Getting around HoloLens is a bit different from using Windows on other devices. Instead of moving the cursor with a mouse, you use your gaze. And instead of clicking or tapping, you use hand gestures, your voice, or the HoloLens clicker.

For a tutorial on some basic gestures, bloom to go to Start and select Learn Gestures. If you're having trouble with gestures, see HoloLens and holograms: FAQ.

The gesture frame

HoloLens has sensors that can see a few feet to either side of you. When you use gestures, you'll need to keep them inside that frame, or HoloLens won't see them. As you move around, the frame moves with you. When your hand is inside the frame, the cursor will look like a ring. When HoloLens can't see your hand, the cursor will change to a dot.

Image showing the HoloLens sensor frame

Once you know these basic gestures, getting around on HoloLens will be a snap.


Blooming opens the Start menu. Most of the time, you only need to bloom once to get to Start, but sometimes you'll need to bloom twice. If you're ever not sure what to do, blooming is a good way to get reoriented. You can also bloom to pause a game or to hide the Start menu.

To bloom, hold out your hand with your palm up and your fingertips together. Then open your hand, like this:

Bloom animation


Use your gaze to move the cursor and highlight apps and other holograms for selection. Turn your whole head, not just your eyes, and the cursor will follow. When a hologram is ready to select, it will be highlighted.

Image showing the gaze

Air tap

Use air tap, along with gaze, to select apps and other holograms.

  1. Gaze at a hologram.

  2. Hold your hand straight out in front of you in a loose fist, then point your index finger straight up toward the ceiling. There's no need to raise your whole arm—keep your elbow low and comfortable.

  3. Tap your finger down, then quickly raise it back up again.

    Air tap animation

Tap and hold

To tap and hold, start with an air tap, but keep your finger down instead of raising it back up again.

Use tap and hold to:

Scroll. On the app bar, select Scroll Tool . Tap and hold until the tool appears, then slowly move your hand up and down or side to side. To scroll faster, move your hand farther from the center of the tool.

Drag. On the app bar, select Drag Tool . Tap and hold until the tool appears, then slowly move your hand up and down or side to side.

Zoom. On the app bar, select Zoom Tool , then tap and hold until the tool appears. Slide your hand up to zoom in and down to zoom out.

Pin, unpin, or uninstall an app. Tap and hold an app tile on Start or in the All apps list, then select one of the menu choices.

Resize an app. On the app bar, select Adjust . Tap and hold one of the blue squares in the corners of the app window, then move your hand to resize.

Move an app. On the app bar, select Adjust . Continue gazing at the app window, then move your hand to position the app.


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