How to Use Modes and Routines in One UI 5 on a Samsung Phone

The update to One UI 5 for Samsung Galaxy introduced several interesting new features, including Modes and Routines. These are two tools that give you new ways to match your phone settings, style, and layout to the activities in your daily life.


Here’s how to set up and make the best use of Modes and Routines on your Samsung Galaxy device.


What Is the Difference Between Modes and Routines?

Modes and Routines are two different ways to basically achieve the same thing. Each tool allows you to quickly adapt how your Samsung device is set up, matching it to your needs at any particular moment.

For example, you could select the Workout Mode before exercising or create a Sleep Routine to launch when ready to hit the hay. Your device settings will instantly switch to suit those situations, perhaps silencing notifications or playing workout music.

The main difference between the two tools is that Modes can be enabled manually or triggered by other actions. Routines are more like IFTTT applets and are activated when set criteria are met. This could be based on location, time, or when an action is performed.

You will need to have One UI 5 or later on your Samsung Galaxy device to access and edit Modes and Routines using the method below. Here are the Samsung devices that will receive the One UI 5 update.

How to Use Preset Modes on a Samsung Galaxy

There are several Modes already created and ready to use when you first access the feature. These include Sleep, Workout, Driving, and Relax. You still need to configure these Modes before you can use them, but they give you a good starting point.

  1. To begin configuring Modes, go to Settings > Modes and Routines > Modes.
  2. Tap any of the preset Modes and then tap the Start button.
  3. Choose when or how the Mode should be activated. If you want to only enable the Mode manually, tap the Skip option.
  4. Choose the desired settings on each of the setup screens to configure the Mode to your liking. Some settings will require further selections, such as choosing an app to use.
  5. When the Mode is configured, click the Done button to see a summary of the settings you’ve chosen.

How to Create Custom Modes From Scratch

You can also create Custom Modes for situations that don’t match those included in the Preset Modes.

  1. At the bottom of the Modes tab in Settings, tap Add Mode > Custom.
  2. Give the new Mode a name and choose an icon design and color.
  3. Tap Done and the Custom Mode summary screen will open.
  4. Tap where it says Turn on automaticallyand choose the condition that needs to be met to activate the Mode.
  5. Work your way down the summary screen, selecting each section and changing the settings to meet your requirements.

You can delete both Custom Modes and Preset Modes (once configured) by selecting them, tapping the More button (the three dots), and selecting Delete.

How to Create a Routine in One UI 5

As mentioned earlier, Routines are similar to Modes, but are probably more suitable for when you want settings changes to be automated. They work on an If/Then process: if certain conditions are right (such as the time or your location), then certain things will happen (such as apps will launch and settings will change).

Routines were previously created through Bixbybut the feature has been separated from the voice assistant in One UI 5. The process for creating them is approximately the same, but here’s an overview if you’re unfamiliar with how they work.

  1. open Settings > Modes and Routinesand select the Routines tab. Any Routines you have created with Bixby will be listed here.
  2. To add a new Routine, tap the + button at the top of the screen.
  3. Tap the Yew button to add a trigger for the Routine, such as a time or location. You can also add conditions to the trigger, such as needing a certain amount of battery power to be available.
  4. Tap the Then button to select the actions that are triggered when the If conditions are met. You can choose more than one action to be triggered.
  5. With the trigger and action set, tap Done. You can then add a name, icon, and color highlight for the Routine.
  6. The final thing to set is what happens when the Routine ends. For example, if Bluetooth was enabled, you can decide whether it should be disabled again.

A new feature of Routines in One UI 5 is the ability to trigger a pair of apps rather than just one. When you select this option, the apps will open in a split screenwith one at the top and one at the bottom.

It can sometimes be difficult to know when and where you might need settings to be changed. Instead, you can let your Samsung Galaxy recommend new Routines.

To enable Recommended Routines, you need to enable the Customization Service. You might see a popup on the Routines screen asking if you want to enable it. If not, you can find it by tapping the More button and going to Settings > Customization Service.

If you then regularly make changes to your device at the same time or location, you will eventually receive a notification about creating a Routine to make the changes automatically.

Creating Shortcuts to Modes and Routines

Any Modes or Routines which don’t have an automatic trigger, such as a time or location, can be activated from their summary screens.

You can add a shortcut for Modes and Routines to the main apps list on your device. To do this, open Modes and Routines and tap the More button followed by Settings.

Tap the switch to enable Show Modes and Routines on the Apps screen. You can also choose to make active Routines appear on your device’s lock screen.

In addition, Routines can be saved to the device home screen as a widget. The widget contains the name of the Routine and a small button to activate it. To create a widget, select the Routine and tap More > Set as Widget.

Using Modes and Routines on Your Samsung Galaxy

Modern mobile devices have so many options, settings, and features that it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Any tool that makes it easier to customize your device is a welcome addition, particularly when customizations can be applied automatically when you most need them, as with Modes and Routines.

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