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.
Use your screen
- 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. 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.
Tip: On Pixel phones, you can open your notifications by swiping down on your fingerprint sensor. This swipe also works on Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P.
- Double tap to change size
On some pages, like a webpage or map, tap twice to get closer ("zoom in"). Tap twice again to back away ("zoom out").
- 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 device, most screens can rotate with it. To turn rotation on or off, swipe down from the top with 2 fingers and tap Auto-rotate .
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, you can't go back any farther.
Open the main Home screen.
See images of recently viewed apps and webpages.
- To open an app or page, tap its image.
- To exit an app or page, 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 pages, double tap Overview .
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 more than one Home screen. Swipe right or left to move between them. Learn how to add, move, and remove Home screens.
- Go to your Google app feed
To see your feed, swipe toward the right to show the Home screen that is farthest to the left. Learn about your Google app feed or your Google Assistant.
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.
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
- From your favorites, touch and hold the app that you'd like to remove.
- Drag it to another part of the screen. Lift your finger.
Add a favorite app
- 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 with your favorites. Lift your finger.
Tip: All Apps lists your apps in alphabetical order.
Search and "Ok Google"
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." You can also tap the Google icon and then the Microphone . Learn about your Google Assistant.
Change the info at the top (Pixel 2 only)
At the top of your main Home screen, you'll see "At A Glance" information for where you are and what you're doing. For example, you could see the date, weather, or what's next on your calendar.
To change what shows there, touch and hold that space. Then tap Preferences .
- 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 .
- Manage settings for the Google app & your Home screen
Touch and hold an empty space on your home screen. Then tap Home Settings .
Amy is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.