How to use 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

When I show 3D Touch on my iPhone 6s to my friends the usual response is, “I guess that’s cool.” 3D Touch may be Apple’s latest game changer. While my friends may not appreciate this new feature, the response from iPhone 6s and 6s Plus owners has been very positive. And think about this — 3D Touch is still fresh off the block. Who knows what Apple or third-party developers will come up with later on. For those who want to know everything you need to know about 3D Touch, please read on.

How to use 3D Touch on iPhone 6s

So what exactly is 3D Touch? Essentially, Apple devices with 3D Touch are able to sense how much pressure you are applying to the screen. Based on the amount of pressure you input, the iPhone will react accordingly. This “pressure sensor” moves beyond the common gestures of tapping, swiping, and adds another layer of interaction with your device.

There are multiple ways that you can use 3D Touch on your device:

Enabling and Disabling 3D Touch

3D Touch was designed to make moving around your iPhone sharper, faster, and more intelligent than previous generations. In order to partake in all of these wonderful additions, 3D Touch is enabled by default. But if you would like to disable the feature, or only enable it when you need it, you can enable or disable 3D Touch with ease. Just go to Settings > General > Accessibility > 3D Touch.

Enable 3D Touch

Adjusting 3D Touch Sensitivity

When it comes to sensitivity, it’s rarely a “one size fits all” situation. If you’re ever having an issue with not being able to engage or accidentally engaging 3D Touch, you can adjust the sensitivity for settings more to your liking. Open the Settings app and go to General -> Accessibility -> 3D Touch. You’ll see the section for 3D Touch Sensitivity. Adjust the slider to your preferences and test the changes in the Test section below.

iPhone 6s - 3D Touch - Change Sensitivity

Using Quick Actions with 3D Touch on the Home Screen

The Home Screen is the main hub on your device. 3D Touch Quick Actions let you do things that you do most often, faster and with fewer taps. Many of these actions can even be done with a single press, right from the Home screen. Stock apps like Camera, Maps, Messages, and Phone all have built-in options for Quick actions.

To use 3D Touch, press deeply (as if you were ringing a doorbell) on a compatible application like the Camera app. This will bring up the Quick Actions menu. Simply tap on the action you would like to launch and that’s that.
Quick Actions - Home

Check our video walkthrough of how to use Quick Actions with 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus:

For more details check out: How to use Home Screen Quick Actions on iPhone 6s with 3D Touch

Using Peek and Pop

Peek and Pop not only lets you preview and jump into messages or mail, but also links, flight information, map locations and more. Peek and Pop offers quick actions that can be launched on supported apps without the need to completely open the app. If Peek is available, it will blur the background and the action item or link will be highlighted.

3D Touch is probably most valuable with the Peek and Pop function.

Press to peek at it.


Press deeper to pop into it.


Check out our video walkthrough on using Peep and Pop using 3D Touch to get a better idea:

Make sure to check out our complete guide on using Peek and Pop with 3D Touch.

Switching Apps with 3D Touch

Switching between apps and opening up the App Switcher can now be done with 3D Touch. Press and in on the left side of your screen to bring up the App Switcher. The Switch back and forth between previous app, press in on the left side of the screen and immediately drag to the right. Doing this will cycle between the current and previous apps.
iPhone 6s - 3D Touch - Switch apps

Check out our video walkthrough to get a better idea:

Read our guide on how to quickly switch apps with 3D Touch on iPhone 6s.

Turning your iPhone 6s Keyboard into a Trackpad with 3D Touch

Making a mistake in the middle of a sentence shouldn’t be a big deal. But on the iPhone, selecting a word or letter to change or delete was more than a nuisance — it was a major design flaw in my opinion. Thankfully, this is addressed with 3D Touch. Instead of using that cumbersome magnifier, you can actually turn the keyboard into a trackpad for super easy text selection. To enable it, press firmly on the keyboard. This will switch your keyboard into a trackpad.

iPhone 6s - 3D Touch - Turn Keyboard into Trackpad

Here’s the video walkthrough:

Make sure to check out our guide on how to turn your iPhone 6s keyboard into a trackpad.

Taking a Live Photo

Taking a live photo is exactly the same method as taking a regular photo. All you need to do is make sure the Live icon is highlighted before you take your photo.

Live Photo - Ball

Here’s our hands-on video:

Make sure to check out our guide on how to take and view Live Photos on your iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

Viewing a Live Photo with 3D Touch

Live Photos may have been one of the most talked about features when the new iPhones made their debut. Live Photos work by saving not only the photo you take when you hit the shutter button, but also by capturing 1.5 seconds before and 1.5 seconds afterward you tap shutter. You can view and animate a Live Photo using 3D Touch. Launch the Camera app and find a Live Photo. Live Photos animate slightly when scrolling through photos. Press down (with some force) on a photo to make it go “Live”. If the video has sound, that will also play.

Live Photos on iPhone 6s

Deleting or Moving App Without Enabling 3D Touch

Since the home screen now incorporates 3D Touch. Pressing and holding on an app to toggle deletion is no longer the go-to method for removing apps. In order to avoid triggering Quick Actions when deleting apps, you now have to hold your finger on an app to bring up the deletion toggle. No need to press in anymore. However, the old method still works on Folders.

Move or Delete Home screen apps on iPhone 6s

Check our video walkthrough on how to move or delete apps on the Home screen without triggering 3D Touch:

Make sure to check out our complete guide to learn how to move or delete apps on iPhone 6s without triggering 3D Touch Quick Actions.

3D Touch is a great addition to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. With more applications utilizing the technology, the sky is really the limit. Let us know what you think of 3D Touch in the comment section.

For even more help with 3D Touch check out our 22 3D Touch Tips and Tricks.