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45 Galaxy Note 5 Tips & Tricks



Change the Font & Text Size

Many users buy the Note 5 for the big screen and huge font. Thankfully we can make the font bigger, change the font and much more. Here’s how.

Settings > Device > Font > and Choose Away


There are five default fonts, more can be downloaded, and you can make it as small or as big as you’d like. It’s very user-friendly.

Motion & Gestures

This isn’t new to the Note 5, but if you’re new to Samsung or the Note you’ll love the motion and gesture controls built in. Heading to settings > device > Motions & gestures will allow for a few neat motion controls.


You can call a contact you’re viewing by just putting the phone to your ear, get small vibrates when there’s a missed call or notification you’ve yet to clear, turn the phone over to mute it, and take screenshots by swiping your palm over the screen. See the image above.

Connect an SD Card to the Galaxy Note 5 from Your Camera

If you want to look at the photos you took on your DLSR on a bigger screen or to share them on Facebook and Twitter, you can connect a full size SD card to your Galaxy Note 5 with two cheap adapters. You’ll need a USB OTG cable and a USB to SD card adapter to make this work. The video below is from the Note 4, but works the same way.

Connect the USB OTG cable to the charging port on the Note 4 and then connect a cheap USB to SD card adapter and plug the cable in. A file explorer will launch so you can see your photos, edit them and share them.

Connect a USB Drive to the Galaxy Note 5

If you just need to look at a file quickly, or want to bring movies and photos with you on a trip you can do it, even though the Note 5 doesn’t have a micro-SD slot. You can connect a USB drive to the Galaxy Note 5 with the same USB OTG cable. Again, the video is the Note 4, but works the same way.

All you need to do is plug-in the cable and then plug-in a USB drive and a file explorer will launch. You can view files and copy them to internal storage if you need to.

Keep the Screen On When You Look at It

If the Galaxy Note 5 screen keeps turning off while you are looking at it, you can turn on Smart Stay. This will detect when you are looking at the Note 5 and keep the screen on. The easiest way to make sure this is on is to go into settings, hit search, and type “Smart Stay”. It’s under display settings, and just turn this on.

The screen won’t turn off no matter what timeout setting you have enabled as long as you’re looking at the screen. This works for videos too. Look away and the video will pause, but only using the stock Samsung Galaxy Note 5 video player app.

Use the Note 5 as a Mobile Hotspot

Use you can the Note 5 data connection as internet on a tablet or computer, by turning on tethering or the mobile hotspot feature in settings. To enable a wireless personal hotspot you’ll start by heading into settings by tapping the gear-shaped settings icon, or swiping down and hitting settings in the notification pulldown bar. The second column on the Note 5 is connections, and it’s the fourth option.

Settings > Tethering and hotspot > and swipe the on/off switch to turn it on


This will turn on tethering with all of the default settings, so you’ll want to change them and add a password if you’re in public so others can’t use it too. Next you’ll tap on the device name, or menu (3 dots up top) and “configure hotspot” to change the name from Note 5 xxx to something more personal, and make sure to add a unique password. WPA2 is the most secure, enter the password, and hit save. Now just connect a tablet to the Note 5 for internet, just don’t use all of your data streaming movies or WatchESPN.

Master the S-Pen Stylus

The slide-out S-Pen stylus can do a lot of neat things. We already mentioned scrolling screenshots, writing while the screen is off, but that’s just a few of many features it has.


There’s S-Note, Action Memo for taking Notes, Smart Select where you can crop and edit photos, texts, emails and more, and tons of other features. A few are highlighted here by Samsung.

Add shortcuts to the popup when you remove the stylus for easy access to drawing apps, photo editors and much more. It’s extremely powerful once you get the full hang of it and all it can do.

Write Instead of Type

Write instead of typing on the Note 4.

If you want to write your messages and notes instead of typing them on the Galaxy Note 5 keyboard, you can use the built-in writing keyboard. You need to be using the Samsung keyboard for this to work, not Google keyboard or something else. Tap and hold on the microphone. Choose the second icon, which is a T with a pen next to it.

The keyboard will switch to a small window where you can write your text with the S Pen and it will appear on the upper part of the screen as regular text. This is fairly accurate, but the screen is too small to make this our favorite way of entering text on the Note 5. I stick to a regular keyboard. It does have a neat feature where it turns writing into text, and it reads my awful handwriting better than I do and turns it into a text document.

If you see a small writing and text icon in a text field like Chrome, you can tap on it with the S Pen to open a writing window.

Emergency SOS Mode

This feature was on the Note 4, and gets overlooked by millions. Basically one quick setting could safe your life in an emergency situation. Once enabled, tap the power button 3 times very quickly and the Note 5 sends an emergency notification out to select pre-set emergency contacts.

Settings > Personal > Privacy & safety > Send SOS message


Once you set this up a quick triple tap will send your location, pictures using both cameras, or even audio recordings to a set contact, not to mention saves them to the device for usage later. These can be useful in court, or save someones life.

Track Your Health with S Health

There is a hear rate sensor in the Galaxy Note 5 that can track your heart rate, oxygen saturation, food, weight, sleep, UV exposure and even stress levels.

Open the S Health app and enter your information to get started. Now the Note 5 will track your activity and steps, set goals, and you can use the heart rate sensor on the back of the phone to track some of the items listed above. You’ll need to open the app and manually do the heart related items with a fingertip, but the activity tracker works automatically as long as you have the Note 5 in your pocket.

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Track Data Usage on the Galaxy Note 5

If you are on a limited data plan like most users, you can use the built-in data monitor to measure your data usage for the current billing period. This will show you how much data you used and which app used the most data.

Go to Settings > Data usage to see the usage. You can also set up notifications and limit data usage at certain amounts. Not to mention set the dates for your billing cycle.

Turn Off or Change Touch Key Lights

Depending on carriers the touch key lights on the left and right of the home button stay on for a long time, or turn off way too fast. This is the “Touch Key light duration” setting. You can set it to 1.5 seconds, 6 seconds, always off, or even always on when the screen is on. This customization option is great, so here’s how.

Settings > Display > Touch Key Duration


Make the Note 5 Look Like Stock Android

If you don’t like how Samsung’s TouchWiz interface looks, a few steps can easily make your phone look and feel like a stock Android “Nexus” device. The guide below is for the Galaxy S6, but works the same way.

Read: How to Turn the Galaxy S6 into Stock Android


Download the Google Now Launcher, use a Material Theme from the store, and change a few other things.

How to Factory Reset “Erase” the Note 5

Last but not least, you’ll need to know how to factory reset and erase the Note 5. This could be if it’s acting funny after an update, to fix problems, or before you sell it.

Settings > personal > Backup & reset > Factory Data reset


Scroll down and hit reset device and it will erase everything. Delete all accounts, photos, everything, and make it like it was out of the box. Clean, empty, and ready to be sold.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is one of the best overall smartphones available today, and everyone who owns one will be able to do more with it than ever after following some of the steps outlined above. Enjoy! If you have any tips, drop us a comment below.

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  1. Judy Lachowski

    09/18/2015 at 7:35 pm

    How do I type not write on a picture from my gallery with S-Pen on Note 5

    • Mike

      12/15/2015 at 11:10 pm

      I use Skitch and set it up on my Stylus menu…you can then type, write freehand, draw, use arrows etc. Really cool…

  2. marilyn

    09/18/2015 at 8:49 pm

    I used to get your site on phone ,how can start getting it back .I love to read the things you put on,just stop getting you mail thank you marilyn

  3. Kristinjhopkins

    09/18/2015 at 9:51 pm


  4. Guy

    09/20/2015 at 8:34 am

    Is the auto reset feature and the touch key duration feature dependant on your carrier? Those two menu choices are not shown in settings anywhere. I have Verizon.

  5. Cliffacampbell

    09/20/2015 at 9:40 am

    my buddy’s aunt makes $82 /hour on the internet . She has been without work for eight months but last month her payment was $14597 just working on the internet for a few hours.
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  6. sajid

    03/02/2016 at 10:34 am

    Sir . When I torn off my mobile screen I can’t get screen off write function. Plz help me

  7. sandrateodora

    03/03/2016 at 6:59 pm

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  8. rettboo

    03/08/2016 at 6:59 am

    Why cant i delete pics from my gallery. I have a million toca boca screen pics from kids stuck in my gallery. No delete option. Very annoying.

  9. Mark G Aldworth

    03/08/2016 at 4:35 pm

    When will you update this article. With the Marshmallow update many of the items you describe in your article have changed. I’m slowly learning them, but it would be nice to read a professional review. Written with S-pen

  10. Michael

    03/14/2016 at 8:33 pm

    How do i take notes without having to start a new page every few lines. So i mean scroll down to keep writing i done it once and cant manage to figure how i done it. Either s note or memos im not sure what one i used

  11. Anne

    03/29/2016 at 9:57 pm

    How do i get rid of the sim card icon on my messages every time i sent or receive a text. Newly did the software update

  12. Rog

    04/02/2016 at 3:24 pm

    The note 5 also needs to be using a great protection case since its made mainly of glass and metal. It also needs something on the slimmer side with nice grip

  13. Mara Mayfield

    04/04/2016 at 4:48 am

    Loved this article! very informative! Thank you!!!

  14. Trevor

    04/13/2016 at 10:56 am

    hello do u know how to root it with out a pc

  15. Virginia

    04/19/2016 at 5:47 pm

    Can u have more then 2 Gmail on note 5

  16. Andy

    05/01/2016 at 8:31 pm

    You dont get rid of bloatware. Disableing an app does not mean you uninstall it. In order to get rid of bloatware you would have to uninstall it. It still takes up memory on your cell if you disable it.

  17. Adriana

    05/02/2016 at 8:05 am

    Show typing indicator on messages only with some people, why is that??

  18. Michelle Stilley

    05/20/2016 at 5:01 am

    I just switched from Apple and the main thing I miss that I can’t seem to get working is text to speach. I drive a lot so I loved having Seri read emails/FB & Pinterest articles to me. I’ve followed some of the how-to’s that I’ve found and they have pretty much said the same thing but I can’t seem to get anything to actually read to me.


  19. ayush bhatt

    08/01/2016 at 7:56 am

    Take Notes with the Screen Off is not working for me.Screen off memo setting is already turned on. what Am I missing?????

  20. Mel

    04/11/2017 at 5:00 am

    Hey guys
    My “resents apps or multi window” button is not working (the 2 little squares, bottom left of home button)
    Is their another way to close all the resent apps? So i wont use any data.
    It has only been 1 day & i miss it already

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