How to access hidden Settings navigation to move through sections faster on iPhone

iPhone Settings navigation menu - hero image

The Settings app on your iPhone and iPod touch with iOS 14, as well as your iPad with iPadOS 14, lets you navigate sections more effortlessly via an enhanced Back button. With it, you can access any previous sub-sections relative to your current location. Follow our quick tutorial to learn how to use the handy but hidden Settings navigation menu on an iPhone or iPad.

This time-saving feature is supported on any iPhone or iPod touch model compatible with iOS 14, as well as on iPads with the iPadOS 14.0+ update. Follow along with our tutorial for step-by-step instructions on how to navigate Settings faster using the hidden navigation menu.

How to access hidden Settings navigation

Follow these steps to access the hidden navigation menu in Settings for iOS and iPadOS 14:

  1. Open Setting on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
  2. Navigate to a desired sub-section, at least one level deep.
  3. Hold the Back button in the top-left, highlight a location and let go to jump there instantly.

And that’s all there’s to it.

iPhone Settings navigation menu in Light Mode
The Back button in Settings has a secret

As you can see for yourself, holding the Back button produces a hierarchy of your current place within Settings. What it does not do, however, is provide the full alphabetically sorted list of all the root-level sections such as General, Battery, Wallpaper, Accessibility, Privacy and so forth.

The Settings navigation menu is available on the iPad, too

For instance, you visited Settings → Accessibility → Touch → AssistiveTouch → Devices → Bluetooth Devices. In that case, the Settings navigation menu will show you how you got there. As a result, you can jump straight to any of the sub-sections relative to that specific location.

iPhone Settings navigation menu in Dark Mode

Navigating macOS System Preferences faster

As mentioned, you cannot access all the root Settings options by tapping and holding the Settings icon. Doing so only produces common shortcuts such as Battery, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth etc.

macOS System Preferences navigation menu in the Dock
One-click access to every major section in System Preferences on the Mac

In macOS, however, a long-click of the System Preferences icon in the Dock does the trick — you get a list of all the preference panes, sorted alphabetically. For more Mac tips like this, be sure to read our tutorial that brings you a dozen cool tips for macOS System Preferences.

50 major new features in iOS 14

For a quick overview of the 50 headline new iPhone and iPod touch features introduced with iOS 14, be sure to watch our hands-on video walkthrough embedded right ahead.

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