The back tap feature in iOS 14 is so versatile, even though at first glance, it might not give that impression. The list of things that you can do with it is up to your imagination. It’s really a shame that you have to settle down for just two actions.

If you’re wondering how is it exactly possible when there’s literally a limited number of options available, you are overlooking the Shortcuts section. With the power of shortcuts combined with back taps, you can do almost anything. You just have to know how to create the right shortcut.

One such trick to have at your beck and call with back taps is to quickly mute your phone for some time whenever an ad plays. Using a shortcut can help you achieve it. And it’s not too complicated either.

Creating the Shortcut for Muting Ads

To configure your iPhone to mute ads with the back tap, you first need to create a shortcut for the same. The process might seem a bit overwhelming, but it really isn’t. Follow the instructions below step-by-step, and you’ll be fine.

Open the Shortcuts app, and tap on the ‘New shortcut’ option (+ icon) on the upper right corner of the screen.

Then, tap on ‘Add Action’.

Now, search for ‘Get Device Details’ and tap on it under ‘Actions’. You can also go to ‘Scripting’ and then select ‘Get Device Details’ from under the ‘Device’ section.

By default, it’s set to ‘Device Name’. Tap on it.

Then, select ‘Current Volume’ from the list of options.

Now, tap on ‘+’ to add another action.

Search for ‘Variable’ and select the action ‘Add to Variable’.

Now, enter a variable name for storing the value for Current Volume it fetched in the previous step. The name can be anything; here, we’ve named it ‘Cvol’.

Add another action and search for ‘Set Volume’ action.

The action will be added. Tap on the number being displayed by default to change it to zero. A slider will appear. Slide it all the way to the left.

Set volume to zero percent

Now, search and add the ‘Wait’ action.

By default, it’ll show 1 second as the waiting period. Tap on it to change it. Then, enter the number you wish to mute the volume for. So if on average your ads are 10 seconds long, you can choose to mute the media volume for 10 seconds.

Now, add another ‘Set Volume’ action. Tap and hold the number it’s currently displaying. A few options will pop-up on your screen. Select ‘Cvol’ from the list.

And that’s all. Now, tap on ‘Done’ on the upper right corner.

It’ll ask you to enter a name for the shortcut. Enter something that’ll make it easy to identify the shortcut later. Here, we’ve entered ‘Mute Ads’. Now, tap on ‘Done’ to save the shortcut.

Configuring the Back Tap feature to Activate the Shortcut

When you run the shortcut we’ve created above, you’ll see that it mutes the volume for the assigned number of seconds, and then returns the volume to its original value when the time’s up. All that’s left to do is assign one of the back taps to activate the shortcut. So you can simply double or triple tap the back of your phone whenever you encounter an ad and mute the media volume, without having to mute the system or ringer volume.

Go to your phone settings. Scroll down until you find the option ‘Accessibility’, and open it.

In the accessibility settings, tap the ‘Touch’ option under the Physical and Motor settings.

Then, scroll down to the very bottom and tap on ‘Back Tap’.

Now, tap on either ‘Double Tap’ or ‘Triple Tap’ depending on which action you want to use for this purpose.

Then, scroll down to the very end and you’ll find the option for Shortcuts. Tap on ‘Mute Ads’ (or whatever you chose to name it) to select it.

And voila! The back of your phone is now configured to mute ads on command. And it works even with the case on.

The back tap feature is one of the best features in iOS 14, and a little tinkering with your phone can make it even better. Now, no matter how suddenly those ads sneak up on you, you can just as quickly tackle and mute them with just a couple of taps of your fingers. And if the ad runs longer, just run another iteration of the shortcut by tapping your fingers again. Just like a magician clicking their heels twice!