How to Fix: My iPad Is Zoomed in or Shows a Magnifying Glass

What to do when your iPad zoom is stuck

iPad with magnifying glass illustration

Blablo101 / iStock

The iPad accessibility features include the ability to zoom in on the screen, which makes icons and text appear larger and easier to see. The Zoom feature also adds a square magnifying glass to the screen that localizes the effect to only where you look. The zoom feature makes it easier to read text on the iPad when small text becomes fuzzy. But, sometimes the zoom gets stuck and the screen magnification won't change.

These instructions apply to iPads running iOS 8 and later.

How to Fix an iPad when the Zoom Doesn't Work

If the iPad zoom feature gets stuck, there are multiple ways to fix the problem.

  1. Double-tap the iPad display with three fingers. With your index, middle, and ring fingers, double-tap the screen to turn the zoom-in feature on and off. This should fix the problem. To keep this from happening again, turn the zoom feature off in the iPad settings. The accessibility settings are located in the General section of the iPad settings.

  2. Triple-click the Home button. The accessibility settings have a shortcut that turns features on and off. To activate this shortcut, triple-click the Home button. If you configured the triple-click to zoom in on the iPad, zoom out using a triple-click. This is a common reason why the zoom is accidentally engaged.

  3. Use pinch-to-zoom. The iPad zoom-in feature is different from the pinch-to-zoom gesture. Some apps such as Safari use pinch-to-zoom to make a web page or image larger. If the screen still isn't zoomed out, place your thumb and index finger on the screen with the thumb and finger touching as if you were pinching the screen, then move your fingers apart while your fingertip and thumb tip are still touching the screen. This pinch-out will zoom out the display if you zoomed in this way.

  4. Turn the Zoom feature off. You may never want to use the Zoom feature or magnifying glass. Deactivating it will also stop it from being accidentally turned on. To switch it off, open the Settings app, go to General > Accessibility, then turn off the Zoom toggle switch. Turning off Zoom deactivates both the zoom feature and the magnifying glass.

What Else Can You Do With Zoom?

If the text on the screen is blurry, configure the zoom to be more helpful. A few settings that can help with this are:

  • Smart Typing displays the on-screen keyboard without being zoomed even if the zoom feature is activated.
  • Idle Visibility determines how much of the zoom controller shows when the function is not in use.
  • Zoom Region switches from a full-screen zoom to a window zoom similar to having a magnifying glass on the screen.