The TikTok obsession is real. The variety of content is so wide that you could watch a video guide on making a baked feta pasta while you cook and then a seven-part series on some crazy historical event you’ve never heard of while you eat — all in a span of a few minutes. And thanks to a hidden iOS feature, you can watch all the TikTok clips you want without even using your hands.

Usually, when you watch video clips on TikTok, you swipe through your feed with your finger. It’s easy and simple, but if your hands are busy with food, a messy project, or anything else where you don’t want to touch the screen, you can use your voice to scroll through your TikTok feed.

This is possible thanks to Voice Control, Apple’s accessibility feature for users who have a hard time interacting physically with devices or just want to go hands-free. As the name implies, it lets you control your iPhone with just your voice, and there are many cool things you can do with it, like unlock your iPhone with a secret spoken word or phrase.

A few voice commands are for scrolling up and down, which is perfect for TikTok — all you have to do is enable Voice Control and say the commands to watch TikTok videos without lifting a finger.

Step 1: Review the Voice Control Commands

Launch the Settings app, and navigate to Accessibility –> Voice Control –> Customize Commands. Here, you’ll find hundreds of existing voice commands, and you can use a couple of them to help you scroll through videos on TikTok. To find them, first tap on “Basic Gestures.”

The commands we’re interested in are “Scroll down” and “Scroll up,” which move you up or down a single page. Unlike the “Swipe down” and “Swipe up” commands in Voice Control, scrolling is fixed while swiping emulates a generic swipe on the screen, so you may scroll down only a bit or down an entire page. TikTok has fixed pages for each video, so the scrolling voice commands are the way to go.

If you go into a voice command’s preferences, you have the option to require confirmation, which means your iPhone will ask you to confirm the action after you say the voice command; you should leave this disabled for faster scrolling. You’ll also see an optional phrase you can say out loud to scroll, which is “Scroll page down” or “Scroll page up.”

Step 2: Turn on Voice Control

If you don’t already have Voice Control enabled, you can easily turn it on in a variety of ways:

  • Go to Settings –> Accessibility –> Voice Control, then toggle the “Voice Control” switch on.
  • Ask Siri to “Turn on Voice Control.” (Long-press the Side or Home button to activate Siri or say “Hey Siri” if you have that enabled.)
  • Set up an Accessibility Shortcut. Go to Settings –> Accessibility –> Accessibility Shortcut, then check “Voice Control.” After that, any time you triple-click the Side or Home button, it will turn Voice Control on/off. If you have multiple accessibility features assigned to the shortcut, you’ll have to select it from the menu after triple-clicking.

A blue microphone icon will appear in your status bar, indicating that your iPhone is now actively listening for commands.

Step 3: Swipe Through TikTok Hands-Free

Now, open TikTok; you can do that as you normally would, or you can say “Open TikTok,” and Voice Control will take you right to your TikTok video feed. In the feed, say either “scroll down,” which will show you the next video (under the current one), or “scroll up,” which will show you the previous video (above the current one).

Videos in TikTok are fixed in place and take up the entire page (unlike on Instagram), so saying either command will show you a completely different video either above or below the one you just watched.

A confirmation alert will appear at the top of the screen after you say a voice command, which lets you know that it worked. If you get annoyed by these, you can go to Settings –> Accessibility –> Voice Control, then toggle off the “Show Confirmation” switch.

Other Voice Commands You Can Use on TikTok

There are more things you can say to control TikTok if you’re interested. For example, if you want to like a TikTok video with only your voice, say “double-tap,” and Voice Control will double-tap the middle of the screen, liking the video you’re watching in the process. However, saying the same thing will not undo the like.

You can also say the following, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can review all of the Voice Control gestures available as seen above to find ones that might work, and you can even build your own custom command.

  • “Single-tap” to pause or play the video clip.
  • “Swipe left” to view the user’s profile.
  • “Swipe right” to go back to the video from the user profile.
  • “Tap comment” to open the video’s comments (and “swipe down” to close them).
  • “Tap share” to open the sharing options (and “swipe down” to close them).
  • “Turn up volume” to hear the video’s audio better.
  • “Turn down volume” to lower it if it’s too loud.

Step 4: Turn Off Voice Control

The unfortunate thing about Voice Control is that it’s always listening, so it’s easy for you or someone else to accidentally trigger a voice command on your iPhone that does something unexpected. You probably only want Voice Control on while you browse through TikTok, so you can easily turn it off once you’re finished. The best way to disable Voice Control is to use Voice Control itself:

  • Say “Turn off Voice Control,” then say “tap Execute” when the prompt appears.

But you also have the regular ways, which are the opposite of the ones in Step 2 above:

  • Go to Settings –> Accessibility –> Voice Control, then toggle the “Voice Control” switch off.
  • Ask Siri to “Turn off Voice Control.” (Long-press the Side or Home button to activate Siri or say “Hey Siri” if you have that enabled.)
  • Set up an Accessibility Shortcut. Go to Settings –> Accessibility –> Accessibility Shortcut, then check “Voice Control.” After that, any time you triple-click the Side or Home button, it will turn Voice Control on/off. If you have multiple accessibility features assigned to the shortcut, you’ll have to select it from the menu after triple-clicking.

The blue mic symbol will no longer be in your status bar.




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Cover photo, screenshots, and GIFs by Nelson Aguilar/Gadget Hacks



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