- Change the wallpaper
- Choose between light and dark mode
- Choose between control buttons or gestures
- Add Widgets to the home screen
- Change the sounds of the phone or alarm clock
- Customize the Control Center
- Change the keyboard of your mobile
- Change the default launcher
- Customize the look of the home screen further
- Change the system font
- Change the whole look or the icons with Themes
- More modifications with other third-party apps
- Be careful with the applications you install
- You can also “root” the mobile
We are going to explain how to customize your Xiaomi mobile with MIUI to the fullest , so that you can give it a totally different and more personalized look so that it suits you. In its day we already explained how to customize Android, but we have decided to make specific articles for those manufacturers whose phones have a particularly different layer of personalization.
And we will start with Xiaomi and its MIUI customization layer. The idea is to focus on the native options of the mobile without having to resort to dangerous changes such as root, which make you lose guarantees. We will also mention several third-party tools that you can use to make these changes. You will have the alternatives, and then you will be the one to decide which of them you want to use to give your desktop a unique look.
We are going to do the article based on a Mi 9T Pro device with the MIUI 12 customization layer. I’m telling you because depending on the mobile and the version of the MIUI customization layer that you have, there may be some options that you don’t appear or something different appears on your Xiaomi device. But we have used
And as we always say in this type of SamaGame Basics articles, if you think we have missed any method or alternative, we invite you to share with us your methods or resources in the comments section . Thus, whoever comes to this article in order to fully customize their operating system, may also benefit from the knowledge of our Xatakeros.
Change the wallpaper
One of the first classic steps when it comes to personalizing your mobile is to change the wallpaper for another that you like more. To do so, enter the settings of your device, and once inside, click on the Wallpaper option . On other Android devices, this option usually comes within the screen options, but Xiaomi prefers to have it clearly visible and independent.
Another option to access the wallpaper settings is to press and hold your finger on the desktop background for a few seconds, until it pops up and options appear. In these options, at the bottom left you will have a button to access the Wallpaper settings .
Whichever way you choose to get there, a window called Wallpaper will open . In it, you will have several folders with the funds on your device organized by type, and also access to your local photos so that you can put the one you like the most of it as your wallpaper.
Below you will have a section for Online Wallpapers , in which you will preview several of them recommended and you will also have some categories to choose from. You can navigate through the sections to find a background to your liking, and if you are not convinced, at the bottom you have the Find more button .
If you click on Find more , you will access a much more complete catalog within the Themes application . Here you can navigate through many other categories until you find that static or animated theme that you like the most. When you find a fund in any of the methods, click on it.
When you click on the wallpaper that you have seen, a preview will be made so you can see how it looks. If you are not convinced you can go back, and if you do click on the Apply button that you have at the bottom. When you do, you can choose how to use this wallpaper , which can be for the desktop, the home screen, or both.
And as for where to get the wallpapers, in Engadget Android you have a collection with all the wallpapers of the most important mobiles. You can also use specific applications such as Bing Wallpapers, Google Wallpapers and many other apps to download free backgrounds that you have available. Metacommunities like Reddit also have entire communities dedicated to vertical wallpapers and backgrounds specially designed for AMOLED displays.
Choose between light and dark mode
The dark mode makes the entire interface of your device turn black, and you will be able to activate it manually or program it in case you like these tones. To do this, you have to enter the settings of your device, and inside, click on the Screen section to see everything related to it.
Once inside the Screen settings , you have to click on the Dark Mode option . By default it will deactivate it, but if you want to activate or configure it you have to enter this category.
When you enter the Dark Mode options , you will be able to do two things. The first is to simply activate the Dark Mode option that appears first. Below, you can activate the option to set the wallpaper to this mode, although it will only work with native Xiaomi backgrounds that support this option.
And secondly, instead of activating the dark mode you can activate the Schedule option . When you do, you will see the options to activate and deactivate. With them, you will be able to decide the exact time you want the dark mode to be activated automatically and the time you want it to be deactivated.
When you have the dark mode activated, below you will have an option called Individual applications . If you go there, you can manually activate the dark mode in the compatible applications where you want to activate it.
This change is not only aesthetic, but practical. MIUI has the classic Android control buttons “of a lifetime” at the bottom of the screen, but you can change them by gestures , either to navigate more fluidly or to have the background full screen. To do so, enter the device settings and click on the Additional Settings section . Within these settings, click on the Play full screen option .
Inside here you will be able to choose between two options. You can choose to use the control buttons for full screen navigation or gestures . In the event that you opt for gestures, you have an option to hide its indicator, which is that thin bar that appears at the bottom so you can slide your finger over it.
Also, if you opt for gestures, you will also find a guide with all the available gestures . It’s on the same Play Full Screen screen , just below the selector and extra options. You can click on the gesture you see to play the demo, although you can see how they work in the thumbnails.
Add Widgets to the home screen
Widgets are small windows that you can put on desktops in addition to icons, and they serve to preview the information of some applications without having to open them. To add them, press and hold the mobile desktop for a few seconds, and click on the Widgets option when the options menu appears.
You will go to the Add widget screen , where all the ones you have available will appear. They will be organized in a list where you will see a row with all the widgets available in each of the applications, and all you have to do is click on the widget you want to add to your desktop.
Once you have added a widget to the desktop, you can hold your finger on it and drag it to change the desktop where you want it to be or its exact position on the screen. When you drag it, at the top you will have a Delete option above which you can drop the widget to delete it.
Change the sounds of the phone or alarm clock
Another essential when giving a personal touch to your mobile is to change its ringtone and that of notifications and alarms . This is no longer useful just to give a note of color to the device, but it will also help you differentiate it from others of the same brand that are around. To start, go to your mobile settings and click on the Sound and vibration option that you will see in them.
You will enter a careful menu where MIUI makes it very easy for you. At the top you will have four buttons where you can see the tones that you have right now for calls, alarms, events and notifications, and below you have the volume they have. Here, click on the type of tone you want to change to enter its catalog of options.
When you click on one of the tones, you will enter a very visual list where you have all the tones and sounds that are available for the category. You can click on them to select and listen to them , leaving it selected if it convinces you or clicking on another if you prefer to search for more. You also have an All tones button to see the rest that do not appear in the list or use other sources, which can be from the recorder to the music app.
Finally, you should also know that there are many third-party applications to comfortably customize your tones , and that you can also set the music from Spotify or YouTube Music as an alarm clock. Also, many applications like WhatsApp have their own configuration options in which to set their own notification tones.
Customize the Control Center
The control center is the one that appears when you slide two fingers from top to bottom on the screen, or one from the upper right corner. In it you have quick shortcuts for some functions, with activation and deactivation buttons. You will be able to reorganize these buttons by adding others or eliminating the ones you don’t use. To do this, open the control center and click on the pencil icon writing on the paper that you will find in the upper right.
You will enter a screen divided in two. Above you will have the shortcuts that you have activated in the control center, and you will have a subtraction button to eliminate them. If you drag them around the screen you can rearrange them in the order you prefer. And below you will have some other shortcuts or switches that are not active, with a plus icon to add them to your control center.
Change the keyboard of your mobile
Manufacturers try to make default keyboards have all the options you need, and Xiaomi is no exception. But you will always be able to change the keyboard for another that you like more or offer you more options. The best keyboards for Android usually bring unique options that make them stand out from the competition. From the Gboard shortcuts and options such as creating stickers with your face, their themes, or combined emojis, to the robustness and veteran Swiftkey with functions such as its animated emojis or the ability to put photos as the keyboard background.
The keyboards are installed as if they were conventional applications , and when you launch them for the first time they will guide you step by step through all the configuration you need to do. If you have more than one, you can choose by entering the settings and clicking on the Additional settings section . There, click on Languages and text input , and then hit the Current keyboard option to change the one you have activated to another. Below you can configure it in Manage keyboards .
Change the default launcher
The Android launcher or launcher is like the desktop environment of the operating system, the design that you will find when you enter the main screen of your mobile device. Elements such as the icons you see on the screen, desktop options and gestures, the application drawer, etc., depend on it, although not other elements such as settings.
Xiaomi has its own launcher, which is the one that gives it that unique look. But if you want, you also have other third-party alternatives that you can download to give it a different look. They are installed as if they were normal applications, and in case you want to explore your alternatives, we leave you links to some of the best launchers that you can find on Android:
Once you install the launcher you have chosen, it may not be activated by default, but Xiaomi makes it very easy for you to change it . Just enter the settings and click on the Home screen section . that will appear to you.
Once you enter the Home screen options , you have to click on the predefined Launcher option that appears first. This will take you to the list with all the ones you have installed, including that of Xiaomi’s own system that has MIUI, and you can choose the one you prefer.
Customize the look of the home screen further
But if you leave the Xiaomi default launcher, there are also other adjustments that you can make to the home screen to give a personal touch to its appearance. To access them, go to the mobile settings and click again on the Home screen section that you will see in them.
The first option that you can change is also called the Home screen , and when you click on it you can decide if you want your mobile to have an application drawer . If you don’t have it, all the installed apps will have to be organized on all the mobile desktops, and if you activate it, you can remove apps from the desktops, and access them by sliding up to access the app drawer.
Further down, you will reach the Home screen Settings section , where you also have several things that you can change. The ones that affect customization the most are being able to change the size of the icons or the design of the home screen , deciding the size of some or the number of slots you want to have on the screen. The smaller the home screen layout, the fewer icons will fit.
Change the system font
By default, in Europe Xiaomi has blocked some options such as changing the font or system font. But there is a trick to activate it. You have to enter the settings and go to Additional Settings . There, click on Region and change Spain to India . When you do, options will be unlocked.
Now, go back to the main settings screen, and click on Display . Within the Screen settings , in the System Font section you will see that the System Font option appears, which is used to change the font, and that it does not normally appear. The downside is that you will have to stay in India as a region for it to continue to appear. You also have the option Text size that appears if you are in the Spain region, and it is to change the size of the letter.
If you click on System font , the Themes application will open in a hidden category where you will be able to find a large number of fonts to choose from. You will not find this section if you have configured your region as Spain. Here you will be able to search and download new fonts to use the one you want.
The other great option is to use a third-party launcher , at least if you don’t want to go around changing the region. Some of the launchers that we have told you about before do allow you to do so. An example is the popular Nova Launcher, always one of the most recommended, but you can also in others such as Action Launcher or Apex Launcher. If you have any other third-party launcher, take a good look at the options, since many will allow you to do so.
You can also use third-party applications , since there are some that are created specifically to be able to change the letter of the mobile. Some of the most popular are iFont, HiFont, or GxFonts for the Samsung Galaxy. When installing them, you will only have to navigate through their menus and choose the font you want to use.
Change the whole look or the icons with Themes
As you have already seen throughout this article, since we have mentioned it a couple of times, MIUI has a themes application that allows you to change everything on your mobile , from the wallpapers to the icons. You can download the themes you want and then combine them. When you enter the application, click on the themes section below, and you will have a large collection of them organized by categories and with a search engine at the top.
When you find a topic in the application, click on it and you will enter its file with the description , some tags and popular comments. Some themes appear as free and others as premium, the latter being also free on many occasions. You have to click on the Free or Premium button to start the download process.
When you click, all the elements of the theme will be downloaded and you will go to an intermediate step in which you can choose which elements of the theme that you have downloaded you want to apply . You can confirm or deselect them all, from the wallpaper to the lock screen or icons. When you have chosen, click on the Apply button , and the elements that you have selected will change the appearance of your mobile.
Once you click on the Apply button , the theme you have chosen will be applied and the entire look of your mobile will change completely, at least as far as the design of the operating system is concerned. Depending on the elements included in the theme, the wallpaper, the icons, the lock screen or the options menu will be changed.
In addition to the full themes, within the Themes application you have a tab at the bottom to view wallpapers . We have already talked to you about this before, and you have several different categories and a search engine at the top to find the one you like the most and install it.
In addition, at the bottom of the themes application you also have a tab to access your profile . In it, you will be able to access all the elements downloaded with the application separately, from the complete themes to the wallpapers, lock styles or icons. You will be able to see or apply them, check for updates or mark some as favorites. But the best is the Customize theme option that you have below.
If you click on Customize theme , you will go to a screen where you can change each aspect of the aspect of the current theme of your mobile . Come on, in each type of element you will have everything that you have downloaded included in themes, and you can choose each one of them separately. For example, you can combine everything you like about a certain theme but by adding different sounds or icons.
More modifications with other third-party apps
So far, we have told you about all the native functions that Xiaomi offers. But there is more, because in the Android application store you can find many applications to customize your mobile in many different ways. Here, the result is sometimes not going to be as beautiful as when they are native options, but in return you will find very curious things.
To give a few examples, you have applications that allow you to create your own widgets , such as the veteran KWGT, Chronus or Battery Reborn. They are usually modular applications that allow you to create many types of widgets, although to get all the functions in some you may have to buy a full version.
You also have others to change different types of aspects of the mobile, such as the status bar with gestures and icons, or the customization of the volume controls. There are also them to unlock hidden settings, optimize the sound of your headphones, decorate the navigation bar, or add a column with shortcuts on the edge of the screen.
Be careful with the applications you install
But before you go crazy installing apps, I’d like to warn you of something. In Google Play you have a thousand and one applications with which you can personalize your mobile in all aspects, the ones we have mentioned or others. But not all of them are safe, and it is very important that you remember that you should only install those applications that you trust , and that you inform yourself well before installing any of them.
Not only because there may be some type of malware, but because many of these applications need very delicate permissions to function , such as reading all the apps you have installed to display them or what you do on the screen. There may even be an app that asks for more permissions than it needs to collect data about you.
Therefore, it is very important not to install many apps or applications that you do not know without any type of control, since you may be compromising your privacy and the security of your mobile. Read well the comments of other users on Google Play to detect anomalies before installing, and if in any app you have doubts, search the Internet to see if something is said about it and if it is positive or negative.
You can also “root” the mobile
Another option to further customize your device is to root it. Rooting the mobile is obtaining superuser permissions , which means that you will be able to make much more profound changes than those you can do by default in the settings. Come on, you have total control of the device, with the dangers that this entails.
The process of rooting your Android is not excessively difficult, although if you are a user not very experienced in computing it may seem the opposite. It has some benefits, such as being able to install ROMs or modified versions of the Android operating system, such as LineageOS or Paranoid Android.
This allows you to have a version of Android that is not controlled by the manufacturer, but by the developer community, something that helps to be able to update to more modern versions of the operating system when the manufacturer has already abandoned your mobile and does not update it anymore. It also helps to squeeze the hardware to the maximum by taking advantage of the full potential of the internal components of the mobile, activate hidden functions or obtain all the customization functions.
But as we have told you, the process has some dangers . If something goes wrong you can mess up the mobile operating system and make it stop working. The adapted version of Android that you install may also have bugs and bugs, and may not work as well. And also, if you root the mobile, the manufacturer will ignore the warranty, and if something fails, you will not have it to fix it for you.
This, together with the fact that Android is becoming more complete in its serial version, makes it not highly recommended for first-time users , since for years it is something that many think that it is not always worth it. In any case, we have mentioned it to you because if you go to specialized websites and forums looking for information to customize Android, almost certainly someone will mention it.