How to Use Slide to Type on iPhone

* This article is from our Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

With swipe to text on the iPhone keyboard, you can compose words by swiping from letter to letter without lifting your finger from the virtual keyboard, and the phone predicts what word you want by noticing when you hesitate or change directions. You can also switch back and forth between swiping and tapping to type, as you prefer. Let's get started with iPhone swipe texting.

Why You'll Love This Tip:

  • Type faster with simple swiping gestures.
  • Learn to compose messages and notes one-handed.

How to Swipe Text on the iPhone

System Requirements

This tip works on iPhones running iOS 16 or later. Find out how to update to the latest version of iOS.

When I first heard of swipe texting I didn't think much of it, but it quickly became my go-to method for typing on my iPhone, and with all the texting and messaging we do these days, that's a big deal. I found I could compose messages one-handed, with increased overall speed and accuracy. We've already gone over how to fix unwanted predictive text suggestions and how to type numbers while staying on the iPhone keyboard. For more great iPhone texting tricks and keyboard shortcuts, check out our free Tip of the Day. Now, here's how to set up swipe text on iPhone:

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  1. Slide to Type should be on by default, but let's make sure. Open Settings, and tap General.

    iphone settings with a red box around general
  2. Scroll down to Keyboards.

    iphone general settings with a red box around keyboard
  3. Make sure Slide to Type is toggled on.

    iphone keyboard settings with a red box around slide to type toggle
  4. Slide to Type works with the normal iOS keyboard, so you can use it any place that you would normally type, such as Mail, Notes, or Messages. Make sure the cursor is in the spot you want to type, and start your word by touching the first letter of the word on the keyboard.

    iphone create message screen displaying a keyboard with a red box around H key
  5. Swipe to the next letter in the move, and the next, without removing your finger from the surface. For example, the word Hello would be swiped starting at and then moving to E, and so on.

    iphone create message screen displaying a keyboard with a red box around H key, and then red arrows pointing from H to E to L to O
  6. Lift your finger when you get to the last letter in the word, or when the predictive text at the top of the keyboard has zeroed in on the word you want. The keyboard will automatically add a space after each word, so you don't need to tap the spacebar.

    iphone create message screen with a red box around text field with the word Hello and a space after
  7. If the word came out wrong, check the predictive text along the top of the keyboard, and tap the one you meant.

    iphone create message screen displaying a keyboard with a red box around predictive text option that reads Hello

And that's it! Slide to Type is easy to use, fast, and accurate. Happy swiping! Next, find out how to switch between iPhone keyboards.

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Author Details

Cullen Thomas's picture

Author Details

Cullen Thomas

Cullen Thomas is a senior instructor at iPhone Life. For ten years as faculty at Maharishi University, Cullen taught subjects ranging from camera and audio hardware to game design. Cullen applies a passion for gadgetry to answer questions about iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple cloud services; to teach live classes; and to specialize in the privacy and security aspects of the Apple ecosystem. Cullen has dual degrees in Media & Communications and Literature, and a Masters degree from the David Lynch Graduate School of Cinematic Arts.

Offline, Cullen designs videogames with Thought Spike Games, writes fiction, and studies new nerdery.



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