How to Control F on Android

Most apps have their own solutions for finding text in their menus

What to Know

  • Android lacks a universal text search function similar to Control + F on a PC.
  • Instead, apps often have a Find on Page or Search feature (look for a menu in the upper left or right corners).

The Control + F shortcut (Command + F on a Mac) is an easy way to find text on a computer. Android devices can be used to search text, but the method varies between apps. This article will teach you how to Control+F on Android.

How to Control F on Android

Android lacks a universal Control+F shortcut to find text so there's no single, standardized way to find text that works in all Android apps. Most apps, however, do have a way to find text and we'll explain the most common and give you tips on finding the feature in the app you are using.

How to Control F in Chrome on Android

Here's how to Control+F in Chrome on Android.

  1. Open the kebab menu (three vertical dots) in the upper right.

  2. Tap Find in page.

  3. Chrome will search as you type and highlight matching text. Select Search (the magnifying glass icon) to close the keyboard and finish your search.

    Highlighted steps to search for text in the Chrome web browser on an Android phone.

These steps generally apply to Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera, among others. The steps are almost identical in these browsers, though the icons and appearance of the menu will differ.

How to Control F in Google Docs

Google Docs is a free document editing app installed on some Android phones. Learning to search for text in Google Docs will help you browse most document files. Here's how to Control+F in Google Docs.

  1. Open the menu (three vertical dots) in the upper right.

  2. Tap Find and Replace.

  3. Enter the text you'd like to find.

  4. Tap Search (the magnifying glass icon).

    Matching text will appear highlighted through the document.

    Highlighted steps showing how to use Find and Replace to search in Google Docs in Android.

The steps above apply to Google Docs but are helpful for other document editing apps. Most will have a menu in a similar location, and most refer to the text search function as Find and Replace.

Microsoft Word is a notable exception, as it places a text search function (a magnifying glass icon) in the menu bar at the top of the app.

How to Control F in Messages

Messages is the default text messaging app for Android devices. Here's how to Control F in the Messages app.

  1. Tap Search (the magnifying glass icon) in the menu bar at the top of the app.

  2. Enter the text you want to search for.

  3. Tap Search (the magnifying glass icon) located in the lower right of the QWERTY keyboard.

    Texts that match the search will appear in the app with matching text highlighted.

    Highlighted steps to search messages in Android.

This method isn't as universal as others, as many Android phone manufacturers replace the default Messages app with their own alternative. Third-party messaging apps, like WhatsApp, also differ.

While each messaging app on Android has its own, unique method, most label the Control+F function as Search or Find and use a magnifying glass icon to represent it.

Using Control F in Other Android Apps

It's unfortunate there's a lack of a universal Control+F function in Android, but now that you're done with the article you may have noticed a few trends.

Most apps will place a text search function within a menu (three vertical dots). In some cases, the text search function will be found in a menu bar at the top of the app. Sometimes a magnifying glass icon is used to represent the search function.

While many Android apps offer text search, it's not always available. Unfortunately, it's impossible to search for text in an Android app that lacks its own in-app text search function.

  • How do I do a Control-F in a PDF on Android?

    Depending on which app you use to view PDFs on an Android phone, you likely have a search option. Look for a magnifying glass icon in the toolbar or on the keyboard, or check for a "Find" option in a hamburger or kebab menu.

  • How do I Control-F in Google Drive on an Android?

    The Google Drive app has a built-in search function just like Google Docs. Go to More (three dots) > Find and Replace to search for words and phrases in the document, spreadsheet, or other item.

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