Skip to Content
© Prykhodov | Dreamstime.com
Kim's column

Try this super useful iPhone trick you’re not using yet

It’s no wonder iPhones are so popular. Even though the high-end models will set you back $1,000 or more, they’re undeniably easy to use and packed with incredible features.

Did you know you can use the Notes app as a document scanner? In just a few clicks, you can upload a document and share it however you like. Tap or click to try this super easy tip.

How about this trick: If your service is sketchy, switch to Airplane Mode, wait five seconds, switch it off and try again. I’ve got four more insider wireless tips for better signal strength here.

If you’re thinking, “Whoa, why didn’t I know that sooner?” keep reading. This powerful iPhone feature is one that you can customize to your heart’s content.

Give Back Tap a try

Apple introduced a helpful new accessibility feature with iOS 14 called Back Tap. It gives you the ability to customize shortcuts by double and triple tapping on the back of your phone.

Instead of remembering a ton of button combinations and contorting your fingers, you simply tap your iPhone two or three times. This action triggers anything from opening the Control Center to looking at notifications or even launching an app.

You can’t set an action for just one tap — think about how often you’d accidentally set that off — but you can do just about anything with a double or triple tap. Here are some of the most useful:

  • Take a screenshot
  • Open the App Switcher
  • Go to your Home screen
  • Mute
  • Open the Notification Center
  • Open Siri
  • Turn the volume up or down
  • Magnify or zoom
  • Scroll up or down

PRIVACY WARNING: There’s a hidden map in your iPhone that keeps track of everywhere you go. Tap or click to find the secret map on your phone and clear it.

How to enable Back Tap and set up actions

Back Tap is an extension of Apple’s accessibility features. To enable it, you’ll need an iPhone 8 or later running iOS 14.

  • Open Settings, scroll down and tap Accessibility.
  • Under the Physical and Motor category, tap on Touch.
  • Scroll to the bottom and choose Back Tap.
  • From here, tap on Double Tap to set up double-tap and Triple Tap to set up triple-tap.
  • Select whichever function you’d like for your desired tap. Once you tap on a function, you’ll see a blue checkmark verifying that it’s enabled.
  • If you decide you don’t like the Back Tap feature you choose, tap None at the top of the screen on the Back Tap settings page. This will clear your selection so you can choose again and keep it blank.

That’s it! Play around with the options and see what works for you. It may seem awkward at first, but over time you’ll come to rely on those shortcuts.

MORE IPHONE SMARTS: 10 new iPhone tricks you’ll use all the time.

NEED A HAND WITH A SLOW PC, SMARTPHONE ISSUES OR A SOFTWARE PROBLEM YOU CAN’T CRACK? Post your tech questions for concrete answers from me and other tech pros. Visit my Q&A Forum and get tech help now.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television, or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

Komando.com App background

Check out the free Komando.com App!

Get the latest tech updates and breaking news on the go, straight to your phone, with the Komando.com App, available in the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

Download Now