Quickly scroll to the top of a list



Many iPhone apps present vertically scrolling information, either in list view or just long content. Here are some of those apps (there are many more):

  • Mail (list view, and long content)
  • Settings (list view)
  • Reminders (list view)
  • Safari (long content)
  • NY Times (list view, and long content)

Sometimes you find yourself way, way down the list, or way, way down the web page, and you want to get back to the top. You already know how to do it the hard way: swipe down a bunch of times, until you reach the top (that is, the opposite of how you ended up way down there– a little at a time).

Here’s the easy way: tap at the very top of the screen, where it shows the time, and your content will quickly zoom to the top. It’s like an express elevator. Technically you can tap any part of the very top of the screen and it will work– you don’t have to actually tap the time. That is how you do it on iPhones with Home buttons.

Here's the Mail app, list view, scrolling to the top with a single tap (two on an X-iPhone)
Here’s the Mail app, list view, scrolling to the top with a single tap (two on an X-iPhone)

iPhones without Home buttons (iPhone X, XS, XS Max, and XR) don’t show the time centered at the very top of the screen, because there is no screen at the very top center, and it turns out that tapping the time (at the right “ear” of the screen) doesn’t scroll to the top, and neither does tapping the left ear. But… if you DOUBLE-tap either ear, it works. Twice as much work as it used to be, but still a lot less work than swiping a bunch of times.

Here are a couple of before-and-after pictures. In each case, all I did was tap at the top, where the time is. (I’m using an iPhone 8 Plus — an iPhone with a Home button– for these examples. iPhone X, XS, XS Max, and XR users should tap twice at the very top, on either ear of the iPhone’s screen.)

Quickly scrolling to the top by tapping at the very top
Quickly scrolling to the top of the Settings app by tapping at the very top
Quickly scrolling to the top of the NY Times app by tapping at the very top
Quickly scrolling to the top of the NY Times app by tapping at the very top

This feature should work in every app employing vertical scrolling. Try it and see!



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