How to Use Your iPhone as a Magnifying Glass

Ever since Apple released iOS 10 in 2016, it's been possible to use the iPhone as a magnifying glass. You don't need a separate magnifying glass app; this helpful magnifier feature is free! Of course, the screen magnifier is not only useful for those with visual challenges, but also for any of us who has ever needed a reading magnifier to see more detail in an image. Better yet, the screen magnifier includes a light, as well as the ability to adjust contrast and color, which is a big help for those with color blindness. So how does this smartphone magnifier work? Read on to find out! 

Related: How to Refresh & Speed Up iPhone 7, 8 & X, as Well as Older Models

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How to Use Your iPhone as a Magnifying Glass

  • First, you need to turn the feature on. To do this, open the Settings app.

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  • Tap General.

  • Select Accessibility.

  • Tap Magnifier.

  • Toggle Magnifier to on. 

  • If you'd like, also toggle Auto-Brightness to on; this feature helps improve legibility, particularly in lower-light environments or when there's a glare.

To use your Magnifier Setting: 

  • Quickly press your iPhone's Side button three times if you have an iPhone X or later, or the Home button three times for earlier iPhone versions.

  • If you have multiple Accessibility Shortcuts turned on, a menu will pop up. Tap Magnifier.

  • If not, the magnifying glass will automatically open. To maximize the view on your display, slide the yellow dot to the right, toward the plus sign. To minimize the view, slide to the left toward the minus symbol.

  • To turn on the light to help you see even better, tap the lightning bolt icon.

  • To change the color ratios, lighting, and contrast, tap the icon with the three overlapping circles at the lower-right of your display.

  • To save your settings once you have everything exactly how you want, tap the lock icon.

With Magnifier enabled, you'll have an easier experience reading or seeing details with your iPhone.

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Conner Carey's writing can be found at She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.