My iPhone Icons Are Large: What's Happening?

The Zoom feature may be turned on

iPhone zoom

KP Photograph / Shutterstock

When the iPhone screen is zoomed in and its icons are too large, it could be a problem. In this situation, everything looks huge and app icons fill the entire screen, making it hard or even impossible to see the rest of the apps. Pressing the Home button doesn't help. This problem isn't as bad as it may seem, though. Fixing an iPhone with a zoomed-in screen is easy.

Instructions in this article apply to iOS 12 and newer.

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

When the iPhone screen is magnified, the iPhone Zoom feature may have been accidentally turned on. Zoom is an accessibility feature designed to help people with low vision enlarge items on the screen so they can see the screen better.

How to Zoom Out to Normal Size on iPhone

To restore icons to normal size, hold three fingers together and double-tap the screen with all three fingers at once. This gesture returns the zoom level to 100%.

When in zoom mode, follow the Rule of Three: A three-finger tap gesture to zoom, a three-finger double-tap (plus a pinching drag gesture) to change the zoom, and drag three fingers to move around the screen. You'll also find these tips in the Zoom menu in Settings.

How to Turn Off Screen Zoom on iPhone

To prevent screen zoom from being accidentally turned on again, turn off the feature:

  1. Tap the Settings app to open it.

  2. In the Settings screen, tap General.

  3. In the General screen, tap Accessibility.

    Two iOS screens with General, Accessibility buttons highlighted
  4. On the Accessibility screen, tap Zoom.

  5. On the Zoom screen, turn off the Zoom toggle switch.

    Zoom in Accessibility panel and toggle to OFF in iOS settings
  6. Verify that the configuration setting persists by double-tapping three fingers on the Home screen. If nothing happens, the Zoom feature was successfully disabled.

This procedure restores the iPhone to its normal magnification and prevents the enlargement from happening again.

Beginning with iTunes 12.7, released in September 2017, iTunes cannot be used to manage apps or settings on iOS devices.

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 the 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.

Use Display Zoom and Dynamic Type to Improve Readability

While screen magnification makes it harder for some to see the iPhone screen, others may want icons and text to be a bit larger. There are a couple of features that 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 enlarges text (but nothing else) throughout an iPhone and compatible apps to make reading easier.
  • Display Zoom:¬†Available on the iPhone 6 series and newer. It enlarges everything on the device screen to make things easier to see and use.