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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: Some of these steps work only on Android 8.0 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

Use your screen

Select or move items
  • 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.
  • Drag
    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.
Change the size and direction of items
  • 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.
  • Rotate
    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 Auto-rotate.
Move between screens, webpages & apps

Pixel | Navigation bar buttons

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, you can't go back any farther.
  • Home Home
    Open the main Home screen.
  • Overview Overview
    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 Overview.

Use common features

Get to know your Home screen

Your Home screens are what you see when you don't have an app open.

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.

Change the apps near the bottom of your 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

  1. From your favorites, touch and hold the app that you'd like to remove.
  2. Drag it to another part of the screen. Lift your finger.

Add a favorite app

  1. Open All Apps.
    • On a Pixel phone, swipe up from the bottom of your screen.
    • On other devices, tap All Apps Apps menu.
  2. Touch and hold an app.
  3. Move the app into an empty spot with your favorites. Lift your finger.​ 

Tip: All Apps lists your apps in alphabetical order.

Change the info at the top of your screen or use search

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 SpeakLearn 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 Preferences.

Control your settings

  • 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 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 Settings.

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Amy

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

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