How To: Turn Your Samsung Galaxy Note 3 into a Galaxy S5

Turn Your Samsung Galaxy Note 3 into a Galaxy S5

When the Samsung Galaxy S5 launched a few months ago, I was pretty envious of the new UI elements Samsung included on it, as I'm sure you were. The flatter interface provided for a more polished and less cartoony feel, bringing the device more in line with Google's design elements.

But don't go out and grab an S5 just yet—there's a little known built-in mod that can unlock the S5's interface right on your Galaxy Note 3. I'll show you how to unlock the new TouchWiz UI, along with some additional elements, to complete the Note 3 to S5 transformation.

What You'll Need

Step 1: Install the S5 SystemUI Theme for Note 3

Launch into the Xposed Installer, tap Download, and search for "S5 SystemUI Theme for Note 3" by developer xperiacle—tap on the module to select it. Swipe over to Versions and install the latest build. Alternatively, you can download the mod directly to your device with this link.

Be sure you activate the module in Xposed (check its box) and follow up with a reboot, which can also be done through the installer notification.

Step 2: Use the S5 SystemUI Theme for Note 3

Launch back into Xposed and tap on Modules -> S5 System UI Theme. You can pick from various settings, but here are my recommendations for what you should have checked:

  • S5 Theme
  • Power Menu Theme
  • Tab Pro recent apps (useful if you like having the horizontal-style recents app found on the Galaxy Tab Pro)
  • Pick SFinder Click App -> Google (useful if you prefer Google Now)

Always follow up with a reboot for the settings to stick, and you'll be presented with the S5 UI when your device is back up. Check out some of the new UI elements below.

(1) Tab Pro's recent apps menu. (2) S5 recent apps menu. (3) Notification toggles. (4) Power menu.

Step 3: Get the S5 Wallpapers

To get the S5's wallpapers, here over to this link and install them from the Play Store for free.

Next, just launch the app, browser over to Stock, and download the wallpaper you want.

Step 4: Install the New S5 S Voice

One notable feature is the new S Voice on the S5 with its updated flatter UI. Neil has a great guide on installing the new S Voice on the Galaxy S4, and the procedure will be exactly the same for the Note 3.

Step 5: Download the Modded Settings for the S5 Look

We're almost done transforming our Note 3 to get the S5 look; all that's left is modding the Settings menu to have the S5's round, flatter icons. Download the modded Setting file here, but don't tap and install like you normally would. Head to the next step to see what you should do.

NOTE: This file will download as "SecSettings (1).apk", so you will need to rename it to "SecSettings.apk".

Step 6: Rename Your Current Settings App

We'll be replacing the default Settings app with this version, so fire up any root-enabled file browser, or download and install Root Browser for free from the Play Store.

Launch into Root Browser, grant permission when you're prompted by SuperSU, then browse to the /system/priv-app folder.

Tap on SecSettings.apk, select the option to rename it, and add .bak to the end of the filename. Doing this will ensure that you can revert back to the original settings if ever want to.

Finally, find SecSettings.odex and delete it with Root Browser.

But that's not all. Hit up the next step to see how to get the new one in there.

Step 7: Replace the Settings with Root Browser

Browse over to your Download folder and copy the SecSettings.apk file we downloaded earlier, then navigate back to the /system/priv-app folder.

Paste the file here, then tap on SecSettings.apk again and choose Permissions. Check all three boxes in the first row for Read, and only the first box in the middle row for Write (as shown below), then hit OK.

Reboot your device again and check out the new Settings app when you're back up (you'll see two options in your app drawer).

That's it! Your Note 3 to S5 transformation is complete! Fool your friends with this mod and be sure to tell us what you think in the comments below.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.


Nice tutorial. Only problem is I have two icons for settings. I tried to revert to the old one by deleting the new secsettings.apk and renaming the .bak file to the original one and now I'm stuck on a bootloop. Any chance you can help me?

Phone keeps hanging when trying to multi-task. Eg. Playing music and incoming call. In this scenario I can get the BSOD and have to reboot. Tried restoring secSettings to original but then no longer have settings in app drawer!!! Will try to undo by reversing all mods...damn I did actually like the new look.

You should have two Settings icons in your app drawer, which variant of the Note 3 are you using?

SM-N9005 LTE (N9005XXUENC2). I did have two settings in app drawer until I restored the original secSettings.apk now I don't have settings in app drawer at all and I can't access any settings at all.

I'm having the same problem as some of the others. I cannot open the settings drawer. Please help! Even when I restore the original ask file my settings don't work.

Hello. I know this is going to sound stupid, but I really need help. I followed and did everything right up until the settings part. It kept saying "can not be opened", and I freaked and accidentally deleted my settings. I then rebooted my phone. Its is a sm-900t. Now its stuck on the t-mobile logo. Please help!

I'm a noob in this department.

Ok. So I got my phone to work and everything but these setting have stumped me. IT wont open them. What do I do?

What happens when you try to open them?

If your device is up and running, you can simply start again from Step 5.

Almost everything is running well on mine. One small issue that I have is that I can't see the full call log on my phone dialer. The blue bar up top is really thick and and the white bar at the bottom of the screen is thick too. Anyone else having this issue or know a fix for it??

This doesn't touch the phone dialer, so I'm not sure what you're referring to.

I did everything perfectly, but now settings app wont load 'unfortunately settings has stopped' constantly comes up

Did everything right as well and settings is still showing the 'unfortunately settings has stopped' message. Hope there is a fix.

I've been looking all afternoon for a fix, I'm thinking its going to be a case of starting from scratch which will suck!

I had the same problem. I followed the instructions and everything else but this doesn't seem to be working.

I tried this to fix it, but no luck:

  1. Delete the new SecSettings.apk from the priv-apps folder.
  2. Remove the "bak" text from the name of the original file.
  3. Reboot.

After reboot I can tap the settings "gear" that shows in the pull-down menu but nothing happens at all... no error message, no anything. So now I can't access any settings at all. I don't have a "Settings" icon in my tray. Help!

Verizon version of GN3, stock 4.4.2.

I have the same issue. Did you get yours to work?

Pretty sure it was a case of accidentally deleting the original factory settings file. I'm assuming there is no way to get that back now. I only have one settings app unlike the video saying I should have two.

Also, the flashlight or "Torch" is unresponsive.

This guide didn't mention the torch app, so perhaps it's the app itself. Try clearing the torch app data to see if that fixes it.

Did you rename the original Settings with a .bak extension? You can simply delete the modded Settings and remove the .bak extension in the original to undo everything.

I have found the issue with the status bar...It was an xposed framework mod that made apps think the phone was a tablet. Once I removed the mod everything went back to normal.

Do not update the settings. Even if you don't delete the apk.bak or the .odex it is very difficult to restore the settings menu if it fails to work. Not enough payoff for the risk imo


same problem like anthony davis.. followed and did everything right up until the settings part. It kept saying "can not be opened", and I freaked and accidentally deleted my settings. I then rebooted my phone. Its is a sm-900. Now its stuck on the SAMSUNG logo. Please help!

How can i get back my setting!
Responsible please!!!

Did anyone get their Settings issue fixed? my settings icon from the notification bar doesnt do anything. no error no nothing. i tried clicking on the secsettings.apk but it gives me parsing error. Any help?!!

When someone figures this out, please let us know...Gonna try a hard reset tomorrow to see if that fixes it. That may be our only option. :/

So do NOT Factory restore. Once that happens unknown sources becomes unchecked and you can't do anything or install anything else from unknown sources. I.E. a new secsettings.apk

settings not wokring, waitting to fix it back, pleease
Any update?

you need to rename SecSettings.odex and add .bak to make it work

how do i get it back? or download from because i deleted SecSettings.odex in the process as it said i must

I'm also stuck at the settings not working point, phone is still working but still showing normal note 3 ui. tried from step 5 again but same result


Finally, find SecSettings.odex and delete it with Root Browser.


DONT DELETE SecSettings.odex

my fone dont work after reboot, only stay in samsung bootloader,
first, the setings not work, after i do this renove bak to secsettins.apk.bak,and now my pone not works
why i need do this now?

I couldn't get it to work with the new settings. It mostly worked except for settings, and no icons in taskbar. Any idea what the issue may be? Thanks so much

-edit: cleared cache twice & is working. THANK YOU!

OK guys, my thoughts, i did one mistake before that I just followed the video without looking that people are having issues with. I did the same thing, and works fine but couldnt get my Settings working on Note 3. I deleted secSettings.odex got into boot loop, and had to flash stock Rom and this time I did few options.

Renames SecSettings.apk to .bak copied new secsettings, but settings dont work.

Then I renamed secSettings.odex to secSettings2.odex and still settings didnt work, I do not have the guts to delete this file again and go through the pain I have before so guys, any luck? could anyone get Settings working? ( My settings are working with note 3 look as I i have original .odex and .apk now) but would love to get S5 settings.

i am delete my phone secsettings so haw to return my secsettings...?

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