Understanding 3-Finger Gestures for DeX

Understanding 3-Finger Gestures for DeX

Samsung’s DeX lets you use your Android phone as a touchpad for navigating the Galaxy PC desktop. It offers users a rich multi-contextual environment with desktop-like functionality, drag-and-drop menus, as well as multiple resizable windows. With DeX, you can turn your Samsung Galaxy S8, Tab S4 or any compatible Android smartphone into a desktop computer. It integrates perfectly with a monitor, keyboard or mouse.

“Where did this feature go?” you can ask. Well, DeX is not a new interface. It has been around since 2017 and at one point was compatible with Linux on a limited basis – upgrading to Android 10 removed Linux compatibility. But despite the decline in the operating system, Samsung has improved DeX for regular users of the Android operating system. You no longer need to use the DeX-dock for recent upgrades. You can just use Galaxy USB log into DeX mode.

Samsung launched DeX for PC in August 2019, helping users integrate effortlessly with a compatible Mac or Windows PC. With the Galaxy Note 20 or 20 Ultra, you can use DeX wirelessly on Android TV via Miracast.

You can even use your smartphone with the DeX feature like you normally would, gestures and all. The DeX interface responds well to these gestures and even has a few additional benefits.

Navigating Samsung DeX Using Multi-Touch Finger Gestures

DeX mode turns your Samsung Galaxy device into a full-fledged computer, and you can control what’s happening on the screen with touchpad gestures.

For example, pressing your Galaxy works like left clicking on a PC mouse. This selects objects, activates buttons, opens apps, etc. A two-finger press simulates a right click, which brings up more menu options.

Slide your finger across the DeX screen with two or three fingers and you can scroll the objects in any direction. To select or move objects on the screen, touch and hold your finger on the screen or move your finger while holding it to highlight text.

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You can also use the 3 finger pinch to zoom in and out on the screen.

Samsung DeX offers a new feature for three and four finger touchpad gestures. You can change these gestures in the Settings app under Samsung DeX Settings> Mouse / Touchpad> Touchpad gestures.

DeX’s multi-touch also has features that let you map your touches, pinches, and swipes under its settings.

Three-finger gestures for use with Samsung DeX on PC or TV

Samsung DeX’s external display connection capabilities let you take advantage of your smartphone’s multitasking ability on a larger screen, mirroring your apps for simultaneous use. You can use any compatible monitor, computer or smart TV with a USB C to HDMI cable for a wired connection. Or connect wirelessly via Miracast via Wi-Fi for TV with select Samsung devices.

The upgraded Galaxy DeX supports three-finger swiping on the touchpad. On Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and 20 Ultra, you can activate 3-finger gestures under the quick panel once you have connected DeX.

Swiping up brings up recent pages, while swiping down takes you to the Home screen. Scroll through apps by swiping left and right with three fingers.

You can perform three-finger pinch or swipe gestures when three fingers are placed on the trackpad, changing the relative angle when rotating or moving away between them.

What is the difference between DeX 2 and 3 finger touchpad gestures?

Touchscreen gestures mimic the behavior of a mouse on a PC, and the same goes for the Samsung Galaxy’s DeX. This feature allows you to replace the mouse with your Galaxy device as a touchpad, and gestures are replicated up to single or double taps.

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While you can’t survive without the essential one-push gesture, the double and triple pushes are more defined. Single taps force you to touch the app, button or anywhere on the touchscreen of Galaxy devices and immediately release it.

A double-tap gesture on DeX, however, requires that you quickly double-tap the same spot. Change the duration of the time variations to the duration of two consecutive taps under Touchpad Gesture Settings on DeX.

While not commonly used on the Galaxy platform, double taps on Android make special features responsive.

Some examples of gestures that you can double-tap using the DeX touchpad include double-tapping to wake up the screen if it’s off, or a photo in a browser to zoom in and out. The system can interpret slow double tap gestures as two single taps.

Whether you tap with one, two, or three fingers, all DeX gestures are variations of mouse pad actions.

Interpretation of 3-finger gestures by swiping and pinching the DeX touchscreen

When you change the position or movement of your finger, Samsung Galaxy’s DeX interprets this as a gesture until you lift a finger. According to Android developers, a triggered gesture is not changed by adding the number of fingers.

For example, if you put down the third finger during a two-finger pinch, the system will not end the two-finger gesture or throw one to three fingers. DeX decides that the two gestures are semantically identical and will continue the previous gesture unless the user stops.

Three-finger pinch and swipe gestures supported by Samsung’s DeX include:

DeX swipe gestures performed with 3 fingers

You can move objects synchronously in the same direction using swipe gestures with three or more fingers. Swipe gestures on the Galaxy DeX or DeXpad are possible in any x or y coordinate direction and can include a complex path path.

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DeX three finger pinch gestures

When you move three or more fingers synchronously in the same direction, Samsung DeX interprets this as a pinch gesture. Pinching allows you to zoom in and out or change the window size. To do this, place 3 fingers at any relative distance, and then bring them together.

DeX also supports movements where three fingers do not move evenly in pinch or non-pinch positions.

You can still use three finger pinches with one finger remaining in a particular area. DeX can ignore these fingers and interpret the movement of the remaining two fingers as window scrolling.


Depending on where you have placed your fingers in DeX, three-finger gestures will be interpreted as sliding and pinching to resize items. If your fingers are in a program window, for example, or placed on an application window border, this will suggest window movement.

Hope you are up for some hard work! Samsung designed DeX to improve the user experience, and now that it can support three-finger gestures, it has certainly become more convenient.

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