Search by handwriting

You can write your search terms with your finger instead of typing the words on the keyboard. As you write, your handwritten text converts into words in the search box. 

Handwrite your searches

Turn Handwrite on or off

  1. Visit the Search settings page from your phone or tablet. 
  2. Go to the Handwrite section.
  3. Select Enable to turn on and Disable to turn off.
  4. At the bottom of the page, touch Save.

Note: You might need to refresh your browser to see the changes you've made.

How to search using Handwrite

  1. Once Handwrite is turned on, visit on your mobile device.
  2. In the lower right corner of the screen, touch the Handwrite icon .
  3. Use your finger to start writing your search terms anywhere on the screen. As you write, your handwritten text converts into typeface in the search box.
  4. Touch the search icon to start your search .

Tips and tricks

  • Delete letters: Touch the backspace icon at the bottom of the page .
  • Start over: Touch X in the search box at the top of the page.
  • Clarify characters: When you type a character that could be mistaken for another, like 0 (the number) and O (the letter), a list of options might appear at the bottom of the screen.
  • Use predictions: To help save you time, a list of predicted search terms might appear in the search box as you write. Touch a prediction to search for that term, or touch the arrow to the right of a query to explore related searches .
  • Include symbols: Try symbols and special characters like +, @, &, and $.


You can use Handwrite on these devices:

  • Android 2.3+ phones
  • Android 4.0+ tablets
  • iOS 5+ phones & tablets

Kaley is on the Search support team and author of this help page. Please leave her suggestions below on how to improve this article.

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