Get around on your Pixel phone

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 Navigation Mode.
  3. Choose an option:
    • Gesture navigation: No buttons.
    • Three-button navigation: Three buttons for Home, Back and App Overview.
    • Two-button navigation (Pixel 3, 3 XL, 3a and 3a XL): Two buttons for Home and Back.

Tip: Learn how to get around on your Pixel phone with our step-by-step tutorial.

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

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.
Get to all your apps
  • Gesture navigation: Swipe up from the bottom edge or middle of your home screen.
  • 3-button navigation: Swipe up from the bottom edge or middle of your home screen.
  • 2-button navigation: Swipe up from the middle of your home screen.
Search your phone (Pixel 4a and later, including Fold)

Using search on your Pixel phone, you can locate content from both your Pixel device and the web.  

  • Web: Online search results 
  • Apps: Applications and content from apps
  • Contacts: Your contacts and the apps that you use to connect with them
  • Settings: Phone settings, information and features
  • Google Play Store: Apps from the Play Store
  • Screenshots: Thumbnails of recent screenshots from your phone
  • Google Assistant: Actions from the Assistant app that can be used to set up routines and send messages and for other functions
  • Pixel phone tips: Pixel-exclusive tips, tricks and new features
  1. On your phone, tap the search bar on the home screen or swipe up to reveal a search bar. 
  2. Type a query, find what you are looking for and tap on the search result to open it, or keep scrolling to see more results.
Circle to Search on your Pixel phone

Important: This feature is currently available for Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro only.

  • Touch and hold the Home button or navigation bar at the bottom of your Pixel screen.
  • Circle, highlight, scribble or tap the part of the image or text you want to search.
  • 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:

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.

Related resources

Search
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Google apps
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