Samsung Galaxy S20

How to Restore Samsung Galaxy S20’s Disappeared Navigation Bar

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Many Samsung Galaxy S20 users have reported that the on-screen navigation bar on their Galaxy S20 has suddenly disappeared. This leaves them with the option to either use gesture navigation, which was introduced with Android 10 or find an alternate way to navigate through their smartphones. 

There are a couple of possible reasons why the navigation bar has disappeared on your Samsung Galaxy S20:

  1. The new Android system automatically hides the on-screen navigation bar when a full-screen app is opened.
  2. If the on-screen navigation buttons are turned off in settings, the navigation bar can become hidden, and the gesture navigation will be used to navigate through the device.
  3. System glitches or bugs can cause this issue. These can occur due to software update issues, third-party apps, and user behavior.

If you are one of these users, don’t worry. We will provide you with five solutions, complete with step-by-step instructions, to resolve this issue.

Note: Solutions in this guide will work on any Samsung Galaxy S20 model (S20, S20 Plus, S20 Fe, and S20 Ultra models.)

Editor’s note: We created these instructions using a Samsung Galaxy S20 running Android 13. Depending on your device’s software version, some steps and menu positions may look slightly different.

Fix 01: Enable “Buttons” For the Navigation Bar

There are two types of navigation methods on your Samsung Galaxy S20: the traditional on-screen navigation bar, which includes the home button, back button, and recent button, and the newer gesture-based navigation. 

If you can’t see the navigation bar, it could be because the navigation buttons are disabled in your settings.

To check and enable the buttons and restore the navigation bar, follow these steps:

  1. Open “Settings”.
  2. Scroll down and select “Display”.
  3. Scroll down again and tap on “Navigation bar”.
Navigation bar settings
  1. Under the section Buttons or gestures, select “Buttons”.
Change navigation bar type to buttons

Now, check if the navigation bar is back on your home screen. If it’s still not visible, or if the buttons were already enabled, move on to the next solution.

Fix 02: Change Navigation Bar Button Order

Sometimes, even if the navigation buttons are enabled, the navigation bar can still disappear due to system glitches. In such cases, changing the button order can refresh the settings and bring back the navigation bar. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open “Settings”.
  2. Scroll down and tap on “Display”.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom and tap on “Navigation bar”.
  4. Scroll down and you will see two options: Back-Home-Recents and Recents-Home-Back. Select the one that is not currently selected.
Change navigation button order
  1. Once done, check if the navigation bar has reappeared.
  2. Then change the button order back to the previous selection.

Fix 03: Do a Software Update

The navigation bar can also disappear due to system bugs. These bugs can occur due to software update issues, third-party apps, and user behavior. 

Samsung periodically releases software updates that address existing system bugs and fix them. Therefore, updating your Samsung Galaxy S20’s software could resolve the issue of the missing navigation bar.

Here’s how to update your Samsung Galaxy S20:

  1. Go to “Settings”.
  2. Scroll down and tap on “Battery and device care”.
Battery and device care
  1. Tap on “Software update”.
Software update
  1. Tap on “Download and install” to allow your Galaxy S20 to check and download if a new update is available.
Download and install

Tip: Ensure your device is sufficiently charged or connected to a power source during the update process.

If your Galaxy S20 is already up to date, don’t worry. There are two more solutions to apply.

Fix 04: Reset All Settings

The “Reset all settings” option resets all system settings to their defaults on your Samsung Galaxy S20. This won’t delete any personal data or apps but will resolve minor software glitches and bugs causing the navigation bar to disappear.

To reset all settings, follow these steps:

  1. Open the “Settings” app.
  2. Scroll down and tap on “General Management”.
  3. Tap on “Reset”.
Reset option samsung
  1. Select “Reset all settings”.
Reset all settings
  1. You will see a window asking you to confirm the reset. Tap on “Reset all settings” again to start the process.

Once you have done all the steps, your Galaxy S20 will automatically restart after the reset has been completed. Once it has rebooted, check to see if the navigation bar has reappeared on the screen.

Fix 05: Do a Factory Data Reset

If none of the above solutions have worked, it indicates a serious and complex software issue with your Samsung Galaxy S20. In such cases, the best option is to do a factory data reset. 

This process will erase all the data on your Galaxy S20, which can help eliminate any deep-rooted software issues causing the navigation bar to disappear.

However, the factory data reset will delete all of your data, including photos, videos, contacts, and apps. Therefore, take a backup of your data before proceeding with this solution.

Here are the steps to perform a factory data reset on Samsung Galaxy S20:

  1. Go to “Settings”.
  2. Scroll down and tap on “General Management”.
  3. Tap on “Reset”.
  4. Select “Factory data reset”.
Factory data reset
  1. Scroll down and tap on “Reset”.
  2. You will be asked to enter your Galaxy S20’s lock screen PIN, password, or pattern for to confirm. Give it and confirm the reset.

Once you have confirmed, your Samsung Galaxy S20 will restart and begin the factory reset process. Once the process is complete, it will reboot again.

After the factory data reset, you will need to set up your device. Then you can check if the issue has been resolved and you can restore your data and apps from the backup you created earlier.

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The founder of and the tech nerd of the team. He is specialized in Android/iOS development and web development.

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