Computers, Laptops & Tablets Apple 87 87 people found this article helpful How to Use the Virtual Trackpad on the iPad Quickly scroll through text or move around the screen on your iPad by Daniel Nations Writer Daniel Nations has been a tech journalist since 1994. His work has appeared in Computer Currents, The Examiner, The Spruce, and other publications. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Daniel Nations Updated on December 10, 2019 The Ultimate Guide to Computer Mice The Ultimate Guide to Computer Mice Introduction Mouse Basics What Is a Mouse? Wired vs. Wireless: Which Is Better? Optical vs. Laser My Mouse Won't Work! How Do I Fix It? How to Connect a Wireless Mouse Tips for Using Your Mouse How to Change Mouse Speed or Sensitivity How to Use Your Phone as a Wi-Fi Mouse Best Way to Use a Trackball Mouse How to Clean a Wireless Mouse How to Clean a Dirty Computer Mouse Using Mice on Macs How to Use a Multi-Button Mouse with Your Mac Make Your Mac's Mouse Pointer Bigger Reducing the Magic Mouse's Battery Cost How to Fix Magic Mouse Disconnect Problems How to Fix a Magic Mouse Tracking Problem How to Use a Mouse With an iPad Configure Your Mac's Trackpad to Meet Your Needs How to Use the Virtual Trackpad on the iPad Our Recommendations: Best Mice The Best Wireless Mice The Best for Travel The Best for iPads The Best Vertical Mice The Best Ergonomic Mice The Best for Macs The Best Razer Mice Tweet Share Email Moving the iPad's on-screen cursor can be a tricky process, but the iOS 9 virtual trackpad makes managing text on the iPad much easier. This is one of the more advanced features of iOS that most people don't even know exists. These instructions apply to devices running iOS 9 or later. How Does It Work? To use the virtual trackpad, put two fingers on the screen, or do a long press on the space key. When the keys on the keyboard go blank, the trackpad is active. To move the cursor, leave your fingers on the screen and move them around just as you would on a normal trackpad. The cursor follows your movement. When the virtual trackpad is on, you can move anywhere on the display, and it will act as one giant trackpad. You can also scroll through text by moving the cursor to the far top or to the far bottom of the screen. As you move your fingers in that direction, the text scrolls with you. How to Select Text Using the Trackpad You can also select text using the trackpad. Here's how: Start with the trackpad off. Put two fingers on the iPad display. You can't use text selection if you turn on the trackpad with a long press on the space key. When the trackpad turns on, keep your fingers where they are for a couple of seconds. The cursor changes to selection mode, which adds circles to the top and bottom of the cursor. Drag your fingers on the screen to select text. You can only do this on pages and in apps in which the text can be edited. Does the Trackpad Work in Third-Party Apps? While the virtual trackpad should work in most apps that allow you to write text, not every app supports the functionality. Some third-party programs that don't use the trackpad now may include it in a future release. And, if the app doesn't support editing text — such as a web browser viewing a standard web page — the trackpad may not work. Don't Forget the Undo Button Apple has added a few app-specific buttons to the on-screen keyboard. In most apps that let you edit text, there's an undo button to the left of the auto-correct suggestions. This button is specific to certain apps, so it won't always be there. But if you make a mistake selecting, copying, or pasting text, tap Undo or shake the iPad to take it back.