Android: transferring from a “multiple DnD rules” to a “single DnD rule” firmware (i.e. Nexus > Samsung) and how to fix it

I decided to write this little article because I just managed to fix an issue which got on my nerves for a good while, and I already know there are others out there who are experiencing it.

Backstory

Earlier this year I switched my old Nexus 5 for a Samsung Galaxy S8+, and decided to use the full extent of the transfer/restore functionalities from both Samsung and Google. Somewhere along the process, my existing DnD rules (which were two) got moved over to the S8+, which only supports a single rule to be defined at one time. So the second rule, instead of being ignored or something, became an always-enabled never-visible ghost, which I had no way to get to.

I wrote on Samsung forums, contacted Samsung support, even tried to get a hold of the team that created the Samsung data transfer app, with no success.

Solution

Eventually, Reddit user rweksad was kind enough to provide instructions on how one can get to the “real” DnD settings:

  1. Install Nova Launcher (free version is fine). If you don’t know what it is or how to activate it, see here, or just tap on the Nova app icon and it will go into it only until you press Home, like any other app;
  2. Create a new widget, and choose Nova Launcher > Activities > Settings > Automatic rules (the one with .Settings$ZenModeAutomationSuggestionActivity written underneath);
  3. Open the shortcut, and you should be able to see multiple rules. One of them will be called “twschedule”. This is the device’s visible rule, and if you delete it, the DnD details screen will stop working, so leave that one. I deleted everything else (there was my other “ghost” rule and another one called “Event”, which was switched off). You can also create rules in this screen, in case you don’t mind them being difficult to access;

You can now switch back to the stock launcher or keep using Nova (it’s pretty nice), the shortcut widget should be there anytime you launch it.

P.S. I really hope Samsung will make an update to DnD which adds multiple rules and event rules, those were really useful on the Nexus. And, if anything, this article proves that the OS is perfectly capable of them.