I like typing by keyboard while using iPhone and iPad. But when I switch applications(e.g. between Safari and memo application), I have to the push home putton on the devices'. It is very frustrating. Does anybody know how to switch applications by keyboard like "Windows key + tab" on Windows?

  • I use Command-Tab, but that's for OS X, not for iOS.
    – GEdgar
    Feb 23, 2013 at 21:16

3 Answers 3


If you are using a MacOS/iOS BT keyboard with the Option and Command (aka clover leaf or open Apple) keys, then this should help you out…

iPad Navigation Keyboard Commands Basic keyboard navigation shortcuts on iPad are as follows:

Control+Option+H – Home button Control+Option+H+H – Show multitask bar Control+Option+i – Item chooser Escape – Back button Right Arrow – next item Left Arrow – previous item Up + Down Arrows simultaneously – tap selected item Option + Down Arrow – scroll down Option + Up Arrow – scroll up Option + Left or Right Arrow – scroll left or right Control+Option+S – turn VoiceOver speech on or off iPad App Switcher Keyboard Commands Arguably the most useful set of commands are related to app switching:

Command+Shift+Tab – switch to the previous app Command+Tab – switch back to the original app Left+Right Arrow, then Option + Left or Option+Right – navigate through Dock

Source: http://osxdaily.com/2012/10/01/ipad-keyboard-navigation-shortcuts/
More shortcuts: http://www.iphonehacks.com/2013/11/keyboard-shortcuts-ipad-iphone.html


For iPad, ensure that multitasking gestures are turned on in "Settings > General > Multitasking Gestures". Instructions to switch between applications are right below the button.

IPhones do not support task switching with a Bluetooth keyboard.

On iPhones equipped with a 3D Touch screen, you can switch applications by force pressing on the left-most corner of the screen. This will open the task switching view.


Since iOS 13, iPhone also supports controlling iPhone with an external keyboard.

Control iPhone with an external keyboard

If you have difficulty using the touchscreen, you can control your iPhone using shortcuts on Magic Keyboard (sold separately).

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Keyboards, tap Full Keyboard Access, then turn on Full Keyboard Access.
  2. Control your iPhone using keyboard shortcuts.

To perform "Switching Apps", you can press Tab-A as a shortcut.


  • This works on iPhone 5 SE! Thanks for this tip! 🙏
    – TrinitronX
    May 26, 2021 at 21:15

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