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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: 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

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 multiple Home screens. Swipe right or left to move between them.
  • Swipe right to get to your Google Assistant or your feed
    To reach your Google Assistant or your feed, say "Ok Google" or touch & hold Home Home. You can also swipe to the right to reach the Home screen that is farthest to the left.
    Tip: On Android 7.0 and lower, first turn on your feed.
Move between screens and 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 center Home screen.
  • Overview Overview
    Open 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 Overview.

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

Customize your Favorites tray

At the bottom of every Home screen, you have a Favorites tray. It's a quick way to get to your most used apps.

You can pick which apps you want in your Favorites tray:

  • To remove an app
    In your Favorites tray, tap and hold the app. Drag it to another part of the screen and release it.
  • To add an app
    To open All Apps, swipe up from the bottom of your screen. Tap and hold an app, move it into an empty spot on your Favorites tray, and release it. (All Apps lists your apps in alphabetical order.)
    Note: On Android 7.0 and lower, tap All Apps Apps menu.

Favorites tray

Search with your voice and "Ok Google"

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 microphone icon.

Learn how to turn on "Ok Google."

Get help via the "More" icon

Many apps and settings screens include More More. To see more options, tap it.

"More" often includes help for the current screen.

Control your settings

  • 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 Settings. Open Quick Settings and tap Settings 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 Settings.

Use gestures on your device

Here are some gestures to help you interact with your device.

On Pixel phones, you can turn some gestures on and off. Open your device's Settings app Settings and tap Moves.

Select or move items on 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. Don't lift your finger until the item responds.
  • Drag
    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.
Change the size and direction of items on your screen
  • 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 Auto-rotate.
Open or switch between cameras
  • 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

    Double twist for selfie mode

Related links


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

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