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How to use the Magnifier app on your iPhone

person using a phone upclose

Fast Fix 

To turn on the Magnifier app on your iPhone, just  say, “Siri®, open Magnifier.” 

Want to use your iPhone® as a magnifying glass? You can do so easily with  Magnifier, an app that’s built into your device. We’ll show how to open it and explain all the ways you can use it. At Asurion, we get a lot of questions about all the cool things your phone can do, and we help millions of people get the most out of their devices— from setting up  Touch ID or exploring other iPhone accessibility options. 

Here’s our guide on how to use the built-in Magnifier app on your iPhone.

What is the iPhone Magnifier?

The Magnifier on your iPhone is a useful tool that does all sorts of things, including:

  • Make an object easier to see. Adjust the zoom level, apply color filters, add light with the flashlight, and adjust the image brightness or contrast This is handy for restaurant menus or instructions. 
  • Save an image. Once you’ve adjusted your image, you can save it to your device for later. 
  • Detect people or objects around you—Receive live descriptions of objects, text, people, or scenes nearby. This is especially helpful if you have low vision.

How to enable Magnifier on your iPhone

There are several ways to open the Magnifier on your device:

Use your voice

One easy and accessible way to open Magnifier on your iPhone is to say, “Siri, open Magnifier.”

Use the iPhone magnifier setting

  1. Open Settings > General > Accessibility
  2. Select Accessibility Shortcut > Magnifier.

Open from your home screen

Tap the magnifying glass icon on your iPhone to open Magnifier. If you don’t see the icon:

  1. Open Settings > Control Center
  2. Tap the green plus sign to add Magnifier. 

Use a shortcut 

You can also set up  your iPhone to quickly turn on Magnifier when you tap the back of your iPhone. 

Here’s how: 

  1. Open Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap
  2. Select Double Tap or Triple Tap, then tap Magnifier

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How to use the Magnifier app 

Here are some helpful things you can do using Magnifier with an iPhone running iOS® 17, as long as your device model supports it: 

Adjust an image 

Open the Magnifier app. You can change what you see on your screen by adjusting the following:

  • Zoom. Move the slider to the left or right. 
  • Brightness. Tap the brightness icon (sun). 
  • Contrast. Tap the contrast icon (half white, half black circle). 
  • Color filters. Tap the filter icon (three circles).
  • Add light. Tap the flashlight icon.
  • Lock the focus. Tap the lock icon. 

Save an image

You save  images using Magnifier, then review them later, which comes in handy if you’re following directions. These images won’t be saved to Photos, though, they’ll be saved in the Magnifier app. Here’s what to do:

  1. Open Magnifier and tap the Freeze Frame icon (the circle inside a circle) at the bottom to save an image. 
  2. To save more images, tap the two rectangles at the bottom right, move your camera, then tap the plus sign. 
  3. To review these saved images, tap View, then tap the ones you want to see. 
  4. To return to the live lens, tap the “x” or Done

Use Detection Mode 

If you have an iPhone with a LIDAR Scanner (the Pro and Pro Max models of iPhone 12, 13, 14, or 15), you can use Magnifier to detect physical objects like people or doors, get descriptions of your surroundings, and point at something so your iPhone will read the text to you. This is a helpful feature for anyone with vision challenges. Here’s what to do:

  1. Open Magnifier
  2. Tap Detection Mode (the square with broken lines).

To detect people 

  1. Tap the Detect People icon (two connected people).
  2. Position your iPhone so the rear camera can detect people around you.
  3. Make sure Silent mode is off. 
  4. When you’re finished, tap Done to return to the Magnifier screen. 

To detect doors

  1. Tap the Detect Door icon (a door). 
  2. Position your device so the rear camera can see doors around you. 
  3. Turn off Silent mode
  4. Tap Done to return to the Magnifier screen. 

To describe images

  1. Tap the Describe Images icon (caption bubble)
  2. Hold your iPhone so the rear camera can get image descriptions of your surroundings. 
  3. Turn off Silent mode
  4. Tap Done when finished to return to the Magnifier screen. 

To use Live Text 

  1. Position your iPhone so the text you want to see close-up appears within your camera frame. 
  2. When the yellow frame appears around the text, tap the Live Text icon (three lines inside a square). 
  3. Touch and hold the text, then use a grab point to select specific text to do things like Copy, Look Up, Translate, or Share
  4. Tap the Live Text icon again to return to your camera.

To use Point and Speak

  1. Tap the Point and Speak icon (pointing finger) and aim your lens on small print like instructions on an ATM screen you’d like read aloud to you.
  2. Point your finger to pinpoint which text to read.

Check this out if you need help adding more settings for Detection Mode.

Tried these steps and still need help? We got you. Get your tech problem solved when you call or chat with an expert now.


*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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