Computers, Laptops & Tablets Apple 246 246 people found this article helpful What Is the iPad Home Button, and What Can It Do? Every function of the iPad's main button 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 December 10, 2019 David Prahl / Getty Images Apple iPad Macs Tweet Share Email The iPad's Home button is the small, circular button at the bottom of the iPad. It's also the only button on the face of the tablet. Apple's design philosophy revolves around the idea that less is better, which makes it one of the few ways to control the iPad outside of the onscreen controls. The most important use of the Home button is to take you to the Home screen, which houses all of your app icons. If you're inside of a particular app, you can hit the Home button to exit the app, revealing the Home screen. But there are many other very important features of the iPad that you activate using the Home button. This article applies to iPad models up to the 3rd-generation iPad Pro, which does not have a Home button. The Home Button Is Your Gateway to Siri Siri is Apple's voice-activated personal assistant. It can perform a variety of tasks, including finding nearby restaurants, setting alarms, and opening apps. Activate Siri by pressing the Home button for several seconds until you hear two beeps. A display of multicolored lines will flash on the bottom of the screen indicating that Siri is ready to listen to your command. Quickly Switch Between Apps or Close Apps The iPad has ways to open apps that are much quicker than hunting through page after page of icons searching for the right one. The quickest way to get back to an app you recently used is to launch the multitasking screen by double-clicking the Home button. This screen shows you windows of all of your most recently opened apps. You can slide your finger back and forth to move between the apps and tap an app to open it. If it's one of the most recently used apps, it may still be in memory and will pick up where you left off. You can also close apps from this screen by using your finger to swipe them up toward the top of the screen. As with any screen on the iPad, you can get back to the Home screen by clicking the Home button again. Take a Screenshot of Your iPad You can take a screenshot of your iPad by pressing down on the Sleep/Wake button and the Home Button at the exact same time. The screen will flash and a camera sound will play when your iPad takes the picture. Activate Touch ID If you have a recent iPad (that is: iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 4, or later), your Home Button also has a fingerprint sensor on it. Once you have Touch ID set up on your iPad, you can use a finger to do many things such as opening the iPad from the lock screen without typing in your passcode and verifying that you want to make a purchase in the app store. Apple Inc. Create Your Own Shortcut Using the Home Button One trick you can do with the iPad is creating an accessibility shortcut using the Home button. You can use this triple-click shortcut to zoom in the screen, invert the colors, or have the iPad read you the text on the screen. Here's how to set it up. Launch the Settings app. Tap General in the left-side menu. Select Accessibility. Tap Accessibility Shortcut. Tap the options you want the shortcut to activate. Checkmarks mean they're on. After you have chosen the shortcuts you want, activate it by rapidly clicking the Home Button three times in a row.