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Get around on your Pixel phone

You can get around on your phone in different ways. Learn how to choose an option, then use that option to move between apps and other items.

Important: Some of these steps only work on Android 11 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

Choose how to get around

  1. Open your phone's Settings app.
  2. Go to System and then Gestures and then System navigation.
  3. Choose an option:
    • Gesture navigation: No buttons. 
    • 3-button navigation: Three buttons for Home, Back and App overview.
    • 2-button navigation (Pixel 3, 3 XL,  3a and 3a XL): Two buttons for Home and Back.

Move between screens, web pages and apps

Return

Open the previous screen that you were looking at. You can go back more than once. But when you reach the home screen, you can't go back any further.

  • Gesture navigation: Swipe from the left or right edge of the screen.
  • 3-button navigation: Tap Back Back.
  • 2-button navigation (Pixel 3, 3 XL,  3a and 3a XL): Tap Back Back.
Go to home screen
  • Gesture navigation: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
  • 3-button navigation: Tap Home Home.
  • 2-button navigation (Pixel 3, 3 XL,  3a and 3a XL): Tap Home Home.
Tip: You can have more than one home screen. Swipe right or left to move between them. Learn how to add, move and remove home screens.
Find all open apps
  • Gesture navigation: Swipe up from the bottom, hold, then let go.
  • 3-button navigation: Tap Overview Overview.
  • 2-button navigation (Pixel 3, 3 XL,  3a and 3a XL): From the bottom of your screen, swipe up to the middle.

From here you can:

  • Close apps: Swipe up on the app image.
  • Open an app: Tap its image.
  • Take a screenshot: Tap Screenshot .
  • Select text (selected languages): Tap Select . Then select words on the app image and tap Copy, Share or Search.
  • See two apps at the same time.

Important: With 2-button navigation, you can't take a screenshot or select text from all open apps. Learn other ways to take screenshots.

Switch between apps
  • Gesture navigation: At the very bottom of the screen, swipe from left to right.
  • 3-button navigation: Tap Overview Overview. Swipe right until you find the app that you want. Tap it.
  • 2-button navigation (Pixel 3a and earlier): To switch between your two most recent apps, swipe right on Home Home.
Tap here to see an interactive tutorial

Search your phone (Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro only)

You can search your whole phone for items within apps and settings. This is different from searching on the web from your home screen.
  1. Go to the home screen.
  2. Swipe up to open the apps selection screen.
  3. In the search box at the top, enter keywords. 

Move items around

Select or move items

Tap to select

To select or start something on your phone, tap it. In some apps, you can touch and hold text to find available actions, like making a restaurant reservation or playing a song.

Tap to type

To type something, tap where you want to type. You'll find 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 find your other home screens.

Change the size and direction of items

Double tap to change size

On some pages like a web page or map, tap twice to get closer ('zoom in').

Pinch and 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 phone, most screens can rotate with it. To turn rotation on or off, swipe down from the top with 2 fingers and tap Auto-rotateRotate.

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