How to Type Numbers on an iPhone without Leaving the ABC Keyboard (iOS 17)

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

It would be convenient if Apple would add a numbers row to the standard iPhone keyboard, but it hasn't happened yet. In the meantime, here's an iPhone texting trick: how to access iOS keyboard symbols and numbers without leaving the standard keyboard. 

Why You'll Love This Tip:

  • Type numbers quickly and efficiently without having to switch to the number keyboard.
  • Impress your friends with your keyboard-shortcut knowledge.

How to Type a Number without Switching Keyboards on iPhone

System Requirements

This tip works on iPhones running iOS 16 or later.

For more great iPhone texting tricks and keyboard shortcuts, check out our free Tip of the Day. Now, let's go over how to access numbers and symbols without leaving the ABC keyboard on your iPhone.

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To begin, open an app where you use your iPhone's keyboard, such as Messages or Notes. 

  1. Tap the text field to reveal the standard iPhone keyboard, and begin typing.
  2. Touch and hold the 123 button. It works best to do this with your non-dominant hand, as you'll need to keep holding it while you type the numbers and/or symbols.

    123 button on iphone keyboard
  3. Type the numbers or symbols you need using your other hand, then release the 123 button.

    add numbers or symbols to your text
  4. Carry on typing in the standard iPhone keyboard to complete your text.

    complete your typing

For those who already type with two hands, this will be a breeze. If you typically type with only one hand, this may take a little bit of getting used to, but it's still faster than having to navigate from the ABC keyboard to the 123 keyboard and back! For more easy shortcuts, check out these tips on how to type faster on iPhone. Next, learn what Apple Watch symbols mean.

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays has over a dozen years of experience writing for online publications. As a Feature Writer for iPhone Life, she has authored hundreds of how-to, Apple news, and gear review articles, as well as a comprehensive Photos App guide. Leanne holds degrees in education and science and loves troubleshooting and repair. This combination makes her a perfect fit as manager of our Ask an Expert service, which helps iPhone Life Insiders with Apple hardware and software issues.
In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.