Use your iPhone with one hand, with the reachability feature

When you only have one hand available and need to reach the top of your phone. You should use the reachability feature built into the iPhone.
5 February 2022

If you find yourself sometimes struggling to reach the top part of your screen with one hand, there’s a handy feature that allows you to “pull down” the screen within finger range.

What is reachability? Why you’ll want to use it

Reachability is an in-built feature on the iPhone, with a quick gesture you can pull down your screen - making the top section accessible with one hand.

Here’s a quick demo on how it works

Aside from the Home Screen, reachability also works with every app on your phone. 

Being a system level feature it works no matter what you have open, coming in handy when you need to select an option that’s placed at the top.

How to enable reachability

While the feature should be on by default you can check by going into Settings.

  • Settings > Accessibility > Touch 
    • Check to see that “Reachability” is enabled

How to use reachability

Once enabled it’s as easy as swiping down on the bottom edge of your screen, it does take some time to get the hang of.

  • With one finger, swipe down in the area where the 3 dots appear (see screenshot below)

Make sure you’re pulling down from the red box area, else you’ll end up bringing down your notifications (also a handy feature!),

Once you’ve nailed the area, you’ll be able to use the same action in the same location to activate reachability in any app.

Getting out of reachability mode

Reachability automatically reverts back when you;

  • Click anywhere on the screen
  • Scroll up with your finger, from the very bottom of the screen

Making it as easy to exit as it is to use.

Good to know

There’s a few things to note when using reachability on your phone

  • It doesn’t “stay” so when using reachability, if you click any part of the screen it’ll revert back
  • You can’t make it “permanent”, you can’t have your phone in this mode forever (not that you'd really want to..)

It’s a great feature, easy to learn and one I find myself using when I don't have both hands free... If you have a useful feature why not let me know in the comments section below.

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