Touch: Swipe, tap, and beyond

If you want to know what we mean when we mention swiping, tapping, or other ways of interacting with Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 when you’re using a touchscreen, take a look at this table.

What we say How to do it What it does
What we say

Tap

Illustration of tapping
How to do it

Tap once on an item.

What it does

Opens, selects, or activates whatever you tap. Similar to clicking with a mouse.

What we say

Press and hold

Illustration of pressing and holding
How to do it

Press your finger down and hold for about a second.

What it does

Shows info to help you learn more about an item or opens a menu specific to what you're doing. For example, press and hold a tile on the Start screen to rearrange, resize, or pin it. Only works for some items.

Similar to right-clicking with a mouse.

What we say

Pinch or stretch to zoom

Illustration of pinching to zoom
How to do it

Touch the screen or an item with two or more fingers, and then move the fingers toward each other (pinch) or away from each other (stretch).

What it does

Visually zooms in or out, like with pictures or maps. A good place to explore this is the Start screen.

What we say

Slide to scroll

Illustration of sliding to scroll
How to do it

Drag your finger on the screen.

What it does

Moves through what’s on the screen. Similar to scrolling with a mouse.

What we say

Slide to rearrange

Illustration of sliding to rearrange
How to do it

Press and briefly drag an item in the direction opposite the way the page scrolls, then move it wherever you want. (For example, if you would scroll left or right, drag the item up or down.) When you've moved the item to the new location, let it go.

What it does

Moves an item. Similar to dragging with a mouse.

What we say

Swipe to select

Illustration of swiping
How to do it

Swipe an item with a short, quick movement in the direction opposite the way the page scrolls. For example:

  • If the page scrolls left or right, swipe the item up or down to select it.

  • If the page scrolls up or down, swipe the item left or right to select it.

What it does

Selects an item, and often brings up app commands. A good place to explore this is in the Mail app.

What we say

Swipe or slide from the edge

Illustration of swiping in from the edge of a screen
How to do it

Starting on the edge, either swipe your finger quickly or slide across the screen without lifting your finger.

What it does
  • Open the charms (Search, Share, Start, Devices, Settings). Swipe in from the right edge.

  • Open a recently used app. Swipe in from the left edge. Keep swiping to switch between all of your recently used apps.

  • Open another app at the same time. Slide in from the left edge without lifting your finger and drag the app until a divider appears. Then move the app where you want it, and slide the divider to adjust the app size.

  • See a list of recently used apps. Slide in from the left edge without lifting your finger, and then push the app back toward the left edge.

  • Show commands for the current apps, like New and Refresh. Swipe in from the top or bottom edge.

  • Close an app. Slide down from the top edge without lifting your finger, and then drag the app to the bottom of the screen.

What we say

Rotate

Illustration of two fingers and an arrow indicating the fingers are turning an object
How to do it

Put two or more fingers on an item and then turn your hand.

What it does

Rotates items in the direction you turn your hand. Only some items can be rotated.

To see if you have a touchscreen

Your screen must be a touchscreen to use these interactions.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Click PC and devices, and then click PC info.

To check your screen resolution

Your screen resolution must be at least 1024 x 768 to have multiple windows and apps on your screen at the same time.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Tap or click PC and devices, and then tap or click Display.

To learn about how to do similar tasks using a mouse and keyboard, see Mouse and keyboard: What's new. For more about using the new features, see Getting around tutorial.

Need more help?