How to choose which contacts appear in Phone app’s 3D Touch shortcut menu

By , Feb 2, 2016

3D Touch finger pressing screen image 001

Are the contacts in the 3D Touch shortcut menu of the Phone app confusing you? Upon pressing Phone’s icon lightly, a menu pops up with three seemingly random contacts, making it easy to call them quickly from the Home screen. Believe it or not, there’s actually some logic behind listing these quick contacts. Even better, you can change their order as well as set other people to be listed in Phone’s shortcut menu.

How Phone determines which contacts appear in 3D Touch menu

Is there any common sense logic as to which contacts you see upon hard-pressing Phone’s Home screen icon? Does this have anything to do with iOS’s Proactive assistant? As it turns out, it’s neither rocket science nor dark magic—contacts listed in the shortcut menu are the top three entries from Phone’s Favorites.

The third entry listed in Phone’s Favorites from the top becomes the first item at the top of the 3D Touch menu. The second entry in Favorites is your middle contact in the shortcut menu. The top contact in Favorites is your third 3D Touch shortcut.

iOS 9 Phone 3D Touch Home screen shortcuts iPhone 6s screenshot 001

If you move entries within Favorites around, you can customize Phone’s shortcut menu to your liking. I’m not quite satisfied with the contacts listed in the Phone’s 3D Touch shortcut menu on my iPhone 6s and think I should have my boss Sébastien Page appear there so that I can call him with a single gesture on the Home screen.

How to select contacts for Phone’s 3D Touch shortcut menu

Step 1: Launch the Phone app.

Step 2: Tap Favorites in the tab area alongside the bottom. A list of your favorite contacts will appear. If the list is empty, add a contact to Phone’s Favorites list by tapping the plus sign in the upper right, then choose a contact from your address book.

Step 3: To reorder your Favorites list, tap Edit in the upper left corner. A drag handle appears on the rightmost side of each entry in Favorites.

Step 4: Tap and hold the drag handle of a contact. Now move your finger up or down to reposition the item in the list, and then let go off the finger.

iOS 9 Phone Favorites reorder iPhone 6s screenshot 005

Step 5: Repeat the process for other Favorites items. Keep in mind that only the first three contacts at the top of Favorites appear in Phone’s 3D Touch shortcut menu.

Step 5: To finish reordering your Favorites, tap Done in the upper left corner of the Phone app.

Now Sébastien appears as a quick contact within Phone’s 3D Touch menu.

iOS 9 Phone 3D Touch Home screen shortcuts iPhone 6s screenshot 002

Tip: If reordering your Favorites isn’t reflected in the 3D Touch menu, force-quit the Phone app: press the Home button twice in quick succession, then swipe up the Phone app in the iOS task switcher.

Now press firmly Phone’s Home screen icon and the changes you made to your Favorites should be reflected in the shortcut menu.

Unfortunately, you cannot change the quick contacts in the 3D Touch shortcut menus for the Messages and FaceTime apps on your iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus as these are based on who iOS 9’s Proactive feature thinks you’re likely to interact with next.

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  • Tarek Al Shawi

    Thanks alot! didn’t know that <3

  • Awesome tip. Thank you!

  • neale

    I get no contacts, just the create new contact shortcut… Is there something I can do to fix this?

  • Guest

    Do you guys know the logic behind messages? Seems like random people pop up when I force touch it

  • Athanasios Pap

    Try to move your Phone App Icon to the first row of the home screen. What happens then with the list order?

  • roygelbart

    Wish Apple would change it so you can re order the Messages quick contacts!