Learn These 30 Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for the HTC One M9 to Master Your Phone


The HTC One M9 may not be the latest and greatest HTC phone on the market, but it still has plenty of features, and even custom ROMs, that help it shine. The tips in this list aren’t just for new One M9 owners, but if you’ve had the phone for a while; you might learn something new by the end of this.

For everyone just hopping onto the HTC One M9 boat, I’ll guide you through everything you need to know about your new phone. These aren’t the very basics for the One M9, but will help you discover what your new phone can accomplish.

Gestures to Control and Interact with Your Phone

Gestures can vary from phone to phone, and even differ with other versions of Android. On the HTC One M9, there are a few gestures you can do on your phone that will make daily use easier, and change how you use your device.

1. Launching the Widget Panel

Starting off with a simple gesture, when your screen is off, you can swipe to the left at any time to launch the Widget Panel.

widget-panel-m9tips (2)

If you don’t believe me, turn off your screen and quickly try it yourself.

2. Another Way to Open the Camera

It’s important to be able to open your camera at a moment’s notice and have a shot perfectly lined up if you’re after that golden photo. Once again, you need your screen off for this one. Turn your phone sideways, so it’s in landscape view, and then press volume button to launch the camera.

3. Swipe into BlinkFeed

I’m starting to sense a theme here, because if you swipe to the right with your screen off, you open BlinkFeed. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a constantly updated information stream that’s just a swipe away whenever you want to see it.


If that’s something that sounds annoying and you’d like to turn it off, I’ll get into that later.

4. Open the Voice Dialer with Just a Swipe

Make sure your phone is in portrait orientation, and the screen is off, and then swipe down from the top to open the voice dialer. This is great for quickly accessing calls.

5. Wake Up Your Phone with a Double Tap

If you don’t want to tap any buttons to wake up your phone, just tap the blank screen twice instead. This wakes the phone up automatically, and you can double tap an empty portion of the screen to let it resume its nap.

6. How to Automatically Answer Incoming Calls and Lower Call volume

For this next gesture, you need to access your Settings. In your Settings menu, find the Call section, and then tick the box beside Auto answer calls. At the same time in your Sound and Notifications menu, you can enable quiet ringing on pickup.

lower-volume-m9tips (2)

With these enabled, anytime your phone is ringing, just raise it to your ear to answer the call automatically, and lower the call volume while you do it.

7. Add a Screenshot Button to Your Quick Settings

This is less of a gesture for taking screenshots and is instead just another way to take them. Personally, I’m a fan of the standard screenshot method that most Android phone’s use, but this another valid method that all HTC One M9 users should know.

To do this:

  • Unlock your phone
  • Swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers; this brings up your Quick Settings menu
  • Scroll down to reach the Screenshot
  • Long-press the Screenshot option, and then drag it to sit next to your already existing icons at the top of the screen

Now anytime you bring down your Quick Settings menu; you can tap that new icon to take a screenshot.

Customize Your HTC One M9 Interface

Customizing your interface is an easy way to make your Android experience easier, and more fun for you as a user. Thankfully, on the HTC One M9, it’s quick and painless to change your interface to suit your use.

8. Switch into Easy Mode

If you’re familiar with Easy Mode, it works the same way on the HTC One M9. If you aren’t, Easy Mode does what it sounds like it should; it makes your phone easier to use if you’re having a hard time with the interface.

To access Easy Mode:

  • Navigate to your Settings
  • Go to Personalization
  • Select Change home screen launcher
  • Select Easy Mode

Now when you go back to your home screen, your phone will be in Easy Mode. You can turn this off by going to the same place you enabled it.

9. Customize Your Navigation Bar

This next feature is something that might sound strange at first, but once you’ve gotten used to it, you’ll be shocked you lived without it before. On the HTC One M9, you can add an extra button to your navigation bar.

nav bar m9tips

You can have a maximum of four buttons, and what the fourth button becomes is up to you. To start customizing your nav bar you have to:

  • Head to your Settings
  • Go to Personalization
  • Then go to Change navigation buttons

This shows you a list of different options, and when you select one, you’ll see your new button right on the bar below where you can access it whenever you want.

10. Remove, Add, or Move Around Home Screen Panels

Let’s stay in the Personalization section for a minute. In this menu, look for Manage home screen panels. After you select that, you can add panels freely by tapping the plus button beside an existing panel. Additionally, you can highlight an existing panel, and then tap Remove to get rid of it.

11. Make Use of HTC’s Adaptive Home Screen Widget

As part of HTC Sense, the Adaptive Home Screen Widget will automatically place widgets for applications it thinks you use most.

This varies depending on your set location, but can also be turned off by disabling location services. Otherwise, the Home Screen Widget will be an ever present helper on your home screen.

12. Customize BlinkFeed or Remove it Entirely

BlinkFeed’s feed can be tuned to your tastes, or even removed from your phone completely if you think it’s an eyesore.

If you want to add items individually in BlinkFeed, tap the menu icon while in the section, and then the three vertical setting dots to open a new menu. In this menu, you can select add content or remove content. This lets you control what sources post content in your feed.

Additionally, you can link a social media account by going to the same menu and selecting Services & Apps instead. This change lets you choose an app to interact with want BlinkFeed.

To remove BlinkFeed entirely, treat it like a normal home screen panel and remove it just like other panels like in Tip #10.

13. Turn on Screen Pinning When Passing off Your Phone

This is more of a security feature, but screen pinning is a good way to make sure your interface is locked in one place. This good for when you hand off your phone to someone you know might dig deeper into your apps and settings, or a child that might touch something important.

To get to this feature:

  • Go to your Settings
  • Next, go to Security
  • Then head into Screen Pinning

Here you can enable the function, and then use it by opening your recent apps, and then tapping the pin icon on the app you want to pin to the screen.

screen pin m9tips

If you want to set a passcode for the pin, you can so that only you can disable it.

14. Turn on NFC for More Functionality

NFC functionally is used in a multitude of different ways, but one of the most popular is using your phone as a debit card with services like Android and Samsung Pay. To enable NFC functionality, you need to:

  • Go to your Settings
  • Head to More
  • Then tap NFC

That’s all you need to do to start NFC communications.

Get the Most out of Your HTC Camera

From amateur shutterbugs to professional photographers, it’s important to know the ins and outs of your camera. This isn’t any different on the One M9, so a few minutes of your time will result in much better pictures, and ensure you don’t miss out on those perfect shots.

15. Enable Your Preferred Capture Method

First, navigate through your Settings to get to Camera options. If you can’t do this from your general settings, open the Camera app, tap the three settings dots, and then the gear icon to get there.

camera screen m9tips

In the Camera app settings, you can switch between:

  • Touch to capture – Tapping the screen)
  • Voice Capture Use voice commands like “Cheese” or “Capture” to snap a quick shot, and “Action” or “Rolling” to start a video recording,
  • and Auto smile capture – The camera automatically detects a smiling face and takes a picture.

16. Use Your Volume Buttons to Capture

If you haven’t messed with your Camera app settings, these buttons won’t do anything. However, if you tap the three settings dots on your app, and then the gear icon; you can get to General Settings to assign commands to these buttons.

You can make your volume buttons zoom, or even use to them to snapshots.

17. Change Camera Modes Around or Add New Ones

At any time in the Camera app, you can swipe down from the top of the screen to select a new camera mode. Additionally, you can add different modes to this selection in your camera settings.

18. Create and Save Custom Camera Modes

I swear this is the last time I’ll ask you to do this, but tap the three settings dots while in the Camera app. Don’t hit the gear icon, instead, stay here and fool around with the Exposure, ISO, and White Balance. Doing this changes the appearance of your pictures, but if you don’t have a clue what you’re doing; it’s best to leave these alone.

camera settings m9tips

If you want to go even further, you can tap the gear icon and go to Image adjustments to alter the Contrast, Sharpness, and Saturation. When you’ve found a combination that you like, you can save it by tapping Save custom camera in the gear icon menu.

Make Your HTC One M9 Look Just Like You Want, and Have Just What You Want

Your phone can very easily reflect your personality or another side of you entirely. Either way, it’s important to have your phone looking how you want at all times, and on the One M9, this done as easily as it’s said.

For all of these, we’ll be in the Personalization menu in your Settings.

19. Change Your Homescreen and Lockscreen Wallpaper

Are you in the Personalization menu?

If you aren’t yet, go to your Settings and then navigate to it, because that’s where you’re going to find most of these options. Thankfully, on the HTC One M9 you can change your homescreen wallpaper and lockscreen wallpaper individually, which isn’t always the case elsewhere, so go wild!

20. Change the Font Style and Size

I hope you’re still in the Personalization menu because here you can change your font style and font size. Personally, I never mess with stuff like this because I’m scared of change, but it makes for a nice change of pace and adds a new style to your device.

21. Change Sounds for your Alarm, Notifications, and Ringtone

We’ve covered how to do this on most phones, but on the HTC One M9, you can do this straight from your Personalization menu. If you want to use custom songs, follow our guide to see how you can transfer songs from anywhere else to your device.

22. Change the Colors of your Theme

Alright, I swear, this is maybe the last time I’ll ask you to stay in the Personalization menu, but did you know you change the colors of your theme here? I’m a big fan of deep purple, so I always like to incorporate the color into my themes.

How to Keep Your HTC One M9 Secure, and its Battery Charged

Mobile security is more than important in this day and age, especially when a lot of sensitive information is in that rectangle you keep in your pockets all day. There are plenty of would-be thieves looking to steal that information, so keep it safe with these tips.

23. Activate Android Device Manager Functionality

I can’t stress how important activating this feature is. Android Device Manager can help you unlock your device if the screen is broken, keep your phone locked if it’s stolen, and even remotely wipe your device to protect your information.

To setup the manager, please visit the ADM website to check the status of your device. If your device isn’t registered, you can use the ADM app to complete the process for you.

Android Device Manager

If you’ve even had a passing thought about registering your device for this service, please do it; it will save you a lot of headaches later.

24. Hide Personal Information on Your Lockscreen

Not everyone wants contact names shown on their lockscreen at a glance, so thankfully, you can turn that off in your Security options. To do this:

  • Go to Settings
  • Head to Security
  • Then check the box next to Incoming calls so it won’t show private information on your lockscreen

Additionally, in your contacts settings, you can privatize individual contacts by tapping Add to private contacts near the bottom of their contacts page.

25. Change How Your Lockscreen Locks and Looks

There are five different options for your lockscreen:

  • PIN lock: numeric passcode
  • Pattern lock: passcode made out of a pattern
  • Password lock: normal passcode using text
  • Default lock: normal lockscreen with no protection
  • No lock: no protection whatsoever, your phone is unlocked on wakeup

You can change these in your Security settings, under Screen Lock. Additionally, you can change the wallpaper on your lock screen at any point for a fresh new look, even if you lockscreen has minimal protection.

26. Switch Between Power Saver and Ultra Power Saver

The Power Saver for the One M9 starts running automatically when your battery hits 15% or lower, but can be enabled at any point in time by going to your Power settings, or Battery settings.


Additionally, you can enable the Ultra Power Saver, which at the cost of performance, greatly increases your battery life. Just don’t expect to play any games while you have this on.

27. Make Use of Sleep Mode and the Daydream Screensaver

In your Power settings, considering enabling Sleep Mode so your phone cuts off its data connection during high points of inactivity. Daydream, on the other hand, is less for battery saving and instead helps save your screen.


Daydream can help prevent burn-in while charging, and can display the weather, or different photos while your phone is docked. You can enable it in Displays & gestures settings.

A Few Extra HTC Bonuses

There are some functions the HTC One M9 has that I couldn’t fit into the other categories, so I’m covering them here so you can get the most out of your phone. Much like the nav bar customization from earlier, these are some features you can easily get used to, and miss if you switch phones.

28. Use HTC BoomSound for a Theatre-esque Experience

In your Settings, you can quickly see options for HTC BoomSound. You can play around with these to make your powerful, dual audio speakers blast with the best of them, create a theatre-like environment, and even make listening to music a better experience.

29. Glove Mode Makes it Easier to Use Your Phone When It’s Cold Outside

Let’s go back to the Display & gestures menu in your Settings for a moment. In this menu, enable Glove Mode that increases touchscreen sensitivity so it can read your touches, even while wearing gloves.

30. Use Your M9 with Your HTC Mini+

It’s not surprising that the HTC One M9 works with the HTC Mini+, but you can connect the two to make the Mini+ act like an extension of your smartphone. Enable it in your Settings by going to More, and then HTC Mini+.

htc mini m9tips

You need to pair with the device Bluetooth or NFC, but connecting the two doesn’t take long at all.


The HTC One M9 is a great phone from HTC and has a lot of different functions that help make it stand out, like nav bar customization. It’s a solid smartphone that won’t break the bank, but doesn’t look cheap either, and has plenty of features packed inside of it to boot.

If you’re a new HTC M9 owner or have had it since the beginning, what’s your favorite thing about the phone? You can tell us in the comments below!

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