35+ Hidden iPhone Hacks You Never Knew About 

BY Rajesh

Published 20 Nov 2021

Hidden iPhone Hacks

iOS has got way more tricks up its sleeve than what meets the eye. Apart from letting you fix annoyances, they can create a more personalized experience and enhance your productivity. So, if you think you are yet to get the most out of your iOS device, check out this exhaustive list of 35+ hidden iPhone hacks.

Maybe you wish to give a fully personalized look to Safari, or perhaps you want to make Focus mode more distraction-free, or maybe you are looking for a way to add a sleep timer to Apple Music. Whatever is on the top of your mind, chances are you will come across it and several other cool iOS hacks that suit your use case. Having said that, let’s head over to discover what more this roundup has in store for you!

1. Change Background Sounds from Control Center

The background sounds come into play when you wish to minimize distractions and concentrate on the task at hand. But did you know that you could change and even adjust the volume of the background sounds right from the control center of your iPhone?

Head into the Settings app and tap on Control Center. Then tap the “+ button beside Hearing to add its toggle to the control center. After that, access the Control Center on your iOS device (swipe down from the top right or swipe up from the bottom of the display) and then tap the Hearing icon. Next, tap the Background Sounds option to access the available sounds. Next up, choose the desired background sound and also fine-tune the volume. 

Change background sounds from control center in iOS 15

2. Set Safari Start Page Image 

If you are fond of customization, there is a good chance that you would love to have this cool iOS hack on your radar. With iOS 15 or later, you can set a custom Safari start page image to give the browser a fully personalized look.

To get it done, open Safari, tap on the tabs button on the bottom right, then tap on the “+ button on the bottom left, and tap on Edit. Now, you should see a handful of readymade images that you can use to deck up the start page. Moreover, if you want to use your own page, tap the “+ button and select the desired image from your photo library. 

Set a custom image for Safari start up page on iPhone and iPad

3. Disable Auto-Play Videos in Safari 

With iOS 15, Safari provides a more effective way to disable auto-play videos. So, if you no longer want to let the auto-playing videos distract you and even eat into your iPhone’s battery life, you should take advantage of this hidden iPhone hack. Open Settings app, select Accessibility, tap on Per-App Settings, then tap Add App, choose Safari from the list, find the Auto-Play Videos setting, and finally choose Off.

Disable Auto Play Videos in Safari on iOS

4. Hide Alerts from Specific iMessage Conversation Threads 

To me, the best way to avoid unnecessary conversations is to keep their random alerts away. If you have some conversations that keep disturbing you with unnecessary notifications, hide their alerts. On the flip side, you should also take advantage of this nifty iPhone hack to keep some personal conversations hidden from prying eyes. Navigate to the Messages app on your iPhone, tap to choose a conversation, tap on the name at the top, and turn on the toggle for the Hide Alerts

5. Hide Your Focus Status from Certain Apps 

With Focus Status enabled, it becomes easier to let everyone know that you don’t want to be disturbed. However, some privacy-conscious folks may want to hide the Focus Status. If that’s you, navigate to the Settings app, tap on Privacy, and then select Focus. Now, you should see a list of all apps that requested to see and share your Focus Status. Next, allow or disallow apps to access your Focus Status as per your needs. 

6. Automatically Close All Safari Tabs 

If you find it tedious to manually close Safari tabs or often forget to kill the open tabs, you should get the most out of this appreciable feature. What makes it so handy is the ability to automatically close all Safari tabs after one day, one week, or month. Head into Safari on your iPhone, select Safari, tap on Close Tabs and choose the preferred option. 

7. Quickly Enable Private Browsing Mode 

By default, Safari saves your entire search history, including AutoFill information, to provide a fully personalized browsing experience. While this feature is quite helpful, at times, you may want to browse with enhanced privacy, ensuring the browser doesn’t remember the pages you visited. And that’s when the “Private Browsing Mode” comes into play. 

Open Safari on your iPhone, then long-press the tabs icon, and choose Private or New Private Tab in the menu. Simple, isn’t it?

Quickly Enable Private Browsing Mode 

8. Disable Read Receipts for Specific iMessage Chats 

Read Receipts is like a double-edged sword. While it lets you easily know whether or not someone has read your message, it also exposes your privacy. However, if you have made up your mind to live without this feature, head over to the Messages app on your iPhone, select a specific conversation, tap the name at the top, and then turn off the toggle for the Send Read Receipts

9. Automatically Enable Focus Mode at Relevant Times 

For me, the best part about the newly introduced Focus mode is the ability to enable it at relevant times automatically. For instance, you can choose to activate a Focus profile when you reach a location, at a specific time or when you open an app. To enable automatic activation of Focus profiles, head into the Settings app, tap on Focus, select a Focus profile, and tap on Add Schedule or Automation. Then customize the automation depending on your needs. 

Automatically Enable Focus Mode at Relevant Times 

10. Send Low-Quality Images Via iMessage 

Apple Messages app allows you to send low-quality images. Save this hack for when you want to save your limited bandwidth and extend the battery life of your iPhone. Go to the Settings app, tap Messages, and then turn on the Low-Quality Images toggle. 

11. Switch Between Desktop and Mobile Site 

Did you ever stumble upon a cramped mobile site in Safari and wish to switch to the desktop site to access certain features comfortably? If yes, you would be glad to know that the modern version of Safari offers a  quick way to switch between desktop and mobile sites. To do so, open Safari on your iPhone, tap the aA button and choose Request Desktop Site

12. Hide Specific Home Pages When You Have Focus Mode Enabled 

Focus mode is designed to help you concentrate on the things that matter to you. If you find certain home screen pages with exciting games or social media apps distracting, you can keep those tempting pages off-limits when you have Focus mode enabled. To get this set up, go to the Settings app, tap on Focus, and tap Home Screen. Now, turn on the toggle for Custom Pages. After that, select only the pages that you wish to show.

Hide Specific Home Pages When You Have Focus Mode Enabled 

13. Manage Safari Downloads 

If you use Safari on your iPhone, you should manage its downloads efficiently. Depending on your preference, you can change the Safari downloads location and automatically remove the downloaded items after one day or upon successful download.

To get it done, launch the Settings app on your iPhone, select Safari, and tap on Downloads. Now, select the desired download location. If you wish to manage downloads smartly, tap Remove Download List Items and choose the preferred option. 

14. Enable One-Handed Keyboard 

The QuickType keyboard comes with a one-handed typing mode to comfortably type with just one thumb. To unlock this efficient typing feature, bring up the QuickType keyboard inside an app and tap and hold the globe/emoji icon. After that, select the left or right one-handed keyboard for your convenience. 

Enable One-Handed Keyboard on iPhone

15. Disable Automatic Night Mode 

There is no denying the fact that the iPhone’s Night Mode stands out in terms of delivering better night-time images. That said, it doesn’t always nail the shots. At times, the Night Mode fails to pick up the desired colors, and on a few occasions, it leaves way more shadows behind. Hence, it’s better to control the Night Mode to not pop up without your permission.

Thankfully, iOS 15 has come up with an option to turn off the automatic Night Mode. To get it done, go to the Settings app, select Camera, tap on Preserve Settings, and then turn off the Night Mode toggle. 

Disable the Night Mode on iPhone

16. Undo and Redo 

Courtesy of the swift text editing gestures, undo/redo action has become more convenient. To undo anything, just swipe left with three fingers. To redo, swipe right with three fingers. Besides, you can also undo/redo on your iPhone by double-tapping with three fingers. The “Undo” or “Redo” badges appear at the top of the screen for confirmation. 

17. Cut, Copy, and Paste Faster with Text Editing Gestures 

The smooth text-editing gestures have also simplified the process of cutting, copying, and pasting any text. After you have selected your text, simply pinch with three fingers to copy the text. To cut, all you need to do is repeat the copy gesture twice (i.e., pinch with three fingers twice). And to paste the text, just place three fingers on the screen and spread them apart (pinching outwards).

18. Restrict Camera Access from Lock Screen 

With the camera icon sitting right on the lock screen, getting started with photography/videography seems ever so straightforward. Although I also appreciate this functionality, I prefer to restrict access to the camera app from the lock screen to prevent unauthorized access. Open the Settings, select Screen Time, tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions, and choose Allowed Apps. Now, turn off the toggle beside the Camera based on your needs. 

19. Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

Typing on a software keyboard becomes a hassle-free experience if you have custom keyboard shortcuts at your disposal. Guess what? You can create a variety of keyboard shortcuts and use them to speed up typing on your iPhone or iPad.

Launch the Settings app on your iOS device, select General, tap on Keyboard, choose Text Replacement, and tap on the “+ button. After that, enter the phrase and shortcut. For instance, type in “On My Way” in the phrase section and enter “omw!” in the shortcut section. In the end, make sure to tap Save to finish.

Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

20. Pin iMessage Chats 

There is no need to dig into conversation threads if you can pin your favorite iMessage chats to show at the top. The stock messaging app allows you to pin several chats so that they are easily accessible. To do it, swipe to the left on a specific conversation and then tap the “pin button. Later, if you wish to unpin any conversation, touch and hold a pinned chat and then choose “Unpin Name” in the popup menu.

21. Disable Explicit Language for Siri 

If you want Siri always to behave well or, for that matter, stop using explicit language, you should restrict the virtual assistant. As a parent, you should tap into this appreciable parental control feature so that your kid doesn’t get exposed to offensive words.

Open the Settings app, choose Screen Time, tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions, and make sure to turn on the toggle. After that, select Content Restrictions, tap Explicit Language located under the Siri section and choose Don’t Allow.

Disable bad language for Siri

22. Hide IP Address in Safari 

This one is for the folks who always prefer to have an additional layer of protection against trackers. So, if you want to safeguard your IP address to ensure trackers do not use it to access certain information like your location, the device you use, area zip code, etc., hide it in Safari. Launch the Settings app, tap Safari, select Hide IP Address and choose From Trackers.

23. Enable Mail Privacy Protection 

As someone who always prefers to have an extra layer of privacy to ward off incessant tracking, I have found the Mail Privacy Protection a worthy addition to iOS 15. What makes it a must-have privacy feature is the ability to hide your IP address and load all the remote images privately in the background. Notably, it does so even when you don’t open the message. As a result, it becomes a lot harder for senders to follow your mail activity.

Head into the Settings app, tap Mail, select the Privacy Protection option, and turn on the toggle for Protect Mail Activity.

Enable Mail Privacy Protection 

24. Lock Your Notes 

Private notes deserve better protection from prying eyes. If you have some notes that you wish to conceal or simply wish to prevent unauthorized access, you should keep them locked. Open the Notes app and then navigate to the specific note that you want to lock. After that, tap on the menu button at the top right corner of the screen and choose the Lock icon in the menu. Next up, create a password and use it to lock your note.

25. Convert a Photo into PDF 

Even though the stock photos app lacks a native image-to-PDF converter, some super handy workarounds can let you convert a photo into a PDF. For me, the easiest way to turn an image into a PDF is by using the Books app.

Open the Photos app, select all the images you want to convert into PDF, tap the Share button, choose the Books app from the options, and you are good to go! Your pictures will be instantly converted into PDFs and automatically open in the Books app. Relatively straightforward.

26. Convert a Live Photo into GIF

Well, this one is for the folks who have a massive penchant for GIFs. To convert a live photo into a GIF, all you need to do is swipe up from the middle of the image to access different effects. After that, choose Loop or Bounce, and you are good to go!

If the swipe gesture doesn’t reveal the effects, check out the tiny downward arrow next to the Live button and tap it. After that, select Loop or Bounce in the menu that appears.

Convert a Live Photo into GIF

27. View EXIF Metadata of a Photo

The Photos app has got several new add-ons in iOS 15, including the ability to let users view EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) metadata of an image. So, the next time you seem to be a bit more curious to figure out the details like date, time, camera settings, and possible copyright information related to an image, do not hesitate to use this new feature. To do so, launch the Photos app and open an image. After that, tap the “i” info button to reveal the EXIF metadata.

28. Hide Your Hidden Album 

What’s the point in hiding your private album if it’s easily accessible. Yeah, that entirely defeats the primary purpose. But do not be disappointed, as you can keep your hidden album away from the Photos app thanks to this intelligent iPhone hack. Open the Settings app > Photos and then turn off the toggle for Hidden Album

29. Screenshot an Entire Webpage 

Did you know that you could screenshot an entire webpage on your iPhone? You can use this hidden hack for the times where you may want to save an article for a keepsake or preserve a story for documentation. Note that it works only inside Safari.

  • Open Safari on your iOS device, head to a webpage, and capture the screenshot. On iPhone with Face ID, press the power button and the volume up button together to take a screenshot. On iPhone with Touch ID, press the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button simultaneously to capture a screenshot.
  • When a screenshot preview pops up at the bottom left corner, tap it to access the Instant Markup interface. Then, tap on the Full Page tab at the top right corner. Now, you can customize the screenshot using the markup tools. After that, tap on Done at the top left corner and save the PDF file at the desired location or even share it with your friends.

Screenshot an Entire Webpage 

30. Unlock Apple Music Sleep Timer 

Slowly but steadily, Apple Music has become a feature-rich music-streaming app. However, one feature missing in the app since its inception is the native sleep timer. If you are an Apple Music user, there is a good chance that you may have wished for it as well. 

While we don’t know when Apple will introduce a sleep timer in Apple Music, there is a reliable hack that more than just makes up for it. To get it done, open the Clock app and tap on the Timer tab. Set the time duration and tap the When Timer Ends option. Next, scroll down to the bottom and choose the Stop Playing option at the bottom, then tap Set. Finally, tap Start to start the sleep timer. 

31. Set Any Song/Voice Memo As Your iPhone Ringtone 

I guess many of us have wished to have an easy way to set any song/voice memo as an iPhone ringtone for a long time, haven’t we? While I’m not sure when or if ever Apple will introduce a simple way to set it up, there is a workaround that gets the job done. Keep in mind that it requires Apple GarageBand (available for free) so make it’s installed on your device. 

  • Open GarageBand on your iOS device, select any instrument, tap the project icon at the top left corner of the screen, then hit the loop icon at the top right, select the Files tab, Browse items from the files tab, select a song/voice memo, and trim it.
  • Next, tap on the Download icon at the top left corner and choose My Songs. Then, touch and hold your project and select Share. Next up, tap Ringtone, give your creation a suitable name and tap the Export button. Up next, tap the Use sound as… option and choose Standard Ringtone.

32. Eject Water from Your iPhone 

Unlike watchOS, iOS doesn’t offer a way to eject water. But that doesn’t mean you can’t drain water out of your iPhone if you ever happen to drop it in water or accidentally spill water on it. Meet an intelligent Siri Shortcut called “Water Eject” that lets you push out the water from your iOS device. 

Simply add this shortcut to your library. After that, all you need to do to get rid of water is just tap the Water Eject shortcut and then confirm the action by hitting Begin Water Ejection in the menu. Oh yes, the shortcut will also make sure a quirky little sound to let you know that it has started to push the water out!

Eject water from your iPhone

33. Add Accessibility Shortcut to Control Center 

Accessibility comes with a plethora of valuable features, including the AssistiveTouch, VoiceOver, Color Filters, Background Sounds, and more. If you are fond of the Accessibility suite, you should make the most of the Accessibility Shortcut to control your favorite Accessibility features with utmost ease.

Go to the Settings, select Touch, and tap on Accessibility. Now, scroll down to the bottom and choose Accessibility Shortcut and then select the desired features. After that, navigate to the Settings app, choose Control Center, and then tap on the “+ button to the left of Accessibility Shortcut. In the future, you can access all of your favorite Accessibility features by tapping the Accessibility icon in the Control Center.

34. Activate Siri Even When Your Device is Facing Down 

When the iPhone is facing down, Siri doesn’t activate. While this is a beneficial feature as it allows you to disable the virtual assistant easily, it can prove to be quite annoying in certain situations. Thankfully, you can always choose to invoke Siri even when your device is facing down. To do so, open the Settings app, select Accessibility, and tap Siri. Now, make sure the toggle for Always Listen for Hey Siri is turned on. 

35. Capture Screenshot with a Quick Tap 

Even though capturing screenshots is really simple on iPhone, at times, we wish to snap the screen without having to press the physical button combinations (Volume Up and Side buttons or Home button and Side buttons). Personally, I prefer to use a virtual button to capture the screen, especially when I’m using rugged or heavy-duty cases, so that I won’t have to deal with the less tactile buttons.

Head into the Settings app, pick Accessibility, tap on Touch, choose AssistiveTouch, and then turn on the toggle for AssistiveTouch. After that, tap on the Single-Tap option located under the Custom Actions section and select Screenshot. There you go! From now onwards, all you need to do to take a screenshot on your iPhone is to hit the AssistiveTouch button. Pretty nifty, isn’t it?

Capture Screenshot with a Quick Tap 

36. Zip and Unzip Files With Ease

Notably, the Files app comes with a native tool to let you zip and unzip files. As this neat file management tool is hidden, I don’t think many of you would have unraveled it. To zip any file, long-press it and then choose Compress in the contextual menu. Later, if you want to unzip it, long-press the file and select Uncompress in the menu.

There you go! So, these are the super cool iOS hacks that you should keep at your disposal. Keeping in mind the need to improve the overall experience, we have lined up tips from various categories, including productivity. Hopefully, you found some useful ones. Did we miss out on any tips? Share them in the comments section below.