How to Take iPhone Screenshots with Back Taps


How to Take iPhone Screenshots with Back Taps



Screenshots - the images we often take on the iPhone screen to record information - used to be a simple and intuitive process. In the days when the iPhones (iPhone SE 1 and earlier) had both a home button and a sleep-wake/power button at the top, all you had to do was press both of these easy-to-find physical buttons at the same time, and you could then save the on-screen photo to the Photos app.


With the advent of the side sleep-wake button (iPhone 6/SE 2 and newer), things quickly became awkward. With the sleep-wake and volume button combinations, you now have to think about how you're holding the phone, which side is on, and which hand is using it. Then you have to figure out which of the two volume keys is the correct one, otherwise you could accidentally lock the phone or press the wrong volume key instead of recording your picture. Even if you identify all the buttons correctly, pressing them at the same time still feels like a distorted behavior. The effort fails as often as it succeeds - at least on the first try.


Today I learned that I can make this time-consuming trick go away with a simple iPhone assist feature originally introduced in iOS 14 called Back Tap. This accelerometer-based feature senses taps on the back of the phone and is available on iPhone 8 or later.



First, launch the Settings App and select Accessibility. In the Accessibility menu under Physics and Motion, select Touch. Then scroll all the way down to the bottom of the next pane until you see the Back Tap command. If it is off (and it probably is), click on it and you will see a choice of assigning a screenshot action to a double or triple click. (Double-clicking is no problem for me.) The command takes effect immediately after the action is checked.


Now, to take a screenshot, all I have to do is double click on the back of the iPhone. That's it!

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