So, you just got your new iPhone, you’ve figured out how to get to YouTube, sync up your Netflix account, and you might even have your music library ready to go. What now?
Well, while the iPhone is simple enough for the average user to stop there and get plenty of use out of it, it actually packs a ton more features that most users never learn about.
We’re going to go over 30 of the best iPhone hacks that will help you get more use out of your phone, increase productivity, and have a bit more fun with it.
Let’s get started.
1. Adjust the Brightness of Your iPhone’s Flashlight
Admit it, even as a long time user, your iPhone’s flashlight has likely caught you off-guard with its brightness.
Surprisingly, it’s set at full brightness by default. But if that’s too much, you can tone it down.
Open your iPhone’s Control Center and press and hold the Flashlight icon. You’ll see four brightness options. To adjust it, drag the slider up or down.
2. Freeze Your Screen to Prevent People From Scrolling or Swiping
Want to prevent someone from swiping away when you show them something on your iPhone? Use this trick to lock your screen in place.
- Open “Settings” and tap on “Accessibility.”
- Choose “Guided Access” and turn it on.
- Go to “Passcode Settings” and tap “Set Guided Access Passcode.” Create a passcode (it’s different from your phone’s lock code).
To lock the screen:
- On an iPhone X or newer, press the “Side” button three times.
- On an iPhone 8 or older, press the “Home” button three times.
Press the button three times, enter the Guided Access code, and hit “End.”
Make sure you don’t have other accessibility shortcuts set up when using this feature, as it may activate them instead of the Guided Access.
3. Set a Timer Faster
Use your iPhone timer often? There’re two quicker ways to set it!
Just ask Siri to set the timer for you. You could say, “Set a timer for 5 minutes and 20 seconds,” or “Start a timer for 30 minutes.”
Another quick way to set a timer is from the Control Center.
- Swipe down to open the “Control Center.”
- Press and hold the “Timer” icon.
- Slide your finger up to set the time.
- Hit “Start.”
With each step of the slider, the timer duration increases by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, and 45 minutes or 1 or 2 hours. Try the first method if you want to set a timer for a more specific duration.
4. Hide Unused Apps
As you get used to your phone, you’ll probably install a ton of apps, and many of them won’t be used very often.
The problem is that you have to dig through those unused apps to get to the ones you want.
Luckily, you can hide them. Press and hold the app you want to delete and tap “Remove from Home Screen.”
This will remove the app’s thumbnail from your home screen menu, but it won’t delete the data. It’s a useful way to declutter your iPhone home screen.
5. Get More Storage Space
One thing all iPhone users have to deal with at one point is a lack of storage space. So, how do you get more without deleting apps or things you like?
Primarily, you can move your photos and videos to cloud storage services. iCloud is a free service, and you get a whole 5GB free when you sign up.
This is a great way to free up space by putting your photos and videos, which take up a lot of space, onto the cloud, and you can use your onboard storage for apps that increase your productivity and enjoyment.
6. Get a Faster Charge
The downside to all handheld electronics is that they rely on batteries. When your iPhone’s battery dies, you’re stuck with a brick.
iPhones charge fairly quickly, but if you want to speed that charging period up, go to the “Battery Health & Charging” menu in “Settings.” Then, turn on the “Optimized Battery Charging” option.
This option prevents background apps from draining your battery life while charging. It’s not as fast as buying a fast charger with an Apple USB-C to Lightning cable, but it is faster than the default setting.
7. Sign a Document
If you’re conducting business on your phone, you’re going to need to sign PDFs every once in a while. This is easy, but a lot of users have trouble figuring it out.
To do this, you’ll want to open the document with the Photos app. You’ll see an image of a pen on the screen.
If you tap that and choose + Signature, you’ll be able to write your signature on the screen wherever you want.
You can do this with an Apple Pencil, but if you don’t have one, you can use your finger, too.
8. Convert Currency
If you’re a frequent traveler or a business professional, you’ll need to convert your currency every once in a while. There are two easy ways to do this on-the-fly with an iPhone.
First, there’s Siri.
Simply activate Siri and ask her to convert the amount in whatever currency you’re dealing with to the currency of your choice.
If you want to convert Canadian dollars to US dollars, for example, you’d use the voice command “Convert 50 Canadian dollars to US dollars”, and you’ll get an answer in a second.
Then, if your phone has “Live Text” enabled, you can use your camera. This is extremely useful when you’re in a foreign country and doing something such as ordering food.
With Live Text, set the focus of the camera on the price you’re trying to convert. If you can fit the entire price into the yellow focusing square, you’ll get a Live Text notification on your camera screen. Tap it, and the price will convert to your default currency.
Of course, your iPhone needs to be Live Text compatible for the second method.
9. Write on Email Attachments
Sometimes, your emails need a personal touch, and nothing adds that more than handwriting. You might need to sign your signature, too.
To do this, write your email like you normally would in your mail app. Before you send it, hold the attachment option, and choose “Markup and Reply.”
This will let you write on an attachment with your Apple Pencil or finger before you send the email.
10. Use Your Keyboard as a Trackpad
Did you know your iPhone’s keyboard can act as a trackpad? It lets you move the cursor precisely without using the magnifying glass. This works on iPhone 6S and newer models.
- While typing, press and hold the spacebar to turn it into a trackpad.
- Slide your finger to move the cursor to where you want, then let go of the spacebar to place your cursor and resume typing.
For older iPhones without 3D touch, consider getting the Gboard app. It allows you to swipe through text using the spacebar as a mini trackpad.
11. Use Your Camera as a Magnifying Glass
The iPhone has replaced various things for many, from cameras to GPS units. But did you know it can also serve as a magnifying glass?
Many don’t know about the magnifying glass feature since it’s tucked away in the settings.
Want to use this handy feature? Here’s how to set it up:
- Open your iPhone Settings.
- Go to “General.”
- Tap “Control Center.”
- Find “Magnifier” and tap the green + sign next to it.
Now, Magnifier is in your Control Center.
12. Take a Hands-Free Photo
Are you having trouble finding someone to help take that full-body photo? Don’t worry. You can take it on your own with voice controls.
Go to your iPhone’s accessibility menu and turn on “Voice Controls.” Just by saying “Open Camera,” you can launch the photo app from a distance.
If you set up a timer in the camera settings, you can hit the shutter and pose, and the phone will take the picture automatically.
If you have an Apple Watch, this is even better. You can use the watch to see a preview of the picture and snap it from a distance without worrying about timers.
13. Lock the Camera’s Focus and Exposure
Auto-focus and auto-exposure are great features for casual photography, but they ruin more serious photos. If you want ultimate control over your photos, you can lock the values of both features.
This is done with the AE/AF feature. It’s not a checkbox like many settings. So, you might not know about it.
To lock focus and exposure, tap and hold on the screen until the AE/AF Lock appears in yellow, then release.
To use it, swipe up and down to adjust your exposure levels, and then tap and hold the focal point of your photo.
After a few seconds, you’ll see “AE/AF Lock” appears in yellow at the top of the screen.
This means your values are locked to the settings you chose instead of the app choosing what’s best.
14. Record a Video and Take a Picture at the Same Time
This is super simple. Just start a video with the red video recording button, and while it’s recording, navigate back to the white camera shutter, and snap away.
This is great when recording a situation like a wedding, and you don’t want to create photos from video screenshots.
15. Take a Photo When Your Storage is Full
Getting a “Full Storage” message when you want to snap a photo is annoying. If it happens, you can either delete old photos to make room or restart your phone to clear the cache and open a little space.
You can only do this so much before it’s not enough, but it’s a good option in a pinch.
16. Get Flash Notifications
If you need to silence your phone but don’t want to miss notifications, try setting up the “Flash Notifications” setting.
In “Accessibility,” choose “Audio and Visual” settings. You’ll see an option titled “Flash Alert Settings.” From there, you can switch flash alerts on and off.
17. Take a Full-Page Screenshot
Want to capture an entire webpage on your iPhone, not just what’s visible on the screen? Here’s how to screenshot a full page in Safari:
- Open the webpage you want and wait for it to load.
- Take a screenshot.
- Tap on the “Full Page” tab.
- Click “Done,” then “Save PDF to Files.”
- Choose where to save it.
Open the Files app to see your full-page capture.
18. Tag Contacts in Group Messages
If you’re in a group chat and want to specifically reply to one person, you can do it with a tag. Everyone else will see it, but you can make it clearer who you’re talking to.
When typing your message, just hit “@” and start typing the contact’s name. It should auto-fill or give you a selection depending on how many similar names are in your contacts. Then, type your message, and the person is tagged.
19. Respond to Single Messages
If someone has sent you a lot of messages, but you only want to respond to one, hold down on that message and then tap Reply. When you type your message and send it, it will respond specifically to that chat bubble.
20. Customize Notifications
Did you download an app that you really like, but it won’t stop notifying you every five seconds? You can customize which apps send notifications if you want. This helps you silence those annoying apps that you still don’t want to delete.
Just go to “Notifications” in the “Settings” menu. You’ll see a list of all your apps. If you press one, you can choose to remove its notifications.
This lets you keep the app without being annoyed by it.
21. Set a Timer for Your Music
If you want to use music to time a work session or the dinner you’re cooking, you can do that. It’s pretty simple, too.
- Open “Apple Music” on your iPhone and play something.
- Now open the “Clock” app and tap the “Timer” tab in the bottom right corner
- Choose “When Timer Ends,” swipe to the bottom, and tap “Stop Playing”
- Tap “Set” in the top right corner, pick your timer length, and press “Start”
The timer will count down while the music or media plays, and it will silence that media when the timer is up.
22. Use Your iPhone to Measure Physical Objects
You know your iPhone can do a lot, but did you know it can replace your tape measure? If you need to measure something, open the “Measure” app.
This uses your camera to let you create a starting point, and as you move your phone along the area you want to measure, it will outline that area. You need to hit the “+” symbol to set the stop point.
This will draw a line from each point and provide you with a measurement of the distance.
We wouldn’t recommend using it for precise measurements like construction, but it’s great around the house and in a pinch.
23. Connect Your Computer to Your iPhone Hotspot
Did you know your iPhone has the capability to act as a mobile hotspot and router?
Yes, you can share your phone’s internet connection with other devices nearby. It’s ideal for situations where you temporarily lose access to your home’s Wi-Fi, like during power outages.
Here’s how to activate the mobile hotspot on your iPhone:
a. Open the Settings app.
b. Scroll down and select Personal Hotspot.
c. Toggle the switch next to Personal Hotspot to the “on” position.
If you have a hotspot option with your phone plan, you can wirelessly connect your laptop, iPad, and other devices to the internet using the password on the Personal Hotspot page.
24. Hide photos on Your iPhone
Hiding photos on your iPhone is a great way of maintaining privacy when showing specific pictures to colleagues or keeping work and personal photos separate.
- Select the photos you want to hide.
- Tap the “circle with three dots” at the bottom right of the screen.
- From the pop-up menu, select “Hide.”
Once you confirm that you want to hide these photos, they’ll be stored in the Hidden album. They’ll no longer appear in the main camera roll.
To find this folder, open the “Photos” app, then go to the “Albums” tab. Scroll down to the “Utilities” section. You’ll find the Hidden folder there containing your hidden photos.
25. Move Safari’s Address Bar to the Top of the Screen
One of Apple’s new iOS 15 features for the iPhone is the relocation of the address bar to the bottom. If you’re not a fan of this new change, here’s how to move the Safari search bar back to the top.
You can revert Safari back to its old appearance in two different ways.
- While browsing a website, tap the icon with the two A’s on the left of your address bar.
- From the pop-up menu, tap the option to “Show Top Address Bar.”
Through the Settings app
- Open your iPhone’s Settings.
- Scroll down to “Safari” and tap it.
- Under “Tabs,” switch “Tab Bar” to “Single Tab.”
26. Find an iPhone’s Owner
This isn’t for your phone, but if you find someone else’s iPhone, Siri can help. Even if the phone is locked, you can ask Siri to “Call Home.”
You might need to use other commands such as “Call Mom” or other likely contacts. This can put you in direct contact with the owner instead of turning it in and hoping the owner eventually gets a hold of it.
27. Backspace on the Calculator App
One odd exclusion from the iPhone’s calculator app is the simple ability to tap a key and backspace. The option to backspace is still there, though. Just swipe left or right on the numbers you have inputted.
28. Erase Text with a Shake of Your Hand
Undo is a useful feature for removing recent mistakes in a text or document, but sometimes, you want to instantly erase everything you’ve done.
To do so, shake the phone before you tap Undo. This is a nifty feature for getting rid of long texts you decide not to send.
29. Use Your iPhone’s Scientific Calculator
Want to do more than simple math on your iPhone? Turn your phone sideways in the Calculator app, and you’ll get a scientific calculator.
This lets you find powers, square roots, and more. Just make sure your Portrait Orientation Lock is off in the Control Center.
30. Use Your Phone as a Level to Hang Pictures
Need to ensure a surface is level when hanging artwork, installing a shelf, or doing home projects? A standard level tool is useful, but what if you don’t have one?
That’s where your iPhone comes in handy. Use the measure app that we talked about earlier to use your phone as a level.
- Open the “Measure” app and tap “Level” at the bottom left corner.
- Put the phone’s bottom or side edge on the surface to check if it’s level.
If you see a “0” and the screen is green, then the surface is level.
Cool iPhone Hacks You Need to Try
As you can see, your iPhone can do much more than just browsing the web, making calls, and playing games. Play around with these iPhone hacks to get the most out of the phone.
Were any of these tricks already in your arsenal? Which ones did you find the most helpful? And most importantly, which ones are you eager to try out?
We’re always on the lookout for more cool tips, so don’t be shy—drop a comment below and share your thoughts.