8 essential tips for setting up a OnePlus phone

The fresh smell of new technology is captivating, and the exhilaration when you unbox a new phone is otherworldly. The accessory-rich unboxing experience of OnePlus phones puts their excitement factor at the top of the industry. Luckily, that’s not where the good things stop when you buy a phone from OnePlus.

There are several minor improvements and changes you can make to OxygenOS that will drastically change the way you use your OnePlus phones for the better. In this guide, we have eight tips you should use when setting up your OnePlus phone.


1. Configure or disable the shelf

The Shelf add-on has been around in OxygenOS for a few iterations now, but it only really got slammed in our faces after the company Oppo-fication. Although it has useful widgets like a step tracker and quick notes, the way you access it might annoy most users.

Whenever you swipe down from the right side of the status bar, the OnePlus shelf appears, often with a jerky animation. You can obviously choose to get used to this gesture, but many would prefer the default action in Android, which is to pull down the notification panel.


Luckily, you can disable the Shelf feature on OnePlus devices:

  1. Swipe down to access the OnePlus shelf
  2. Tap the cog icon towards the top right corner of your screen
  3. Tap the launch shelf toggle to turn it off.

Alternatively, you can play with the options here to rearrange the shelf into a configuration you prefer. You can enable proprietary data cards that show weather, storage, and data information, or just add regular widgets for quicker access.

2. Enable off-screen gestures

Off-screen gestures were one of the first additions introduced by OnePlus in its OxygenOS at the time. Being able to play or pause music, skip tracks, and toggle the flashlight without having to turn on your phone’s screen is something most OnePlus users take for granted.

If you’ve never used off-screen gestures before, you can enable them by going to Settings > System Settings > Gestures & Motions > Screen Off Gestures. Besides the popular gestures we just mentioned, you can assign app shortcuts to additional gestures.


3. Uninstall Bloatware

Don’t worry, your new OnePlus phone doesn’t have bloatware, at least not in the traditional sense. After years of avoiding selling phones with third-party apps or games preinstalled, OnePlus now ships them with a few of its own apps.

These include OnePlus Notes, Games, Community, Store and a few others. These apps, while largely useless, aren’t half bad. If you find yourself constantly spending money on OnePlus products, it might be a really good idea to install the Store app on your phone. The same goes for other apps like Clone Phone and Weather.

Luckily, all of these apps are easy to uninstall, and we recommend you do so if you never use them, as apps from proprietary manufacturers tend to clog up system resources.

4. Enable Optimized Charging

With nearly all OnePlus phones featuring crazy fast charging, very few might even find the need to plug in their phones before bed. Old habits die hard and if you’d rather wake up with a fully charged phone, it might be in your best interest to turn on the Optimized overnight charging toggle in battery settings.

Every time you charge your phone to 100%, it cycles and very slightly loses capacity. While keeping it plugged in for long hours is no longer a concern, charging your phone overnight is still bad. The Optimized Charging feature stops charging at around 80% overnight and resumes charging at 100% just before you wake up.

It usually takes a few days to a week for your phone to adjust to your sleep schedule and for the feature to activate properly. If you often place your phone on a wireless charger before bed, this feature can definitely promote better long-term battery health.

5. Set up OnePlus account

If you’ve decided to stick with the “bloatware” that OnePlus ships with its phones, you might want to create a OnePlus account for yourself. You can do this by navigating to Settings > Users & Accounts > OnePlus Account.

Benefits of doing this include being able to interact with community posts in the Community app, syncing notes, and saving photos and videos to the cloud. OnePlus also offers a Red Cable Club program where you can redeem virtual coins for vouchers and other freebies.

6. Configure privacy features

With Android doubling down on privacy in the recent past, a few OEMs, including OnePlus, have started offering privacy-focused features like Hidden Space, Vault, and an App Locker. Previous versions of OxygenOS have always had these features, but OnePlus has nested all of its privacy features in a simpler way in OxygenOS 12.

By creating a single six-digit Master PIN, you can take advantage of all the privacy features that OnePlus provides, such as the ability to hide apps in OxygenOS 12.

7. Customize dark mode levels

Most OnePlus phones feature an AMOLED display with vivid colors and deep blacks and the best way to get the most out of it is to switch to dark mode.


For phones running OxygenOS 12, you can further customize Dark Mode by choosing between three different black levels. If you’re not a fan of dark mode, you can choose a lighter gray or something just in between.

You can play around with other options like adjusting wallpapers and icons to fit dark mode or enabling adaptive contrast under the Dark mode settings in the Settings app.

8. Adjust app animation speeds

Chances are you picked a OnePlus phone because of its reputation for being incredibly fast and fast. That’s still true for all the phones in the company’s lineup, but there’s a way to make them even snappier.

You can adjust the opening and closing animation speeds of the app under Settings > Home Screen & Lock Screen > App Animation Speed. Moreover, you can explore Android dev options to speed up animations on your phone as a whole.

Adjust your phone according to your needs

The myriad features of OxygenOS are what make it so flexible. Over the years, OnePlus phones have evolved from a carbon copy software experience like that of Nexus and Pixel devices to now offer several handy features that set them apart.

You can even explore the Play Store for apps that work particularly well with OnePlus smartphones to further enhance your experience.

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About Laura J. Bell

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