How to use your iPhone 6 Plus one-handed

The iPhone 6 Plus has an amazing 5.5-inch 1080p display, but while bigger is better for apps and the web, bigger can also be harder to use one-handed. With a smaller display, it's easier to balance the phone and reach your thumb all the way up and across, from corner to corner. With a larger display, you may need to shift your grip more and maybe even bring the interface elements to you.

1. Put your best hand forward

Just because you're right or left handed, doesn't mean that hand will be the best one to hold your phone. Some people prefer using their dominant hand, others want to keep it free for other things. For example, I prefer using my iPhone with my right hand, even though I'm left handed. Spend some time using your iPhone in both hands and figure out which one is easier for you.

That'll be the hand you use for the rest of these tips.

2. Grip higher

Ten ninja tips on how to use the iPhone 6 Plus one-handed!

Most of us have learned to grip the iPhone at the bottom. Now that the iPhone 6 Plus is here, however, it pays to grip it higher. Teach yourself to bring your hand up so it rests slightly below the middle of the phone. This way you can still reach the bottom but your thumb can also reach closer to the top.

3. Optimize your apps

Ten ninja tips on how to use the iPhone 6 Plus one-handed!

Now that you know what hand is best for you, pick up your iPhone 6 Plus and fan your thumb across the screen. That's the sweet spot — the area that's easiest for you to reach. And that's where you should arrange all your most-used apps. So, for example, if you're holding your iPhone in your left hand, the bottom left is where you'll want to cluster your go-to apps.

4. Reach for Reachability

Ten ninja tips on how to use the iPhone 6 Plus one-handed!

How to use the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus one-handed with Reachability

For apps, buttons, and other elements that aren't in the sweet spot, there's Reachability, which brings the entire interface halfway down the display. Since it's new, it won't be habitual. If you make a conscious effort to use it, however, you can make it a reflex. Any time you find yourself straining to reach the top of the screen, don't use your other hand, practice using Reachability instead.

5. The slide

Ten ninja tips on how to use the iPhone 6 Plus one-handed!

Once you get better at using your iPhone 6 Plus one handed, The balance will click and you'll get better at shifting your grip around as well. In other words, you'll get better at relaxing your hand, letting your iPhone slide a bit higher or lower, and then tightening your grip again. It'll let you expand your up-and-down each, and the area where you can hit apps and buttons.

6. The turn

Ten ninja tips on how to use the iPhone 6 Plus one-handed!

What the slide does for up-and-down, the turn does for side-to-side. By resting the side of your iPhone 6 Plus on your palm, a turn of your wrist lets your thumb reach the previously unreachable — even without Reachability. You'll still need the previous tips from time to time, but with the slide and the turn, you'll need them less often.

7. The pinky plank

Ten ninja tips on how to use the iPhone 6 Plus one-handed!

Extreme situations call for extreme grips. Once you've mastered the slide and the turn, you can go for gold with the pinky plank. When you need to reach something on the extreme opposite of the screen, balance your iPhone 6 Plus on your pinky, and then reach your finger all the way up and across. It gives you both stability and flexibility.

8. The case for cases

Ten ninja tips on how to use the iPhone 6 Plus one-handed!

Some people find the iPhone 6 Plus slippery. If you're one of them, it'll make one-handed use more stressful and perhaps even more accident prone. To compensate for it, you can use a case. You'll want one that's got some grip, but not one that restricts your grip. That means thin and smooth.

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Your tips

The iPhone 6 Plus has an incredible display but its size makes using it one handed a challenge. These are some of the tips that I used to make myself as productive as possible with my iPhone 6 Plus when I need to use it one handed. With some practice and attention, it's surprising just how good anyone can get.

If you're using an iPhone 6 Plus one-handed, let me know how you're doing, and more importantly — let me know your tips!

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

  • I could never manage to use the iPhone 4 one handed. I had a tendency towards butter fingers. Don't even try one handed operation. Hey, I'm no multi-tasking genius. I'm more along the lines of grasping with two hands and hoping for the best with my 6+
  • iPhone 6 Plus at least for me is a two handed phone in almost all scenarios. If just scrolling then one hand is enough but that's pretty much it. Great phone though no doubt. Sent from the iMore App
  • This is what I use: Sent from the iMore App
  • I gotta say I really hate this new slide format listicle thing iMore seems to have adopted. It's an eye sore.
  • Just hit the VIEW ALL button at the top and it'll switch to an article view. Choices!
  • I'm just hoping that Apple makes an iPhone 6 mini (same size as the 5 series), next season. If not, I and probably a lot of other people, are done with iPhones for good. The 6 is too big for me, and the 6 plus is like something you'd buy for a senior, like those silly gigantic calculators or TV remotes with the enormous buttons.
  • I find this interesting because you almost never hear about Android users complaining they want smaller phones. It reminds me of the first couple years of iPhone when everyone said they had to have physical keyboards or they'd lose to BlackBerry. How much is old habits and how much is really usage problems? And if the case got smaller, would the screen size matter as much?
  • Oh really; i swapped my Nexus 4 for an iPhone 4s as the Nexus was to big IMHO... My wife had an Sony X10 mini and after that phone broke she bought an iPhone 5s what was actually too big for her. so there are people who don't like large phones including me.
  • Interesting, how often do you hear about people doing the same? I've asked around a lot, and I'd really like to hear more stories.
  • On the Talk Show (I think the episode with Marco Arment) he mentioned a few stories, and one of them openly wondered if Apple might consider re-adding a 4" to the lineup next year.
  • Well, I don't know what to answer to that really, but in my defence this isn't one of those "I hate big phones" things. I went to the store several times and tried out the new phones in my hand, opened up my favourite apps etc. and ... I just don't like them. I think the bottom line is that they are not only too big for my hand (and I have larger than average hands), they also "solve no problems" for me. There is nothing about the slightly smaller screen of my current iPhone 5 that is "bad" IMO. I literally never sit there and wish it was bigger, or anything like that. I think you might never hear Android users wanting smaller phones, because they have always had the choice. For years now, the standard Android phones have been around the same size as the iPhone 5, or you could get bigger ones if you want. Ergo, there is no pool of dissatisfied Android customers.
  • I can palm a basketball, the 5/S was the perfect size for me. I could grip it at any angle and still use it without juggling it. I got the 6, not the plus. I've had a few close calls. I've had many occasions where I want the smaller size back, very few times when I use my wife's 5S wishing it had a bigger screen. Even taking a picture is more difficult with the 6. The balance is off. My problem is, next year my wife gets the upgrade so if they do make a 6S mini, I'm sol.
  • Some of them definitely do. I have three friends (two female, one male) who opted for the Xperia Z3 Mini over the regular Xperia Z2/Z3. Sad thing about the Android world is that, despite having hundreds of models from dozens of manufacturers, you don't get much choice if you're after a flagship-level phone that's under 5"
  • Mostly usage problems because I cant reach the last row on the left side of the keyboard while still keeping my fingers gripping the side for stability. My hand is just big enough to barely grip on to the iphone5 while reaching over the the left side of the keyboard. The 6 is just impossible... I`m often on the go all the time and if I cant use my phone with one hand it`s not a good phone in my eyes.
  • yep, yep, i hope too as i won't buying any bigger phone then say 3.5" or 4" screen.
    do like the technology of the new iPhone 6 series but will not buy one.
  • "If not, I and probably a lot of other people, are done with iPhones for good." Well, alrighty then!
  • Apologies for the stridency. I was referring to the known fact that most people buying the larger phones are not actually upgrading from small ones, but switching from Android. For the same reason, I think Apple would be nuts to stop making the smaller phones.
  • Interesting but what then? Go to Android where big devices are literally a plenty and small devices are not? Sony Z3 mini or something I'd literally the best mini phone the same seize as the iPhone 6. Go to Windows? No flagships have been out in years and the app support is horrible. Go to blackberry? That's funny. 4.7 is literally one of the smallest for factors out their and you say it's big? I'm just saying that's interesting. But that is choice. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • My feeling is that next year we will see an iPhone 6s, an iPhone 6s plus, and an iPhone 6 mini, with the mini being styled like the 6, but the same size as the current iPhone 5 or 5s. Apple will also probably put the guts of the 5s into the plastic case and call it the iPhone 6c or something, because they need that entry level model. This would have the knock on effect of eliminating all devices from the line up that don't have TouchID, and don't have the motion coprocessors. If it turns out that they don't offer the 6 mini and the plastic "iPhone 6c" is all they offer in the small size, it will be as if they are saying "Get used to the big phones or leave the ecosystem." Which I don't think they will do. If they do however, I will buy whatever small phones are left, (or last years model) and hang onto it for as long as I can (probably a few years at least). By that time, everything will be different. Maybe the Watch will be capable of taking calls by then.
  • I have heard that the iPhone mini rumour was false a few months ago when it was big talk. I won't be surprised if it was made to be false. Hopefully Apple does release a smaller variant of the iPhone 6. Choice is great and while many say the iPhone 5c was a failure have got to get their ears checked because it was very successful compared even to Android flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One M7. It'll be great if it was priced about 200 dollars off compared to the 650 starting price of a 16 gigabyte iPhone 6, especially with a poly carbonate backing, it should start at 16 gigabyte base and increase by 50 dollars in storage like the iPod touch 5 does now. That'll be a good midranger. Since apple is going to purportedly put 2 gigabytes of the new LPDDR4 in the iPhone 6s, Apple could put the older LPDDR3 2 gigabyte of RAM in the mid range device with possibly the A7 or A8 chip again. I think at this point 1 gigabyte of RAM is really pushing it. That'll be very helpful in multitasking and such. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I never heard any rumours an iPhone 6 mini at all and I read the tech press pretty much constantly, but in any case I wasn't talking about rumours. They are unreliable anyway. It's just fairly obvious on the facts that around 80% of Apple's customers with the smaller phones, did not choose to upgrade this year to the large ones. I'm just saying that based on those facts, I personally believe it would be stupid for Apple to not make a 5" iPhone 6 next season. This has nothing to do with the possibility of a plastic "iPhone 6c" although I would expect they will continue with that as well. Apple will almost certainly have a 5" option next season as they have this season. Whether it's just the plastic one, or whether it's metal (or both), is how we will be able to tell their intentions. If it's both, that makes sense to me. If it's just the plastic one then that's a big middle finger from Apple to all the small phone enthusiasts.
  • Apple Watch will be able to make calls through your iPhone while it stays in your pocket. This is why it's perfect timing for Apple to release the watch. When your phone is too big, use your watch, when the watch is too small, use your phone. Sneaky buggers.
  • Excellent Gazoobee! You know the marketplace is a wonderful thing. There are lots of choices for everyone - even those that want smaller phones. To counter your statement, I wanted an iPhablet and would likely have switched to droid if Apple did NOT make the 6+. I love my 6+. Go forth...get something you happy. :)
  • I am in the opposite boat. I originally chose the iPhone 6 for its size figuring the 6+ would be to large. After several months I started craving the larger device. I have now used my JUMP on T-Mobile(I traded in my 5s instead of jumping because I actually made a profit this way), and I have the 6+. I personally have small hands but I am adjusting to the 6+ really well. Sent from the iMore App
  • I can use 6+ one-handed about 95% of the time. I have an egrips on the back which makes one-handed use much easier.
  • Sometimes thin is too thin. I still have the 5S, and the thickness compared to the 6, or 6 plus seems to more stable one handed use. If the 5S screen was as big as the 6, or 6 plus, but the same thickness, it would work better one handed. It cradles the hand better. Sent from the iMore App
  • Agree, thinness and the slickness of the phone make it harder for one handed use. That and those bezels.... Sent from the iMore App
  • I've been using my 6 Plus with the Speck Candyshell Grip case. It has raised rubber ridges around the case that greatly enhance your grip. It's especially helpful when trying the hand gymnastics mentioned in the article. Sent from the iMore App
  • Thanks for these tips! I will definitely use them.
  • I too like the smaller size of the iPhone 5/ 5s. I currently have a 6 but would love to have a phone with the features of an iPhone 6 that is the same size as the 5/5s. it seems to me that when we had the old brick or bag phones all anyone could talk about was getting a smaller phone, now that we finally have smaller phones all I hear is we can't wait till Apple builds a bigger phone, WTF...
  • A very helpful article on how owners/users can better handle their iPhone 6 + one handed. I do not have large hands but I do not want a smaller phone. I did come from Android. Last phone before my 6 + was a new Note 4 so I am not shy regarding extra screen size. The size allowed me to forget about my Nexus 7 tablet.
  • Great tips. I'm s right handed 6 Plus user. My grip has been the pinky plank since day one.
    I also find myself tilting the phone to the left to reach the home button. Or tilting it back.
    I also find myself not griping the phone at all. I'll just lay the phone across four spread fingers with the bottom right corner of the phone pointed into my palm with the index pointed "north" as brace. I find that using the index finger as a brace very important. Sent from the iMore App
  • Good article! I came from an iPhone 5 and went to the 6 plus. At first I thought the 6 plus was way too big but now I love it.
  • I have a 6+ and tried all of the same tricks over way the 6+ is a one-handed phone. Steve was right about that. But I love my 6+ despite it being a 2 handed phone.
  • Apple shouldve considered the form factor like of the lg g3. That's where they messed up. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Your just being a troll, the LG G3 is both taller and wider than the 6 plus. Essentially a lot worse for one handed operation.
  • Are you sure about that?
    "While both phones have essentially the same size (5.5-inch) screen, the iPhone is considerably taller and slightly wider (though a little thinner). Actual dimensions of the G3 are 5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches compared t0 6.22 by 3.06 by .28 inches for the 6 Plus."
  • Did you just see that the post was made via the iMore Android app and assume they were making things up? The G3 is significantly smaller than the 6 Plus despite having the same screen size. Maybe you're the troll? I have a 6 Plus but agree that the bezels on this thing are ridiculous. Sent from the iMore App
  • ???
    I'm sorry but that comment is ridiculous how am I being a troll when I'm clearly stating a fact. Btw I own idevices as well FYI, but use my Nexus 5 more... Anyways even the Nexus 6 with its larger 5.95 inch display is similar in size to the 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus and you have the large bezels to blame for that. Form factor has never been Apples strong suit. Literally the only changes with every iPhone upgrade in screen change has been literally increasing the screen but keeping the bezels the same making the phones bigger than they should be. That's where Motorola and LG have excelled. Even the iPhone 6 plus is bigger than the Note 4 and that has a 5.7 inch screen. The thinness does help against the bigger form factor but at a cost of Battery size. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Um no it's not, the G3 is smaller, with the same size screen.... Sent from the iMore App
  • One case to add, and it's not thin.. I completely, totally, love my BookBook for iPhone 6 Plus.. It's bulky, yes, but it has the removable 'thin' case inside.. Very nice, and offers a bit of both worlds. I had my doubts.. but, it's enabled me to use my phone one handed a lot.. plus get rid of my wallet.. now my phone is my wallet.. and I use it one-handed a lot!
  • I always use two hands. [rim-shot]
  • Stupidity! So you'd better buy an iPhone 6 case in order to perform one hand-use? Why the hell did Apple make it thinner? It's not necessary, it doesn't bring anything better. More space in pocket? Did you have any problem. With the 5 inch models regarding space? Stupidity! The thin 6-models just make it more slippy and you can't grip them comfortably without feeling the risk of dropping it! So iPhone 6s will be slightly thinner? Because? Apple are stupid! Look at this protruding camera lens, and the feeling of iPhone 6! Looks like a Samsung. Great job.. I'm glad i returned the 6 for a 5s! So what am I and other 4 inch-users gonna buy when iOS is too unstable in the future, hm? We have to trade brand? The reachability is plain stupid also! Watch the IPhone thumb add and say Reachability is logic.. Sorry for complaint but I bloody hope for an iPhone 6s mini in 4 inches! But how would a potential smaller model look and feel it's thin as iPhone 6? Sent from the iMore App
  • "Stupidity" would have been if Apple had not made larger sized phones. Apple sold 75 million iPhones in 3 months because of the 6 and 6 Plus. How was that stupid? And you're assuming that when the iOS update is too "unstable" for the 5S that Apple won't have a 4-inch phone that is updated. Calm your horses before you start spouting off about something that hasn't happened yet.
  • Ofc we'll see if they'll make an 4 inches iPhone 6s! The stupidity is because they didn't do an 4 inch iPhone 6, but I guess that would be too much for Apple. If 5C isn't produced anymore I really hope an 4 inch iPhone 6s WILL replace both the 5C and 5S! Sent from the iMore App
  • Ofc we'll see if they'll make an 4 inches iPhone 6s! The stupidity is because they didn't do an 4 inch iPhone 6, but I guess that would be too much for Apple. If 5C isn't produced anymore I really hope an 4 inch iPhone 6s WILL replace both the 5C and 5S! Sent from the iMore App
  • I have no problem operating 6 Plus with one hand, the secret is some good case that helps adjust the grip securely. Apple did great job making bigger iPhone as light, thin and narrow as possible, it really matters in everyday use.
  • I got an accessory called the iRing. It's a swiveling ring that sticks to the back of the iPhone and makes one handed use so much better.
  • I use my iPad mini one handed. :)
  •  is doomed. No one will ever buy those larger phones.
  • Millions of people own iPhone 6+ and I will buy the 6s plus in the future.
  • So....I've mastered the slide, flip, and pinky movements. From previous iPhones and android phones. I've always preferred a case for extra grip, which kinda sucks in a way because the phones themselves are beautiful. Companies...y u no add grips!? Sent from the iMore App
  • I just made the move from the iPhone 6 to the 6 Plus this weekend, albeit at an expensive trip to the Apple Store to get the phone off contract (iPhone 6 now for sale)! I think all the blogs and videos really scared me about how big the 6 plus was and how tricky is was to use. I've had it three days now and yes it big, yes it's heavier than the 6 and awkward at times but it's amazing how quickly you adapt and now the 6 seems small! That's me sold on bigger iPhone screens now and I'm glad I made the investment to switch! Thanks, Matt (typed with my thumb, whilst holding in other hand)! Sent from the iMore App
  • For me this is a debate that will rage on forever. Everyone is different, for me the sweet spot for an phone screen is 4". I have tried larger screen Android counterparts but they have not worked for me. Everyone is different and I think one handed use is a priority, especially when I am on the bus travelling. Hopefully they will release a 6mini but somehow I know it will be a cut-down version of the newer phone so it won't appeal to me as much, I can only hope it won't be!
    For me I have an iPad if I want a big screen web browser and my iPhone for everything in-between. Not everyone needs a big phone and there are plenty of people like me who are happy with what they have got, my biggest concern is when I upgrade I want a flagship and not a cut down phone. We will see when the time comes! Sent from the iMore App
  • I have found that using a good keyboard app that lets you shrink the keyboard has been a huge help. I'm using Minuum and its been great. Now I can type with one hand again.
  • I found a keyboard that is pretty good for one handed.
  • Using the iPhone 6 plus one handed is very easy to do. I do use a pure gear slim shell case but even before that I was one-handed really everyone likes what they like and the main thing it boils down to is what the person who is using the device thinks. I do say this playing around with the in store model did not compare to actual day to day use. Did I have to get used to the difference YES but I now Love the size and feel of the 6plus.
  • Without the Apple Leather Case (Black), one handed use would be near impossible because of how slippery the iPhone 6Plus is. I only use one hand when absolutely necessary to cut down on possible drops. The 6Plus is a two handed device for me, but I gladly sacrifice one handed use for screen size....SMILE