Using a ‘traditional’  magnifier can sometimes mean you are carrying a large, heavy object. Since iOS 10, (around September 2016) Apple have now enhanced their accessibility settings again to include a magnifier that can be accessed with a simple quick triple-click of the home button. Read how to get this feature on your smartphone.

How To Use The New ‘Hidden’ Magnifier!

To be able to use this new feature you need to first turn it on through the Settings app. This post will guide you through how that’s done and then you’ll be able to easily and quickly access it from the home button.

Using Magnifier from Wilberforce Trust on Vimeo.

What to do

1. Access your Settings app – You can ask Siri to ‘Open Settings’ or go to the app icon and tap it opened.

2. Navigate to “General” > select it, then tap the “Accessibility” tab

From this accessibility screen, you need to navigate to > “Magnifier” and slide the button across to turn it on. Now you will be able to use the device camera to magnify things quickly and with enhanced settings.

settings screen

You can also enable the optional > “Auto Brightness” to adjust contrast and brightness according to ambient light


Once enabled, you can now click your home button 3 times to launch the Magnifier – however, you may have already enabled other accessible features when triple clicking. If you have, then options will slide up for you to choose which accessible option you would like. I have mine set to VoiceOver as well as Magnifier.

You can Zoom into the text you want to magnify using a finger slide – slide up to zoom in or slide down to zoom out.
Remember if you do zoom in you’ll need to wait a moment or two for it to re-focus. There may also be a fair amount of ‘shake’ when the phone is zoomed in so you may need to place the phone somewhere secure and zoom once it’s in place.

Lock Focus and Colour

You can also lock the focus when using this. Using the ‘shutter’ button will take a ‘still’ photograph of the document you are looking at. This means you can move it around and read it clearer than when it’s shaking from natural hand movements. So when you tap the shutter, it will lock the image for you. Tap again to unlock.

• Users can lock focus and adjust colours when this feature is in use.

Users can invert colours once a frame of text has been snapped and zoomed into. Colours can be adjusted by selecting options such as Yellow/Blue or White/Blue, and brightness and contrast can be increased or decreased until the text on the screen is clearly visible.

IMG_5136_iphone6_spacegrey_portrait zoom

Do you use magnifier? Do you use or have a favourite magnifier app? Please let us know!

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