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How to open Notifications with one hand on Google Pixel

Google Pixel 6 pro one handed mode AM AH
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Smartphones are getting bigger and bigger, and as long as consumers keep buying the bigger phones, this will continue. That makes using your phone with one hand pretty tough to do. Luckily, companies have started to add in software that makes it a bit easier. Though a smaller phone would be nice, they just don’t sell. Even the iPhone 12 Mini and 13 Mini have had terrible sales.

Google added a one-handed mode to Android a few years ago, but there’s a feature within that mode that allows you to pull down the notification shade without having to stretch your hand all the way to the top of the screen. And today, we’re going to show you how you can do that.

Why would you want to use one-handed mode?

As mentioned, smartphones are ginormous these days. Who would have ever thought that we’d see phones hitting 6, almost 7-inches in size in 2022? Well we are, but not everyone has giant hands. So trying to use the full screen of your phone with one hand can be pretty tricky.

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Imagine you’re walking through an airport and only have one hand available to check your notifications, reply to messages and such. One-handed mode is going to come in clutch on something like the Pixel 6 Pro with its 6.71-inch display. Making it easier to reach the top of the screen with one-hand, or to bring down the notifications with one hand.

It’s not a feature that you’re going to likely use everyday, but it is a nice option to have available for those times that you do only have one hand free to use your phone. Luckily, this mode can be on all the time, and only used when needed. So you don’t need to worry about turning it on all the time.

Now with the ability to pull down your notifications in one-handed mode, you’ll likely use it a lot more often. And it’s a nice alternative to the back-mounted fingerprint sensor, which no longer exists. On older Pixel and Nexus phones, you could swipe on the fingerprint sensor to bring down notifications, which was really nice to have.

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How to open Notifications with one hand on Google Pixel

Firstly, jump into Settings.

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Next, scroll down to “System” and tap on that.

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Then find “Gestures” and tap on that, it should be right below the Live Translate option.

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Now find the “One-handed mode” option and tap on that.

If it’s not already on (it’s not on by default actually), tap on the toggle for “use one-handed mode”.

notifications one hand pixel

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Now, once it is on, there are two options for one-handed mode on Google Pixel:

  • Pull screen into reach: The top of the screen will move into reach of your thumb.
  • Show notifications: Notifications and Settings will appear.

You’ll want to choose the second option, which is Show Notifications. Unfortunately, we can’t use both at the same time. Though that makes sense since they are the same gesture.

notifications one hand pixel

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Now you can also create a one-handed mode shortcut. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see that option. If you tap on it, you’ll see that you can choose to use the Accessibility button, or press the volume buttons together. For some, that might be easier than swiping down. And it’s good to see that this option is indeed available here.

And that’s it. That’s how you can use one-handed mode on your Google Pixel to bring down the notifications and quick settings with one hand.