One of the more useful actions that 3D Touch makes possible is pressing an iPhone's onscreen keyboard to turn it into a virtual trackpad. If you ‌3D Touch‌, the keyboard turns blank and morphs into a trackpad that allows you to quickly move the cursor on the screen through the text you've written.

virtual trackpad on iphone 11
This popular gesture is useful because it allows you to make quick edits without having to reach up and tap the display. However, in its latest crop of devices, Apple has replaced ‌3D Touch‌ with Haptic Touch, and the way the virtual trackpad activates has changed slightly.

On iPhone 11, ‌iPhone 11‌ Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, you have to press and hold on the spacebar to bring up the trackpad. In other words, pressing just anywhere on the keyboard no longer works.

It's a small adjustment, but it's worth highlighting in case you tried to activate the virtual trackpad on your new ‌iPhone‌ in the traditional way and wondered why it wasn't working. Note that the gesture functions similarly on all Apple devices that lack ‌3D Touch‌, including the iPhone XR and all models of iPad.

Related Roundup: iPhone 11

Top Rated Comments

840quadra Avatar
19 months ago
A big step backwards for many of us. Just have to use the iPad muscle memory for this feature. Practicing on my max, this is a far slower way to do a quick edit or highlight.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wide opeN Avatar
19 months ago

RIP 3D Touch. But hello beautiful new iPhone 11 Pro!
I fear this is the logic that encourages Apple to make these moves without reservation.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Paddle1 Avatar
19 months ago
FYI, if you tap with another finger on the "trackpad" while doing this you can also select text.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
incoherent_1 Avatar
19 months ago
A real shame — gestures like this showed the potential 3D Touch had.

I guess the talking point an Apple exec gave a couple years ago about 3D Touch being a long term investment and something they really believe in was just a bunch of baloney.


FYI, if you tap with another finger on the "trackpad" while doing this you can also select text.
Thank you! This answered my biggest question.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
haruhiko Avatar
19 months ago
The only one 3D Touch gesture I'm going miss for a long long time.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
19 months ago
You can’t highlight words anymore with it.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple transfer google photos 1

Apple Launches Service for Transferring iCloud Photos and Videos to Google Photos

Wednesday March 3, 2021 12:04 pm PST by
Apple this week introduced a new service that's designed to make it quick and easy for iCloud users to transfer their stored photos and videos to Google Photos. As outlined in an Apple support document, you can go to Apple's privacy website and sign in to see the "Transfer a copy of your data" option. If you select this and go through all the steps, Apple will transfer your iCloud photos and ...
rosetta 2

Rosetta May Be Removed From M1 Macs in Some Regions on macOS 11.3

Tuesday March 2, 2021 5:20 pm PST by
Installing the upcoming macOS 11.3 software update on an M1 Mac may result in Rosetta 2 being removed in one or more regions around the world. In the third beta of macOS 11.3 seeded to developers for testing today, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser uncovered new strings in the beta's code indicating that "Rosetta will be removed upon installing this update." Another new string reads "Rosetta ...
Screen Shot 2021 03 03 at 11

MagSafe Charging Port for iPhone Appears in Apple Patent

Wednesday March 3, 2021 1:30 am PST by
In a newly granted patent, Apple envisions a type of connectivity port using an iteration of its magnetic MagSafe charger to charge an iPhone, potentially paving the way for a future without Lightning. Submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday (via Patently Apple), the patent outlines a three-pinned MagSafe charger, similar to the ones found in older MacBook...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro

OLED 10.9-Inch iPad Rumored for Early 2022, 12.9-Inch iPad Pro and 16-Inch MacBook Pro Could Follow

Thursday March 4, 2021 8:37 pm PST by
Earlier today, DigiTimes shared a preview of an upcoming report claiming that Apple is working on both iPad and Mac notebook models with OLED displays that could launch starting in 2022. The full report from DigiTimes is now available, and it includes several new alleged details about Apple's plans. According to the report, the first of these devices to adopt an OLED display is likely to be...
OLED iPad Pro and MacBook Pro

iPad and MacBook Models With OLED Displays Rumored to Launch in 2022

Thursday March 4, 2021 8:19 am PST by
Apple plans to release new iPad and MacBook models with OLED displays in 2022, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The information was shared in the site's paywalled "Before Going to Press" section, so there are no further details yet, but the full report should be released by tomorrow. Apple has gradually increased its adoption of OLED...
iPad mini pro feature

Sketchy Rumor Claims 'iPad Mini Pro' Launching in Second Half of 2021

Wednesday March 3, 2021 3:04 am PST by
Apple is expected to launch a sixth-generation iPad mini in the first half of 2021, possibly as soon as this March, based on long-standing rumors. However, a new rumor out of Asia that has gained traction in the last 24 hours suggests an "iPad mini Pro" will arrive in the second half of this year. According to a post on Korean blog Naver, whose rumor track record is unknown, the device...
maxresdefault

What's on Your iPhone Home Screen?

Thursday March 4, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Over on our YouTube channel, MacRumors videographer Dan has a new video up where he shares his Home Screen, wallpaper, and all of his current favorite widgets. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Check out Dan's video to see his setup, and then comment below and show us your own Home Screens. It's always fun to see other peoples' Home Screens, and with widgets and...
apple pencil 3 leak

New Apple Pencil Allegedly Leaks With Glossy Finish and Redesigned Tip

Wednesday March 3, 2021 6:17 am PST by
Images supposedly depicting a third-generation Apple Pencil have been shared on Twitter by the leaker known as "Mr. White." The purported new Apple Pencil appears to share a very similar design to the current, second-generation Apple Pencil, which is shorter than the previous version and charges inductively on the side of an iPad. The updated Apple Pencil appears to have a glossy...
apple watch ecg wrist

Apple Watch ECG Feature Gets Approved in Australia

Wednesday March 3, 2021 2:07 am PST by
The Australian government has approved ECG functionality on the Apple Watch, giving Apple the all-clear to launch the feature for Apple Watch users in the country, according to a regulatory document first spotted by The 8-Bit. Earlier last month, the Apple Watch's irregular heart rhythm notification received approval in Australia, although ECG did not. Irregular heart rhythm is a feature...
PIA23764 RoverNamePlateonMars web

NASA Mars Perseverance Rover Uses Same PowerPC Chipset Found in 1998 G3 iMac

Tuesday March 2, 2021 3:21 am PST by
NASA's Perseverance rover, which recently made history landing on the surface of Mars, is powered by the same processor used in an iMac more than 23 years old. Image Credit: NASA As reported by NewScientist (via Gizmodo), the rover includes the PowerPC 750 processor, the same chip used in the G3 iMac in 1998. The main chipset is the same; however, there are differences between the...