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Get around on your device

These tips and tricks can help you get familiar with the basic features that you're likely to use on your Android device.

Note: Some of these steps work only on Android 8.0 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

Use your screen

Select or move items
  • Tap to select
    To select or start something on your device, tap it.
  • Tap to type
    To type something, tap where you want to type. You'll see a keyboard open.
  • Touch & hold
    Touch and hold an item on the screen. After the item responds, lift your finger.
  • Drag
    Touch and hold an item. Without lifting your finger, move your finger on the screen. When your finger is in the right place, lift it. For example, you can move apps around your Home screen by dragging them.
  • Swipe or slide
    Quickly move your finger across the surface of the screen without pausing. For example, you can swipe a Home screen left or right to see your other Home screens.
    Tip: On Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P phones, you can open your notifications by swiping down on your fingerprint sensor.
Change the size & direction of items
  • Double tap to change size
    On some pages, like a webpage or map, double tap to get closer ("zoom in"). Double tap again to back away ("zoom out").
  • Pinch to change size
    In some apps, like Google Maps and Chrome, you can change the size of what's on your screen by putting 2 or more fingers on the screen at once. To shrink, pinch your fingers together. To enlarge, spread them apart.
  • Rotate
    As you turn your device, most screens rotate with it. To let your screen turn, or to stop it from turning, swipe down from the top of the screen with 2 fingers and tap Auto-rotate Auto-rotate.


Use common features

Get to know your Home screens

Your Home screens are what you see when you don't have an app open.

  • Go to your Home screens from anywhere
    To get back to your Home screens, tap Home Home.
  • Swipe between Home screens
    You can have more than one Home screen. Swipe right or left to move between them.
  • Go to your Google app feed
    To see your feed, swipe toward the right to reach the Home screen that is farthest to the left. Learn about your Google app feed or your Google Assistant.
Move between screens & apps

At the bottom of every screen, you'll see 3 navigation options:

  • Back Back
    Open the last screen you visited, even if it was in a different app. You can go back more than once. But when you reach the Home screen, that's as far back as you can go.
  • Home Home
    Open the main Home screen.
  • Overview Overview
    See images of recently viewed apps and browser tabs.
    • To open an app or tab, tap its image.
    • To exit an app or tab, swipe its image left or right.
    • To use split screen, touch and hold an image, and drag that image to the top of the screen.
    • To switch between your 2 most recent apps or tabs, double tap Overview Overview.

In some apps, like games, these icons can go away when you're not using them. To bring them back, tap the bottom of your device's screen.

Change the apps near the bottom of your screen

Near the bottom of every Home screen, above your 3 navigation options, you have favorite apps. You can pick which apps go there.

Remove a favorite app

  1. From your favorites, touch and hold the app that you'd like to remove.
  2. Drag it to another part of the screen. Lift your finger.

Add a favorite app

  1. Open All Apps.
    • On a Pixel phone, swipe up from the bottom of your screen.
    • On other devices, tap All Apps Apps menu.
  2. Touch and hold an app.
  3. Move the app into an empty spot with your favorites. Lift your finger.​ 

Tip: All Apps lists your apps in alphabetical order.

Search with your voice ("Ok Google" and your Google Assistant)

You'll find Google Search on your Home screens. Search lets you search your phone or the Internet.

  • To type your search, tap the Google icon.
  • To speak your search, or to tell your phone to do something, say "Ok Google" or tap the Microphone microphone icon.

Learn about your Google Assistant.

Control your settings

  • Check & change common settings
    From the top of your screen, swipe down once with one finger to see the settings short bar, or with 2 fingers to see the full panel. Learn about Quick Settings.
  • See all settings
    Adjust settings for your network, sound, security, and more in your device's Settings app Settings app.
  • Manage settings for the Google app
    Touch and hold an empty space on your home screen and then tap Settings Settings.

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Amy is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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