Find, open and close apps on a Pixel phone

You'll find some apps on your home screens, and all your apps in 'All apps'. You can open apps, switch between apps, and find two apps at once. Learn how to find and move your apps with our step-by-step tutorial.

Important: Some of these steps work only on Android 9 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

The Pixel battery continuously learns your behaviours and optimises itself based on your most recent app usage. When you set up a new device or after a factory reset, optimisation may take up to a few weeks to take full effect. For best results keep Adaptive Battery and Battery Optimisation on.

It's normal for your Pixel battery to drain a little more than usual after a software update. This is because the phone is working hard to download and optimise the new software and get everything up and running.

If you still experience unusual battery drain after a few days, please let us know and we'll be happy to help.

Find or install your apps | Pixel

Find and open apps

From anywhere

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to the top.
  2. Tap the app that you want to open.

Tip: If you're using a Google Account for work or school, you’ll find your apps in a 'Work' tab.

From shortcuts

  1. Touch and hold the app.
  2. If you have options, choose one.

From your home screen

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to the top.
  2. In the search bar, type the name of the app that you want to open.
Switch between recent apps
  1. Swipe up from the bottom, hold, then let go. 
    • If you’re on Android Go with 3-button navigation, tap Recent apps .
  2. Swipe left or right to switch to the app that you want to open.
  3. Tap the app that you want to open.

Tip: Another way to switch is to slide the Home button to the right. See an interactive tutorial on how to switch between apps.

From the task bar (Pixel Fold only)

To switch between apps quickly, you can tap an app icon on the task bar.

  • At the bottom edge of the screen, swipe up slightly to bring up the task bar.
  • When a new app is selected, the task bar collapses automatically.
Close apps
  • Close one app: Swipe up from the bottom, hold, then let go. Swipe up on the app.
  • Close all apps: Swipe up from the bottom, hold, then let go. Swipe from left to right. On the left, tap Clear all.
  • Close all apps on Android Go: Swipe up from the bottom, hold and let go. At the bottom, tap Clear all.
  • Find your home screen: Go to your home screen. Learn how to get around on your phone.
  • Stop apps working in the background:
    1. To open Quick Settings, from the top of the screen, swipe down twice.
    2. To see the number of active apps running in the background:
      • At the bottom left, tap # active apps.
      • Or, at the bottom right, tap the number next to Settings Settings and Power Power.
    3. To close each active app, tap Stop.

Tip: Even if you don't close apps, you won't run out of memory or battery. Android manages these automatically.

Get new apps

You can get more apps in the Play Store app Google Play. Learn how to download apps.

Choose an aspect ratio for your apps (Pixel Fold only)

Some apps aren’t designed to fit your Pixel Fold screen. To make an app fit your screen better, you can change its aspect ratio. You can only change one app’s aspect ratio at a time.

  1. Open your phone’s Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps and then Aspect ratio (experimental).
  3. Tap Suggested apps and then All apps to view all of the apps on your device.
  4. Tap the app you want to change the aspect ratio for.
  5. Choose an aspect ratio:
    • App default: Open the app in its default size.
    • Full screen: Stretch the app so it fills your screen.
    • Half screen: The app only takes up half the screen.

Tip: The app restarts when you change its aspect ratio, so make sure that you save any changes first. Some apps may not be optimised for certain aspect ratios.

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