8 Ways to Make Everything on Your iPhone Easier to See

8 Ways to Make Everything on Your iPhone Easier to See
Photo: DenPhotos, Shutterstock

If you frequently find yourself wishing for larger text or icons on your phone, you’re not alone. Some people prefer microscopic font sizes but others want large, bold text everywhere. Luckily, there are things you can do to make text more readable — and everything else easier to see — while using your iPhone.

Increase text size on your iPhone everywhere

Photo: Khamosh Pathak, Other Photo: Khamosh Pathak, Other

The first step towards more legible text on iPhone involves increasing the font size. You can do this quickly by going to Settings > Display & Brightness > Text Size. You can move the slider towards the right to increase the font size across iOS. Lots of good iPhone apps use the system default setting for font sizes, so changing it here will make text more readable in multiple places.

If you find the largest font size to be inadequate, you can increase it even further by heading to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size > Larger Text and enabling Larger Accessibility Sizes. Once you do that, you’ll see additional font size options in the slider at the bottom of the page.

On iOS 15, you can even set a unique font size for each app.

Use bold text

Screenshot: Pranay Parab Screenshot: Pranay Parab

For some people, using bold text across iOS is a lot more helpful than increasing font sizes. You can get that done by going to Settings > Display & Brightness and enabling Bold Text.

Use Display Zoom to enlarge on-screen elements

Screenshot: Pranay Parab Screenshot: Pranay Parab

Increasing font size does not increase the size of notification banners or icons on your iPhone. To do that, you can go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Display Zoom and select Zoomed. Then tap Set in the top-right corner to enable this feature. Note that changing this setting requires you to restart your iPhone.

Make the most of Magnifier

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse Screenshot: Brendan Hesse

Your iPhone ships with a built-in magnifying glass. This is intended to be used as an accessibility feature, but it is useful any time you need a close-up look at something. If you are having trouble reading tiny text in a book, for example, you can fire up Magnifier and use your iPhone’s camera to zoom in. You can enable Magnifier by going to Settings > Accessibility > Magnifier.

After enabling this setting, Magnifier will show up as an app on your iPhone. Find it using Spotlight Search or App Library and fire it up; when Magnifier is open, you can use the slider next to the magnifying glass icon to zoom in to real-world objects.

Zoom in even more 

Screenshot: Pranay Parab Screenshot: Pranay Parab

Your iPhone allows you to zoom in a lot. Those who suffer from low vision will benefit the most from the feature, which allows you to zoom in to pretty much anything on your screen. You can enable this by going to Settings > Accessibility > Zoom and enabling Zoom.

Now, use three fingers to double-tap the screen. This will allow you to zoom in a lot more than you could previously. You can also use a three-finger drag gesture to move around the screen. When you’re done, double-tap using three fingers to zoom out.

Increase contrast to differentiate between foreground and background colours

Screenshot: Pranay Parab Screenshot: Pranay Parab

Ever felt that the foreground colour of some menu items is merging with the background? This can be a problem if it leads you to accidentally tap the wrong part of the screen. To fix this, increase the contrast between foreground and background colours in iOS. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size and enable Increase Contrast.

If you struggle to differentiate between certain colours, you can also enable Differentiate Without Colour on the same page. This gets rid of UX elements that rely only on colour to convey information.

Make it easier to see buttons

Screenshot: Joel Cunningham Screenshot: Joel Cunningham

Some people may find it hard to locate buttons on screen. Fortunately, a neat iPhone accessibility feature makes it easier to spot them by underlining them, the same way a webpage displays hyperlinked text (see the image above, with the “Back” button underlined in blue, for an example of what we’re talking about). You can use this by opening Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size and enabling Button Shapes.

Add labels to make it easier to tell if options are enabled or disabled

Screenshot: Pranay Parab Screenshot: Pranay Parab

If you find it difficult to tell whether an option is enabled or disabled on your iPhone, you can make differentiating between them easier by adding On/Off labels to these sliders. Once again, head over to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size, and enable On/Off Labels.

Each switch will show a circle when it’s disabled and a vertical line when it’s enabled.

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