How to use your iPhone as a magnifier

By , Oct 11, 2016

iPhone Magnifying Glass

Starting with iOS 10, you can use your iPhone as a magnifier to get a closer look at things that can sometimes be too small to see, unless you’re some kind of human/hawk hybrid.

The magnifier feature is quick and easy to set up, and it’s useful for a wide variety of situations whether you have problems seeing or not.

After you enable the magnifier, it’s never more than a simple shortcut away, no matter what you might be doing on your iPhone at any given time.

Enabling the magnifier feature

To enable the magnifier feature on your iPhone, follow these steps:

1) Launch the Settings app and navigate to General → Accessibility → Magnifier.

Enable Magnifier on iPhone 1

2) Once you get into the Magnifier preferences pane, turn the Magnifier toggle switch on:

Magnifier toggle switch

We also suggest you enable the Auto-Brightness feature too so you get the best lighting conditions while using the magnifier on your iPhone.

Now you have the magnifier enabled on your iPhone, so next we’ll talk about how to use it.

Using the magnifier on your iPhone

Once you’ve set everything up with the steps above, all you have to do to launch the magnifier is triple-press your iPhone’s Home button.

For most people, the magnifier should pop right up. If you have also set up other accessibility options on your iPhone, then you might see a pop-up menu first, which asks you what you want to do. If you get the menu, simply tap on the Magnifier button.

iPhone Accessibility Shortcut Magnifier

Once you’re in the magnifier interface, you’ll notice it looks a lot like the Camera app’s interface, although it’s slightly different:

iPhone Magnifier Interface

For example, you’ll see there is a slider bar for adjusting the zoom, and you’ll also see there are buttons to toggle the rear-facing LED torch for visibility and locking the focus so you don’t lose your focal point while you examine something up close.

At the bottom right is another button, which lets you apply filters to the magnifier:

iPhone Magnifier Filter

Depending on what something is made out of, its color, or the lighting conditions filters can help improve visibility or enhance details. You can pick from any of the following filter presets:

  • None
  • White/Blue
  • Yellow/Blue
  • Grayscale
  • Yellow/Black
  • Red/Black

In addition, you can adjust the exposure and saturation separately with the two existing sliders, and you can even invert the colors in the image with the button at the bottom left.

Related: How to enable and use screen zoom on your Mac

Will you be enabling the magnifier on your iPhone? You never know when it may come in handy, so discuss in the comments below!

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  • techfreak23

    If you’re not going to use it all that often, you should leave it disabled. It slows the app switcher animation because when you double click the home button, iOS has a slight delay listening for the third click. Try it out. You’ll see the difference immediately.

    • I’ve been using this triple-press shortcut (instead) for over a year now and I really haven’t noticed a life-changing difference in my App Switcher usage.

      • techfreak23

        It’s only a slight difference, yes, but still noticeable to those of us that are picky about that type of thing. Kind of hinders the fluidness of the animation for some of us.

    • M_Hawke

      Good tip. But you’d have to be very, very picky about it to notice the difference.

      • techfreak23

        As I said to Anthony below, not everyone is bothered by something like this but it is something to be aware of if you have that feature enabled.

    • Srujan Mishra

      Totally agree!