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Google Nexus 7: How to activate the full tablet UI instead of the phone UI

Unlocking the full experienced of the hottest tablet in town
July 16, 2012

Only a few have felt and experienced Google’s latest Nexus 7 tablet, but modifications and hacks for the highly anticipated tablet have started to sprout like mushrooms. Among these modifications is a mod that lets users experience a full tablet user interface (UI) on the Nexus 7, instead of the default phone UI that it comes with.

While critics are beginning to scrutinize every detail of the Nexus 7, the ever hardworking devs from XDA Developers are doing their homework to improve the Nexus 7 experience. The modification to enable a full tablet UI on the device is a tweak that they have developed. It’s easy to implement and one can easily restore the default if needed. The process involves changing the LCD value of the tablet.  No flashing is required.

If you want to learn about it, see the instructions and requirements below.


  • The instructions in this guide are intended for use with the Google Nexus 7. Applying these instructions on another device or model may produce undesired outcomes.
  • The information in this guide is provided for instructional and educational purposes only. There is no guarantee that these instructions will work under your specific and unique circumstances.
  • Use these instructions at your own risk. We shall not hold any responsibility or liability for whatever happens to you or your device arising from your use of the info in this guide.
  • Read and understand the whole guide first before actually performing the instructions.



Method 1

  1. Install a file explorer app such as ES File Explorerand enable the app’s root access option.
    • In ES File Explorer, for example, go to Settings and enable Allow Mount Rewritable and Root Access.
  2. Using your file manager app, go to /system and you will find the build.prop file. Copy the file and paste it to another folder to serve as a backup file.  Make sure you remember where you copied it to.
  3. Open the original build.prop file in a text editor and look for “ro.sf.lcd_density”.
    • ES File Explorer has its own text editor called ES Text Editor.
  4. The original LCD density value should be set to 213. Change it into 175 or lower.
  5. Save the build.prop changes that you made by pressing the Menu key.
  6. Once done, you may now restart your Nexus 7 to boot into full tablet UI mode.

Method 2

  1. Download and install the BuildProp Editor app.
  2. Open the app and navigate to /system. Open the build.prop file.
  3. Locate the line with “ro.sf.lcd_density.”
  4. The original LCD density should be 213. Change it to 175 or below to get the tablet UI.
  5. Save the file and reboot your tablet.

Method 3

  1. Download and install ROM Toolbox Lite from the Google Play Store.
  2. Launch the app.
  3. Go to Performance and press the build.prop editor.
  4. Locate the line with “ro.sf.lcd_density.”
  5. Change the DPI to 175 or below.
  6. Once done, tap OK and close the app.
  7. Reboot your Android tablet.

Using the Nexus 7 in full tablet UI will definitely make the whole Jelly Bean experience better. Look out for new mods for this device! Enjoy!