My iPhone Icons Are Large: What's Happening?

iPhone zoom
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One of the weirdest problems you can run into on the iPhone is when the iPhone's screen is zoomed in and its icons are too large. In that situation, everything looks huge and app icons fill the entire screen, making it hard or even impossible to see the rest of your apps. To make matters worse, pressing the Home button doesn't help. This isn't as bad as it may seem, though. Fixing an iPhone with a zoomed-in screen is actually pretty easy.

The Cause of a Zoomed-In iPhone Screen and Huge Icons

When the iPhone's screen is magnified, it's almost always a result of someone accidentally turning on the iPhone's Zoom feature. This is an accessibility feature designed to help people with eyesight problems enlarge items on the screen so they can see them better. When it's turned on by mistake for someone with no issues with their eyesight, though, it causes problems.

How to Zoom Out to Normal Size on iPhone

To unzoom your device and return your icons to normal size, hold three fingers together and double tap the screen with all three fingers at once. This will bring you back to the normal size icons you're used to seeing.

How to Turn Off Screen Zoom on iPhone

To prevent screen zoom from being accidentally turned on again, you need to turn off the feature. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Begin by tapping the Settings app to open it.

  2. Scroll down to General and tap that.

  3. Tap Accessibility.

  4. On that screen, tap Zoom.

  5. On the Zoom screen, slide the Zoom slider to Off (in iOS 6 or earlier) or move the slider to white (in iOS 7 or higher).

How to Turn Off Zoom in iTunes

If you're unable to turn off magnification directly on your iPhone, you can also disable the setting using iTunes. To do that:

  1. Click the iPhone icon in the top corner of iTunes.

  2. On the main iPhone management screen, scroll down to the Options section and click Configure Accessibility.

  3. In the window that pops up, click Neither in the Seeing menu.

  4. Click OK.

  5. Resync the iPhone.

This should restore your iPhone to its normal magnification and prevent the enlargement from happening again.

What iOS Devices Are Affected by Screen Zoom

The Zoom feature is available on the iPhone 3GS and newer, the 3rd generation iPod touch and newer, and all iPad models.

If you have one of these devices and your icons are large, Zoom is the most likely culprit, so try these steps first. If they won't work, something strange is going on. You may want to consult Apple directly for help with that.

Using Display Zoom and Dynamic Type to Improve Readability

While this kind of screen magnification makes it harder for most people to their iPhones, lots of people still want icons and text to be a bit larger. There are a couple of features that can enlarge text and other aspects of the iPhone to make them easier to read and use:

  • Dynamic Type: This feature in¬†iOS 7 and up lets you enlarge text (but nothing else) throughout your iPhone and compatible apps to make reading easier.
  • Display Zoom:¬†Available on the iPhone 6 series and newer. It lets users of those phones enlarge everything on those devices' screens to make things easier to see and use.