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
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

840quadra Avatar
35 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
35 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
35 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
35 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
35 months ago
The only one 3D Touch gesture I'm going miss for a long long time.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
35 months ago
You can’t highlight words anymore with it.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
iphone 13 pro max display bleen

iPhone 14 Max Reportedly Weeks Behind Schedule [Updated]

Thursday May 26, 2022 7:25 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Max is currently behind schedule by around three weeks, according to Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu. Yesterday, Nikkei Asia reported that at least one iPhone 14 model was three weeks behind schedule due to the impact of lockdowns on Apple's supply chains in China, but it was not clear which iPhone 14 model this related to. Now, Pu has clarified that the model...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 15.5.1 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Wednesday May 25, 2022 9:42 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 15.5.1, a minor update to the tvOS operating system that first launched in September 2021. tvOS 15.5.1 comes about 10 days after the launch of tvOS 15.5. tvOS 15.5.1 can be downloaded over the air on the Apple TV through the Settings app by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌‌‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌‌‌‌ owners who have automatic software updates...