How to Use Android 12 in One-Handed Mode

Android 12 makes it easier to navigate larger smartphone screens

What to Know

  • Enable through Settings > System > Gestures > One-Handed mode.
  • Activate with a downward swipe from the bottom of the screen.
  • Exit by locking the phone or tapping above the short screen.

This article explains how to use one-handed mode in Android 12, including how to enable the gesture, how to activate it when you need it, and how to exit out of one-handed mode.

How to Activate One-Handed Mode

One-handed mode works through a gesture enabled in your phone's settings. After it's enabled, using it is easy: Just a simple swipe-down motion. The working area will instantly shorten to the bottom-half of the screen so you can use just one finger to easily reach things at the top.

  1. Go to Settings > System > Gestures > One-Handed mode.

    Settings, system, and gestures screens in Android 12 settings
  2. Tap Use one-handed mode. You can take this time to also adjust the other options here, like to exit one-handed mode when switching apps or to shorten or lengthen the timeout setting.

  3. Swipe down from the bottom of the screen to activate one-handed mode. Everything you do while in this mode will happen within the half-sized window.

    One-handed mode enabled in Android 12

How to Turn Off One-Handed Mode

To completely disable this feature, return to step 2 above and turn off the gesture.

If you just want to exit one-handed mode, either wait for the timeout duration to be reached (if you've chosen one) or do one of these things:

  • Tap in the blank, dark space above the small screen.
  • Swipe upward, past the short screen.
  • Lock your phone.
  • Rotate to landscape mode.
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