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How to switch apps with 3D Touch on your iPhone

The iOS 9 fast app switcher has been redesigned in a way that lets you quickly shuffle back through your stack of recent apps. It really makes sense on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. With 3D Touch, Apple's new pressure-sensitive technology, you no longer have to double-click the Home button to bring it up: You just press and swipe back. It's app switching the way it was meant to be done.

How to bring up the fast app switcher on iPhone 6s

  1. Press firmly on the left side of the screen.
  2. Swipe just a little bit to the right and let go to bring up the fast app switcher. (Like double-clicking the Home button.)
  3. Swipe all the way to the right to go back to the previous app. (Like tapping the new iOS 9 back link button.)


Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

12 Comments
  • This is THE biggest reason I am excited for 3D Touch! Sent from the iMore App
  • How does it eork when an app like mail is open and pushing on the left hand side of the screen will peek into a mail item?
  • Pressing only causes a peek. Pressing and swiping lets you get to app switcher. Swiping only gets you to your inboxes.
  • It just feels like the two are so close that in the mail app it's prone to produce errors. I could see myself annoyed while trying to multitask if the mail app is open. You have to push before you swipe so what prevents the mail app from peeking first?
  • You're obviously judging before using. Got my device today super early (was scheduled for Nov. 11). The multitasking swipe is very simple and smooth. It does take some getting used to. What you do is use force touch in the corner and then your previous app that was open will show in the corner. Then you swipe (while still holding down) to get to another app. Only thing ai dislike is getting to the home screen is reversed now, it's on the right side. Guess the hone button will be getting used more often.
  • This gesture is difficult to get the hang of so your criticism is somewhat valid in that sense, but once mastered, your point becomes irrelevant. Only time will tell if it catches on or if people find it inherently too difficult.
  • Super cool. I want to remove the Apple leather case because of this. It just obstruct the 3D Touch multitasking gesture.
  • great post! thanks so much for sharing! :)
  • That is very slick. That is one trick I can see myself using constantly. Thanks Rene.
  • FYI to everyone; I believe the way it's designed is you push on the screen along the left edge then when you see the apps coming into view you push harder and it 'pops' into the app switcher. Just like the email pops into full view after pushing hard. To switch apps push on the screen then drag all the way across to switch apps. IMO this clarifies the function compared to the articles- push then let go to get into the app switcher. Just push harder and it'll 'pop'. Have fun with 3D Touch everyone!
  • That's correct. It's designed that way so it doesn't interfere with the app that is open. Example would be if you are in Safari, swiping from the left to right will make you go back. Force Touch then swipe opens app switcher. Holding down like you said makes it pop, incase more apps are open and you need to go back further. I just have to get used to the home screen on the right side.
  • Designed my balls. I Have tried sevral times and it's much faster if you swipe.