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Use Swipe Gesture to Go Back on Many iOS Apps

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Modern versions of iOS introduced a new gesture-based method of navigating back to previous pages, screens, and panels in many apps on the iPhone. Essentially, this gesture can be used to replace the ‘Back’ button, and while not all apps support the swipe-to-back gesture yet, many Apple defaults do. For now you can certainly use the trick to go back in Safari to a previous webpage, back to the settings panels, App Store screens, in the iTunes Store, and a handful of others. It’s a simple swipe back, similar to what would be used to go through it home screen panels with icons, but it requires a bit more precision so it may take a little practice to get it right:

  • Navigate within a compatible app so the “Back” choice is optional, whether to a new web page or deeper into a Settings panel
  • Swipe right from the edge of the screen to go back, try to make the swipe as horizontal as possible

The swipe right movement must be started from the outer edge of the screen, or almost perfectly horizontal, to trigger the movement backwards, otherwise you will likely scroll down or up instead. One of both tricks works, but the perimeter method may be easiest for most users.

Go back with a swipe to the right

It does take a bit of practice, but usually you’ll perfect it pretty quickly after a few tries, even if it’s nowhere near as forgiving as some of the other iOS gestures, such as the one to exit an app. It’s probably stricter to avoid accidentally triggering it, but it does give it a slight learning curve to master.

Once you get the hang of it, you will find that the swipe back gesture can make it easier to go back a page / panel when using a smaller device with a one-handed screen, such as an iPhone or iPod touch, because this activated with just one movement of the thumb. It’s still useful on the iPad as well, but make sure to use a single finger or touch point, otherwise you can get excited up inadvertently activating the app switcher or any of the other iPad-specific gestures.

Swipe navigation and touch-based gestures are not particularly new, they have been on the iPad for a while, and for Mac users with trackpads or a Magic Mouse, also within OS X to navigate in Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Mission Control , skipping between Spaces, moving through the Finder, and almost identical to this trick for iOS and for OS X, go back in many Mac apps too.

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Use a Swipe Gesture to Go Back in Many iOS Apps: FAQ

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The time to complete the Use a Swipe Gesture to Go Back in Many iOS Apps tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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