I am searching for the official name of the third (right) Android on-screen button.

Android version On-screen buttons
1-4.4 Android on-screen buttons Android 4.x and before
5.0+ Android on-screen buttons Android since 5.0

The left and middle buttons are clear:

  • Left: Back button
  • Middle: Home button
  • Right: ???

Please include a reference where the name of the third/right button is stated in your answer.

  • 2
  • Android 1.0 to 2.3.7 had physical (hardware) keys. Android 3.0 to 3.2.6 replaced these with “soft navigation buttons” in a “system bar”, which is what this question is about. Android 4.0 to 4.4.4 just changed the design of these software buttons slightly. Finally, Android 5.0 to 8.1 simplified the design further. You can see screenshots of the various designs here. The name of rightmost button is “Overview” or “Recents” button, just as the following screen is called.
    – caw
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 16:06
  • Anyone can tell that, in which bar these buttons are placed?? Like clock and notifications are shown in the status bar. Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 7:16
  • @Aashish: I assume this should be something like "soft buttons bar", "soft keys bar" or "soft keys area"
    – Robert
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 9:31
  • @Robert - when I google "soft buttons bar" then it suggests "navigation bar". So it should be called the navigation bar. Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 10:04

4 Answers 4


It's called Overview button. I originally came to know about this from the Screen Pinning settings' description.

Google on Get around on your device (see Get around with navigation buttons) has noted:

Overview: Opens a list of thumbnail images of apps and Chrome tabs you’ve worked with recently. To open an app, touch it. To remove a thumbnail from the list, swipe it left or right.

  • It looks like this


  • If your device is running Android 4.4 or lower, your Overview button looks like this



This is called 'Recents' - you can see info about it here


As Dan Dascalescu points out, it's now called "Overview".

  • 5
    That is outdated. It's called Overview now. Source: I work at Google and asked the Android team. We're updating occurrences of "Recents" to read "Overview". Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 2:07
  • Sometimes an obsolete reply is worth an upvote. :) Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 22:39

I don't know if there's an official name, but it's usually called the Task Switcher or Recent Tasks button. If you're writing instructions/manual, you may want to avoid calling it a button since older Android devices don't have a dedicated task switching button (the task switcher on my old phone was accessed by long press on the home button, for example). Instead, try to word it so that it's clear that you want them to switch to another task and leave the specifics for several common ways in various devices on a side track.


Different makes call it different things.

Android calls it the recent apps list (press it, it say's recent apps).

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