The 15 Best iPhone Hacks & Tips for 2023

Make your iPhone work for you

The iPhone packs many great features, but you can make it even more potent by unlocking the iPhone hacks and tricks hiding in your smartphone. There are hundreds of these secret features, but here are our picks for the best iPhone hacks.

These hacks work on all iPhone models unless otherwise indicated.

of 15

Charge Your Battery Faster in Airplane Mode

Battery life

Want to charge your iPhone's battery as quickly as possible? Put it in Airplane Mode first. Airplane Mode turns off many features of the phone, including cellular and Wi-Fi networking, so there's less for the battery to do and it charges faster. Just remember to turn Airplane Mode off when you're done charging.

To use Airplane Mode: Open Control Center (swipe down from the top right on iPhone X and up or up from the bottom on other models) and tap the airplane icon.

of 15

Closing Apps Doesn't Save Battery Life

how to quit apps on iPhone

You may have heard that quitting apps helps your iPhone battery last longer. No matter how many people say it, it's simply not true. In fact, quitting apps can actually make your battery need a recharge sooner. So, don't quit apps you're not using, just leave them in the background.

of 15

Find the Strongest Nearby Cellular Signal

Screenshot of the iPhone signal strength detector hack

Talk about a hidden feature! Forget waving your phone in the air and walking around to find the strongest cellular signal. Just use this trick and you'll get a clear indication of signal strength:

  1. Open the Phone app.
  2. Dial *3001#12345#*.
  3. Tap the call button.
  4. In iOS 6 through 10, this loads the Field Test screen and you can skip to step 7. On iOS 11 and up, it loads the Dashboard.
  5. Tap LTE.
  6. Tap Serving Cell Meas and look for the lines rsrp0 (your current cell tower) and rsrp1 (the closest backup tower).
  7. Tap the signal strength indicator in the top left corner. 
  8. The lower the number, the better the signal. So -90 is a great signal, -110 is OK, and -125 is no signal at all. Walk around to see how the signal strength changes and use your phone where you have a low number.

This hack works on iPhones running iOS 6 through iOS 10. On phones running iOS 11, your phone needs to have an Intel modem in it. Models that do are the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone X: (A1901), iPhone 8: (A1905), iPhone 8 Plus: (A1897), iPhone 7: (A1778), and iPhone 7 Plus: (A1784).

of 15
The back of an iPhone showing the camera and camera flash

nixki/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus

Want to get notifications of new texts, incoming calls, or other useful information without looking at your iPhone screen or listening for sounds? With this hack, you can make the camera flash on the back of the iPhone blink when you have a new notification. Just follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap General (skip this step on iOS 13 and up).
  3. Tap Accessibility.
  4. Tap Audio/Visual.
  5. Tap LED Flash for Alerts.
  6. Move the slider to on/green. Also, move the Flash on Silent slider to on/green.

This hack works on all iPhone models with a camera flash.

of 15

Take Photos With the Volume Button

Taking pictures of fireworks using an iPhone

franckreporter/E+/Getty Images


Did you know that tapping the on-screen camera button isn't the only way to take photos? There's actually a much easier way to take photos quickly, without looking at or tapping the screen. Once the Camera app is open, click the volume up button and your phone snaps a photo. This even works with headphones that have inline remotes.

Some models can take photos with the volume down button, too.

of 15

Let Siri Help You Take Photos

Activating Siri on the iPhone

SKrow/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images


Did you know Siri can make taking photos faster? While it can't actually capture the photo, Siri can open the Camera app to the setting that you ask for, so you just need to tap the camera button (or click the volume button). Here's what to do:

Activate Siri (hold down the Home or Side button, depending on your model) and ask Siri to take a photo or video. Your options are:

  • "Hey Siri, take a photo" (you can also say "picture")
  • "Hey Siri, take a square photo"
  • "Hey Siri, take a panoramic photo"
  • "Hey Siri, take a video"
  • "Hey Siri, take a slow-motion video"
  • "Hey Siri, take a tap-lapse video"
  • "Hey Siri, take a selfie."

When you have the image you want, tap the camera or volume button.

The selfie feature requires iOS 10 and up.

of 15

Type Your Commands to Siri Instead of Speaking Them

Screenshot of using the Type to Siri feature

Siri is great, but you can't speak to Siri and get answers out loud in every situation (and, for some people with disabilities, speaking may not be an option). In those cases, you can use Siri if you have Type to Siri turned on. This trick lets you access Siri and give it commands by typing. Here's what to do:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap General (skip this step on iOS 13 and up).
  3. Tap Accessibility.
  4. Tap Siri.
  5. Move the Type to Siri slider to on/green.
  6. Now, activate Siri, and a keyboard appears to let you type your command. You can also speak using the microphone icon.

This hack works on all iPhone models running iOS 11 and up.

of 15
iphone dark mode

Dark modes are a popular feature for people who often use their devices in the dark. When you enable dark mode on your iPhone, the interface switches to dark colors that are easier on the eyes in low-light situations (they're also helpful for people with color blindness). While the iPhone doesn't offer a true dark mode, this trick gets you petty close:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.
  4. Tap Display Accommodations.
  5. Tap Invert Colors. 
  6. Pick either Smart Invert (which switches some on-screen colors to Dark Mode) or Classic Invert (which switches all colors).

You can toggle the dark mode on and off easily.

This hack works on all iPhone models running iOS 11 and up.

of 15

Add a Virtual Home Button to Your Screen

Screenshot of configuring the AssistiveTouch setting on iPhone

If you have an iPhone X or newer, you might miss the old hardware Home button. Even if you have another model, you might want the options and functionality of adding a virtual Home button to your screen. This is a great hack because it provides fast access to features that otherwise require gestures or multiple taps. To enable this virtual Home button:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap General (skip this step on iOS 13 and up).
  3. Tap Accessibility.
  4. Tap Touch (only do this on iOS 13 and up).
  5. Tap AssistiveTouch.
  6. Move the slider to on/green.
of 15

Hidden Shortcuts For Your Favorite Apps

Screenshot of a 3D Touch shortcut from the Mail app

If you have an iPhone with a 3D Touch screen or an iPhone 11 and up, there are shortcuts to common features of some of your favorite apps hidden in the app icons. To access them, hard-press an app icon. If the app supports this feature, a menu pops out from the icon with a set of shortcuts. Tap the one you want and you'll jump into the app and into that action.

This hack works on the iPhone 6S series, 7 series, 8 series, X, XS, XR, and 11 series.

of 15

Make Far-Away Icons Easier to Reach

Reachability on iPhone X

As iPhone screens get bigger, reaching icons in the far corner opposite your hand gets harder. Not if you know this trick. The iOS includes a feature called Reachability that pulls the top icons down toward the bottom of the screen to make them easier to tap. Here's how:

  1. On iPhones with a Home button, gently double-tap (but don't click) the Home button.
  2. On the iPhone X and up, swipe down from the indicator line at the bottom of the screen.
  3. The contents of the screen move down.
  4. Tap the item that you want and the screen goes back to normal. If you've changed your mind, tap anywhere else on the screen to cancel.

This hack works on the iPhone 6 series, 6S series, 7 series, 8 series, as well as the iPhone X, XS series, XR, and 11 series.

of 15

Replace Your Keyboard With a Trackpad

Screenshot of using the iPhone keyboard like a trackpad

It's such a pain to move the little magnifying glass cursor around the screen when you're trying to select a specific piece of text. We have a trick for you that makes placing the cursor in text much simpler. It works by turning your keyboard into a trackpad, like a mouse on a laptop. Here's what to do:

  1. Open an app where you can edit the text using the default iPhone keyboard (some third-party keyboards support this feature, too).
  2. Tap and hold any key on the keyboard.
  3. The letters on the keys disappear. Drag your finger around the keyboard like controlling a mouse on a trackpad.
  4. Watch the cursor on the screen and let go when the cursor is where you want it to be.

This hack works on iPhone models with a 3D Touch screen running iOS 9 and up, and on all other models running iOS 12. On iOS 13, you can just drag the cursor anywhere on the screen; no need to hard press the keyboard.

of 15

Shake to Undo Typing

Screenshot of the Shake to Undo feature

If you're typing a note, a text message, or some other text and decide you want to erase what you've just written, you don't need to use the delete button on the keyboard. If you have this hack enabled, all you need to do is shake your iPhone to delete your writing. Here's what to do:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Tap Touch (on iOS 13 and up only).
  4. In the Interaction section, tap Shake to Undo.
  5. Move the slider to on/green.

Then, whenever you've just typed something you want to get rid of, shake your phone and tap Undo in the pop-up window.

of 15

Equalize Music Volume With One Touch

Screenshot of the Sound Check setting on iPhone

Ever notice that the music on your phone is recorded at different volumes? Old songs are usually quieter, newer songs louder. This can mean that you have to change the volume all the time. Well, we have a trick that makes all of your music play at the same level. It's called Sound Check and it's built into iOS. It checks the volume on all of your music, finds an average, and then applies that to all of your music by default. Here's how to enable it:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap Music.
  3. Scroll down to Playback.
  4. Move the Sound Check slider to on/green.
of 15

Measure Spaces Using Augmented Reality

Screenshot of using the Augmented Reality Measure app to measure a bench

You might know that your iPhone has a built-in Level you can use to straighten pictures or shelves, but did you know that it also has an app called Measure that allows you to measure distances on your iPhone using augmented reality? Here's what you need to do:

  1. Tap the Measure app to open it.
  2. Position your iPhone camera so that it's facing a flat surface.
  3. Tap the + icon to start measuring.
  4. Move the iPhone so that the on-screen measure also moves.
  5. When you've measured the space, tap the + again to show the measured distance.

This hack works on the iPhone SE and 6S series and higher, running iOS 12 and up.

Was this page helpful?