Your dog is standing on its head, and you’re fumbling to unlock your phone and launch the camera app before you miss it. Luckily, there’s no need for unlocking—the Camera app is just a swipe away on the lock screen. Here’s how to get to it as fast as possible.

The Secret Swipe

To open the iPhone camera app as quickly as possible, you’ll first need to wake your iPhone. Depending on your settings, you can do that either by physically lifting the phone, tapping the screen, or pressing the top or side button.

When you see the lock screen, place your finger on any part of the screen that doesn’t contain a notification and swipe to the left. If you swipe far enough, the Camera app will open instantly.

On your iPhone home screen, swipe to the left to launch the Camera app.

Once the Camera app opens, you can use it as you normally would to take pictures or videos quickly: Press the circular shutter or record button on the touch screen. Or you can trigger the capture process by pressing the Volume Up or Volume Down buttons on the side of your phone.

The iPhone Camera app

When you’re done taking photos or videos, lock your screen again by pressing the top or side button, and your iPhone’s screen will turn off. Any photos you took will be stored automatically in your Photos library.

RELATED: How to Turn off an iPhone

The (Quick) Long Press

Alternately, if your iPhone’s lock screen includes a small camera icon in the lower-right corner of the screen, you can long-press that icon to launch the camera app. (But don’t worry: the swipe-to-the-left method still works as well.)

Depending on your dexterity, this method might be slightly slower than swiping your lock screen to open the Camera app, but not by much. Happy snapping!

RELATED: How to Use the iPhone Camera App: The Ultimate Guide

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Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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