Today we bring you a compilation of 34 tips and tricks to learn to master EMUI 9 , the customization layer created by Huawei for your mobiles and those of Honor. The layers of customization in Android are a kind of interface that manufacturers create on Android to give a differentiated look to the interface and add options and new possibilities that the serial Android does not have.

One of the disadvantages of buying a new phone from a manufacturer that you have never used is that you have to get used to this layer of customization. As we are in Engadget Basics, our idea is to help these new users to learn how to get the most out of their mobile , as veterans discover some other detail that they might have overlooked.

The tests to find all these tips and tricks have not been done with the latest device of the brand, the Huawei P30 Pro , but with a Huawei Mate 20 with EMUI 9. This means that perhaps the last phone of the manufacturer has included some another new detail, and that the phones of lower ranges to the best do not have any of these options that we are going to review today. As we always say, if you have a trick that we have overlooked, you can leave it in the comments.

1. Use internal search engines

EMUI 9 is based on Android Pie, so it also includes the option to perform searches in the Settings menu . You simply have to enter the settings with the Settings app or the gear icon that you have when you download the notification bar. The search engine is only for the settings, and it will not help you with other content like your applications.

Sometimes, to make some changes or reach a specific option you have to navigate through different menus. But if you look for any term such as Battery or Backup , you can reach these or other options without having to navigate through any menu, which will save you a lot of time.

2. Activate the Always On mode

Some Huawei devices that have OLED screens allow you to activate the so-called Always On screen , which serves to see items such as a clock or notifications even if the screen is off . In some phones with EMUI 9 we have not found the option, so everything will depend on the models.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Main screen and wallpaper .
  • Here, activate the Always show on screen option .

3. Choose between the three navigation keys or gestures

One of the novelties of the latest versions of Android is the navigation by gestures, and manufacturers have also been adapting it to their customization layers. Huawei, in fact, not only lets you toggle between gesture navigation or the classic three control buttons of Android, but has a third option in the form of a virtual dock, a button that you move in different ways to make several types of Actions.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on System .
  • Go to System Navigation .
  • You have three modes to choose from, the gestures, the classic navigation with three keys or the navigation Dock .
  • Each of these options not only you can select, but have their settings for you to adapt or learn to use them.

4. Hide the notch of your mobile

There are two types of mobile users, those that support the notch or the notch for the cameras of the screens and those that can not even see them. If you are one of the seconds, the personalization layer of your mobile has a little hidden an option with which you can hide it.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Screen .
  • Within the Screen , tap More screen settings .
  • Click on the Notch option .
  • You will have two options, the default notch that is the Notch screen , or Hide notch that obscures the top part to cover the notch as if there were a real frame instead of a screen.

5. Dark mode is also present

In some devices, EMUI 9 also allows to activate the dark mode to obscure all aspects of the mobile interface. Of course, the option is quite hidden, since instead of the interface options or the screen you have in the battery.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Battery .
  • At the bottom, find and activate an option called Darken interface colors .

6. Control the theme, wallpaper and lock images

And if you do not see the option to darken the interface, you will always have to change the theme of your mobile . As usual in many manufacturers, Huawei also offers its own “store” of themes to be able to completely change its appearance. It also has a list of wallpapers, and allows you to change the remaining images as screensavers on the lock screen.

To change everything, go to Settings , and go inside Main screen and wallpaper . The first three options are to change the appearance . The covers are the blocking photos. In order to download themes you must have a Huawei ID, which you can create in the mobile configuration process or also from the settings.

7. Recording the screen is so simple that it makes you laugh

If you give two touches with two knuckles on the screen of your mobile, EMUI will start recording the screen. It’s that easy, and if it does not convince you, you can also do it by pressing the turn off and volume up buttons at the same time. In the recording you can decide in passing if you want to use your microphone or not.

8. Your mobile as a photo frame

If you have a Huawei phone that you consider beautiful, there is a curious option that allows the device to become a kind of virtual photo frame while it is being loaded. It is a screen saver option that, when you put the phone to load, it will show different images of the folder that you tell it.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Screen .
  • Within the Screen , tap More screen settings .
  • Click on the Screen Saver option .
  • If you activate the option, you can choose the source or folder where you want the images to be taken, and the duration of the reproduction.

9. Blocks the main screen layout

If you have organized the main screen of your mobile in a certain way so that the applications always appear in a certain position and you do not want them to move unintentionally, your mobile can block the disposition of the apps so you can not change it unless you unlock it deliberately.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Main screen and wallpaper .
  • Inside, click on Main screen settings .
  • Now simply activate the Lock option on the main screen .

10. Set the desktop grids

There is another option with which you can configure the grids you want to have on the desktop. With this, you can make more applications fit if you put more grids, or have less but more visible if you put less. You have three different configurations, to organize the screen in 4×6, 5×5 or 5×6 grids .

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Main screen and wallpaper .
  • Inside, click on Main screen settings .
  • Now click on Main screen layout, and choose between 4×6, 5×5 or 5×6.


11. Choose which apps show a notification symbol on their icon

Your Huawei with EMUI 9 alerts you when there are pending notifications of a specific app directly from its icon on the desktop, showing you a green light. This is done by default, but you can choose if there are applications where you do not want to do so by choosing them from a list.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Main screen and wallpaper .
  • Inside, click on Main screen settings .
  • Now click on Icons of apps with symbols
  • Here you can choose in which applications you want to deactivate it.

12. Align the icons to your liking

The mobile has two options to align the icons of your screen , which means that you can make the empty spaces when you delete an application are completed with the following. You can choose to have this done automatically, or when you shake your phone like a cocktail shaker.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Main screen and wallpaper .
  • Inside, click on Main screen settings .
  • To align icons automatically, activate the Align automatically option .
  • To align them only when you want, activate the option Agitate .

13. Your name or a text on the lock screen

A rather curious peculiarity of EMUI is that it allows you to add a small text to the blocking screen . This can be a name or whatever you want, and it will appear below on the left, just above where the clock is located. It is not something that is especially useful, but it helps you to style and personalize your phone a little more.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Main screen and wallpaper .
  • Give Signature lock screen .
  • Write what you want to appear on the screen when it is locked.

14. Go to the previous app that you used

Like all Android devices, when you press the square button of the control keys on the bottom or its equivalent by gestures, a visualization opens with all the applications you have been using. Well, it will automatically appear not the one you use, but the last one you used before , and this allows you to easily toggle between two applications.

Simply press the square button twice in a row and you will automatically go to the last application you were using before the one you have on the screen, and if you do it again you will return to the one you had before starting to switch. A small gesture of multitasking for comfortable and quick initiates

15. Use the split screen

And since we are talking about multitasking, you should know that EMUI also has a split screen system. To do this, when you have an application open, slide two fingers together from the circle button up . That is, from the center of the bottom of the screen upwards.

When doing it, you will see that you raise a sort of separating bar that you can place in the part that you want of the screen. When you release your fingers, the app you used will go to the top of the screen that has been divided by where the bar has been, and in the other part of the screen you can continue using your mobile or open another app.

16. Adapt the screen to small hands

Huawei EMUI Tips

17. Yes, there are also applications drawer

By default, EMUI shows you an interface in which all the installed applications are displayed on the mobile desktops as if it were iOS. However, you can activate the characteristic application drawer if you want to put some order.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Main screen and wallpaper .
  • Give Main screen style .
  • You can choose between the Standard style so that all apps are on the desktop or the Application Drawer style .

18. Scan any image to find it in stores

One of the most curious features of Huawei is that it has a mode called HiTouch that analyzes any image that is appearing on the screen, regardless of what application you use, and looks to show you the best results in online stores. The only thing you need is to press two fingers at a time on a photo that appears on the mobile, and this mode will take action.

The mode usually comes always preactivated, but if you want to deactivate it or activate it again you can do so by entering the device settings, from there entering the Intelligent Assistance screen , and now clicking on the HiTouch option . There is not much in this menu, just information about how it works and the ability to activate and deactivate it.

19. Duplicate applications to use two accounts at the same time

If you have two accounts in a social network or a messaging application, the Huawei customization layer allows you to create a clone of some applications . It’s like a copy of the original app, with which you can log in using a different account. It only works with certain compatible applications.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Applications .
  • Inside, give App Twin .
  • A list of all compatible applications for this function will appear. When you click on one, a clone will be created so you can log in with another account.

20. Control the phone with your knuckles

Imagine doing something and staying with your hands stained or fingers wet so that you can not control the phone well when you touch it. Well, for those cases, EMUI allows you to activate three essential controls that you can use only with your knuckles . Among them, the most curious is to open applications, which allows you to draw a letter with your knuckles to open the one you have assigned to it.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Smart Assistance .
  • Within Smart Support , enter Control Moves .
  • Here you can manage the classic movements when turning, lifting and moving the phone to your ear.
  • You also have the Knuckles section , which includes doing screenshot, opening applications or activating the split screen.
  • If you enter Open applications , you will have to assign to the applications that you want to be able to open a letter, which you will have to draw later with the knuckle.


21. Share screenshots immediately

And since we have mentioned one way to take screenshots, the other is to press the volume buttons down and on at the same time. When you capture the screen, a small preview will appear in the lower left corner , and if you slide it upwards you will automatically go to the options to share it. You can not capture the capture of other phones, so forget about making an infinite loop.

22. Decide what applications notifications are displayed

A classic is to be able to manage which applications show you or not notifications. In EMUI there are not particularly comfortable options to be able to manage this in a simple way, so you will have to resort to the conventional procedure of entering the application menu and enter the ones you want to manage your notifications.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Applications .
  • Go back to the new Applications option that is available in the Applications menu .
  • Click on the application you want, and click on Notification Management .

23. Simple mode for those who mess with smartphones

If you have a family member who is so confused by the option, button and icon, Huawei also implements a simple way that simplifies everything and everything much easier for those who do not master technology. Seven large buttons are displayed on each desk, each one perfectly clear, visible and with a specific function.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Go down to the bottom, and enter the System option .
  • Now, click on Simple mode .
  • If you hit Apply , the mode will be activated.

24. Enable voice control

And if it is not enough to be able to control the phone with XXL icons, you can also enable voice controls . These commands allow you to make calls or answer them, you can activate the option to announce by voice who calls you or download packages to use the transcription of your voice when you have no connection. By power you can decide until the activation phrase with which you “activate” the recognition.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Smart Assistance .
  • Under Smart Support , enter Voice Control .
  • In this menu you will have all the options, from being able to make calls to answering calls through a voice command.
  • You can also choose the language or set the phone to tell you who is calling you.

25. Change the size of the letters or the elements of the mobile

You also have another option with which you can change the size of the sources and the visualization . Changing the display size will be like zooming in on the items that appear on the screen, while changing the text you only change the letters. In this option you will have a preview to see in real time how the changes are.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Screen .
  • Go to Text and display size .
  • Change any of the two settings by watching a preview of how it looks.

26. Control the executions of apps in the background

If you do not want to have to go application by application managing which one can run in the background, EMUI includes in the battery options a control that allows you to see all the ones you have installed at once to deactivate all the ones you do not want from a single screen to start and run in the background.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Battery .
  • In the Battery , click on Start applications .
  • You will be shown a list of apps, where you can deactivate those that you do not want to start and remain in the background.

27. Three battery saving modes

And since we talk about battery, in the settings you also have up to three different modes to optimize your consumption , without counting the normal mode you have by default. You have classic high-performance modes for when autonomy is not a problem and saving mode, but also a kind of advanced mode of saving that puts everything in black and deactivates ALL applications except three or six essentials that you tell.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Battery , where under the Optimize Energy Consumption button you will see the three modes that you can activate.
  • The maximum performance mode optimizes the device to operate at full power.
  • The energy saving mode limits the activity of apps in the background, deactivates system sounds, automatic email synchronization, and reduces visual effects.
  • The ultra energy saving mode deactivates all applications except the essential ones that you decide.

28. Activate and configure Do Not Disturb mode

Nowadays notifications help us to be aware of everything that happens around us. But from time to time it is convenient to be a little quiet. EMUI not only offers the Do Not Disturb mode , but it does it with advanced options to activate it in certain hours or moments.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Sounds .
  • Click on the option Do not disturb .
  • Now you can simply activate it, but also program it for specific days or events or configure the exceptions.

29. Take photos in the fastest way

Run, fast, take a picture. Many times between taking out the phone, unlocking it, opening the camera application and pressing the button, the photo is gone. To have the camera ready and take pictures in a second you can activate a function that you access from the Settings of the camera application. You have to go to the bottom of the list and find the Quick Snap option .

If you activate it, you can choose that by pressing twice on the “volume -” key, make a quick snapshot or at least open the camera. In Xataka Android they took pictures in up to a second during the tests, so it’s not bad if you do not mind sacrificing precision.

30. Optimize the sound for music or videos

In general, your Huawei mobile will have a smart sound mode that detects what you are listening to to equalize it correctly . But you can also change it to have a specific equalizer for music or videos, what you consume more.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Sounds .
  • Enter the Dolby Atmos option .
  • Here you can choose between intelligent mode to identify the type of sound that best suits what you want, or choose optimizations for movies or music.

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31. Clears space intelligently

Although it does not perform miracles, EMUI has a space liberator included. In this way, you walk a fair bit of space you can do cleanings of specific file types like repeated images, music that you do not listen, applications that you do not use or installation packages.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Storage .
  • Press the Clean button .
  • You will go to a menu where you can do a general cleaning, but also specific cleanings of similar images, videos, or little reproduced music.

32. Manage the time you use your mobile

Within the EMUI settings, in its latest version, there is an option called Digital Balance . With it you can see the statistics of use of your mobile, including the time you spend with the screen on, how many times you unlock the phone, or how much you use the most used applications of the device.

In this Digital Balance menu you can also activate the Use time management option , both on your mobile and that of your children. With this activated you can configure how long you can use your mobile every day, application limits or a bedtime in which the whole screen turns gray. You can protect these settings with a PIN.

33. Filter the blue light in the reading mode

If you are one of those who read a lot on the mobile, EMUI has a reading mode that you can activate or program at a certain time, and that serves to filter the blue light of the screen and relieve eye fatigue. Everything will be in warmer colors, and you can even decide the intensity of this warmth.

  • Enter the Settings app .
  • Now, click on Screen .
  • Click on the option Color and Reading mode .
  • Once inside, go to Read Mode .
  • And that’s it, here you can make all the changes that we have mentioned.

34. Set up a VPN or private DNS

EMUI also has a little curiosity in the form of options to easily configure a private DNS to optimize network and VPN security in order to add one that you know manually. Both options are within the mobile settings, within the Wireless and networks section .

If you choose the VPN option , you will only have an Add VPN network button with which you will access a menu in which to manually configure all the VPN data you want to access. You will have to configure a PIN or screen pattern to be able to use it. In contrast, in the private DNS option you can deactivate it, activate it automatically or configure one manually.