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Circle to Search on your Pixel phone

Important: This feature is currently available for Pixel 6 and later, including Fold.

You can search anything you find on your phone with Google without the need to switch to another app.

The Circle to Search feature is available on Android:

  • Provides easy access to Search.
  • Allows you to search anything on your screen with a gesture, such as circle, tap, scribble, or highlight.

Tip: This feature doesn’t work on certain apps, like banking and other confidential apps.

Search content with Circle to Search

To search without the need to switch apps:

  1. When you’re ready to search your screen, touch and hold the home button or navigation bar at the bottom of your Pixel screen.
  2. The Google Search bar and a gradient appears.
  3. Circle, highlight, scribble, or tap the part of the image or text you want to search.
  4. For more accuracy, use your two fingers to zoom or to move around your screen before you circle.
  5. When you’re done and want to return to your original app context, swipe down or use the back gesture or tap X on the top left.

Turn off Circle to Search

On 3-button navigation mode:

  1. Open Settings Settings.
  2. Search for Hold home to search.
  3. Tap Hold home to search.
  4. Turn off Hold home to search.

On Gesture navigation mode:

  1. Open Settings Settings.
  2. Search for Hold handle to search.
  3. Tap Hold handle to search.
  4. Turn off Hold handle to search.

Troubleshoot "Screen search isn't available" error

To use Circle to Search, make sure your permission settings are correct:

  1. Open Settings Settings.
  2. Search for Digital assistant app.
  3. Tap Digital assistant app.
  4. Make sure that:
    • Default digital assistant APP is set to Google.
    • “Use screenshot” is turned on.

Other advanced features

  • You can use multisearch to further refine your query. Just circle, highlight, scribble, or tap an image and then type your additional query in the search bar, where “Add to your search” text appears. Learn more about multisearch.
  • You can get AI-powered overviews with Circle to Search based on your text or multisearch queries.
    • If you’re in the United States:
      • AI-powered overviews are available by default on multisearch queries.
      • To enable AI-powered overviews for text queries, you need to opt in to Search Generative Experience (SGE) in Search Labs. Learn about Generative AI-powered overviews.
    • If you’re outside the United States:

Related resources

Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
Search Help Center