iPhone / iPad magnification basics

Recently came across a couple of instances that made me realise there’s not enough practical information out there on how to set up devices to work for users with low vision. So I thought I’d share a few basics learned recently to make life easier for my eyes.

One of the first obvious challenges of having wonky vision is the need to make everything bigger.

When browsing the web, ideally you should be able to pinch zoom into a webpage with your fingers, unless said website has disabled that feature (thumbs down).

To avoid yourself a headache when pinch zoom isn’t enabled the best thing is to setup your device to zoom.

Apple has a very intuitive and cool zoom feature.  I will explain how it works below.

Activate zoom on iPhone / iPad

Head to settings > general > accessibility > Zoom and switch it on.


To zoom/out in double tap with 3 fingers anywhere on the screen.
To move around the screen drag using 3 fingers.

Basic zoom options 

For quick access to zoom options tap 3 times with 3 fingers anywhere on the screen. A window with a number of options will appear.

To set the zoom level drag the controller at the bottom of the window.

You can magnify the whole screen (Full screen zoom) or just a portion of it (Window zoom). I recommend trying both and see what works best.

Advanced zoom options

For those of us with pickier eyes Apple offers quite a few more magnification options.


Head to settings > general > accessibility > Zoom > Zoom filter
Choose from inverted colours, greyscale, greyscale inverted, and low light.

Show controller

Controller allows quicker access to zoom options.
Go to settings > general > accessibility > zoom > select show controller


Tap one on the controller to view zoom options
Tap twice on the controller to zoom in and out
Tap and drag the controller with one finger to move across the screen.

Follow focus / smart typing

Go to settings > general > accessibility > zoom. Activate follow focus and smart typing.


When using the keyboard your device will automatically switch to window zoom, enlarging only the area of the screen where you are typing. The keyboard will not be zoomed.
As you type, the screen area will move along as you add words. It makes typing much more easier and intuitive.

Thanks for reading.
Have you found any useful tricks to set up your gadgets that you would like to share? Feel free to comment 🙂



4 thoughts on “iPhone / iPad magnification basics

  1. I have an Iphone for work and Samsung Android personal phone. Android is great for all round zoom but Apple is so quick to invert colors with triple click home button,. And prob better accessibility options overall. Great post.


    1. I prefer Apple for accessibility. Did you know you can set several options for accessibility shortcut? I have it set to switch between invert colours, zoom and voiceover.
      Don’t get on with Android zoom personally. Have a Sony Xperia Z3 and that functionality is dreadful. Maybe other Android phones are better.


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