Required Time: 15 Minutes. Difficulty Level: Advanced User.

Samsung’s version of Android is called TouchWiz. If you don’t like the feel of it anymore, you can skin your phone with a completely new launcher and stand out from the crowd. A launcher is what you see when you use an Android phone: the Home screen, the app drawer, and all its transition effects. By changing the launcher, you can get an entirely new smartphone experience. There are many third party launchers available in the Google Play store of which some are sophisticated and some are not. Among the best launchers are Apex Launcher, ADW Launcher EX, Nova Launcher, and GO Launcher EX.

We’ll present GO Launcher EX in this tutorial as one of the most popular launchers in the market. GO Launcher’s strength lies in the great number of add-ons available. There is an array of cool themes ranging from modern and minimalistic to artsy and colorful. With themes, widgets, and lockers as add-ons, literally everything visual can be tweaked to your liking.

These are just six examples of the many different themes and lockers that GO Launcher has to offer:

go launcher locker

go launcher themes

go launcher themes

Let’s get creative and turn your Samsung Galaxy into a total eyecatcher.  We’ll start by installing the launcher and then we’ll work ourselves through the main features and the great selection of themes and lockers. 

Step 1: Install GO Launcher EX / Go Launcher HD

When you search in the Google Play store, you’ll see several GO Launcher related items of which one is the actual launcher and the others are themes. Look for GO Launcher EX if you have a smartphone. If you wish to install it on a tablet, look for Go Launcher HD. This launcher comes in a basic version to which you can add themes, widgets, and lockers as you wish.

go launcher ex installation

Step 2: Home screen overview

When you install GO Launcher EX, it will offer you to select a theme. Do not select one yet and skip the step. We will get back to this later. For now, familiarize yourself with the basic Home screen:

go launcher homescreen explained

Step 3: Access Home menu Settings

Just like in Samsung TouchWiz, there are Settings menus in GO Launcher that change depending on the screen you’re looking at. When you press the Menu button, you get to navigate through many of the launcher’s features from editing standard Android settings to changing themes, plugins, and widgets that are exclusive to GO Launcher. Tap the Add button, which is a GO Launcher exclusive button and you’ll see its sub menu show up where you can add wallpapers, themes, effects, and more.

go launcher homescreen and add menus

Step 4: Access app drawer menus

When you tap the applications button, you’ll see the app drawer. Unlike in Samsung TouchWiz, you have two menus you can tap in GO Launcher. At the bottom of the screen, one menu is to the left and one to the right. At the top of the screen, you can filter the apps that are showing.

go launcher app drawer menu explained

Step 5: Change themes

Go Launcher Ex offers a wide range of themes. On the Home screen, press the Menu button and tap on Themes. This opens the Theme widget. If you scroll all the way down and tap on Get more themes, you will be taken to the GO Launcher store where you can get everything that GO Launcher has to offer.

Some are paid and some others are free themes. Usually when a theme appears to be free and you try to open it, a pop up box shows up asking you to either pay for it or download a bunch of other free apps in order to collect “GetJar Gold coins”. These coins function as virtual money so to speak. You would have to download let’s say 5 other free apps in order to get a Go Launcher theme for free. You can uninstall the free apps immediately after you have installed the theme though. Whether you take the time to install a bunch of free apps in order to get the free theme you like or whether you just pay for it and get it right away comes down to how fast and convenient you’d like to get the theme. You can also buy it, check it out real quick, and if you don’t like it, go back to the theme in Google Play and click the refund button. You have 15 minutes time until the refund button disappears. 

go launcher theme store and widget

Step 6: Change lockers

Locker screens can be changed in Go Launcher Ex. Just like with themes, there is a large selection of lockers available for you to try. You can buy a locker or get it for free by collecting GetJar Gold coins, which can be accumulated by downloading a bunch of other free apps. You can uninstall the apps after you have installed the locker if you like.

Press the Menu button and tap on GO Store. Then tap on Locker and choose from the many options available:

go launcher store lockers

Step 7: Arrange icons

When you long-press an icon on the Home screen, Go Launcher opens a little handy menu that lets you replace the graphic used for the icon, rename it, delete it, or uninstall the app altogether.

When you long-press an icon on the app drawer screen, Go Launcher lets you drag an icon to the top into a folder or to the bottom onto a Home screen. Non-system apps have a red cross that you can tap to uninstall the app.

go launcher arrange icons

Step 7: Change Home screen transition effects

Go Launcher even lets you change the effects for how a transition looks like when you swipe between Home screens.

Press the Menu button and tap on Add. Tap on Effect and select a transition you like.

go launcher effects menu

Step 8: Access widgets

Go Launcher offers several widgets, which are available for free in its basic version. Some of them offer a pro version with additional features (such as the Weather widget). You can even get themes for a widget and customize the look and feel of it.

go launcher add widgets

GO Launcher is a comprehensive skinning system and allows you to completely change the look and feel of your Samsung Galaxy. There are many smaller features in this launcher and it would be too complex to list all of them here. Take a few minutes and tap yourself through the launcher to learn about its details. Once you have selected your favorite style, customize it and your Samsung phone will be a head-turner the next time you have people around.