Google have introduced a lot of new changes to Android with 9.0 Pie, much of it in the user interface. One of the changes Google introduced was with the Recents app. Gone was the flowing top to bottom vertical scroll of apps where multiple apps could be seen, replaced with a left to right horizontal view where only one app can be seen.
Many of us dislike the new user interface of the Recents (sometimes called Overview) menu and luckily for us there is a way to disable this change and have your interface revert back and it’s easy to do. It turns out that Google has implemented the new Recents inside their launcher so the kicker is that if you want to revert the Recents menu you will need to forego the use of Google’s Pixel launcher and will have to use a third party launcher such as Nova Launcher. Pixel users will also no longer be able to use the pill home button introduced with Pie. For those using other phones on Pie the change will be in the manufacturer’s launcher.
Thanks to R4de0n on Reddit anyone can do it. It’s something anyone can do, but those who have root access on their phone it is definitely easier.
If you have Titanium Backup all you need to do it search for the launcher in the system – for Pixel phones it will be the Pixel launcher or com.google.android.apps.nexuslauncher and for other phones it will be whatever their default launcher is – for the OnePlus 6 it is OnePlus Launcher. Once you find the default launcher tap on it and select freeze. Once it is frozen you will have Oreo Recents once again.
For those who do not have Titanium Backup, but have root access, open a terminal app on your phone and type:
su pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.google.android.apps.nexuslauncher
This does not actually uninstall the app but freezes it. For those not on a Pixel phone replace the app name with the full name of your manufacturer’s launcher’s name.
If you do not have root access fear not because you too can freeze the default launcher. From a PC which has adb setup plug your phone into it and and open up a command prompt. Then type in:
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.google.android.apps.nexuslauncher
Once again for those not using a Pixel just substitute your default launcher into the code above.
Once you are done you will no longer have the less efficient Android 9.0 Pie Recents and will have the Oreo Recents menu. Of course, as stated earlier you will also no longer be able to use your phone’s default launcher but there are plenty of top notch substitutions out there that you could use and keep all the same functionality.