How to Unlock “Back Tap” Actions on Your iPhone

Back Back Three Iphones Frontside Down

In many ways, iOS 14 has changed the way we interact with our iPhones. However, behind that new and modern interface powered by widgets, there are some fascinating “hidden” features as well. Speaking of those, Apple has introduced something called “Back Tap” – transforming the back side of your iPhone into an additional button. Let’s take a look at how to unlock “Back Tap” actions on your iPhone. 

What Is Back Tap?

This new iOS feature is part of a new set of accessibility features introduced in iOS 14. It’s designed to register double or triple taps on the back side of your iPhone. That input is then transformed into action, which you can set and customize to your liking. For example, you can double-tap on the back side of your iPhone to take a photo.

How to Enable “Back Tap” Actions on an iPhone

As you can imagine, your iPhone needs to run iOS 14 for this feature to work. Once you’ve made sure your smartphone is up to date, go through the following steps to activate “Back Tap” actions on your iPhone. 

1. From your phone’s home screen, navigate to and open the Settings app.

2. S scroll down a bit in the Settings app. Locate and tap on “Accessibility.” 

Back Tap Iphone Home Screen Settings App

3. Scroll down again until you see a group of features called “Physical and Motor.” Tap on “Touch.”

Back Tap Iphone Accessibility Options

4. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and choose “Back Tap.”

5. This is where you’ll see two options: “Double Tap” and “Triple Tap.” Click on any of those and go through a list of possible actions. Once you select the desired action, return to the previous screen to set up another “Back Tap” action or close the Settings app. 

Back Tap Iphone Available Actions

That’s it! You’re now free to try the new functionality of your iPhone. Remember to tap firmly on the back side of your iPhone for those taps to be registered properly.

If you decide to disable this option, repeat the steps above. However, during the final step (while choosing a “Back Tap” action), select “None,” which will deactivate the “Back Tap” functionality. It’s as easy as that!

Which iPhones Support “Back Tap” Actions?

Unfortunately, “Back Tap” actions aren’t available on all iPhone models. More precisely, iPhones need to be running iOS 14 and be one of the models shown on the following list:

  • iPhone 8 / 8 Plus
  • iPhone X / XS / XS Max / XR
  • iPhone 11 / 11 Pro / 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 / 12 Mini / 12 Pro / 12 Pro Max

Expand “Back Tap” Actions Using the Shortcuts App

Once you get to the list of available “Back Tap” actions on your iPhone, you’ll see your shortcuts at the very bottom of that list. These actions come from the Shortcuts app on your phone, which significantly expands the functionality of “Back Tap” actions.

Back Tap Iphone Shorcuts App Integration

In other words, feel free to explore the Shortcuts app. There are many great shortcuts already supplied by Apple in the Gallery tab of this app. Once you add any shortcut to Shortcuts, these will automatically appear in the list of possible “Back Tap” actions. That way, you can become a truly advanced iPhone user. 

As you’ve just learned, unlocking the “Back Tap” actions on your iPhone is a simple process. To keep learning more about iOS 14, you can check out how to change default appshow to use App Library, and how to use Apple’s new Translate app.

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Isaac Norman Isaac Norman

Isaac is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience covering the latest technological innovations. Mainly focused on Apple-related software and hardware systems, his aspiration is to explore all the ways today's digital world intertwines with our everyday life.

One comment

  1. You missed out iPhone SE 2020 in the list of phones that support Back Tap feature. Also using the shortcuts application is simply brilliant. Thank you for the article!

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