Get around on your Android phone
You can get around on your phone in different ways. Learn how to choose an option, then use that option to move between apps and other items.
Important: Settings can vary by phone. For more info, contact your device manufacturer.
- Open your phone's Settings app.
- Go to System Gestures System navigation.
- If you don't see "System navigation," go to the steps for older Android versions.
- Choose an option:
- Gesture navigation: No buttons.
- 2-button navigation: Two buttons for Home and Back.
- 3-button navigation: Three buttons for Home, Back, and App Overview.
Move between screens, webpages & apps
First, choose how to get around. Then, learn how to move around.
Open the previous screen you were looking at. You can go back more than once. But when you reach the Home screen, you can't go back any further.
- Gesture navigation: Swipe from the left or right edge of the screen.
- 2-button navigation: Tap Back .
- 3-button navigation: Tap Back .
Go to Home screen
- Gesture navigation: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
- 2-button navigation: Tap Home .
- 3-button navigation: Tap Home .
You can have more than one Home screen. Swipe right or left to move between them. Learn how to add, move, and remove Home screens.
See all open apps
- Gesture navigation: Swipe up from the bottom, hold, then let go.
- 2-button navigation: From the bottom of your screen, swipe up to the middle.
- 3-button navigation: Tap Overview .
From here, you can:
- Close apps: Swipe up on the app image.
- Open an app: Tap its image.
- See two apps at the same time: Learn how.
Switch between apps
- Gesture navigation: At the very bottom of the screen, swipe from left to right.
- 2-button navigation: To switch between your 2 most recent apps, swipe right on Home .
- 3-button navigation: Tap Overview . Swipe right until you see the app you want. Tap it.
Select or move items
Tap to select
To select or start something on your phone, tap it.
In some apps, you can touch and hold text to see available actions, like making a restaurant reservation or playing a song.
Tap to type
To type something, tap where you want to type. You'll see a keyboard open.
Touch and hold
Touch and hold an item on the screen. After the item responds, lift your finger.
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.
Change the size & direction of items
Double tap to change size
On some pages, like a webpage or map, tap twice to get closer ("zoom in").
Pinch & spread to change size
In some apps, put 2 or more fingers on the screen to change the size. To shrink, pinch your fingers together. To enlarge, spread them apart.
As you turn your phone, most screens can rotate with it. To turn rotation on or off, swipe down from the top and tap Auto-rotate .
If you're using an older Android version
Choose how to get around (Android 9)
- Open your phone's Settings app.
- Go to System Gestures Swipe up on Home button.
- Turn Swipe up on Home button off or on.
- If you turn it on, you're using 2-button navigation.
- If you turn it off, you're using 3-button navigation.