Chances are if you're a Galaxy Nexus or Nexus 7 owner (or soon to be Nexus 4 / Nexus 10 owner), you probably have reason to head into the developer options menu once in a while. Or like me, just once ever to enable USB debugging. Regardless, if you go looking for these options in Android 4.2, you won't find them. That's because Google has - for whatever reason - hidden them from view in this latest update. Probably to prevent ordinary consumers from finding them, you know, for all the damage those highly dangerous developer options could cause.

wm_Screenshot_2012-11-13-07-51-17 wm_Screenshot_2012-11-13-07-51-28 wm_Screenshot_2012-11-13-07-51-40 wm_Screenshot_2012-11-13-07-51-50

Anyway, to access the Developer Options menu, and things like USB debugging, just do the following:

  • Open the Settings menu
  • Go down to the "System" sub-section of the settings menu at the bottom
  • Hit "About Phone [or Tablet]"
  • At or near the bottom, you should see the "Build number" header
  • Tap this area about 10 times, and the Developer Options menu should appear

Ta-da! Once you've done this, Developer Options should now be back where it was in the top-level of the Settings menu under System. We know this tip has been published numerous times, but with Android 4.2 rolling out to the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7 as of last night, it only then became apparent this would be sticking around in the official Android 4.2 builds, so we thought we'd save you the searching. Or maybe just creepily read your mind* and give this information to you right at the moment you were thinking you wanted it.

*We can't read minds.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Laurence

    That's rather convoluted. I suppose this is in keeping with Google's desire to move the "Nexus" brand from niche, geek-oriented devices to being mass market consumer products? Not that I have a problem with that - the more people with access to speedy software updates and the stock UI, the better for the ecosystem. Just so long as Google doesn't remove the badass developer options entirely.

    • kool_dude

      I agree with you, but it's not too terribly convoluted - after the first 3 taps on 'Build Number' , this dialog pops up : 'You are 4 steps away from being a developer'. You have to tap 4 more times before it pops up 'Congratulations, you are now a developer'. I found that very trippy.

      • http://profiles.google.com/boomer84 Oliver Francis

        I feel it's particularly smart. It stops people from doing anything stupid by accident and you can consider it a first test for people who want to mess around with their phone. If they can't get past that then they shouldn't be anywhere near the developer options!

  • Robert Blenkinsopp

    I don't see what was wrong with the old warning personally. Maybe it should not be a top level option in settings, but hiding it under something that's completely unreleted seams a bit obtuse.

  • Relic419

    You guys are awesome. Always posting relevant info, keep it up!

  • Jeffrey Smith

    By moving it where they have, it now feels like an 'easter egg'. As a developer, SMH.

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    Terrible...Developer Options should not be an easter egg. I can understand hiding it a level down, but I can't get behind making it non-visible.

    • http://www.facebook.com/andresdroid Andres Schmois

      It's not an easter egg, they made it so that if you're not supposed to be on this menu you never will be. They could've removed it, but they didn't, instead they made the process impossible to figure out unless you look at Android blogs and such. Nothing wrong with this. (I've seen people mess with this menu before without need.)

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        I think you missed the smidgen of sarcasm in calling it an easter egg. However, it's cheesy, it's not discoverable, beginning developers shouldn't have to go looking on blogs or websites to figure this out. It's a feature that will be used by each person so rarely that they will be likely to forget how to activate it from one device to the next (assuming they aren't re-flashing roms every week). This is just a bad way to hide it, especially if they ever change where they hide it.

        • http://profiles.google.com/boomer84 Oliver Francis

          Beginning developers should absolutely be going on blogs and websites to find out this information. Random clicking of buttons is what causes things to break. It's hardly difficult to find and really, they'll forget? It's a 2 second search if they do but it isn't likely.

    • Freak4Dell

      Totally agree. This is probably the stupidest way they could handled the issue.

  • kool_dude

    Any way to re-hide them ? I know I'm being silly, but I want to see those 'You are 3 steps away from being a developer' messages again.

    • Hassan Alsudani

      hahahaha me toooo

    • Gow

      Yep.u can.,Setting > Device > Apps > All Apps > Settings (always 20.0KB) > clear data > Okey doke...

      • pvtJD

        I tried that step by step here you kindly provided BUT there is NO "Settings" choice in > ALL Apps on my Samsung i717 4.1.2

        Just "Sort by size" and "Reset app preferences." when I click on "Settings."
        Any other ideas?

  • akellar

    Such a dumb "feature" for a "developer" device.

    • Ian Santopietro

      They don't want them to be "developer devices" anymore...

      • akellar

        Doesn't make it any less of a dumb feature. Hide it behind a menu sure, but not as a 'tap here 20 times' easter egg.

  • http://wakoopa.com/yo2boy yo2boy

    Hey, at least I can still enable Force 2D hardware acceleration right?

  • asutodd

    My developer options is there but the selections are grayed out.

    • Ian Santopietro

      Slide the switch at the top to "On"

  • Eric Jones

    Yay! I'm now a developer! That was much easier than I thought it would be.

  • ConCal

    I know I'm going against the grain on this one, but I think it's a good move. Dev options are confusing to lots of people. By having them out of sight it makes those non-poweruser folks feel like they understand their device through and through.

  • Freak4Dell

    Lame...having the on/off switch wasn't enough?

  • PeterSm

    wierd!!.. I have a nexus 7 and found that unless you have debugging mode on/usb debugging set Windows Xp wont recognise it... Works great now so thanks.

  • J

    Its 7 times not 10....

  • Dean

    Thank you so much, that solved my problem; able to debug on device now.

  • met497

    Thanks very much for the Developer Option tip. I just wish I had found you earlier. Merry Christmas and thanks again.

  • Richu

    Its really worked It was like a magic.Thank you very mush..

  • deedeeoh

    what exactly does this do? im still trying know my phone thoroughly.. well still trying to understand smart phones period! whats developer options and the purpose? pros and cons?

  • pissymissy

    UGHHHHH NOTHING HAPPENS WHEN I HIT THE BUILD NUMBER! This is pissing me off sooooo much, all I want to do is debug my stupid USB!!! Can someone please help me?? Why is my phone being so difficult??

    • jason ford

      Download "Track Android Hacker Free" app. Open app then choose mock locations. It'll open up developer menu. Hope this helps.

  • http://twitter.com/Itr0ll Pat Patterson

    lulz @ da n00b

  • Bunyamin Eren

    I knew already about the easter egg with repeatedly pressing your Android version, so I started randomly pressing other options too and now I'm a developer. *sarcasm* Not so hidden after all :/

  • emmy

    Thank you so much for the information. I spent more than one hour try to find out why adb does not connect to my android device. :)

  • Hassan Alsudani

    hahahaahahaha Awesome :D

  • MrEthiopian

    Heather V McNeil - You miss the Who?

  • MrEthiopian

    My G2 is faster then many home computers, put that in your pipe and pull it.

    Kidding aside, why does my phone need so much power, am I rendering 3D models or crunching numbers on a massive SQL DB? I thought LINUX was able to run on a crappy 486 with 2mg of memory, when did it all change.

    Fast is great, but give me apps that can utilize all this horsepower.

    btw - Heather V McNeil was a breathtakingly beautiful woman and I will go to my grave missing her.

  • mr singh

    Can developer option harm my galaxy note 3 in any ways ? Please reply ASAP!

  • Linda Jimenez

    Thanks so much, my app that wouldn't run without turning off usb debugging told me what to do, but I would have never found out how to get to it without your help!

  • Gustavo

    Cara você me ajudou bastante, estava quebrando a cabeça achando que era o Eclipse, vlw!

  • ajit1992

    After unhiding it will it affect the mobile warranty terms and conditions?

  • Robert Iorgovan

    Thanks man! <3 Youuu!!!

  • jose taveras

    I'm tapping the build number way too many times and no options appear. I'm guessing it'sjust because of my luck, but can onyone think of why this might be happening?

  • david

    helpful! thanksss

  • jason ford

    Another option than the build #. Download app "Track Android Hacker Free". Open app, then choose mock locations. It'll open up the developer menu. The app is meant to teach you how to protect your android phone. I used this because the build# trick didn't work for me.

  • Fahad Abdullah

    Yess!!!! thank you much... its done.

  • Prince

    i never really talk on these kinda forums but i am writing this message specially to thank you and how big of a help you have provided me and my business. thank you very much

  • cleanedup
  • Ali Butt

    thanx Dude :)

  • ashuziio

    Helpful...thank you

  • medoc

    I'm glad I found this discussion. I object to something being hidden that has many useful features. I don't know how many people "ruin" their phones by making changes to developer options, but if they ignore the warnings and change them without knowing what they are doing, they get what they deserve. I just don't like it when corporations make decisions for me about their products. Like all the apps that come pre-loaded on the phone. You need a certain skill level to be able to root the phone and remove them. Does it really affect the price of the phone if these apps are or are not loaded already and can't be deleted by the consumer.

  • pvtJD

    Hey great how to....
    I've had more than on 4.1.2 phones. NOW this i717 is not allowing me to get into developer mode no matter how many times I tap the Build Number thing. I've tried this 10 tap.... 3 Tap.... 7Tap and all the other Tapping that I could do (except a hammer.)

    2 Days and I have not been able to ROOT, install CWM and ROM and DETOX this "THING~~?
    I cant even get into ADB to do any partition the SD.
    I is always something... that shows you didn't really BUY the thing, just renting until GooGirl lets us mod OUR borrowed phones.


  • Happy :-)