How to Enable and Use Back Tap on iPhone

How to Enable and Use Back Tap on iPhone

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Back Tap is an accessibility related feature, and Apple has designed it intuitively for everyone to enjoy. Once activated, Back Tap allows you to link various iPhone features like Siri, Control Center, and even shortcuts, which you can trigger by pressing the back of the device.

Back Tap relies on the built-in accelerometer so you can set it up on any iPhone capable of running iOS 14.

Note: Back Tap support is available on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Max. Now if you have an iPhone older than these models then you are out of luck because the sensors on these phones are old and not compatible.

To make things better, Back Tap also works if you have a case on your iPhone. So nothing prevents you from using Back Tap.

Below, we’ll see how you should enable Back Tap, along with the main iPhone actions and features you want to pair.

How to activate and use Back Tap

Back Tap comes with two separate locations called Double Tap and Triple Tap. This allows you to have up to two system features, accessibility options, or related shortcuts at any time. You can then activate them by tapping the back of the device two or three times. However, you still have the option of limiting your connections to Double Tap or Triple Tap.

Dive into the iPhone’s accessibility settings panel, and you can easily enable and configure Back Tap. The following steps should show you how to do this.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

2nd step: Scroll down and tap Accessibility.

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Step 3: Tap the option labeled Touch under Physics and Engine.

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Step 4: Scroll down and select Return Tap.

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Step 5: Select Double Tap or Triple Tap.

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Step 6: Scroll down and select the system function, accessibility option, or shortcut you want to link. For example, let’s say you want to link the Control Center – tap to select it.

Next, tap the Back Tap option at the top left of the screen to go back and select the other Back Tap location. Suppose you want to associate Spotlight with it – tap to select it.

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Step 7: Exit the Back Tap screen when you have finished configuring the feature. You can still change the bindings by following the above steps at any time.

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You are now ready to start using Back Tap. Using your index finger, double-tap the back of iPhone to trigger Double Tap binding or triple-tap to activate Triple Tap binding.

You can also activate and deactivate certain links with the same Back Tap action. For example, you can both enter and exit Spotlight (the iPhone’s search feature) using Back Tap if you want.

Also on Guiding Tech

Best features to use with Back Tap

There are a lot of things you can relate to the iPhone’s Back Tap feature. If you are feeling overwhelmed, here are a handful you might want to consider.

Spotlight (Search)

Normally, you can only activate Spotlight (the iPhone’s search feature) by swiping the Home screen down. Instead, setting Spotlight as a Back Tap action lets you view it at any time, even if you’re not on the Home screen.

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Smart reversal

While iOS 14 supports dark mode, not all apps or websites support the feature. Smart Invert is an older feature that helps you invert screen colors to mimic dark mode. Unlike dark mode, it works everywhere. Linking it to Back Tap makes it ridiculously easy to turn it on and off whenever you want.


Do you regularly take screenshots? Playing with the Side and Volume Up / Home buttons can get boring. Setting it up as a Back Tap gesture should make it easier to take screenshots whenever you want.

Control center

If you are using an iPhone with Face ID, you may find the control center difficult to reach when using the device with one hand. Linking it to Back Tap lets you open it quickly.

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If you want to undo an action, you have to shake your iPhone. However, sometimes this may not be recorded. And you end up looking silly in public. Instead, bind Shake as a Back Tap gesture and you’ll look a little cooler doing it.


If the Shortcuts app is installed, you can download hundreds of shortcuts or create your own custom shortcuts. Since Back Tap supports shortcuts, don’t forget to link the shortcut that you find most useful as a Back Tap gesture.

Just add or create a shortcut in the Shortcuts app, and it should automatically appear in the Double Tap and Triple Tap selection screens.

Press Press

Back Tap is a great iPhone feature that makes things a lot easier. And the fact that Back Tap supports shortcuts means you won’t run out of things to tie in anytime soon. So what are you waiting for? Start typing!


Did you know that you can change your iPhone’s default browser under iOS 14? Read the article on the following link which shows how to do this.

Last updated on Oct 29, 2020

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