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Access Hidden Android Settings With the Google Settings App


As you know, every Android phone comes with a system settings app that allows you to manage all aspects of your phone. However, there is another settings app worth paying attention to: Google Settings.

Google Settings is a must-use app for anyone who frequently uses Google’s apps and services. But what exactly is the Google Settings app? And more importantly, what are some cool secret settings out there?

What Does Google Settings Do?

Google Settings is a pre-installed system app that allows you to modify your Google Account settings. The fact that you can access your Google Account settings directly from your phone is a plus. As a result, you won’t need to download a third-party app or log in to an external website to use it.

Using the Google Settings app, you can restrict how much information your Android phone or tablet shares with the Google ecosystem. Remember that Google is constantly watching you, and this is how you can have some control over it.

How to Access Hidden Android Settings

If you’re using Android version 8.0 or above, follow these step-by-step instructions to access the hidden settings:

  1. Open your phone’s default Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Google.
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Now you can access a plethora of options and tweak the settings as per your needs. You can change some features and applications with just the Google Settings app for a better user experience. Let’s take a look at the list and see what we can find.


Manage Your Google Account

Google Settings is categorized into three sections: Account, Services, and Developer. If you want to change the settings of your Google Account, tap on Manage your Google Account.

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The Account section provides all the options you need to make changes to your Google Account. For example, you can control your account settings, change passwords, and so on.

Moreover, you can see your data, activities, and other privacy settings in the Data and privacy tab. Additionally, if you want to use settings and recommendations to help keep your account secure, go to the Security tab.

Above all, you can also check your current payment methods, transactions, recurring payments, and reservations in the same section.

Modify Google Services

Scroll down to Services on this device and tap the service you want. The Services section contains many handy options for controlling how your Android phone interacts with your Google account.

Here are some of the useful services you should consider checking out once.

1. Control How You See Ads

Have you ever wondered how apps show ads that are relevant to you? Whenever you search for something on Google or browse a video on YouTube, Google generates a unique advertising ID for you. Advertisers use your advertising ID to check which things you’ve searched for in the past or which are relevant to you.

You can easily choose whether Google tracks you everywhere and serves you advertising based on your preferences, or whether you only see anonymous ads.

Tap Ads under Services on this device to opt-out of interest-based advertisements. This will remove your advertising ID, and so you won’t be able to view interest-based ads.

You should use this option if you’re getting ads that don’t suit your tastes and preferences.

2. Check Which Apps Connect to Your Google Account

You may notice a Sign In With Google button whenever you install a third-party app from the Play Store. Signing in to third-party apps with your Google account isn’t recommended in general, yet it’s so convenient that we do it all the time. You end up granting Google credentials to a lot of apps over time.

If you want to check which apps or services are linked to your Google Account, go to Google Settings > Settings for Google apps > Connected apps.

The best part is that you can revoke access at any time from the same screen. To do so, just tap Disconnect after selecting the app or service name.

3. Back-Up Using Google One

Google One makes the transfer from one Android device to another easier. You can instantly back up your apps and their data, your contacts, call history, device settings, and even your messages.

To use this amazing feature, go to Google Settings > Backup and enable the Backup by Google One option.

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The good thing is that your phone is backed up even when it’s locked. Kindly note that if you disable the option in the future, all your previously saved backups will be permanently deleted from your cloud storage.

4. Find My Device

It’s never been easier to track down your Android phone’s location. If your Android smartphone has location services enabled, you can use Google’s Find My Device page as a Google phone tracker to find out where your phone is.

Go to Google Settings > Find My Device to easily manage important settings for remotely locating and deleting the data of a stolen phone from this section.

Note: It is highly recommended to enable this feature on your phone as a safety measure.

Related: Things to Do if Your Phone Is Lost or Stolen

5. Set Up Parental Controls

On Android, you can set filters in place, approve app installs, and apply other limits to Google services. You can keep a close check on on-screen time and set limits as needed with parental controls.

If you want to supervise your kid’s phone remotely, then parental control settings come in handy. To access this setting, navigate to Google Settings > Parental Controls.

To set up parental controls for your child, you need to install the Google Family Link app on your phone first. Then, you can easily follow the onboarding instructions to set up the controls.

Download: Google Family Link (Free)

6. Devices and Sharing

Devices and sharing services offer many useful features, such as cast options, nearby sharing, nearby devices, and more.

Do you know how easy it is to locate and connect some devices near you? Go to Google Settings > Devices and sharing > Devices to set up Chromecast, or connect Android tablets, Wear OS watches, and even accessories too.

7. Set Up Nearby Sharing

The built-in Nearby Share function makes it simple to share huge files between two Android smartphones. With only a few taps, you’ll be able to transfer files, documents, links, and more with other nearby Android devices.

Here’s how you can turn sharing on or off in Android:

  1. Turn on the Bluetooth and Location settings on your phone.
  2. Now, open the default Settings app.
  3. Tap Google > Devices & Sharing > Nearby Share.
  4. Turn on or off the Nearby Share toggle.

Note: If you’re still unable to use this feature properly, try turning on and off your device’s location settings.

We’ve already covered an in-depth guide on using Nearby Sharing on Android. If you’ve never used this feature before, we recommend checking it out.

Unfortunately, Nearby Share is only supported on Android phones running Android 6.0 or higher, which is a drawback. To check your phone’s Android version, open the Settings app and navigate to System > About Phone or About Device.

8. Auto-Fill With Google

You can have Google automatically fill up forms with saved information, such as your address or credit card details. When you fill out a new online form or sign up for a new account, Google may ask if you want to save it.

You can quickly fill in passwords, addresses, and other information stored in your Google Account with a single tap. Go to Google Settings > Auto-fill > Auto-fill with Google to see and manage your auto-fill information.

You don’t have to worry about malicious attacks or privacy because Google saves all of your information on its secured servers rather than storing it locally.

Did You Know About Google Settings?

Without a doubt, Google apps are one of the most popular collections of pre-installed apps at present. But, even still, several people are unfamiliar with Google Settings.

In reality, Android includes a host of similar apps and features that we’ve neglected. If you’ve never used them before, the hidden settings will definitely come in handy in your everyday routines.

Google logo on a tablet
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