Skip to Content
How to use Apple's trackpad feature on iPhone and iPad
© Andrey Popov | Dreamstime.com
Smartphones & gadgets

There’s a hidden trackpad on your iPhone – Here’s how to use it

Your smartphone comes with enough cool features to keep you entertained for hours at a time. But there are probably hidden features built into your device that you don’t even know about. Tap or click for 10 new iPhone tricks you’ll use all the time.

The iPhone is filled with shortcuts and little workarounds that you’d use all the time if you knew about them. If you send lots of emails or text messages, you may be interested in a feature that makes it easier.

You know that handy trackpad on your laptop you use to navigate and make things simple? You can turn your iPhone keyboard into one as well! Here’s how to use the hidden trackpad on your iPhone.

A trackpad on your phone?

So, why would you want to use a trackpad? It’s perfect for those with thick fingers, questionable eyesight, or who get annoyed trying to move the cursor on a tiny screen to edit and change the text.

RELATED: Apple tip: How to record your phone screen

The trackpad feature is incredibly convenient on both iPad and iPhone for editing word documents or sending out emails and long texts. Make a typo? Use the trackpad feature to make changes.

Have to edit extensive blocks of text? The trackpad feature will allow you to do so in less time with less frustration. It does take a second to get the hang of it, but you’ll use it all the time once you do.

How to use the trackpad feature on your iPhone

So how do you turn your keyboard into a trackpad efficiently enough to use it? For both iPhone and iPad, you’ll want to be writing in a block of text and then use the following steps to unlock the trackpad feature:

  • Pull up the keyboard if you don’t already have it open. You’ll need to be in an active word document, email, or text message for this to work.
  • Once you have a block of text written, hold your finger on the spacebar until the keyboard goes blank. You’ll feel haptic feedback that lets you know it’s working. The cursor will enlarge for just a second, showing you the trackpad has been activated.
  • Now that the trackpad is activated, with your finger still pressed down, you can move it around the entire keyboard to move your cursor inside the block of text, like you would on your MacBook.
  • Want to return to the standard keyboard? Lift your finger off the screen. Now you can use all the other buttons as expected. To return to the trackpad, press your finger down again on the spacebar and resume like you would on your MacBook.

Is it worth using?

You can move the cursor by tapping on your phone, so it makes it seem like the trackpad is a bit unnecessary. So the question becomes, is this feature even useful?

The trackpad is handy in two situations, the first being if you do a large amount of typing on your phone. This is handy for business professionals, especially making editing documents and other admin-type tasks easier to handle.

The second is if you struggle with hand-eye coordination or your fingers are a little too big for your phone’s tiny screen. The trackpad will make it much simpler to move your cursor where you want it to be.

You may also like: Have an iPhone, iPad or Mac? Here’s how to set up Apple’s built-in storage

Stop robocalls once and for all

Robocalls are not only annoying, but they scam Americans out of millions every year. Learn Kim's tricks for stopping them for good in this handy guide.

Get the eBook