How to disable pop-up character previews when typing on iPhone keyboard

Learn how to turn off those pesky pop-up character previews while typing on your iPhone keyboard and enjoy a distraction-free typing experience.

iPhone keyboard with Character Preview turned on and turned off

Out of the box, iOS has always displayed the traditional pop-up character preview when a key is pressed on the virtual keyboard. But the settings app gives you a choice to control that behavior and allows you to disable pop-up previews when pecking away on your iPhone keyboard.

If you’re concerned that someone might be looking over your shoulder as you’re typing in sensitive information on your iPhone, here’s how you can switch off character previews.

Disable keyboard character previews on iPhone

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General and follow it up by tapping Keyboard.
  3. Turn off the switch next to Character Preview to disable the pop-up previews when you tap a key on your iOS keyboard.
Character Preview turned off in iPhone keyboard settings

For what it’s worth, the iPad keyboard has never shown these previews on the full-width keyboard, so you don’t get the option to disable them. Secondly, the small floating keyboard on iPad does show pop-ups when you hit a key, but there is no option to turn it off from iPadOS keyboard settings.

The ability to disable character previews is a security enhancement on Apple’s part. Why? Because technology exists for logging key presses via video analysis of the pop-ups above pressed keys from camera footage of someone typing on their device.

Do you prefer typing on the iOS keyboard with pop-up character previews on or off?

Related tips: