as ringtone for a specific contact by using the following steps:
      1. Open Voice recorder app.
      2. To record your voice, do as follows:
      Tap to start recording.
      Say a phrase contains with the name of the desired contact with clearly, e.g: “you have incoming call from John”.
      Tap to stop recording.
      In the recordings list, long tap the voice recording you have just recorded to select it.
      Tap at the top right or long press the Recent apps key to open up the additional options and then select Set as.
      Tap Caller ringtone.
      Select the required contact.

      The selected voice recording has been set as ringtone for the selected contact.
      From now on, when the selected contact calls you, your phone will play the voice recording you have set as caller ringtone. Hope this helps! =)

      1. Yes, thank you, it works great for my ringtone!
        I’d like to do the same for notifications when I receive a text, but there is no option to add my own voice/sound. (My old Pantech 2020 had this feature and I LOVED it– as I used a submarine sonar sound).
        Is there some other way I could add this option ?
        A third party app perhaps? (what would you suggest?)

          1. Great link for the ringtones, thanks. The problem lies with my galaxy s5 NOTIFICATION RINGTONE page. It doesn’t have an ” add” option. It only says cancel and OK. The Notification SOUND menu also does not have the “add ” option. The “regular” ringtone page has an “add” option. Do the sounds on these apps override the settings menu on the phone? Or is there another settings menu somewhere that will allow me to add text alert sounds? You’ve been very patient with my questions, thank you.

      1. Hi Nancy,
        Unfortunately there is not way to change the font color directly from the phone, but you can try the large variety of font apps on Google Play and see which one you like best. Thanks for commenting. =-)

  8. Hi Doris,
    Welcome back, It´s good to hear from you again. Thank you for your kind words and it is a pleasure to help you with whatever you need. I will spend as much time as needed help you solve your problem. Each app offers different features, so you would have to see which one you like best. Have you tried going to App drawer>Music Player>Open track>menu (3 dots)> Set As?

    1. I did as you said: App drawer>Music Player>Open track>menu (3 dots)> Set As The set as menu says only three choices: set as Phone Ringtone, or Caller Ringtone or Alarm. It won’t let me set as text alert tone!!!! I’ve only had this Samsung s5 phone for one week, but this is an important feature for me. I may have to exchange for a phone that has text personalization options. Do you, Judy have any suggestions? I am still under the exchange/restocking time frame.

    2. Wonderful news! I did it!! I found a link to a youtube instruction “How to use your own music as notification (text) ringtones on Android”
      And it worked! I am so thrilled, I wanted to tell you.
      (I did try your App drawer etc, but it wasn’t successful)
      Thank you for all your patience and suggestions, you gave me hope!

      1. Hi Doris,
        Welcome back! That is great news! Thanks for sharing the link so other can see it too. You are most welcome, and you know that we are always here to help with any future issues you may have. Thanks for commenting and keep coming back for more useful tips and tricks. =-)

  9. I don’t see how you can use most of the aps recommended because they are add based…ex;I downloaded the keyboard you said was your favorite and there was a add every 20 seconds. No thank you

    1. Hi Larry,
      If I really like and app I usually put up with the ads, but that is something that each user decides on their own, but too many ads can be annoying. I hope you do find an app that you do like. Thanks for commenting. =-)

  10. Hi, Yasir. My kids did something to my camera icon and now it has the same symbol as the phone icon. Is there a way to bring the camera icon back? Thank you!

    1. Hi Olga,
      You can try launching Nova Launcher after downloading from Google Play, and it will give you options to change icons (personalize them). If you want the default icons go through the Edit icon process and choose the icon displayed under Default. Hope this helps. Did you ask your kids how they did it? =-)

    1. Hi, Webter. Unfortunately it is not possible to change just the font color on you lock screen without an outside application.

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