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MIUI tips & tricks: How to get the most out of your Xiaomi smartphone


In this article, we will focus on some of the particularly more interesting or potentially useful MIUI features. If you want a more comprehensive overview of Xiaomi’s interface, you can check out our full MIUI 12 review. The new MIUI 13 version is also in the process of being rolled out, so you might want to check whether your

Finally, not all features are available on all Xiaomi smartphones. For this article, I used a Xiaomi 11T Pro that runs MIUI 12.5.19. If your smartphone doesn’t have any of the features listed below, it might be time to upgrade by checking out our comparison of the best Xiaomi and Redmi smartphones in 2022.

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How to watch YouTube videos with the lock screen

In order to force you to subscribe to its YouTube Premium subscription, Google purposely prevents you from watching videos in the background or with the lock screen enabled on your Android smartphone.

There are many guides and tutorials online to fix this form of ‘digital blackmail’, but MIUI offers a partial and mostly native solution. Using the Video Toolbox menu, you can launch videos while your smartphone is locked, and the playback will not stop!

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Go to Special Features.
  3. Go to Video Toolbox and activate the feature.
  4. Still in Video Toolbox, go to Manage Video Apps and enable the slider for YouTube.
  5. Open YouTube, launch your video, press the translucent bar on the left or right side of the screen (depending on your choice).
  6. In the Video Toolbox menu, swipe once to the left on the first line.
  7. Press Play video sound with the screen turned off.
xiaomi miui how to watch youtube phone locked
Your screen will automatically lock when this feature is activated. / © NextPit

How to disable ads in MIUI

You have to go through several steps to really disable all ads in MIUI, and doing this would take an entire article to list them all in detail. It’s a good thing we have one tutorial to do so that is linked right below. However, you can already begin with the most important one, that is, to disable the MSA or MIUI System Ads application.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Go to Passwords & Security.
  3. Under Authorization & Revocation, disable the msa slider.
  4. Wait for 10 seconds and press Revoke to confirm. 
xiaomi miui how to deactivate ads
This step is just the tip of the iceberg of ads that are hiding in MIUI. / © NextPit

Doing so should remove most of the ads. But this only deals with the “system” ads in the MIUI interface. Other ads may remain in some of Xiaomi’s native apps. Therefore, you will have to disable them individually. What a joy, isn’t it?

How to get MIUI updates faster

Xiaomi does not follow Google right down to the letter when it comes to updates and new feature implementations. Quite often, among Xiaomi fans, the conventional wisdom is this: it is not the Android version that matters, but the MIUI version. But like any other Chinese manufacturer, Xiaomi initially rolls out new versions of its skin in China before doing the same for global versions to the rest of the world. But there is a trick to receiving MIUI updates before anyone else.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Go to About device. 
  3. Tap the MIUI Version widget at the top left.
  4. Tap the hamburger menu at the top right.
  5. Go to Update settings.
  6. Under Other, enable the Receive updates early slider.

 

xiaomi how to receive miui updates early
You can also try changing your region to India or even sign up for the MIUI Pilot program. / © NextPit

With this feature, Xiaomi will place your smartphone on the list of those who will receive the stable versions of MIUI first. This means you’ll be able to receive the global version of MIUI 13 a few days before other European users. But this also means that you’ll be on the front line of any bugs that are inherent in every MIUI release.

How to create MIUI shortcuts with the Back Tap feature

MIUI’s Back Tap feature allows you to use the double and triple tap gestures on the back of your Xiaomi smartphone to create shortcuts (take a screenshot, etc).

To enable the MIUI Back Tap feature on your Xiaomi smartphone:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Go to Additional Settings.
  3. Go to Gesture Shortcuts.
  4. Choose Back tap.
  5. Choose Double back tap or Triple back tap.
  6. Select which shortcut you want to associate with the corresponding gesture.
xiaomi miui how to activate double tap
It’s like having two additional buttons on your Xiaomi smartphone. / © NextPit

How to optimize your MIUI shortcuts with Quick Ball

Quick Ball or Touch Assistant is a special feature that allows you to have a virtual shortcut button on your home screen. By pressing this floating button (quick ball > ball > shortcut, got it?), you have access to a series of 5 shortcuts. You can assign several actions to each of these five shortcuts, such as returning to the home screen, switching to silent mode, etc.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Go to Additional Settings followed by Quick Ball.
  3. Activate Turn on Quick ball and choose your 5 shortcuts.
  4. From your home screen, press on the floating bubble to bring up the Touch Assistant.
xiaomi miui how to quick ball menu
It’s a bit like on Samsung’s OneUI. / © NextPit

The bubble will remain afloat, so you can move it as you like on the home screen of your Xiaomi or Redmi smartphone. You can also hide it by swiping towards the edges of the screen.

How to cast your Xiaomi screen with the Universal Casting Tool

Xiaomi allows you to cast any content from your smartphone screen to a compatible TV or any other type of connected monitor, and this even includes the PC.

  1. Go to Settings, and choose Connection & Sharing.
  2. Go to Cast and activate the Cast slider.
  3. Scan for any devices that are connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your smartphone.
  4. Connect to your TV or PC.
xiaomi miui how to universal casting tool
Xiaomi uses Miracast technology, which is present by default on many connected TVs. / © NextPit

This Universal casting tool also offers some additional features, such as hiding items on the screen with a tap or cast in the background and even when your Xiaomi smartphone’s screen is locked.

How to remove the Control Center

MIUI’s Control Center is yet another “homage” from Xiaomi to Apple. It’s a quick access menu separate from the notification pane that you either love or hate. For those of you who hate it, you can delete the Control Center and return to the classic display to have everything on the same screen.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Go to Notifications & Control Center.
  3. Under Control Center, select Control Center Style.
  4. Choose “Old version.”

 

xiaomi miui how to delete control center
Do you prefer the old drop-down menu (left) or the Control Center (right)? / © NextPit

How to activate the FPS counter

Real gamers know that the FPS rate is sacrosanct and remains an integral part of the gaming experience. Personally, if Call of Duty Mobile drops even one frame below 60 FPS, I will throw my phone in the trash and buy another one before suing the manufacturer. All right, I’m kidding!!!

  1. Activate the Developer options (press 7 times on MIUI version in the About screen on the phone).
  2. Go to Settings then Additional Settings.
  3. Go to Developer Options.
  4. Scroll down to the Monitoring section.
  5. Under Monitoring, select Power monitor.
  6. Under Frame Rate Monitor Tools, select Start.

 

xiaomi miui how to fps counter
Play at 60 FPS, make sure your handset is worthy! / © NextPit

The information that appears in real-time at the top left of the screen overlaps the application display. To prevent this from bothering you, you can minimize the window, move it, or simply close it. Be careful. This counter is different from the one offered by Google and which is also in the developer options (it seems to me that the Google one has trouble with OLED displays).

How to activate Super Wallpapers

This is a feature that made plenty of waves with the release of MIUI 12, but that is no longer very new in 2022. Super Wallpapers are animated wallpapers from Xiaomi. They feature themes related to nature and astronomy, such as spectacular views of Mars. And when you unlock your Xiaomi smartphone, the wallpaper impresses with a huge zoom effect.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Go to Wallpaper.
  3. Select Super Wallpapers.
xiaomi miui how to super wallpapers
Xiaomi knows how to let you customize its interface, this we must admit. / © NextPit

This feature is not available by default on all Xiaomi smartphones. The manufacturer seems to reserve it for Xiaomi, Redmi and Poco smartphones equipped with sufficiently powerful SoCs. In other words, premium mid-range handsets are at the bare minimum. But rest assured, it’s pretty easy to tinker with your own Super Wallpaper on any Android smartphone using APKs.

Enable sunlight mode to boost brightness

Every Android skin offers an adaptive brightness whose level adapts to the ambient light. But not everyone uses it, especially if you are used to playing games on your Xiaomi smartphone. For those who do not use adaptive brightness but still want their screen to remain legible when outdoors, MIUI offers a “sunlight” mode.

The idea is to automatically boost the brightness as soon as you leave your home. Basically, the brightness only changes when you go outside in the sun. As for the rest of the time, it will remain at the level you have set.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Go to Screen and select Brightness Level.
  3. Activate the Sunlight Mode slider (automatic brightness must be deactivated beforehand).
xiaomi miui how to sunlight mode
Useful when you almost never leave your cave, like me. / © NextPit

How to “clean” your speakers

Perhaps this hidden feature should remain hidden. Xiaomi claims to be able to “clean” the speakers of its smartphones. The idea is to play sound at loud enough levels in order to clear the dust that ‘clogs’ the speakers.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Go to Additional Settings.
  3. Enable the Clean Speaker slider.

 

xiaomi miui how to clear speaker
Can you believe this miracle solution from Xiaomi? / © NextPit

The cleaning process takes 30 seconds and the sound played is like a siren. Xiaomi advises users to repeat the operation 2 to 5 times, depending on how dirty the speaker is. Personally, I have absolutely no faith in the effectiveness of this option, but who knows? Perhaps the placebo effect is worth it (and maybe I’m wrong, too). This is somewhat on par with a 2MP macro or depth camera they cram into smartphones…

That’s it for this guide to the best secret features and tricks of MIUI for now. Did you find this article useful? Did you discover a feature you didn’t know about? Or maybe you have a tip that is not listed in this guide? Tell us all about it in the comments.


This guide was updated on March 9th, 2022 to include tips for MIUI 12. Older comments have been kept and may appear out of context.


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