How to Enable the Fingerprint Swipe Gesture on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Pixel 2 Fingerprint Swipe Gesture

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL both have fingerprint swipe gesture support but first you’ll need to follow these steps to enable it.

When Google launched the original Pixel and the Pixel XL, they brought with it a fingerprint swipe gesture that we’ve seen from Huawei devices in the past. Google’s iteration allowed you to swipe down on the fingerprint sensor to expand the notification panel and allowed you to swipe again to reveal the Quick Settings panel. This was then backported to the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P thanks to a special firmware update that was included in a monthly security update.

This feature has proven to be quite useful on smartphones these days as the displays seem to be getting bigger and bigger. Even before, it could be difficult for some people to reach the top of the screen of a 5″ to 5.5″ with one hand. Since this is needed to expand the notification panel and people check their notifications a lot each day, it made sense to utilize the fingerprint swipe gestures for it. Now with the Pixel 2 XL it’s even more useful as the longer 18:9 aspect ratio display has made phones taller than ever.

Both the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL have this feature included in the stock Android experience, but it’s not enabled by default. Thankfully the toggle is just a few taps away so let me show you how it’s done.

Pixel 2 Fingerprint Swipe Gesture

  1. Open up the Settings application
  2. Tap the System option
  3. Tap the Gestures option
  4. And tap the Swipe Fingerprint for Notifications option
  5. Then toggle the feature on

This step by step tutorial is a detailed explanation of a topic I covered on my Pixel 2 Tips and Tricks article. I recommend you read through that if you're curious about learning the ins and outs of the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL.


 

 


Explanation

There really isn’t much to it as this feature has been popular among Nexus and Pixel owners for a couple of years now. And again, this idea was made popular on Huawei devices before that so people have been using fingerprint swipe gestures for years now. Many have ingrained the feature into their daily use and just like the double tap to wake feature, it can be difficult to go without it when you’ve been used to it for so long.

I’m not sure why Google doesn’t enable the feature by default, but I’m guessing that it has to do with unexpected triggers. So, if you weren’t aware the feature existed and your finger or palm brushed across the fingerprint sensor by accident, it would trigger the gesture and expand the notification panel. This could be quite alarming for those who aren’t aware of the feature and could even make them believe their device is being controlled by someone else.

Pixel 2 Fingerprint Swipe Gesture Preview

Google even gives you an animated image to demonstrate how the gesture works.

As you can see, the feature is easy to enable and requires you to launch the Settings application to start things off. From here, you’ll want to scroll down all the way so that you reveal the System option and can then tap it. In this sub-menu you’ll see a Gestures option and within there is a specific gesture called Swipe Fingerprint for Notifications. Tapping on here will take you to the lone toggle that lets you turn this feature on or off with a simple tap.

As soon as you toggle the feature on, you can instantly test it out by swiping down on the fingerprint scanner. One swipe down will reveal the notification panel while two swipes down will reveal the Quick Settings panel. If you ever have the notification panel or the Quick Settings panel revealed, you can also do a single swipe up on the fingerprint sensor to collapse them. I don’t see myself doing the double swipe often so access the Quick Settings panel, but it is very convenient to be able to expand the notification panel with this gesture.

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About the author

Doug

I'm working to create an organized and easy to follow central repository of Android tips, tutorials, guides and everything you need to know. With a focus on device specific tutorials now, my goal is to branch out and do more universal tips and tricks that will work on all Android devices.