Android 4.2 Developer mode is a tricky thing, here’s how it’s done

While Google has been moving towards being more user-friendly for the non-technical customer, there’s always room for further improvement. The developer options menu in Android, which have been in plain sight in all Android versions till now, has finally been hidden away by Google in Android 4.2, which should keep the average consumer away from tinkering with settings they shouldn’t even see in the first place.

In Android 4.2, the developer options aren’t available in any menu, no matter how deep you dig into the settings. They’ve been hidden much more cleverly, and the folks over at Android Central were able to figure out how to add the “Developer options” entry in the main settings screen on their Nexus 4.

Here’s how the developer options menu can be enabled in Android 4.2:

  1. Go into Settings, then scroll down to the bottom and click on About Phone.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom to where it says “Build Number”.
  3. Tap on “Build number” 7 times. After the third tap, Android will start counting down on how many taps are left before you can access the developer options, with a playful “You are now [insert number of remaining taps] steps away from being a developer”.
  4. After the 7th tap, you’ll get a “You are now a developer!” message.
  5. Now, go back to the main settings screen, and voila, the “Developer options” menu will be visible at the bottom, just above “About phone”!

You can also watch this video by Android Central that shows how the developer options can be enabled.

This is quite a clever thing Google has done, hiding advanced options away from the eyes of the non-techies and giving us techies a neat new way to enable it. The procedure is expected to be documented in the Android developer portal.

What do you think?

  • Harisuthan

    you stupid it wont work in sony xperia sola … Harisuthan 08012646848

    • That’s for Android 4.2. For your Sola, check in settings – developer options.

  • glad I found your site since I couldn’t find the developer mode on my new Nexus 10. Follow your setup and there it is!

  • Srini

    How to disable it back?

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      That, unfortunately, isn’t possible it seems, it stays once you enable it.

    • kyle

      Actually I’ve discover that if you completely reset your phone the developer status is removed, but you can still put the option back on it.

  • AAS

    Well… Does enabling the developer mode void the manufacturer’s warranty? It ideally should not, because developer mode is not exactly rooting the phone (or is it?)
    I emailed the google-play support asking the same, and this is what they said: “As far as your question concerning developer mode, I would myself be assuming you would be opening the device to change inside features, more commonly known as Rooting. This would definitely void your warranty.”

    What do you think?

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      No, enabling developer mode will not void your warranty. Developer options are a usual part of the OS that have been hidden so those that might mess things inside shouldn’t get access to it, but it’s not actually doing anything like rooting etc. So go ahead and enable it without fear!

      PS: Google customer support usually doesn’t know what they’re talking about, as is evident from the reply they gave you. So ignore them, hehe.

  • Manan Shroff

    Help. I enabled it , but tell me , woo it prevent my nexus 4 from getting direct android updates in future? I didn’t changed anything in it

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      It won’t. Nothing in Developer Options disables updates as they are default options put in by Google themselves, it’s only things like rooting and custom ROMs that prevent you from updating directly. 🙂

      • Rohit

        Missing Abhijeet on theandroidsoul :'(

  • sarfraz

    what is use of enabling developer mode.?

  • vignesh

    Every time I on my mobile data a message comes like CURRENTLY UNABLE TO DOWNLOAD PLEASE TRY AGAIN LATER how can I prevent it from coming

  • Shane

    I think this is quite a stupid, yet plausible way of hiding the developer options from the average consumer, but for developers, it’s just a very time-consuming way of actually getting to the developer options.

  • Jussi

    Bullshit! Why not just enable when syncing with a dev computer?