February 20, 2024

How To Swipe in Bumble and What it Does

Are you a new bee to the Bumble scene? If so, you need to know about swiping. This simple gesture may make or break your budding social life, so take careful note. Swiping is how you indicate interest in someone.

Whether you’re using Bumble for dating, friends, or networking, how you swipe makes a difference. Go one way and that option is gone, potentially forever. However, if you accidentally go the opposite way? There are no take-backs, so you may have to live with that slip of the finger.

Sure, other apps use similar swiping gestures, but this article is for you to get in-the-know about Bumble. Check out how to browse through your candidates, and how they are doing the same to you.

What Is Swiping?

In the context of Bumble, swiping is used to discover matches. You can set age and location parameters, but Bumble does the rest. So, you look through, or swipe on, people’s profile pics looking for someone interesting.

Step 1: Swipe to the Left

So you’ve signed up and you’re ready to start looking for people in your area. It’s time to go through profiles. Your match could be at the tip of your finger, but be careful.

When you swipe left on a profile, you are indicating you are not interested. The app simply moves onto the next photo in the beeline.

What happens if you swiped left by accident? You receive 3 free Backtracks at a time. Activate Backtrack by shaking your phone and you will go back to that person’s profile. In addition, your Backtracks reset after 3 hours, so if you run out you can just wait.

Want more Backtracks? Share your enthusiasm about Bumble on other social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Step 2: Swipe to the Right

See someone you like? Swiping to the right gets you a “match”. That means that they receive a notification that they may have a potential match. They have to swipe right on you too for it to be a real match, so don’t get your hopes up until you receive the notification that interest is mutual.

What happens if you accidentally swiped right when you meant to go left? Potentially nothing. You can’t take back the swipe if the notification has already been sent to the other person. But they may not swipe right on you, so you may not have a match there anyway.

Step 3: Profile Info

Swiping up on the profile window gives you a little more information about the person. You’ll see their first name and age, as well as location. If they are linked to Instagram, you may see their recent posts here, too. Swipe back down to minimize this window.

Be careful, though, because the block and report button is also located here.

Step 4: Checking out Multiple Photos

On Bumble, you can post up to 6 photos total on your profile. This means that some people have more than one picture. Want to take a look at them? Swipe up or down on the picture to move to the next one.

You can tell if a person has multiple photos by checking out the dots on the upper right-side of the screen. They indicate how many photos are posted.

Step 5: Changing Your Search Parameters

Changing your search parameters is easy on Bumble. Simply go to your “settings” from the dropdown menu. From there, you can change the age range and distance from your location. Don’t expect to be able to specify any more than that, though. Bumble doesn’t want to completely demystify the experience of meeting new people.

What Happens After Right-Swiping on Someone?

Right swiping is just the first step in the match-making process. The other person would also need to right-swipe on you. How do they know that you’re interested? They would receive a notification. If they are interested too, a match is made.

The next steps, however, differ depending on your gender. You see, men cannot initiate conversations with women on Bumble. But women can make the first move regardless of which part of the app they’re using.

So, when Bumble is used as a dating app, if there is a male-female match, the woman has 24 hours to initiate conversation. If she doesn’t, the connection expires. The man in this situation can extend the match for another 24-hour period.

If the match is same sex, though, this rule doesn’t apply. So same sex matches in the dating portion, or when using BFF, do not have to wait for the other person to make the first move.

Will You Run Out of People to Swipe On?

That depends on your search parameters. Setting a wide range on age or location, or both, may yield more potential matches. So, if you notice that you don’t have that many people to swipe on, try broadening your parameters.

Also, so that you don’t run out of swipe-able candidates, Bumble will show you people closest to your location first and slowly widen the search location. The theory behind this is that you never know when or where you will make your next match.

Finally, you may also see expired matches pop-up again. A second chance for a missed connection? Absolutely. So, if your time expired for a previous match, you can always try to match up again by swiping right on their profile.


Did you know that the key to your social life may be at the tip of your finger? For Bumble users it is, so getting the hang of your directional swipe is crucial to making the right match.

Take care when you are casually swiping through photos. Backtrack may help you a few times if you inadvertently swiped left, but there’s nothing to help you if you accidentally swiped right.

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