How to tweak iOS 11's visuals, multitouch gestures, and sounds to your liking

Whether it's lower-case keyboards, whooshing apps, accidental Slide Over swipes, or unreadable text, iOS has some visuals that can be less than pleasant. Here's everything you need to know about tweaking, turning off, or otherwise disabling certain aspects of the iOS interface.

Visual tweaks

Getting a headache from iOS 11's visuals? Here are the settings you may want to take a gander at.

How to make text bigger and bolder

Are your aching eyes struggling to read the iOS system font? You can make your text both bigger and bolder.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Larger Text.
  5. Tap, hold, and drag the slider to increase text size.
  6. Tap the switch next to Larger Accessibility Sizes if you need text to be even larger.

    Tap Larger Text, tap the switch, move the slider

How to make text buttons into real buttons

With iOS 7, Apple moved away from bubbly buttons to flat, text-only links. If that confuses your brain, you can turn on Button Shapes.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.
  4. Tap the switch next to Button Shapes.

    Tap General, tap Accessibility, tap the switch next to Button Shapes

You can also add texture to those toggles (to better know whether they're on or off) by going to Settings > General > Accessibility and turning on the On/Off Labels toggle.

How to darken link colors and reduce transparency

If you're not a huge fan of iOS's bright blue and red link button colors, you can mute them somewhat with the Darken Colors toggle.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Increase Contrast.
  5. Tap the switch next to Reduce Transparency to diminish transparency and blurs.
  6. Tap the switch next to Darken Colors to do just that.

    Tap Increase Contrast, tap the switches

Keep in mind that darkening colors only does so when it comes to system text, like in menus and what not.

How to turn off parallax and app zooms

Do iOS's app zooms and parallax wallpapers make you feel a little seasick? You're not alone: When these new animations came out in iOS 8, quite a few people rushed to the Settings app to disable them. You can do the same in iOS 11.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Reduce Motion.
  5. Tap the switch to enable it.

    Tap Reduce Motion, tap the switch to enable it

This will change all animations to a graceful fade, and turn off the parallax motion applied to icons and wallpaper.

How to turn off the lower-case keyboard

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Keyboard.
  5. Tap the switch next to Show Lowercase Keys to turn it off. Gray is off.

    Tap Increase Contrast, tap the switches

How to enable character preview

It's your choice now as to whether or not you want a larger version of each key you tap to appear above it while you type.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Keyboard.
  4. Tap the switch next to Character Preview. It's likely on by default.

    Tap General, tap Keyboard, tap the switch next to Character Preview

Touch-based tweaks

Having trouble with your iPhone or iPad's multitouch gestures? See if any of these tweaks ease your pain.

How to turn off Reachability

Reachability is a feature on the iPhone 6 or later that lets you double-tap (not double-press) the Home button to bring the top of the screen down so that you might more easily access it with a thumb.

If you find yourself never using Reachability, however, or you keep triggering it accidentally, you can disable it.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.
  4. Tap the switch next to Reachability to disable it. Gray is off.

    Tap General, tap Accessibility, tap the switch next to Reachability

Stop manually triggering Apple Pay

As of iOS 9, you can double-press the Home button on the Lock screen to trigger Apple Pay. But if you'd prefer not to have access to your Wallet from the Lock screen, here's how to disable it.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Touch ID & Passcode.
  3. Enter your passcode.
  4. Under Allow Access When Locked, tap the switch next to Wallet.

    Tap Touch ID & Passcode, enter your passcode, tap the switch next to Wallet

How to disable "Shake to Undo"

For many years, "Shake to Undo" was the quickest way to undo a line of text—and throw your iPhone across the room in the process. If you'd prefer to ignore this accelerometer-based feature, disable it!

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Shake to Undo.
  5. Tap the switch to disable it.

    Tap Shake to Undo, tap the switch to turn it off

How to turn off the split keyboard

Another Reachability-like feature came in iOS 8 for the iPad: the split keyboard. This triggers when you use a reverse-pinch to pull apart the two sides of the keyboard, gluing each to one side of the screen.

In theory, this makes for better typing, but if you find this gesture interfering with the two-finger keyboard trackpad, you can disable it.

  1. Launch Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Keyboards.
  4. Tap the switch next to Split Keyboard.

How to disable Slide Over and Split View

Don't want to use the iPad's multiple-app multitasking?

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Multitasking *
  4. Tap the switch next to Allow Multiple Apps (gray is off).

How to keep Picture-in-Picture from activating automatically

iOS 11's picture-in-picture is pretty great for watching a video in the background while you work in other apps.

Normally, you can either activate PiP by tapping the PiP icon or by pressing on the Home button; if you'd prefer to only activate it by tapping PiP and have videos pause when you use the Home button, try this:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Multitasking.
  4. Tap the switch next to Persistent Video Overlay (gray is off).

How to turn off multitasking gestures

If it's three- and four-finger gestures that are getting you down, you can disable them from your iPad's settings.

  1. Launch Settings
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Multitasking.
  4. Tap the toggle for Gestures to turn them off and limit your iPad to one- and two-finger expressions.

How to remove Control Center from apps

Don't want to accidentally trigger Control Center in an app?

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Control Center.
  3. Tap the switch next to Access Within Apps to toggle (gray is off).

    Launch Settings, tap Control Center, tap the switch next to Access Within Apps

How to disable Control Center on the Lock screen

If you don't want to be able to control various settings when your iPhone is locked, disable Control Center on the Lock screen like this:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Touch ID & Passcode.
  3. Enter your passcode.
  4. Tap the switch next to Control Center under Allow Access When Locked.

    Tap Touch ID & Passcode, enter your passcode, tap the switch next to Control Center

Audio and information tweaks

Noises getting you down? Here's how to turn off (or change) most audio alerts from your iPhone or iPad.

Prevent Lock sounds and keyboard clicks

By default, iPhones and iPads chirp at you whenever you lock, unlock, or type on them.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Sounds & Haptics.
  3. Scroll down and tap the switches next to Keyboard Clicks and Lock Sound to toggle them on or off (green is on; gray is off).

    Launch Settings, tap Sounds & Haptics, tap the switches next to Keyboard Clicks and Lock Sound

Change your Maps navigation volume

Want to make sure you can always understand the Maps app when it's giving directions? Or, alternatively, do you hate hearing navigation? You can set your voice preferences, from No Voice all the way to Loud Volume. Here's how:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Maps (you'll have to scroll down a bit to find it).
  3. Tap Driving & Navigation.
  4. Tap an option under Navigation Voice Volume: No Voice, Low Volume, Normal Volume, or Loud Volume.

    Tap Maps, tap Driving & Navigation, tap an option under Navigation Voice Volume

Keep Siri from talking to you

Does Siri pipe up too much for its own good? You can turn off both "Hey Siri" and audible voice feedback in Settings.

To disable Hey Siri:

  1. Launch Settings.
  2. Tap Siri & Search.
  3. Tap the switch next to Listen for "Hey Siri".

    Launch Settings, tap Siri & Search, tap the switch next to Listen for "Hey Siri"

If you like Siri but prefer that you be the only talker in this relationship, you can also disable Siri's voice feedback so that it only triggers when your mute switch is off or when you're connected to a Bluetooth Hands-Free stereo or headset. Here's how:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Siri & Search.
  3. Tap Voice Feedback
  4. Tap either Always On, Control with Ring Switch (Siri only speaks aloud when not muted or on Bluetooth connection), or Hands-Free Only (Siri only speaks aloud when connected to Bluetooth).

    Tap Siri & Search, tap Voice Feedback, tap an option

Turn off Siri Suggestions

Don't want to hear about the latest news or get contacts and app suggestions when you swipe down or right for the Search screen? You can disable these options and leave your screen clutter-free.

  1. Swipe right on your screen to get to Today view.
  2. Swipe up to scroll down and tap the Edit button at the bottom.
  3. Tap the minus button (red circle) next to Siri App Suggestions.
  4. Tap Remove.

    Swipe left, tap Edit, tap a minus button, tap Remove

You can alternatively tap the reorder button (three stacked lines on the right) and drag Siri App Suggestions down to the More Widgets section.

Stop calls from automatically going to Bluetooth

Do you have a terrible car stereo or a malfunctioning Bluetooth headset? You can set your iPhone to always manually route calls solely to your speaker or always to a Bluetooth headset (when connected).

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Scroll down and tap Call Audio Routing.
  5. Tap either Bluetooth Headset or Speaker.

    Tap Call Audio Routing, tap a choice

Other settings you want disabled?

Anything else you can't figure out how to tweak? Let us know in the comments, or hop on over to the forums for some help.

iOS

Main