How to Adjust Gboard’s Keyboard Height Above the Highest Level

How to Adjust Gboard’s Keyboard Height Above the Highest Level

Gboard is a re-brand of what used to be called Google Keyboard and it contains more features over its predecessor including in-built Google search, multiple language support, and integrating smart suggestions into your typing. It also has contextual awareness, so if your grammar is incorrect sometimes it will try fix that too. The app is overall a huge improvement over the old Google Keyboard, as it does everything better than what it used to.

However, the application lacks some options. Some would argue the keyboard is too small. I prefer the keyboard to be small, using as little screen space as possible, but some people prefer it to be bigger as a smaller keyboard can lead to more inaccurate typing, which I do agree with. While there is a “Keyboard height” setting in Gboard preferences, some might find that even the tallest option is not tall enough.

Delving into the application’s data folder located in /data/data, we found some interesting modifiable strings that allow you to modify the keyboard height even beyond its highest level. This guide requires root access, as we will modify a file located in the /data partition. 

You will need root access on your phone to follow this tutorial. You can get root access by either flashing Magisk or SuperSU after unlocking your device’s bootloader. Note, any other modifications you make within the file are not guaranteed to work, and may break Gboard.


Adjust Gboard’s Keyboard Height Manually

Step 1

Firstly as mentioned you will need root access and some form of root enabled file explorer. You can use MiXplorer from here on XDA if you wish, or another file explorer like Solid Explorer. Make sure to grant root access to the file explorer.

MiXplorer
MiXplorer
Developer: Hootan ParsaMega.co.nzMail.ruYandex.ruMyDrive.ch
Price: Free

Step 2

Navigate to the following folder.

/data/data/com.google.android.inputmethod.latin/shared_prefs/

And look for the file named com.google.android.inputmethod.latin_preferences.xml. This file contains various preferences relating to Gboard, including the two strings we will look for to modify height and sensitivity. Simply open this file as a text file.

Step 3

You can use the find feature of your favourite text editor to edit the strings as this is a large file. Firstly search for “keyboard_height_ratio”. You should be brought to a string which looks like this.

<string name="keyboard_height_ratio">1.0</string>

You can modify this number any way you like. A larger number will increase the height, a lower number will decrease it. Once you have done this, you have to force close Gboard for it to launch with the new setting.

As you can see, the height has increased. This is because I increased the height from 1 to 1.5. You can set this to any range of values you like, but be careful as a value too large or too small won’t let you edit the file unless you clear data for Gboard or use a different keyboard to modify it back.


Bonus – Possible Swipe Sensitivity Tweak

This is a swipe sensitivity tweak, which may not actually do anything. The string exists and is modifiable, but we don’t know if it actually changes anything as it is hard to tell when swiping. To edit this, navigate to the same file again and this time locate the following string.

<string name="keyboard_slide_sensitivity_ratio">1</string>

And edit the value as you wish. Again force close Gboard (following the screenshots above) and the tweak should theoretically be activated. If you notice a different let us know!


Explanation

Most application settings are actually just inputs that write a value to a location in a file, and the application reads this for its configuration. These two tweaks do not have a front-end within the Gboard application for changing them, however the app still reads them. These are likely to be experimental features that Google either plan to add or haven’t removed yet. You can have a look through the preferences file and see if you see anything else of interest that may be worth modifying, and if so let us know!

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