Saturday , March 17 2018

How to fix missing buttons and a broken notification shade on Android L

Android L

I found that the first time I flashed Android L, a curious bug appeared — my home and recents buttons disappeared, and the notification shade refused to slide down. It seems I’m not alone; this bug only appears when upgrading/flashing Android L without wiping. It’s not clear exactly why this happens, but the good thing is that it’s relatively easy to fix.

If you find your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 behaving this way, a quick ADB shell command will get it working properly again. If you’ve flashed Android L, we’re assuming you’re familiar with how to use ADB, so here’s the command you’ll need:

adb shell am start -n

It seems this isn’t a new fix; Paul O’Brien of Modaco fame figured this out some time ago, when he noticed the same kind of issue appearing when flashing a KitKat OTA update. What this command does is display the Welcome dialog as if you were setting up your phone from scratch. You’ll be asked to pick a language, join Google Now, and then you’ll be taken back to your home screen.

This time, the notification shade will work, but you may or may not see your home and recents buttons. If you don’t, just reboot your device and they’ll be right back where they belong.

Thanks: Paul O'Brien.

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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1 Comment on "How to fix missing buttons and a broken notification shade on Android L"

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Neil Phillips
Valued Guest
Neil Phillips

Fantastic – just what I was looking for, cheers Paul

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