How to bring down the notification shade of your Google Pixel/XL without stretching

Google's brand new Pixel and Pixel XL phones have many virtues, but having excellent screen-to-body ratio isn't one of them, so reaching everywhere on the screen with your thumb while perusing them with one hand is not an option, even on the smaller Pixel. When you need to pull down notification shade, for instance, to preview messages or switch the connectivity toggles, it's pretty much a balancing act of sliding your phone down in your palm, or stretching your thumb tendons to the breaking point of their elasticity.

Granted, this is a problem on a vast majority of big-screen phones out there that have a notification bar tucked way up in the top strip of the interface, but many Android device maker overlays have found a very simple solution. On a lot of popular UI solutions you can simply swipe down on an empty screen area, and the notification shade will come down as if you've stretched to pull it all the way up. 

Unfortunately, stock Android doesn't have this feature, but we don't blame Google - after all, the most ubiquitous overlays, like Samsung's TouchWiz or Huawei's EMUI, also don't carry it, despite most every other UI having it included in the laundry list of its options. Well, EMUI lets you swipe up and down the finger scanner on the back, or tap it to clear all notifications, which is arguably at least as good of a solution, but more on that option in a bit.

Fret not, however, there is a very simple way to pull down the notification shade of the Pixel and Pixel XL phones while holding them tight with one hand, here's what you need to do:

1. Swipe down the notification bar on your Pixel or Pixel XL phone, and tap on the settings cog wheel up right;

2. Scroll down until you reach the "Moves" option;

3. In the Moves menu, check if the "Swipe for notifications" option is turned on (should be on by default);

4. From now on, each time you swipe down the round finger scanner area on the back of the Pixel or Pixel XL, this will bring down the notification shade. Swipe up, and it rolls it back, simple as this.

Related phones

  • Display 5.0 inches 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 12.3 MP (Single camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 4GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 2770 mAh
  • OS Android 10
Pixel XL
  • Display 5.5 inches 2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12.3 MP (Single camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 4GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 3450 mAh
  • OS Android 10


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