Double Tap the Status Bar to Scroll to the Top

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In some iOS apps, with VoiceOver enabled, tapping the top of the screen with four fingers does not move to the top of lists. In these situations, it seems necessary to repeatedly flick to the left until the first item has been reached. Examples of this behavior can be found in Apple's new iOS 9 News app and the Voice Mail section of the built-in Phone app.

VoiceOver tells us the solution may be found in the status bar at the top of the screen. Follow these steps in an app that does not correctly scroll to the top of lists:

  1. Tap the status bar at the very top of the screen. VoiceOver will speak an item such as the cellular network's signal strength, the cell carrier's name, wi-fi status, time or battery charge level. Wait for the VoiceOver hint, which reads: "Swipe down with three fingers to reveal the Notification Center. Swipe up with three fingers to reveal the Control Center. Double tap to scroll to top."
  2. Double tap the status bar.
  3. Tap the top of the screen with four fingers.
  4. Start flicking to the right through the list. Observe that, in many more situations, VoiceOver has moved to the top of the list.

This tip does not correct all scrolling issues in all situations. Your mileage may vary. Please feel free to post a comment letting us know how it is working for you.

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4 Comments

#1 Very useful

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

What a handy work-around! Thank you very much. I had noticed the same thing in News and am glad to now have a way to jump to the top of the list.

I also tried this in the Audible app when reviewing my library. It worked there as well.

#2 Why not just do a two-finger

Why not just do a two-finger flick up, then swipe right?

#3 Two finger swipe up

Yes. A built-in work-around that is perhaps a little verbose but reliable.

#4 And what about moving to the bottom of a list?

One VoiceOver navigation gesture that I've found to be unreliable for several iOS versions is moving to the bottom of a list with a four-finger tap at the bottom of the screen, such as in Settings. The four-finger tap at the bottom of the screen had been somewhat difficult on older iPhones which I had attributed to the size of the screen. However, even with my iPhone 6 where my fingers fit much more comfortably on the wider screen which I thought would make a difference, still is not reliable. While I can get it work with some finger placement fiddling, I can't get it to work reliably. Any tips would be appreciated.