How to Zoom In and Zoom Out on an iPad or iPhone

There is more than one way to zoom on your iOS device

A multitouch gesture on a touch screen
How to Zoom In and Zoom Out on an iPad. Wikimedia Commons

One of the coolest features Apple brought to its iPads and iPhones was the pinch-to-zoom gesture, which makes zooming in and out intuitive and natural. Previously, zoom features were either nonexistent or too difficult to use on a regular basis. Apple's zoom feature works on photos and webpages and across any app that supports the pinch-zoom gesture.

Using Pinch Gestures to Zoom In and Out 

To zoom in on a photo or webpage, simply press on the screen with your index finger and thumb leaving only a small amount of space between them.

Keeping your finger and thumb on the screen, move them away from each other, expanding the space between them. As you expand your fingers, the screen zooms in. To zoom out, do the reverse. Move your thumb and index finger toward each other while keeping them pressed to the screen.

Using the Accessibility Zoom Setting

In some cases, the pinch-to-zoom feature doesn't work. An app may not support the gesture, or a webpage may have code running or a stylesheet setting that prevents the page from being expanded. The iPad's accessibility features include a zoom that always works no matter if you are in an app, on a webpage, or viewing photos. The feature isn't activated by default; you must activate the feature in the Setting app before you can use it. Here's how:

  1. Tap the Setting icon on the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.
  4. Select Zoom.
  5. Tap the slider next to Zoom to move it to the On position.

    After the accessibility zoom feature is activated: 

    • Double-tap the screen with three fingers to zoom in. It may take a couple of tries to perfect, but once you master the gesture, it is easy.
    • To move around the screen while zoomed in, press those three fingers down on the display and move them as if you are grabbing the screen and moving it.
    • Double-tap the screen again with three fingers to zoom out.
    Was this page helpful?