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.


Choose how to get around

  1. Open your phone's Settings app.
  2. Go to System and then Gestures and then System navigation.
  3. 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, web pages and apps


Open the previous screen that 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 Back.
  • 3-button navigation: Tap Back Back.
Go to home screen
  • Gesture navigation: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
  • 2-button navigation: Tap Home Home.
  • 3-button navigation: Tap Home Home.
Tip: 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.
Find 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 Overview.

From here you can:

  • Close apps: Swipe up on the app image.
  • Open an app: Tap its image.
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 Home.
  • 3-button navigation: Tap Overview Overview. Swipe right until you find the app that you want. Tap it.

Move items around

Select or move items

Tap to select

To select or start something on your phone, tap it.

Tap to type

To type something, tap where you want to type. You'll find 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 find your other home screens.

Change the size and direction of items

Double tap to change size

On some pages like a web page or map, tap twice to get closer ('zoom in').

Pinch and 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 with 2 fingers and tap Auto-rotateRotate.

If you use an older Android version

Choose how to get around (Android 9)
  1. Open your phone's Settings app.
  2. Go to System and then Gestures and then Swipe up on Home button.
  3. 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.

Next, learn how to move around using your 2 or 3 buttons

Related resources

Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu