What does each button on the iPhone do?

If you are getting familiar with the Apple ecosystem, and with the iPhone in particular, there are several questions that may arise when we handle one of these devices. Being of the “all screen” style, the most current iPhones have few buttons. And these can be managed individually, or using combinations on the iPhone itself. So in this post we will see what each button does and what each combination does on the iPhone.

How many buttons does an iPhone have?

Since the iPhone X, all models have four buttons (or three, depending on how you look at it). By having the vast majority of controls through the touch screen, the few iPhone buttons, although it seems that they do not, have important functions. But just because the iPhone only has four buttons, it doesn’t mean that only four functions can be done through them. In fact, there are many morebut first, let’s see what buttons an iPhone has:

  • volume up button
  • volume down button
  • lock button
  • Mute Button / Switch

Each separate button does what its name indicates. But the iPhone allows you to use combinations and different presses on its physical buttons, in order to execute different actions and tasks. So, thanks to the combinations, we can have many more functions. This is what you can do:

  • Press and hold the lock button: launch Siri.
  • Double press the lock button: open Apple Pay (wallet).
  • Press the lock button and a volume button: we will take out a screenshot.
  • Hold down the lock button and one of the volume buttons: we can turn off the iPhone, call emergencies and view our medical data (that we have entered in the Health app), thanks to a contextual menu.
  • restart the iPhone: Press and release the volume up button, press and release the volume down button, and then hold down the lock button until you see the apple logo.

As you can see, these three buttons are the ones that are used the most to play with the combinations, and thus, carry out different tasks. But this applies with an iPhone X onwards. What about slightly older iPhone models like the iPhone 8 or iPhone 7? Also in the case of the iPhone SE. On these iPhones we have one more button: the Home button, as well as slight variations in terms of combinations. This button fulfills a main function: that of returning to the home screen if we are in any app, but it also fulfills other tasks:

  • Open Siri, if we hold the button pressed
  • Open Apple Pay, yes press the button twice
  • Take a screenshot, if we press the Home button and the Lock button

iphone se buttons

So, some commands that are done with the Lock button on iPhone X onwards, on these models are done with the Home button. In these iPhone models, to turn off the device we must press and hold the lock button until the slider appears. And what about the mute button? In both models it fulfills exactly the same function: put the iPhone in sound mode, or in vibration mode with all notification and call sounds disabled.