Use Air Actions with your S Pen and Galaxy Note phone

S pen pointing at a Galaxy phone

If you like waving your S Pen, we have good news for you. Your Galaxy Note’s Air actions let you control apps and use all kind of commands – just by flicking the S Pen in certain directions! You can open apps, control music, browse through your pictures, and much more. If you have a Note20 5G or Note20 Ultra 5G, there are even more fun actions you can use with your new phone.

Note: App actions only work with certain apps, and the available commands vary depending on the app.

Change which app opens when you hold down the S Pen button

By default, the Camera app will open when you press and hold the S pen button for a few seconds. But if you’d like, you can make a different app open instead.

Navigate to and open Settings, and then tap Advanced features. Next, tap S Pen, and then tap S Pen remote or Air actions. Tap Hold down Pen button to; from here, you can choose an app to open when you hold down the S Pen button. When you’re done, tap Back. You can test it out by holding down the S Pen button – the new app you chose should automatically launch on the phone.

Perform regular App actions

App actions are preset commands that come with certain apps, like Camera or Gallery. For example, flicking left or right in the Camera app will change the camera mode. Remember the available actions will vary depending on the app you're using.

Every compatible app comes with a few possible S Pen gestures that perform different actions. The gestures include flicking the S Pen:

- Up, down, left, or right
- In a clockwise or counterclockwise circle

To perform a gesture in a compatible app, flick your S Pen in the appropriate direction while holding down the S Pen button.

Camera app with arrow pointing up on a Galaxy phone

View and customize App actions

Like we said, the App actions only work with specific apps. But which ones are compatible? And which commands can you perform? No worries, there's an easy way to check all of your Note phone's App actions.

Open Settings, and then search for and select Air actions. Tap your desired app under App actions. Here you can see all of its default gestures. You can also view commands by opening a compatible app, and hovering your S Pen over the blue Air command icon. The app’s default actions will appear in a small window.

To customize the gestures, navigate back to the Air actions menu, and then tap your desired app. Tap your desired gesture (e.g. Left), and select a new command.

A list of Air actions for the Camera app on a Galaxy phone

Perform Anywhere actions on the Note20 5G and Note20 Ultra 5G

Note: These actions are only available on the Note20 5G and Note20 Ultra 5G.

On the Note20 5G and Note20 Ultra 5G, Anywhere actions are like Air actions, but you’ll have a little more freedom. You can use them… anywhere! In other words, you can use them on any screen and aren’t limited to specific apps. For example, the Up and down gesture will bring you back to the Home screen when you have an app opened.

Just press the S Pen and then perform the appropriate action. Here are the default Anywhere actions you can perform:

  • Left and back: Go to the previous screen

  • Up and down: Go to the Home screen

  • Right and back: Go to Recently opened apps

  • Down and up action: Open Smart select to take a screenshot

  • Shake: Open Screen write to draw on the current screen

  • If needed, you can change the default commands for the Anywhere actions.

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