The Fastest Way to Type Numbers on iPhone

* This article is from our 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 iPhone 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. Find out how to update to the latest version of iOS.

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. To type numbers on a keyboard on iPhone, open any app where you use the keyboard, such as Messages or Notes.

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  1. When typing, touch and hold the 123 button. It works best to do this with your left hand since the button is on the left side of the screen, and you'll need to keep holding it while you type the numbers and/or symbols.

    iphone text screen displaying keyboard with 123 button circled in red
  2. While still holding the 123 button, type the numbers or symbols you need using your other hand.

    iphone text screen displaying keyboard with number row circled in red
  3. Release the 123 button, which will automatically switch back to the ABC keys. You can then carry on typing in the standard iPhone keyboard to complete your text.

    iphone text screen displaying keyboard with text field circled in red

That's the quickest way to access the iPhone number pad. For those who already type with two hands, this will be a breeze. If you typically type with only one hand, this iPhone keyboard shortcut 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! You can also use this tip to type the degree symbol on iPhone. For more easy shortcuts, check out our 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.