How to turn on gesture navigation in Android 9 Pie on Google Pixel devices

Gesture navigation is all the rage these days, and with Android 9 Pie, Google is officially adding it to Android as a native feature. However, it’s not enabled by default just yet. So, here’s how to turn on gesture navigation…


  1. Open Settings
  2. Access System Settings & Open Gesture Toggles
  3. Turn on “Swipe up on Home Button”

1. Open Settings

The first things you’ll need to do in order to turn on Android Pie’s gesture navigation is to access the settings on your device. On a Google Pixel device, there are two easy methods of doing this. First, you can use the settings icon within the app drawer. Alternatively, you can press the settings icon in the quick settings menu.

2. Access System Settings & Open Gesture Toggles

Next, you’ll need to head into the “System” section of the settings menu. On Pixel devices running Android Pie, this is located towards the end of the settings menu. Once you are in system settings, select the “Gestures” section. From there, you should see a list of gestures which you can toggle on and off for actions such as swiping the fingerprint sensor and quickly opening the camera.

3. Turn on “Swipe up on Home Button”

The last step here is pretty simple. On the list of gestures, one will be entitled “Swipe up on Home Button. Tap on that option and toggle on the setting. Immediately, Android’s traditional navigation keys should swap out for the gesture “pill” and contextual back button.

Once you’ve turned on gesture navigation in Android 9 Pie, things might feel pretty different at first. A quick single swipe up on the “pill” button will reveal the multitasking menu, while a longer swipe or second swipe will pull up the app drawer. As with Android’s standard navigation buttons, a tap will go home, while a long-press will open the Google Assistant. The back button is also contextual with this method, disappearing on the home screen and appearing when within applications.

Do keep in mind as well that on devices outside of Google’s Pixel lineup, this process may vary slightly. If you have any questions, be sure to drop a comment below or hit me up on Twitter.

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