An exhaustive list of Keyboard Shortcuts for iPad and iPhone

ipad keyboard

Yesterday we told you about new keyboard shortcuts added in iOS 7, but iOS already supported a bunch of keyboard shortcuts that many people might not be aware of. So here’s an exhaustive list of keyboard shortcuts for iPhone and iPad that can be used with a Bluetooth wireless keyboard.

While keyboard shortcuts are hard to remember, they’re a great productivity boost once you get over the learning curve. So if you’re in a text editing application, you won’t have to take your hands off the keyboard each time you want to select text to copy and paste.

Since most of these shortcuts are largely undocumented, you can refer to this list to get started:

System Shortcuts

  • F1 Dim screen
  • F2 Brighten screen
  • F7 Back one song
  • F8 Play/pause
  • F9 Skip song
  • F10 Mute
  • F11 Decrease volume
  • F12 Increase volume
  • ⌘ Space Display a list of available languages; to choose one, tap the space bar again.

Text Selection and navigation

These shortcuts are the same as on any Mac, so you shouldn’t have any problem picking them up quickly on the iPad.

  • ⌘C Copy
  • ⌘X Cut
  • ⌘V Paste
  • ⌘Z Undo
  • ⌘⇧Z Redo
  • ⌘Delete to Delete the text to the beginning of the line
  • Control K to Delete the text to the end of the line
  • Alt (Option) Delete to Delete the word before the cursor
  • ⌘↑ Jump to top of document
  • ⌘↓ Jump to bottom of document
  • ⌘← Jump to beginning of line
  • ⌘→ Jump to end of line
  • Alt↑ Jump to previous start of line
  • Alt  ↓ Jump to next end of line
  • Alt  ← Jump to previous word
  • Alt  → Jump to next word
  • ↑ Select the text above
  • ↓ Select the text below
  • ← Select the text on the left
  • → Select the text on the right
  • ⇧⌘↑ Select all the text to the beginning of the document
  • ⇧⌘↓ Select all the text to the end of the document
  • ⇧⌘← Select the text to the beginning of the line
  • ⇧⌘→ Select the text to the end of the line
  • ⇧Alt↑ Select the text above, line by line
  • ⇧Alt↓ Select the text below, line by line
  • ⇧Alt← Select the text on the left, word by word
  • ⇧Alt→ Select the text on the right, word by word

iPad Navigation

While not normally enabled, iOS will also let you switch between apps and do a lot more if you enable VoiceOver. To switch it on, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > and turn on VoiceOver. Along with the shortcuts, this will also enable the actual voice over, but you can turn that off by pressing Control + Option + S.

  • Control Option H   Home button
  • Control Option H H   Show multitask bar
  • Control Option i   Item chooser
  • Escape   Back button
  •   next item
  •   previous item
  • ↑↓ simultaneously tap selected item
  • Option↓ scroll down
  • Option↑ scroll up
  • Option← or → scroll left or right
  • Control Option S turn VoiceOver speech on or off
  • Command Shift Tab switch to the previous app
  • Command Tab switch back to the original app
  • ←+→, then Option + ← or Option+→ navigate through Dock


  • ⌘L Open Location
  • ⌘T open a new tab
  • ⌘W close the current tab
  • ⌘R refresh the current tab
  • ⌘. stop loading the current tab


  • ⌘N create a new message
  • ⌘⇧D send a message
  • Backspace key to delete the currently selected message
  • ↑ or ↓ select suggested email address in To/CC/BCC popover fields


  • ⌘⇧K comment
  • ⌘⌥K show next comment
  • ⌘⌥⇧K show previous comment

The iOS 7 SDK lets developers add custom keyboard shortcuts in their apps for external Bluetooth keyboards. So expect your favorite iOS text editor to add support for this very soon.

Have we missed any other keyboard shortcuts for the iPhone or iPad in the list? Let us know in the comments below.

[via Logitech, OS X Daily, Image credit: Flickr user Kārlis Dambrāns]

See also: Top iPhone and iPad Keyboard Tips and Tricks

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  • guest

    Please let me know what does the “x” before the C (like in the “copy” shortcut, for example) refers to.
    And also what model and company of the white ipad keyboard of the photo.
    Always a pleasure to read all your updates on mac world.

    • JNess

      It’s the “command” key. Look just to the left or right of the space bar.

  • Noé Ramos

    I would like to know how to send messages vía Whatsapp using just the keyboard “enter key”, instead of touching the “send” button with my finger.
    I’m pretty sure is an App matter instead of a hardware/iOS issue, as BBM or Skype allow to send messages using directly the “enter” key.

  • Ramon Andrews

    These are very helpful keyboard shortcuts for iPhone and iPad. Thank you for sharing.

  • Bk

    When I try to send a text using the separate keyboard rather than the keyboard that pops up on my screen I can’t get it to work. I’m much faster using the separate keyboard so please don’t suggest I do otherwise. Just help me!!!

  • ilikepear

    I believe none of the Function Keys works F1 thru F12

    As far as i discovered. It is actually the custom features printing above the F-keys that cause it to work.

    (It means iPhone by default have the “function keys as standard keys” options turn off like that of OSX keyboard preference)

    Tested this on logitech keyboard, F7 / fn+F7 Does not work.. as F7 is another special function)
    However F7 work on normal apple keyboard (because its printed as next track).

    Just a note to others, when coming to purchase bluetooth keyboards.. double check the special keys printed with the function keys..

  • Jacob Gelman

    I am glad Apple has done this. It really makes it much faster to type on my iPad mini. The one thing I wish they had is a keyboard shortcut for the home button without having to listen to the annyiong voice over.

  • Palaina

    I’m using a Apple Wireless Keyboard, and the only F-key that works is the F1 and F2….. is not the same for all bluetooth keyboards? is there a way to bind the keys to how I want them?

  • Clarissa Lucas

    Thank you for posting these IPad shortcuts. These keys are truly helpful. Cheers!

  • ckug

    Is there a combination for “search” in a document?

    • TT

      Did you find a combination for ‘search’ in a document?

  • Alberto Quintero

    is a waste of time using the voice over short cuts is almost impossible to use the ipad they should be a viable to use them with out voice over !!

    • Matt Wilson

      I just tried voice over too.
      It wrecks the touch interface when it is enabled.
      Definately room to improve iOS there.
      Lots of extra potential as a second screen when enabled.

  • Chrissie

    How do I get an apostrophe or quotes on this stupid keyboard. Sorry just frustrated.

  • cizzu

    I have brydge keyboard and many of those shortcuts dont work.
    Anyone can tell me why?

    • Ian Fischer

      Because your keyboard is not compatible. Try using an apple keyboard and see if it works on that because they should work there.

  • word

    anything to switch from app to app?

    • Ian Fischer

      Quoted from article above:
      Command Shift Tab switch to the previous app
      Command Tab switch back to the original app

  • George N

    what does this have to do with iPhone???!!!!

    • Ian Fischer

      iPhone and iPad use the same operating system iOS.

  • George N

    button on top of iPhone 5 wont work… can i shut off power/ go to sleep mode with a keystoke on iPhone 5? thanks?

  • Gene

    I”ve been using the apple keyboard for over a year on my ipad but now, suddenly and without warning it has stopped working except for the “up” arrow key on the right top which toggles the ipad’s internal keyboard. No other keys work. I’ve tried re-pairing several times to no avail. I’ve taken the batteries out of the keyboard, chose “forget this device” on the ipad and re-paired – nothing works. Any suggestions?

    • Gautam

      Try to “Forget the Device” via the Settings app (Setting > Bluetooth > ) and reconnect it to see if it helps.

    • random876534

      Just use the eject button. That brings up the on-screen keyboard.

  • Jeffrey Timothy Valerie

    Dear Jason I noticed, in using shortcuts, is the user supposed to use the period key as well as another key. As it does not seem to be fully explained

  • JT

    hi we have a belkin keyboard cover for iPad Air doesn’t have a control button – just command and option — is there another option for moving through the apps on the home page? looking for control option i to move through apps on home page but can’t do it without a control button thanks!

  • TanukiRaccoon Chan

    What is that unshaded arrow key in the ‘redo’ command? Which key is that on the keyboard?

    • Joel Jones


      • TanukiRaccoon Chan

        Thank You so much.