How to Launch Actions by Tapping on the Back of Your iPhone

Person initiating actions by pressing back of iPhoneHalf point / Shutterstock

Every year, Apple adds exciting new accessibility features. As long as you run iOS 14 or more, you have the option of controlling the device and launching actions or shortcuts by double or triple tapping on the back of your iPhone. Here is how it works.

Back Tap is a powerful accessibility function which can be useful for all iPhone users. If you’re using iPhone X and newer, simply tap the middle part of the back of your iPhone two or three times to initiate a preconfigured action.

You can use Back Tap to quickly open action center, control center, Siri, and more. You can even launch shortcuts with this feature. And thanks to the background shortcuts also introduced in iOS 14, they’ll be launched instantly, without jumping into the Shortcuts app.

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One of the most popular use cases we’ve seen so far is to bring up the Google Assistant (via a custom shortcut) by double-tapping the gesture.

You can configure Back Tap up by first opening the “Settings” application. From there, go to the “Accessibility” section.

Select Accessibility in settings

Here, tap on the “Touch” option.

Select Touch in Accessibility

Scroll to the bottom of the page and choose the “Back Tap” option.

Press Return Press

You will now see two different options to customize the “Double Tap” or “Triple Tap” function.

Select the Double Tap or Triple Tap options

Choose one to see a list of all available actions. At the top, you will find system actions like action center, screenshot, Siri, and more. Scroll down to find accessibility options like AssistiveTouch, Smart Invert, etc.

Choose a Double Tap action

At the bottom of this screen, you will find a section dedicated to the Shortcuts application. Here, choose a shortcut to associate it with one of the Back Tap gestures.

Choose a shortcut as the back touch gesture

Once you return to the previous screen, the Back Tap gesture will be activated. You can now double or triple tap the back of your iPhone at any time to initiate the selected action.

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