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This hidden iPhone lock button trick might be a game-changer for you

Published Apr 21st, 2023 12:26PM EDT
iPhone 14 Display
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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The iPhone 15 series might get capacitive buttons instead of physical ones, which could open the door to even more button customization. But we don’t have to wait for the iPhone 15 to take advantage of an iPhone lock button trick that’s already hiding in iOS settings. All you have to do is enable this feature to get even more utility from an iPhone button that has plenty of uses already.

Before I show you the new iPhone lock button trick, let’s quickly recap what the button can do out of the box:

  1. Click it once while the iPhone is off to turn it on
  2. Click it once while the iPhone is on to turn the screen off or on
  3. Click and hold the Standby/Lock and Volume Up buttons to bring up the SOS screen or turn off the iPhone
  4. Click it at the same time as the Volume Up button to take a screenshot
  5. Click it twice with the screen on or off to bring up Apple Pay cards
  6. Click it twice inside apps to pay with Apple Pay
  7. Click and hold to open Siri

This is where I tell you that the iPhone’s lock button also supports a triple-click gesture that’s hidden in the Settings app.

The various actions you can associate with the iPhone triple-click lock button gesture.
The various actions you can associate with the iPhone triple-click lock button gesture. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

People love this iPhone lock button trick

This particular feature isn’t as widely known because it’s an Accessibility tool. But the shortcut might come in handy for certain iPhone actions that you find yourself using often.

Here’s how to enable the triple-click gesture:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap on Accessibility
  3. Scroll down to Accessibility Shortcut
  4. Select all the features you want to associate with the lock button

That’s all you have to do to enable the feature. As you can see in these screenshots, the triple-click gesture is already associated with this list of iPhone actions.

For example, I set the triple-click button on my iPhone to bring up various features: Control Nearby Devices, Full Keyboard Access, Live Captions, Magnifier, and Zoom.

The menu that appears on the iPhone screen when you triple-click the lock button.
The menu that appears on the iPhone screen when you triple-click the lock button. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

That’s right — you can set up as many actions as you want. The next time you triple-click the lock button, a list will show the actions available to you. Just select one from the list.

You can change the list as many times as you want by going to the same menu. Or, if you just select one action, the iPhone will forgo the list and just perform your chosen function as soon as you triple-click the lock button.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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