How To Tidy Up Android TV's Home Screen

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Android TV is a wonderful way to bring some computing power to the living room, but one thing many users have a problem with is the home screen. On just about every Android TV device currently out there, the home screen is full of clutter, and some users may just not like the way things are set up. Read on to find out how to tweak the default home screen on the Xiaomi Mi Box, and the NVIDIA SHIELD TV, as well as how to rip out the default home screen app and get a new setup entirely.

For Mi Box owners, the "Mi Box Recommends" row on the home screen can be a bit of an annoyance. To get rid of it, head to your settings, go to Device, then Apps, and select "XiaomiLeanbackCustomizer". Simply disable that, and you're in business. All of those apps will move to the main row, and you can get rid of them by installing them through the Play Store, done by trying to launch those icons, then removing them the same way as any other app. NVIDIA SHIELD TV owners can break Netflix and the SHIELD Hub free from their dedicated row, but should be cautioned that this breaks Gamestream and NVIDIA's store; you'll only be able to use the SHIELD Hub to access GeForce Now. If you're not much of a gamer or only want to use GeForce Now, go to Settings, Device, Apps, System apps, then go to NVIDIA Customizations and turn off notifications for it.

For those looking to rip out their home screen entirely and replace it, either a laptop or a very long USB cable will be required. We'll be hooking up your Android TV box to a Windows, Mac, or Linux PC. First, you'll need to make sure that the PC has ADB set up on it. The easiest way to do this, for Windows at least, is to install "Minimal ADB and Fastboot"; a quick Google search will get you where you need to go. Once that's all set, go into the settings on your Android TV device, go to Device, then About. Click on your build number repeatedly until you get a popup saying that Developer Settings has been unlocked, or you are now a developer, depending on your hardware. Go into Preferences, then Developer Options, and check "Debugging" or "USB Debugging". Once you have that, download an alternative launcher, hook your Android TV device up to the computer, approve the connection, pop open a console window or command prompt on the PC, and start up adb by typing "adb devices". This should show your Android TV device. If it does, type in "adb shell pm hide com.google.leanbacklauncher" to use your new home screen. To get the old launcher back, repeat the procedure, but the command this time will be "adb shell pm unhide com.google.leanbacklauncher". As a bonus, using this method on the NVIDIA SHIELD TV keeps the full SHIELD Hub functionality intact.

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