Tue. Dec 1st, 2020

Are you missing the Home button on your iPhone X ($ 999.00 at Verizon Wireless)? Apple ditched the old, dependable home button on its new phone to make room for a borderless display.

But all is not lost. You may not be able to restore a physical home button, but you can create a virtual one. And your virtual home button isn’t stuck in one place. You can move it to a location of your choice on the screen. And even cooler, you can customize it to trigger your favorite commands and tweak what happens when you tap the button once, tap it twice, or hold it down.

The trick lies in the AssistiveTouch feature on your iPhone, which allows you to conjure up and tweak your start button on the screen. AssistiveTouch has been around since 2011 and you can use it to create a virtual home button on any iPhone or iPad with iOS 5 or later. But iPhone X users may find it particularly handy. Here’s how to add a virtual home button to the latest iPhone.

1. Activate Assistive Touch

Activate Assistive Touch

On your iPhone X, go to Settings> General> Accessibility> AssistiveTouch. Enable the option for AssistiveTouch.

2. Move the virtual start button

Move the virtual start button

A grayscale virtual home button will appear on the screen. Press the virtual button lightly and slide your finger across the screen. Note that you can move the button to specific places. You can place it anywhere at the top or bottom of your screen, or in the middle. Then the button automatically jumps to the right or left so as not to obstruct the view of the main action.

3. Custom Actions

Custom actions

Now that you’ve decided on a locale for your virtual home button, it’s time to optimize its performance. Tapping the button once will take you to your home screen by default. Double tapping the button will take you to multitasking mode to see thumbnails of recently used apps.

But you are not stuck with these actions. You can change them in the Custom Actions section. Tap the single-tap action. You can now change what happens when you tap the button once and select Open Menu (more on that later), Notifications, Siri or Control Center, among other things. Stay at home for that one. Go back one screen. Tap the action for double tap. Here you can set the double-tap timeout period and select an action. Choose Siri for this one. Return to the previous screen and you will now see Siri listed for double tap.

4. Long press and touch 3D

Long press and 3D touch

Tap the long press action. Change this to Apple Pay. Go back one screen and tap the 3D Touch Action. Change this in Control Center. Go back. You will now see the new actions for each type of tap or press.

5. Test it out

Test it out

Now it’s time to take your virtual home button for a test drive. Tap the Home button to go home. Double tap the Home button to activate Siri. Press the button softly to trigger Apple Pay. Firmly press the button to bring up the Control Center.

6. Open the menu command

Open the menu command

But wait, there is more you can do with your virtual button. And that brings us to the Open Menu command. Tap the entry for Single-Tap. Change the action in Open menu. Go back one screen. Then tap your virtual home button. Cool what? Instead of taking you home, tapping the button once brings up a menu of different options.

7. Various options

Different options

From this menu, you can tap icons to bring up Notifications, Control Center, and Siri. You can go home too.

8. Device, more, restart

Device, more, restart

Tap the device control. You can now access a wide variety of controls, such as: B. Lock screen, rotate screen, volume up, volume down and mute. Tap the More icon. You can now access even more controls, such as: B. Multitasking, SOS, Restart, Apple Pay, Screenshot and Shake. As an example, tap the restart icon and you’ll be asked if you really want to restart your iPhone.

9. Change symbols

Change symbols

You can tweak the menu to change icons, add or remove them. At the top of the AssistiveTouch settings screen, tap the top-level menu customization entry. By default, six icons are displayed in the menu. Tap the minus sign to decrease this number, or tap the plus sign to increase the number up to eight. You can tap the Reset button at any time to return to the default number of icons and actions.

10. Customize blank icons

Customize blank icons

Notice that there is an icon called Custom. If you increase the number of symbols above six, empty symbols will appear. You can assign any available action to the custom and blank icons. Tap the Custom icon. Select an action from the list, e.g. B. Lock screen. Tap Done. Select actions for any blank icons you see until each icon contains an action. Tap your virtual home button and the menu will show all of the icons. Return to the AssistiveTouch settings screen. Your custom actions for Double-Tap, Long Press, and possibly 3D Touch may have been reset due to customization of the top-level menu. In this case, just redefine these actions.

11. Predefined gestures

Predefined gestures

You can also access predefined gestures and create your own custom gestures from your virtual home button menu. Let’s take a look at the predefined gestures first. Open Safari. Let’s say you’re having trouble using the pinch of two fingers to zoom in or out on your screen. Tap your home button, then tap the Custom icon. Tap the pinch icon. An icon with two circles connected by a line will appear on the screen. Position this symbol anywhere on the screen by dragging the line. You can activate a pinch of zoom in or out by dragging one of the circles in the top right or top left corner of the screen. Tap the Home button again to exit this mode and display the menu.

12. 3D touch customization

3D touch customization

You may sometimes have problems accessing a menu for your apps using 3D Touch. Return to your home screen. Tap your home button, then tap the Custom icon. Tap the 3D Touch icon. A small dark circle will appear on the screen. Hover it over one of your app icons. Tap the circle and a 3D touch menu will pop up with no long or hard press.

You can do the same thing with a double click. Return to the menu and tap the Custom icon. Tap the double-tap icon and place the circle where you would normally double-tap that circle.

13. Custom gestures

Custom gestures

To create your own custom gestures, go back to your Home button menu and tap the Custom icon. Then tap on one of the blank icons in the custom window. Alternatively, swipe to the bottom of the AssistiveTouch settings screen and tap the entry to create a new gesture. On the New Gesture screen, tap or swipe to create a gesture, such as B. Scroll down. Swipe up from the bottom to create a scrolling gesture, then tap the stop link. You can tap play to view the recording of your gesture. When you’re happy with the gesture, tap Save and give it a name.

14. Safari


Now open a webpage in Safari. Tap your home button, tap Custom, then tap the new scrolling icon. Tap the black circle on the screen. Your screen will now scroll down.

15. Change the opacity of the Home button

Change the opacity of the home button

Finally, you can change the opacity of your home button to make it lighter or darker. Return to the AssistiveTouch settings screen and tap the entry for Idle Opacity. Drag the slider to the right to make the button darker and to the left to make it lighter. Go back to the home screen and enjoy your new customized and fully featured virtual home button.

16. More iPhone X tutorials

further reading