How to Activate Assistive Touch on iPhone or iPad

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To help the specially-abled people operate their iPhones and iPad easily Apple provides the Assistive Touch feature. Using this feature, users can create virtual buttons on the screen of their Apple devices. Instead of having to use the physical buttons, they can use the on-screen buttons to execute various functions. This includes adjusting the volume, using lock-screen, using multi-finger gestures, and for restarting the device.

In this guide, I will show you how to enable the Assistive Touch feature on an iPhone or iPad. Also, I have put up in detail about how to actually put this feature to use. Apart from folks with special needs, normal users can also use the Assistive Touch feature. It comes handy when the physical home button is not working for some reason. In fact, taking a screenshot is very easy with the virtual button. Double tapping(customizable) the virtual button can grab a screenshot. Let’s begin with the guide and check how to enable this helpful feature.

Assistive Touch

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How to Activate Assistive Touch on iPhone or iPad

The steps I have mentioned below are based on the latest iOS 14.

  • Launch the Settings app
  • Scroll down to Accessibility > navigate to the tab Physical and Motor
  • Under that tap on the first option Touch
    iPhone Accessibility Settings to enable assistive touch
  • Then you will see the AssistiveTouch feature which is by default set to Off.
    Enable Assistive Touch on iPhone and iPad
  • Tap on the switch to enable it. Immediately you will see the virtual home button show up on the display

Using Virtual Home Button as Real Home Button

By default, the virtual home button is set to the menu. We need to tweak it a bit so we can use it as a home button.

  • Under AssistiveTouch navigate to Custom Actions.
  • Tap on Single Tap. It is by default set to the Open Menu.
    set virtual button to go to home screen upon tapping
  • Set it to Home from the list of items that expand from Single Tap.

Create Custom Gesture

To create a custom gesture,

  • Open Settings app > go to Accesibility
  • Tap on Touch under Physical and Motor
  • Then select Create A New Gesture
  • Swipe anything to create a new gesture [I did a Z type of gesture]
  • Save it by giving any name
    Create new Gesture under Assistive Touch
  • Again under AssistiveTouch, tap Customize Top Level Menu
  • Under Tap an Icon to Change tap on Custom
    Assistive touch iPhone customize top level menu
  • From the list that opens up scroll down till you find the same gesture, you created a few steps ago under custom gestures. Tap on it to select. Then you can select an action for the custom button for example setting the lock screen.

Can We Add A Custom Virtual button Under Assistive Touch on iPhone?

Yes.! you can also add a custom virtual button under AssistiveTouch.

  • Under AssistiveTouch tap on Customize Top Level Menu
  • Tap on + and again Tap on + near the icon set
    set custom virtual button under Assistive touch in iPhone/iPad
  • Select an action for the custom button [for example I set it to lock screen]
  • Then tap on Done

NOTE: You can also delete the custom button easily by simply tapping on the minus(-) sign at the bottom right corner under the Tap an icon to Change.

So, that’s all the primary setup you can create and tweak after you enable the Assistive Touch feature on your iPhone and iPad. The steps are entirely the same if you are setting it up on an iPad. Try this feature and enjoy it. I hope that this guide was useful to you.

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