It’s easier than ever to turn your iPhone’s flashlight (or flashlight) on and off. From your lock screen, home screen, or from an app, most iPhone models let you turn the flashlight on or off from Control Center, Notification Center, or Siri. But there’s an even faster and easier way to activate the flashlight button, and you don’t even have to look at your iPhone to use it.
While all iPhone models with Face ID have an easy-to-access flashlight button at the bottom left of the lock screen, you have to press hard enough for the light to shine, and right-handed people with small hands may not be able to reach easily with one hand. On models with the Home button and Touch ID, that shortcut doesn̵
By creating a simple shortcut and using the Back Tap accessibility feature on your iPhone, you can turn your flashlight on and off by simply tapping the back of your iPhone. And since you tap the back of your iPhone to activate the flashlight, you don’t even have to look at the screen for it to work.
- Shortcuts: Although the Shortcuts app is on your iPhone by default, you may have removed it. You can reinstall it for free from the App Store.
- iPhone 8 or later: You must have a Back Tap compatible iPhone, i.e. the iPhone 8/8 Plus and everything created after that.
- iOS 14: Back Tap is a feature only available in iOS 14 and later.
Step 1: Create a shortcut to turn the flashlight on or off
To get started, you need to create a shortcut that will turn your flashlight on and off. The process is simple and takes less than a minute.
First, launch the Shortcuts app and tap the “My Shortcuts” tab. Then tap the plus sign (+) in the top right corner to start your new shortcut. In the new shortcut, tap “Add action” or the search bar at the bottom.
A menu will appear where you can search for actions to add. Instead of scrolling through, type “flashlight” in the search bar and select the “Set Flashlight” action when it appears; it must have a white-blue flashlight icon. You need to adjust the action, so tap the blue “Turn” option and choose “Toggle” from the menu that appears.
The action should now say “Turn on flashlight.” Click “Next” in the top right corner and give the shortcut a name. Any name is fine, but for the sake of simplicity you can call it “Toggle Flashlight”. Hit “Done” and your new shortcut should appear in your library.
Step 2: Add the shortcut to Tap Back
Now that your shortcut is complete, it’s time to add it to a Back Tap gesture. Open the Settings app and go to Accessibility -> Touch -> Back Tap.
Choose “Double Tap” or “Triple Tap” depending on how you want to turn the flashlight on and off. Both options are fine; it’s just about preference and whether an option is already being used to perform another shortcut or action. Choose an option, scroll through the list and tap the flashlight shortcut you just created. You have now completed this step.
Step 3: Turn your flashlight on and off
All you need to do is run the shortcut and turn your flashlight on and off. Simply tap the back of your iPhone two or three times, depending on the option chosen. Your flashlight should turn on or off and you should see a notification at the top of your screen to indicate that the shortcut is complete. If you don’t want the notification to appear, check out our guide to how to disable shortcut notifications.
If you don’t want to tap, you can turn off the flashlight in another way. When you are on the lock screen, you can simply swipe left on the screen with one hand to partially open Camera. Even if you swipe just a little bit with the viewfinder barely visible, the flashlight on your iPhone should go out.
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