How to Turn Your iPhone Flashlight On & Off with Back Tap

The flashlight on my iPhone is a feature I use several times a day, so I'm happy that Apple has introduced a new way to turn the flashlight on and off. One of the new iOS 14 features Apple has rolled out is Back Tap, a set of shortcuts that allow iPhone users to double or triple tap the back of their phones to perform a variety of tasks. Back Tap is a great iPhone accessibility feature for people with reduced dexterity or limited vision, but being able to turn the flashlight off and on from a few taps on the back of our iPhones is convenient for everyone. Let's learn how to turn on and turn off the flashlight on your iPhone using Back Tap. Back Tap works with the iPhone 8 flashlight and later, including the iPhone X, iPhone 11 flashlight, and the new iPhone 12 line.

Related: How to Turn Off Flashlight On iPhone: 3 Easy Ways (2023)

How to Turn Off the Flashlight & Turn On the Flashlight with Back Tap 

At this time, you can only select two Shortcuts to enable with Back Tap; one with the double tap, and one with the triple tap. You can select these two Shortcuts from a list provided, or from shortcuts you've created in the Shortcuts app. We've written several tips about how to use your iPhone flashlight, including how to turn the flashlight off and on from your Lock Screen, and how to turn the flashlight on and off with "Hey, Siri". For more tutorials about how to use your iPhone features, including Apple's accessibility features, check out our free Tip of the Day. Now, let's go over a new way to turn on and turn off the flashlight, using Back Tap. First, we'll need need to create two shortcuts, one to turn your iPhone flashlight on, and another to turn the flashlight off. 

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How to Create a Shortcut (Custom Shortcuts to Turn the Flashlight Off & Turn the Flashlight On)

Creating a shortcut can seem a bit daunting, but don't worry; we'll walk through the process step by step. To begin:

  1. Open the Shortcuts app.
  2. Tap My Shortcuts, then tap the plus symbol.

    shortcuts app for iphone and ipadmy shortcuts tab
  3. Tap Add Action; you'll see a list of categories appear.
  4. Enter Flashlight into the Search bar, then tap Set Flashlight.

    tap add action to add a shortcutenter flashlight into search field
  5. You'll see the Turn flashlight On option appear; tap the down arrow to select the Brightness level. Tap Next at the top-right corner of the screen. 
  6. Name your New Shortcut Turn On Flashlight or something similar.

    tap the down arrow to change the brightnessname your shortcut
  7. Now, you'll see your New Shortcut; tap Done.
  8. We need to make one more shortcut so, from the My Shortcuts tab, tap the plus symbol again, then Add Action again. 
  9. Enter Flashlight into the Search bar, then tap Set Flashlight once again.
  10. Tap the word On in Turn flashlight On; it will change to Off.

    you'll see your new shortcuttap on in the Turn Flashlight On shortcut
  11. Tap Next.
  12. Name your New Shortcut Turn Off Flashlight or something similar, then tap Done.

    tap Nextname your shortcut
  13. You'll know you've succeeded when you see both of your new shortcuts on the All Shortcuts screen.

    your new flashlight shortcuts

How to Pair Your iPhone Flashlight Shortcuts to Apple’s iOS 14 Back Tap Feature

Now that you've created your two shortcuts to turn your iPhone flashlight off and on, you can attach those shortcuts to the Back Tap feature. To do this:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Accessibility.

    iphone settings appiphone accessibility settings
  3. Tap Touch.
  4. Tap Back Tap at the bottom of the page.

    iphone touch accessibility settingstap Back Tap
  5. Tap Double Tap.
  6. Tap Turn On Flashlight under Shortcuts.

    choose double tap or triple tapadd turn flashlight on to double tap
  7. Tap Back Tap at the top-left corner of your screen, then tap Triple Tap.
  8. Tap Turn Flashlight Off under Shortcuts.

    tap triple taptap turn flashlight off
  9. Now, your flashlight shortcuts are paired to Double Tap and Triple Tap.

    your shortcuts paired to back tap
  10. You can now double tap the back of your iPhone screen to turn your flashlight on, and triple tap it to turn the flashlight back off.
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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays has over a dozen years of experience writing for online publications. As a Feature Writer for iPhone Life, she has authored hundreds of how-to, Apple news, and gear review articles, as well as a comprehensive Photos App guide. Leanne holds degrees in education and science and loves troubleshooting and repair. This combination makes her a perfect fit as manager of our Ask an Expert service, which helps iPhone Life Insiders with Apple hardware and software issues.
In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.