An Overview of All the Accessibility Features on an iPhone

The Accessibility features on an iPhone exist to make your device more convenient to use. They allow you to make tweaks and change certain attributes on your iPhone to increase its basic functionality. This is particularly helpful for anybody with visual, hearing, or movement difficulties.

Let us take a look at the various iPhone Accessibility settings and how you can use them. You can view all these settings by going to Settings > Accessibility on your iPhone.



This section covers tools that allow you to adjust the display, alter zoom settings, and tweak the font size. It also contains VoiceOver, a special feature for the visually impaired.


A feature designed especially for the visually impaired, VoiceOver allows you to use your device without looking at it. You can attach a Braille accessory to use with this feature and choose the language, pitch, volume, and speaking rate at which VoiceOver works.


This feature works great if you have trouble reading your screen. You can turn on the toggle next to Zoom to magnify your screen. Instructions beneath this option explain how to use this feature. To change the zoom level of your display screen, use the slider under Maximum Zoom Level to drag it left or right and decrease or increase zoom, respectively.

If you want only a part of the screen zoomed in instead of the entire screen, go to Zoom Region and select Window Zoom.

Display & Text Size

Under Display & Text Size, you can hit toggles to make text bold, to increase contrast, and to automatically adjust the brightness of your screen according to your environment. To change the size of your text, tap on Larger Text, turn on the toggle, and use the slider to increase or decrease according to preference.


If you’re overly sensitive to motion or movement, this is where you can make your iPhone reduce motion on your screen and reduce the parallax effect of icons (which is displacement of something on your screen when you tilt your device) to make it more comfortable to use.

Spoken Content

Your iPhone can read out what’s on your screen and gives you text suggestions with this enabled. This feature can be used with and without VoiceOver turned on. You can select different voices and enable typing feedback using the toggles available in this section.

Audio Descriptions

As the title says, enabling this allows audio descriptions to be played automatically whenever you’re watching compatible video content.

Physical and Motor

Motor difficulties are relatively prevalent; they may be the result congenital conditions or accidents. This section aims to help people who struggle to use an iPhone comfortable due to physical and motor difficulties.


This option contains AssisstiveTouch, a feature that will aid you in using your iPhone if you have difficulty repeatedly touching your screen or pressing buttons. You can also use an adaptive accessory to help and choose to perform functions like adjusting the volume or taking a screenshot with just a single tap.

If you have an older version of the iPhone and your Home button has malfunctioned, you can use AssistiveTouch to help with navigation.

Face ID & Attention

If the toggle for Require Attention for Face ID is on, your phone will only be unlocked by Face ID if you are looking directly at it. Accessories like sunglasses will shield your eyes, thus your iPhone will not be unlocked with them on if this is enabled. The same attention-aware criteria can be enabled for other features on the iPhone as well.

Switch Control

If you have limited movement, ability switches will let you perform different actions, such as tapping, typing, and even drawing freehand. Enable it by turning on the toggle under Switch Control, and begin adding switches to use.

Voice Control

Voice Control pretty much lives up to its name. It allows you to use your voice to control your device and perform different functions. You will have to set it up in Voice Control > Set Up Voice Control, and a download will begin. Upon completion, a microphone will appear, which lets you use your device with your voice.

Side Button

This lets you change the speed required to double or triple-click the Side button. You can also choose what function pressing and holding this button will perform. In short, you can choose what the Side button does for you on your iPhone.

Apple TV Remote

This feature is only useful if you have an Apple TV. It lets you choose between swiping and using buttons to control your Apple TV from the Apple TV Remote app on your iPhone.


This section allows you to attach an external keyboard to your iPhone and customize its functions in various ways.


This Accessibility category is dedicated to aiding anyone with hearing impairments. You can adjust the audio settings or pair devices to help you. Let’s find out more about the features it offers.

Hearing Devices

Hearing Devices allows you to pair your iPhone with hearing aids and other accessories and enable sound recognition. You can also toggle on Hearing Aid Compatibility to improve audio quality with hearing aids.

Sound Recognition

Turning this on will make your iPhone use a programmed algorithm to recognize certain sounds and notify you about them. However, a fair warning comes with it its use as the feature isn’t accurate enough to rely upon in emergency situations.


Under this section, you can adjust the balance between left and right audio channels by adjusting the slider at the bottom. There’s also an option to play background sounds under Background Sounds and toggle on Phone Noise Cancellation to reduce ambient noise on phone calls.

Subtitles & Captioning

For those who are hard of hearing, Closed Captions can be toggled on when available. If you have a HomePod, you can also use Show Audio Transcriptions.


The General Accessibility section is pretty short. It’s not targeted at any specific conditions or disabilities, but it has some solid features you may want to look into nonetheless.

Guided Access

This is one of the iPhone’s most mind-blowing yet under-appreciated features. It makes sure your device only uses one single app, ensuring no other apps are accessible. This increases focus and ensures no snooping fingers browse through your phone.

Open the app you want to access, then triple press on your Side or Home button, set up a passcode, draw a circle around the areas you want to keep inaccessible on your screen, and tap Start. Triple press the relevant button again to revert back to normal and end Guided Access. Pretty cool, right?


While Siri has a whole other category in the Settings, there are also some Accessibility options present here. You can turn on the toggle for Type to Siri to type your requests instead of saying them. You can also change the command to which Siri is activated.

Accessibility Shortcut

The Accessibility Shortcut lets you choose the function activated after triple-clicking the Side or Home button. Options include enabling Guided Access, Zoom, VoiceOver, AssisstiveTouch, Background Sounds, and more.

Per-App Settings

Per-App Settings allows you to add an app and customize its Accessibility features

the way you like. All you have to do is tap Add App to begin changing the Accessibility features of a particular app.

Apple’s Accessibility Features Make Using Your Device a Lot Easier

The iPhone’s Accessibility features have it all, especially for people with disabilities. May you have a visual, hearing, or motor impairment, your device can be adjusted to make it more convenient to use at all times. There are some truly hidden gems you may not know of in the Accessibility settings that you should definitely check out, like Guided Access and calming Background Sounds.

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