Many Android users were confused by the sudden appearance of a key icon on their smartphone. There are too many icons in the status bar already and it is sometimes hard to navigate on your phone because of that.
The intrusive key icon is, in fact, a VPN icon. It can be frustrating, especially if you keep getting notifications about it and can’t do anything to remove them.
There are many useful icons like the ones for Do not Disturb mode, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi. You need those, but the key icon is just taking up space on your screen. Lucky for you, this VPN icon can be removed and you can learn how to do it right here.
5 Easy Steps for Removing the Key Icon on Android
This pesky key icon is removable, but you will need to use some third-party software. Fortunately, with this app, you won’t need to root your device. It will declutter your status bar, and here’s how.
Install SystemUI Tuner on Your Android Phone
SystemUI Tuner is the work of Zachary Wander, and you can download it for free at the Google Play Store. After installing the latest version of this app, you will need to take some additional steps.
Run ADB on Your PC
SystemUI Tuner needs some extra permission to work properly. To give these permissions, you need to use the ADB command.
ADB is not so simple to use, and you will need Command Prompt. Also, you will need to show hidden images on your smartphone. In the following sections, you’ll learn what you have to do.
Run Command Prompt in the Appropriate Directory
First, you need to connect your computer and Android phone using a USB cable. Then you have to find the Platform Tools directory within the ADB installation folder on your computer.
You need to search on the Platform Tools partition of your computer because the ADB installation folder is not in the same location for everyone. Once you find the Platform Tools directory, make sure to copy its entire location path.
Windows users can do it by clicking on the address bar of the Windows Explorer screen and then either pressing CTRL and A, followed by CTRL and C buttons on their keyboard simultaneously or right-clicking, choosing Select All, and then Copy.
On Mac, you need to start Platform Tools using the Finder, then hold cmd, opt, and p together. This will show the search location of the folder. Next, you need to right-click on Platform Tools and choose Copy as a search name.
After that, you need to run a Terminal window or Command Prompt. Windows users can bring it up with the Windows key, typing cmd, and confirming with Enter. Mac and Linux users need to open the Terminal within the Applications directory.
In the Command Prompt or terminal window, type in cd, and then press space, followed by ctrl and V (Windows) or cmd and V (Mac). This will paste the platform tool folder location which was copied to your clipboard. Finally, press Enter to complete the process.
Enable SystemUI Tuner Using ADB
You need to use either one of these two commands to enable SystemUI:
adb shell pm grant com.zacharee1.systemuituner android.permission.WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS
./ adb shell pm grant com.zacharee1.systemuituner android.permission.WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS
The second command is only for those who get an error on Windows PowerShell, Linux, or Mac. In case not a single command is working, your ADB installation might be faulty.
Hide the Key Icon on Android Using SystemUI Tuner
You are now ready to remove the VPN key icon on your phone. You can unplug the USB cable that’s connecting your Android with your PC.
Open SystemUi Tuner on your Android phone. Find the primary setup menu and scroll down to the question at the bottom. It’s along the lines of “continue not giving optional permissions.”
Select yes, and then follow the prompt saying “To the tweaks.” Then choose the status bar and select the VPN icon. Slide the bar to hide it. This is how you hide the key icon on Android. You can delete the SystemUI Tuner app now if you want to.
The key icon should remain hidden if you followed all the steps correctly. You can test it by connecting to your VPN server.
Finally, here is some info from the developer notes. Older Samsung phones, Xiaomi, and Huawei phones might crash if you attempt using this app. Also, the app might not work on them and the key icon will remain visible.
The Key and the Lock
Hopefully, this guide has helped you get rid of the unnecessary key icon. You will now have some more space on your phone even when you are using a VPN connection.
Do you know of some other, perhaps easier way to remove the key icon from an Android phone? Share your tips in the comments section below.