A new day, a new thing

My goal to learn something new every day

Day 24: Secret menu on Samsung Android phones

**Warning. This post might not be all that interesting! If you don’t have an Android phone, it will probably be highly irrelevant.**

Today, I was playing around with my phone and remembered, from my Nokia 3210 days, about the “secret” code you could type in to any phone to get the phone’s IMEI number. This is a unique code that every phone has and can be used to identify a phone. It’s a good idea to write down this code and keep it somewhere safe, just in case your phone is ever stolen. You’ll also need it if you want to unlock your phone on another network. The code, by the way is *#06#. Just go to your phone’s dialling function and type it in. This will work on any phone.

As soon as you enter the final '#', it will bring up the phones IMEI number

As soon as you enter the final ‘#’, it will bring up the phone’s IMEI number


But I’ve known about that for years. Not exactly something new. However, it did get me thinking that there might be other codes like this that you can type in to access other features on the phone. As it turns out, there is. I did a bit of Googling, and found this page that lists several codes. The post doesn’t go into a lot of detail about what the codes do, and a lot of them don’t work on my phone; I assume that they are specific to certain devices. But one that did is *#0*#. I’m using the Galaxy Note 3, and when I type it in on my phone, it brings up a ‘secret’ menu. I believe this code will work for all other Samsung Android phones.


The menu, it appears, is some sort of test menu for you to check that your phone is in good working order. Maybe not the most exciting thing in the world, but for me, who at times can be a bit of a geek, I just like the idea that there’s a secret menu. Of course, I have clicked all of the buttons and thoroughly explored what’s there. Most of it’s pretty boring.

For example, the Red, Green and Blue buttons at the top, just turn your screen red, green or blue, presumably to test for any dead pixels on your phone’s screen. Some of the other functions, such as Vibration, Sleep and Speaker simply activate those functions on your phone, and continue until you press the back key, sometimes you have to do this a couple of times. While it’s hardly fun, I can see how these functions could be useful if something stops working on your phone. You can test it out on this screen, and identify whether it’s a problem with your phone or whether it’s perhaps an app that’s performing poorly. As an example, the Touch option lets you make sure that your touch screen is working as it should, by dragging your finger around the screen (note: to get out of this mode, you have to touch all of the little boxes to turn them green).


The TSP Hovering does the same as Touch, except you don’t have to touch the screen.

Perhaps the two that I found most interesting were the IR LED and Sensor options.


The IR LED brings up the following screen:


At first, I wasn’t sure what it did, so started pressing on the buttons. All of a sudden, my Samsung computer monitor started reacting. Turns out that the Galaxy Note 3 has an IR sensor that allows you to control the TV. I did not know that! I had a quick look on the Play Store and found that there are quite a few ‘remote control’ apps that you can download that give you more control over the TV. I’m not sure whether it only works on Samsung TVs though. I quickly tried to get it to work on the LG TV, but no luck. Perhaps I have to play around with the settings. Anyway, I’m sure the remote function will prove useful in the future, especially seeing as my son has taken to hiding the remote whenever he can. I found it in the fridge this morning.


The Sensor option page is definitely the coolest looking. You can’t tell from the image below, but all of those numbers are moving and changing!



This page also leads to a few other options, such as the temperature sensor, and gyroscope sensor. I’m not sure what the button at the top that says IMAGE TEST is for, but clicking it brings up this picture of a dog! I can only assume it’s one Google employee’s pet.


It’s not the most interesting find ever, but perhaps one possible use for this secret menu would be if you wanted to buy a second-hand phone off of someone. You could easily ask to see the phone and use the menu to make sure that everything was working as it should be.

Featured image courtesy of Janitors on Flickr

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This entry was posted on January 24, 2015 by in Tech and tagged , , , , , .


January 2015

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