How to use your iPhone — essential tips and tricks

how to use your iphone tips and tricks
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Apple’s iPhones are some of the best phones out there — powerful devices that keep dozens of apps, streaming services and other features within arms reach at all times.  Throw in outstanding cameras, a gorgeous display and a blazing-fast processor, and the iPhone quickly becomes a device you can’t live without.

But just because the iPhones are powerful tools, that doesn’t mean they’re all easy to use. Sometimes, even the simplest tasks can flummox even experienced smartphone users.

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We’ve all been there, struggling to remember “Just how do I do that again?” as we stared helplessly at our iPhone screens. So to help make sure those moments are few and far between, we’ve put together this guide on how to use the iPhone, starting with the basics and expanding to include more advanced features.

Whether you’ve got an iPhone 12 or you’re still holding on to an older device, our iPhone guide can help you get the most out of your smartphone. We'll show you how to back up your iPhone, take screenshots, turn off your iPhone, use Apple Pay, reset your iPhone and more. 

iPhone 12 tips: Features to enable and disable

If you've upgraded to one of Apple's four latest models, here are the features to address right away.

How to back up your iPhone

You’re going to want to make sure all that important data on your iPhone stays safe and secure. Here’s how to back up your iPhone using both iCloud and a computer.

How to show your iPhone battery percentage

Knowing exactly how much battery life you left can be tricky on one of Apple’s newer iPhones. But we can help you see at a glance just how soon you’ll need to recharge your device.

How to take a screenshot with your iPhone

Taking a screenshot sounds pretty basic, right? But how to do it changes depending on which iPhone you’re using. We’ve got a quick refresher on the buttons you need to push to capture a screenshot.

How to turn off your iPhone

This another task that can be trickier than you might think, especially if you’re upgrading to an iPhone with a new design. But turning off your iPhone is easy enough once you remember which buttons to use.

How to delete apps on an iPhone

There comes a point when app outlives its usefulness. We’ll show you how to get rid of apps you no longer want cluttering up your phone (or how to restore ones that you’ve already deleted.).

How to use Apple Pay with your iPhone

Your phone becomes a mobile wallet with Apple Pay, the iPhone’s built-in payments feature. But before you can leave your wallet at home, you’ve got to set up Apple Pay on your mobile device.

How to record your iPhone screen

iOS 14 includes built-in controls for capturing what’s on your iPhone screen. It’s a handy way of getting troubleshooting help if you’re not in the same room as someone — provided you know how to record your screen.

How to set up voicemail on an iPhone

Your iPhone can save recording from any phone calls you missed. But to take advantage of that feature, you’re going to need to enable voicemail first.

How to reset an iPhone

Whether you want to resell your iPhone or just need to take it back to its original settings, we can walk you through the process of resetting one of Apple’s phones.

How to downgrade iOS

Not happy with the current version of iOS? It's possible to go back in time to a version that runs better on your iPhone.

How to reset your Apple ID password

Follow these simple steps on how to reset your Apple ID password within minutes.

More iPhone tips

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.