Android tab layout

I was wondering whether it is a habit of scrolling to the top of the list when a tab was tapped.

I looked into the Android design guidelines and I couldn't find any information about this. However some apps like 9GAG and Facebook as well as Google's own Google Play Stand do this. It seems very handy in applications that have big lists where you don't want users to endlessly scroll their finger just to get to the top.

  • 1
    i would just comment that when developing for android, I have "manually" programmed this in, usually. But I think sometimes, you don't want this to happen: you want to be able to swap between lists, but remain at the same spot.
    – Fattie
    Sep 15, 2015 at 14:14
  • 3
    I just want to comment so I can write out "tab tap to top"!
    – DA01
    Sep 15, 2015 at 14:54
  • haha I know right :)
    – timr
    Sep 15, 2015 at 15:41
  • It is more of a design factor which will help provide better user experience. Instead of adding another element which says go to the top, clicking on tab to get to the top will be a good approach since there is no need for an element over the list to show that icon. An simple solution to a problem is something that users get tuned to very easily. Jan 13, 2016 at 19:07
  • "tab tap to top", wow, that's a tongue-twister.
    – TScott
    Feb 12, 2016 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


Like pull to refresh, the back-to-top behaviour isn't discoverable because it is hidden. It's quite handy when it's available though. The following mobile apps have a tab bar which support the back-to-top behaviour:

  • Instagram
  • WhatsApp
  • Twitter
  • Deezer
  • Medium
  • Messenger
  • YouTube
  • Google Play Newsstand

All of these apps use a scroll action to return the user to the top of the tab, save for Newsstand which jumps to the top in a manner similar to a page refresh.

There are also a few popular apps which don't implement back-to-top behaviour:

  • Contacts (System app)
  • Duolingo
  • Marvel Unlimited
  • Google Play

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