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How to set up Back Tap shortcuts on your iPhone, so you can open apps just by tapping the back of your phone

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How to set up new Back Tap shortcuts on your iPhone – Business Insider

woman iphone phone


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  • To set up a Back Tap shortcut on your iPhone, you just need to head to the Accessibility section of your Settings app.
  • Back Tap shortcuts let you quickly tap the back of your phone to perform certain actions, which can be customized in many ways.
  • You can use Back Tap shortcuts on most new iPhone models, including all iPhone 8, iPhone X, and iPhone 11 models.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

iOS 14 has given iPhone users a new way to interact with their phones: Back Tap shortcuts.

Back Tap is a feature that lets users tap the back of their iPhone to launch Siri, take screenshots, lock the phone, and more. This might sound like it’s prone to error, but it’s actually quite consistent.

There are more than two dozen shortcuts you can assign to the Back Tap. You can even connect a shortcut you’ve set up using the separate Shortcuts app.

That said, you can only have two Back Tap shortcuts at once — one for double-tapping, and one for triple-tapping. But they’re easy to set up and change at any time.

Note that Back Taps aren’t available on all iPhones. To use them, you’ll need to have one of these iPhone models

  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max

How to set up Back Tap shortcuts on your iPhone

1. Start the Settings app and tap “Accessibility.”

How to set up back tap shortcuts on the iPhone 1
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2. In the Physical and Motor section, tap “Touch.”

3. Scroll to the bottom and tap “Back Tap.”

How to set up back tap shortcuts on the iPhone 2
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Dave Johnson/Business Insider

4. Tap either “Double Tap” or “Triple Tap,” depending upon which gesture you want to configure.

5. Choose the feature, command, or shortcut you want to assign to the gesture. If you’ve set something up in advance using the Shortcuts app, it’ll be listed at the very bottom of the page under “Shortcuts.”

How to set up back tap shortcuts on the iPhone 3
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6. Tap “Back Tap” at the top-left to save your shortcut. You can now assign a command to the other gesture, or stop here.

If you find that your Back Tap commands aren’t working, even after you set them up, check your phone case. Some phone cases — especially if they’re thick — will block your iPhone from picking up your taps.

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