How to Use Reachability and Display Zoom on iPhone

These three screen features will change how you use your iPhone

Person using iPhone 6
Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Every iPhone model since the iPhone 6 series has a larger screen than any iPhone before them. To take advantage of this larger screen size, use Display Zoom, Reachability, and a landscape screen layout to view the screen in different sizes and in different ways.

Instructions in this article apply to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

Set Up Display Zoom

When you want to show more content or make content larger on the screen, use Display Zoom. Use the extra screen space to show more words in an email or more of a website. Or, enlarge the text, icons, and images to make them easier to read.

Display Zoom provides a Standard or a Zoomed view of the screen. Choosing the Standard or Zoomed option in Display Zoom is part of the set-up process for iPhones. If you want to change your selection, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Settings app.

  2. Tap Display & Brightness.

  3. Go to the Display Zoom section and tap View.

  4. Tap Standard or Zoomed to see a preview of each option.

    Turning on Display Zoom on an iPhone
  5. Swipe side to side to see how the option looks in different scenarios.

  6. Make your selection and tap Set to confirm the choice.

Use Reachability to Operate Your iPhone with One Hand

The large screens on modern iPhone models are great for a lot of things, but having more screen real estate means giving up the ease with which you can use the phone with only one hand.

To get around this, use Reachability. Reachability moves what's shown at the top of the screen toward the middle to make it easier to reach.

To tap something on the screen that's out of reach:

  1. Gently double-tap the Home button.

    Tap the Home button the same way that you tap an app icon. If you press the Home button twice, the multitasking screen appears.

  2. The contents of the screen move down and to the center.

    Reachability on an iPhone
  3. Tap the item you want.

  4. The screen contents move back to normal.

  5. To use Reachability again, double-tap the Home button.

The iPhone X doesn't have a Home button. To activate Reachability on the iPhone X, quickly swipe down at the indicator line at the bottom of the screen.

Turn Your iPhone to Use a Landscape Screen Layout

When you turn your iPhone on its side, the content on the screen reorients so that it is wider than it is tall, the icons shift to match the screen orientation, and the interface shows information in a different way. This landscape orientation is the default layout for some apps and it may provide access to hidden content in other apps.

Despite its 5.8-inch screen, the iPhone X does not support the landscape screen layout.