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 & 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, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P phones, you can open your notifications by swiping down on your fingerprint sensor.
- Double tap to change size
On some pages, like a webpage or map, double tap to get closer ("zoom in"). Double tap again to back away ("zoom out").
- Pinch to change size
In some apps, like Google Maps and Chrome, you can change the size of what's on your screen by putting 2 or more fingers on the screen at once. To shrink, pinch your fingers together. To enlarge, spread them apart.
As you turn your device, most screens rotate with it. To let your screen turn, or to stop it from turning, swipe down from the top of the screen with 2 fingers and tap Auto-rotate .
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.
- Go to your Google app feed
To see your feed, swipe toward the right to reach the Home screen that is farthest to the left. Learn about your Google app feed or your Google Assistant.
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 main Home screen.
See images of 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 the screen.
- To switch between your 2 most recent apps or tabs, double tap Overview .
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.
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" or tap the Microphone .
- 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
Touch and hold an empty space on your home screen and then tap Settings .
Amy is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.