How to use the Magnifier on iPhone and iPadSource: Joseph Keller / iMore

The Magnifier is a visual accessibility feature that essentially turns your iPhone or iPad into a magnifying glass. That makes seeing everything from newspapers to menus, switch labels to instructions easier for anyone with low vision.

Note: The quality of the magnifier, including how closely it can focus on text and objects, will vary depending on the quality of the camera in your iPhone or iPad.

How to enable the Magnifier

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

    Enable Magnifier, showing how to open Settings, tap Accessibility, then tap MagnifierSource: iMore

  4. Tap the switch next to Magnifier.
  5. Tap the switch next to Auto-Brightness if you want Magnifier to adjust brightness and contrast based on ambient light settings.

    Enable Magnifier, showing how to tap the switch to turn on Magnifier, then the switch to turn on auto-brightnessSource: iMore

Once enabled, just triple-press the Side button or Home button (if your iPhone has one) to start it up. You may have to choose Magnifier if you have multiple accessibility options enabled.

How to zoom in with the Magnifier

  1. On an iPhone and iPad with a Home button, triple-press the Home button to activate the Magnifier. On an iPhone and iPad with Face ID, triple-click the Side button to activate the Magnifier.
  2. Tap, hold, and drag the slider to adjust the magnification. Move left to decrease magnification and right to increase.

    How to zoom in with Magnifier, showing how to activate Magnifier, then how to use the slider to zoomSource: iMore

How to turn on the flashlight in the Magnifier

Turning on the flashlight in Magnifier will not only help you see better, but it might even help your camera focus better on close-up objects.

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  1. On an iPhone and iPad with a Home button, triple-press the Home button to activate the Magnifier. On an iPhone and iPad with Face ID, triple-click the Side button to activate the Magnifier.
  2. Tap the Flashlight button. It looks like a lightning bolt.

    How to use the flashlight in Magnifier, showing how to activate Magnifier, then turn on the flashlightSource: iMore

How to enable focus lock in the Magnifier

If you're too close to an object, your iPhone or iPad's camera might continually refocus, but if you tap the Focus Lock button, it'll maintain the focus you see on the screen.

  1. On an iPhone and iPad with a Home button, triple-press the Home button to activate the Magnifier. On an iPhone and iPad with Face ID, triple-click the Side button to activate the Magnifier.
  2. Tap the Focus Lock button. It looks like a padlock.

    How to focus lock in Magnifier, showing how to activate Magnifier, then tap the Focus Lock button, which looks like a lockSource: iMore

How to take a freeze frame in the Magnifier

The coolest Magnifier feature is the ability to take a freeze frame and to zoom in and out on a still image.

  1. On an iPhone and iPad with a Home button, triple-press the Home button to activate the Magnifier. On an iPhone and iPad with Face ID, triple-click the Side button to activate the Magnifier.
  2. Tap the Freeze Frame button in the bottom center of your screen. It's the same button you'd use to take a picture with the camera.
  3. Tap and drag the magnification slider back and forth to zoom in and out on the image.
  4. Tap the Freeze Frame button again to return to the live Magnifier.

    Take a Magnifier freeze frame showing how to tap the freeze frame button, then adjust the magnification slider, then tap the freeze frame button again to return to the live MagnifierSource: iMore

Taking a freeze frame doesn't save the image for you, so don't expect to be snapping any super close-up shots.

How to manually adjust the brightness and contrast in the Magnifier

  1. On an iPhone and iPad with a Home button, triple-press the Home button to activate the Magnifier. On an iPhone and iPad with Face ID, triple-click the Side button to activate the Magnifier.
  2. Tap the Filters button on the bottom right corner of your screen. It looks like three circles pushed together.
  3. Tap and drag the sliders from left to right until you reach your desired brightness and contrast.

    Manually adjust Magnifier brightness and contrast, showing how to tap the filter button, then adjust the multiple slidersSource: iMore

How to change the filter in the Magnifier

  1. On an iPhone and iPad with a Home button, triple-press the Home button to activate the Magnifier. On an iPhone and iPad with Face ID, triple-click the Side button to activate the Magnifier.
  2. Tap the Filters button on the bottom right corner of your screen. It looks like three circles pushed together.
  3. Swipe left along the Filters to choose one. The options are:
    • None
    • White/blue
    • Yellow/blue
    • Grayscale
    • Yellow/black
    • Red/black
  4. Tap the filter you want to use.

    Changing the Magnifier view filter, showing how to tap the filter button, swipe along the filter row to select a filter, then tap the filter you want to useSource: iMore

How to invert colors and filters in the Magnifier

Depending on your needs, you can invert each filter so that the colors switch. So instead of it being yellow/blue, wherein dark colors appear yellow and light colors appear blue, you get the exact opposite.

  1. On an iPhone and iPad with a Home button, triple-press the Home button to activate the Magnifier. On an iPhone and iPad with Face ID, triple-click the Side button to activate the Magnifier.
  2. Tap the Filters button on the bottom right corner of your screen. It looks like three circles pushed together.
  3. Tap the Invert Filters button in the bottom left corner of your screen. It's two curved arrows pointed toward boxes.

    Invert colors and filters in Magnifier, showing how to tap the filters button, then tap the invert button to invert the filter colorsSource: iMore

Any questions?

That's every feature of the Magnifier explained. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below!

May 2020: Updated for iOS 13.

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