How to Use the iOS Back Button within Apps to Go Back on iPhone or iPad

How to Use the Back Button to Return to a Previous App on Your iPhone

If you've ever wondered how to go back in iPhone or iPad, you'll be happy to know that when you've followed a link from one app to another on your iPhone or iPad, there is a little back button on iPhone and iPad to take you back where you started. Before this back button addition in iOS 9, if a notification opened a different app, you could only go back by either returning to the Home screen or double-clicking the Home button to open to the app switcher. Since then, Apple has also added the option to use 3D touch to swipe back and forth between apps.  

Related: How to Use 3D Touch in iOS 10 Control Center on iPhone

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

How to go back in iPhone and iPad Apps

There are two ways to go back on iPad apps and iPhone apps. You can use the on-screen back button or you can use 3D Touch:

How to Use the Back Button on iPhone or iPad

Where is the back button on iPhone? The iPhone back button is not that easy to see. If you open a link in Mail, or some other app, you will see a little back button in the top left corner of the newly opened app that lets you navigate back to the previous app, making app-to-app navigation all the more smooth. 


How to Go Back in iPhone or iPad Apps Using 3D Touch

To go back on iPhone, firmly press the left side of the screen and swipe all the way to the right side of the screen (lifting your finger before then or increasing the pressure will open the app switcher instead.) Once you have mastered this 3D Touch gesture, you will be able to quickly navigate back and forth between two apps.

 Top Image Credit: Denys Prykhodov /

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Conner Carey holds a bachelor's in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and resides in Fairfield, Iowa. When she's not writing, you can find her singing jazz or lifting weights. Her personal blog is currently under construction, but you can follow her on Instagram @connerleecarey.