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Home / Features / iPhone Action Button: what it is and how you can customize it on the 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max

iPhone Action Button: what it is and how you can customize it on the 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max

Instead of flicking a switch to set your phone to silent, you now press and hold the Action Button for a haptic feedback response.

iPhone Action Button

Apple has replaced the famous ring/silent switch with the Action Button on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max flagship phones.

The older style switch is still present on the standard iPhone 15 and 15 Plus though we’re expecting the Action Button to come to all models with 2024’s iPhone 16.

Instead of flicking a switch to set your phone to silent, you now press and hold the button for a haptic feedback response. This is all done via a bespoke interface that’s part of the Settings app. As you can see below, it’s an unusual and quite different design to other settings on the iPhone.

By default, it sets your phone to silent (or ring) but you can customise what it does really easily, using pre-determined actions such as opening the camera or Siri Shortcuts. Or you can specify your own should you wish.

iPhone Action Button

The button is designed to either enable the Action in question or disable it – there’s no other way to press it for different capabilities. You’ll see an on-screen indication that the Action has taken place around the Dynamic Island as well as getting the haptic feedback.

How to customise the Action Button on iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

  1. Go to the Settings app
  2. Select Action Button (you can also search for it anywhere on your phone of course).
  3. Swipe across to the Action you want to choose. The pre-determined ones are listed at the bottom of this article.
  4. Some Actions like the Camera button have more specific settings that you can select at the bottom of the screen using the arrows. So, for example, under Camera you can choose what option you want such as a selfie or a video.
    iPhone Action Button
  5. There are two options – Shortcuts and Accessibility – where you need to tap the blue button below the action to select a more specific option (otherwise pressing the Action button won’t do anything). Shortcuts is how you get the Action Button to open a specific app – so you could pop open WhatsApp for example.
iPhone Action Button

What Action Button options are available?

ActionState 1State 2
Silent ModeTurn silent mode on. Turn silent mode off.
FocusTurn a specified (by you) Focus on.Turn the specific Focus off.
CameraOpen the Camera app to take a photo, selfie, video, portrait, or portrait selfie. You can set this yourself. N/A
FlashlightTurn the flashlight on.Turn the flashlight off.
Voice memoStart recording a voice memo.Stop recording a voice memo.
MagnifierOpen the Magnifier app.N/A
TranslateStart translating speech (you can’t currently specify which language, it uses the last one in the Translate app)Stop translating.
ShortcutsOpen an app or run your favourite shortcut.N/A
AccessibilityAccess a specified accessibility feature.N/A
No actionDo nothing.N/A
iPhone Action Button
Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief

About

Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home

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