The Fire Tablet's Touchscreen - dummies

The Fire Tablet’s Touchscreen

By Nancy C. Muir

Before you work through the setup screens for your Fire tablet, it will help if you to get to know the basics of navigating the touchscreen — especially if you’ve never used a touchscreen before:

  • Swipe down from the Status bar at the top of the Home screen to display Quick Settings and Notifications (such as download status, alarms, and email messages in your Inbox); swipe up to hide the Quick Settings and Notifications.

  • Tap an item to select it or open it.

  • Tap the Home button (shaped like a little house) at any time to return to the Home screen.

  • If your Fire tablet goes dark after a period of inactivity, tap the Power button and then swipe the Unlock button on the Lock screen from right to left to go to the Home screen.


  • Double-tap the screen to enlarge text, and double-tap again to return the text to its original size. Note: This works only in certain locations, such as when displaying a web page in the Silk browser. Double-tapping in some other locations, such as when reading a book or viewing a video, will display tools you can use to perform certain actions.

  • Place your fingers on the screen and spread them apart to zoom in (enlarge the view); then pinch them together to zoom out on the current view (reduce the view). This action only works in selected apps, such as the Silk browser.

  • Swipe left or tap the left edge of a page to move to the next page in the ereader. Swipe to the right or tap the right edge of a page to move to the previous page in a book.

  • In many apps, tap the three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner to display the Navigation panel, offering options for working in the app.

  • Swipe up and down to scroll up and down a web page.

These touchscreen gestures will help you get around most of the content and setup screens you encounter in the Fire tablet.

If you prefer to use your Fire tablet and its touchscreen without holding the device in your hands, consider getting the new Origami cover, which you can use as a stand for your Fire tablet. Ranging from $50 to $65, depending on whether you opt for leather or a less expensive material, this clever cover not only protects your Fire tablet but also acts as a useful stand to hold it upright while you work with it.