No more headaches trying to read small print on your Apple device.

If you find yourself having to squint in order to read or type words on your phone or computer screen, you won’t get much enjoyment out of your Apple device. Not to mention the headache-inducing blue light.

Apple has a number of accessibility features that you can explore and customize under Settings > Accessibility. With the launch of iOS 15, Apple’s Zoom feature has a new reworked accessibility feature. This tool is also available on Macs.

Here’s what you need to know about the Zoom feature.

What is Apple’s Zoom tool?

The Zoom feature lets you magnify specific parts of your screen. You can customize the feature to magnify the whole screen or a draggable windowed view. Zoom also allows you to turn on gestures like double-tapping three fingers to activate Zoom, move around your screen and change the magnification. 

Where can I find Apple’s Zoom tool?

To find Zoom, open the Settings app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac, tap Accessibility and choose Zoom.

How the Zoom tool works

Here’s what you’ll turn on or off to make the magnification feature work best for you.

  • Follow Focus lets you track your selections, like your text insertion point, as well as your typing.
  • Smart Typing becomes available if you turn on Follow Focus. This lets you switch to Window Zoom when the keyboard pops up. Window Zoom magnifies a section of screen in a window that you can drag around to expand what you need to see, like a digital magnifying glass. Also, once the keyboard pops up, you can double-tap to magnify where you’re typing, but the keyboard stays put. 
  • Keyboard shortcuts only applies if you’ve connected an external keyboard to your iPad. If you have, simply toggle the option on to find and customize keyboard shortcuts like toggling Zoom, moving your Window and resizing your Window. If you open Zoom on your Mac, you can turn on Zoom keyboard shortcuts, scroll gestures, hover text and zoom on the touch bar. For example, toggle zoom is Option-Command-8. Pressing that combination lets you zoom in and back out. You can also choose whether you want to magnify full-screen, split-screen or picture-in-picture mode. 

You can find the Zoom feature under the Accessibility tab in Settings.  Sarah Tew/CNET

  • Zoom controller gives you quick access to determine what activates for single, double and triple taps on the screen. You can also choose to Show Controller on the screen. This puts a little icon on the screen that I found helpful when moving the Window around the screen. Think of it as a little map to keep you oriented when you’ve magnified a section of screen. You can choose between five different colors to make the icon more visible, as well as change the opacity. 
  • Zoom Region lets you choose between a Window Zoom, Full Screen Zoom or Pinned Zoom. Window Zoom will magnify a section of your screen, but you’ll still be able to see some of the unmagnified screen and pan over that area. Full Screen Zoom eliminates the window and works like double tapping to magnify and pan around on a photo. Pinned Zoom lets you choose a specific section of the screen — top, left, right or bottom — and keeps the unpinned section in regular size. 
  • Zoom filter lets you customize the magnified section’s coloring as inverted, grayscale, grayscale inverted or low-light. 
  • Maximum Zoom Level is a simple slider that lets you customize the magnification anywhere from 1.2x all the way to 15x. 

For more information, check out these six hidden iOS 15 tricks we found. 


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