Apple has some fantastic functionality packed into iOS with its accessibility features. While some users rely on these features daily, some of them go overlooked by many. One of these useful features is the ability to use your iPhone or iPad as a magnifying glass.

Whether it’s looking up a tiny serial number on an electronic device or any number of other situations, it can be really handy have a magnifying feature.

You can use the standard iOS camera app and zoom in on items, but the iOS magnifying feature has some specific aspects that make it particularly useful. Two of which are the ability to zoom in further than 1ox and built-in filters to more easily read and capture text and details.

How to use iPhone and iPad as a magnifying glass

  1. Open Settings and tap on General
  2. Next tap Accessibility and then Magnifier
  3. Tap the toggle on the right to turn the feature on
  4. Now you can activate the magnifier by triple clicking the side button on iPhone X (previously sleep/wake button) or the Home button for iPhone 8/8 Plus and earlier

Alternate option to activate magnifier

Another great way to quickly pull the magnifier is through a customized Control Center icon. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings and tap on Control Center
  2. Tap Customize Controls
  3. Tap the + symbol next to Magnifier
  4. Adjust the position with the hamburger icon (three lines) on the right
  5. Open Control Center by swiping down from the top right corner of the display on iPhone X or swiping up from the bottom of the display on iPhone 8/8 Plus and older

Filters and other features

Beyond the ability to magnify further than the standard camera app, the magnifier features some useful filters. Tap on the filter icon in bottom right corner.

You can choose between some default filters to help in your quest to scope things out like White/BlueYellow/Black, and Red/Black. 

The magnifier also allows you to adjust the light and B&W effect with sliders. You’ll also notice you can lock the autofocus and utilize the flash as needed.

With this handy feature all set up you should be able to see most anything you’d like, no matter how small it is.

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following recent articles:

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.