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: Android isn't the same on all devices. These instructions are for devices running Android 7.1 and up. Check which version of Android you have.
Use common features
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 .
- Swipe between Home screens
You can have multiple Home screens. Swipe right or left to move between them.
- Swipe right to get to your Google Assistant or your feed
- Pixel phones
To reach your Google Assistant or your feed, say "Ok Google" or touch and hold Home . You can also swipe to the right to reach the Home screen that is farthest to the left. Learn about your Google Assistant.
- Nexus devices
To reach your feed, first turn on your feed. Then say "Ok Google" or touch and hold Home . You can also swipe to the right to reach the Home screen that is farthest to the left.
- Pixel phones
At the bottom of every screen, you'll see 3 navigation options:
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.
Open the center Home screen.
See 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 your screen.
- To switch between your 2 most recent apps or tabs, double tap Overview .
In some apps, like games, these icons may go away when you're not using them. To bring them back, tap the bottom of your device's screen.
At the bottom of every Home screen, above your 3 navigation options, you have a Favorites tray. You can pick which apps go in your Favorites tray.
Remove an app from your Favorites tray
- In your Favorites tray, touch and hold the app that you'd like to remove.
- Drag it to another part of the screen and release it.
Add an app to your Favorites tray
- Open All Apps.
- On a Pixel phone, swipe up from the bottom of your screen.
- On other devices, tap All Apps .
- Touch and hold an app.
- Move the app into an empty spot on your Favorites tray and release it.
Tip: All Apps lists your apps in alphabetical order.
At the top of your Home screens, you'll find Google Search. Search lets you search your phone or the Internet.
- To type search terms, tap the Google icon.
- To speak search terms, or to take an action by voice, say "Ok Google" or tap the Microphone .
Many apps and settings screens include More . To see more options, tap it.
"More" often has help for the current screen.
- Check and change common settings
From the top of your screen, swipe down once with one finger to see the Quick Settings short bar, or with 2 fingers to see the full panel.
- See all settings
Adjust settings for your network, sound, security, and more in your device's Settings app . Open Quick Settings and tap Settings .
- Manage settings for the Google app
On Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P phones, touch and hold an empty space on your home screen and then tap Settings .
You can use gestures to help you interact with your device.
You can turn some gestures on and off. Open your device's Settings app under "Device," tap Moves.
- 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 and hold
Touch and hold an item on the screen. Don't lift your finger until the item responds.
Touch and hold an item. Without lifting your finger, move your finger on the screen until you reach the target position. Then lift your finger. 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 phones, you can open your notifications by swiping down on your fingerprint sensor.
- Double tap to zoom
On some pages, like a webpage or map, double tap to zoom in. Double tap again to zoom out.
- Pinch to scale
In some apps, like Google Maps and Chrome, you can change the size of what's on your screen by putting two or more fingers on the screen at once. To shrink, pinch your fingers together. To enlarge, spread them apart.
- Rotate screen
As you turn your device, most screens rotate with it. To let your screen turn, or to prevent it from turning, open Quick Settings and tap Auto-rotate .
- Open your camera
You can quickly open your camera from any screen by pressing your phone's Power button twice.
- Switch between cameras
On Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 5X phones, with your camera open, you can switch between your front and rear cameras by twisting your phone twice.
See the double-twist gesture
When your phone is powered on but your screen is turned off, you can check your notifications on your lock screen.
- Double tap to check
On Pixel phones, you can check your notifications by double tapping your screen.
- Lift to check
You can check your notifications by picking up your phone.
See the lift-to-check gesture
Amy is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.