Yesterday, a great thread titled Share One Awesome Tip or Trick You Do With Your Android Phone, I'll Start... popped up on Reddit, and thinking I would be already aware of all the little tricks, I almost ignored it. By the end of the day, seeing over 100 comments piqued my curiosity, so I checked it out.

To my dismay, among all the great tips, I found one, courtesy of kennansoft, that somehow evaded me all along - and it was available in my own stock Epic 4G Touch Galaxy S II ROM of all things.

The tip itself is very simple - if you turn off auto-brightness, you can just place your finger on the notification area (as you can see in red below) and swipe it left and right to control brightness. Dead simple, right?


Apparently, Samsung added this feature in TouchWiz 3, and CyanogenMod and other ROMs, like AOKP, followed suit. Go ahead, try it.

Note #1: In AOKP, you will need to enable this feature first. Go to Settings > ROM Control > Statusbar/General > Enable brightness control (thanks, mumbling2myself).

Note #2: In CyanogenMod, you will need to enable this feature as well. Go to Settings > CyanogenMod Settings > Interface -> Status bar tweaks (thanks, Pablo). You will also need CyanogenMod 7.1+ for this to work.

Note #3: As I mentioned earlier, you will need to have auto-brightness turned off for this to work no matter what ROM you're running.

For more great tips, check out the Reddit thread - maybe you'll find a few you weren't aware of.

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Tim M

    I tried this last night and never could get it to work on my Sensation 4G running CM7.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Did you disable auto-brightness?

      • ssj4Gogeta

        On TouchWiz you need to first press and hold and then slide. Maybe it's the same for CM. I think you should mention this in the article.

    • http://andrewchamp.com/ Andrew Champ

      Same here. I'm running CM7 on my Mytouch4G.

      • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

        I don't have a CM ROM handy. I'm thinking it could be one of two things - either there's a setting like in AOKP to explicitly enable this, or it was added at some point after the latest stable release. I'd bet if you tried a nightly, it'd be there.

      • Eric S.

        There has to be an option in there somewhere. I had Simply Stunning 5.6 which was based on the latest Cyanogen mod at the time on my Droid and I remember this being in option under "Cyanogen Mod" settings. Not sure which specific area, but its in there.

    • Pablo

      It's only on CM7.1+, and you have to enable it in Settings -> Cyanogenmod Settings -> Interface -> Status bar tweaks (auto-brightness must be disabled for you to be able to check the option)

      • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

        There you go, thanks for the clarification, Pablo.

      • Tim M

        Thank you! I enabled it but it still doesn't work.
        Which leads me to a question...
        What is the acronym for user error for smartphones? PEBKAC and PICNIC don't really work. :p

      • Wr3ck

        It's in CM9 too. At least on the Epic builds of CM9 they have it. It's in Settings -> System -> Status Bar (auto-brightness must be as well like you mentioned)

        • Wr3ck

          Just noticed you said CM7+ sorry. But yea, different location for CM9

  • Lefty

    Thanks for posting this! One more cool thing about my E4gt! I have to say if someone gave me a Nexus I would give it to my fiance who is still using an intercept(my fault I guess. She got a big ring and I got my phone). Because I can find no reason to part with my E4GT!

  • http://www.thepixelpuse.com aj

    Holy hell. This is cool. No more flipping through settings to change screen brightness for me! How I've been using CM this long and never known about this is beyond me.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      That's what I said!

  • jeff donuts

    i already have this default on my s2 lol

  • Elliott HillJennings

    this is on gummy nexus as well but i cant get it to work

  • Ronnie

    Cool. I never thought to try sliding my finger across the notification bar instead of pulling it down.

  • Gaius Halkias

    I could've sworn this was common knowledge, this functionality has been around since the first Galaxy S.

    • Wr3ck

      Yea, I thought it was known too but sometimes these things slip past people when they aren't specifically looking for a new way to tweak a setting

  • Raviteja

    In latest CM9 build for SGII this is not working...It got Disabled.........See the last line in this pic http://desmond.yfrog.com/Himg690/scaled.php?tn=0&server=690&filename=sbh.png&xsize=640&ysize=640

    • Raviteja

      Update: It is working...Need to Slide it VERY SLOW...Need to tick Brightness Control under setting/system/statusbar

      • ssj4Gogeta

        On TouchWiz (at least on my Galaxy S) you need to first press and hold and then slide.

  • shaggyskunk

    Thanks! That's awesome!

  • gmquinto

    If you guys are looking for a more customizable version of this try "Display Brightness" in the market. It's similar to the notification bar option, but you can have it be a fill bar, choose the size, show percentage, choose what side of the screen to swipe along ( I do the left side to make it easy while holding my phone), choose transparency, choose minimum brightness, etc. Sometimes it doesn't work to well like in games in landscape mode or i'll set it off accidentally, but overall it's pretty good.

  • Roger vampire

    thanxx a lot man !!!though o knew that this feature was present in cm7 I didn't know how to do it ....thanxx again :-)

  • Conan

    Yes, great little feature on my Epic 4G with Touchwiz-based ROMs and now I know I won't lose it when I switch to a CM9-based ROM. Thanks!

  • Vicky

    I just flashes an AOKP rom the other day, do this is great to hear about! Thanks for sharing!

  • jan

    Loved this option in cm7 :p

  • Nikhil

    In my Nexus S running CM9, I have to wait and hold my finger on display for few seconds... else it doesn't work. Is it the same for everyone?

    But hell, this is awesome! :D



  • Chris Webster

    Nice tip, took a little while for my CM9 Evo 3D. What helped was sliding it slowly like someone else said. Only problem is that the brightness doesn't go all the way up :.(

  • David Lee

    TouchWiz has had this feature since I got my Samsung Vibrant in July 2010 (on Eclair).

    • ssj4Gogeta

      I remember being confused as to why the brightness would suddenly change sometimes when I pulled the notification bar down (on Eclair). Then I read somewhere it was a feature.

      On Gingerbread they changed it so you had to first press and hold and then slide to prevent accidental brightness changes when pulling down the notification bar.

  • Navigator

    whats so surprising? dont tell me you never knew about this.. this function was there right from start in galaxy units. samsung introduced wifi tether, screenshot and much more in touch wiz when others needed third party apps. touch wiz IS horrible in looks but is great in functionality and light on resources unlike sense or blurr or other craps out there.

  • http://www.theotakutalk.tk June

    Not working on Galaxy Y. :(

  • Amish

    best thing i hv read this month!

  • http://www.facebook.com/shane.roosmalecocq Shane Roosmale Cocq

    sooo freaking coooooolllll