iPhone Stuck in Zoom Mode? It’s Easy to Fix

Mar 9, 2016 - 25 Comments

How to fix iPhone stuck in Zoom mode

iOS includes a helpful feature which allows users to zoom into anything on an iPhone or iPad screen to make it easier to read text and view elements. While this feature is undeniably useful for many users, it can also be a source of frustration for others who wind up enabling the feature accidentally, only to discover their iPhone screen is stuck in zoom mode.

When the iPhone or iPad is stuck in zoom mode, it’s quite obvious; the devices screen is zoomed way in on some element on screen, and typing or tapping on the screen does not zoom out or exit zoom mode. If this hasn’t happened to you before, it’s likely because you don’t have the zoom feature enabled in iOS, or you just haven’t inadvertently entered into zoom mode (yet).

Not to worry, we’ll quickly show you how to get out of zoom mode on any iPhone, IPad, or iPod touch. Additionally, we’ll show you how to disable the zoom screen feature in iOS so it doesn’t happen again.

How to Escape Zoom Mode if the iPhone or iPad Screen is Stuck Zoomed In

The way to exit zoom mode is the same way to enter zoom mode; a three-finger double tap on the screen. Here’s how it works:

  • When the iPhone / iPad is stuck zoomed in, double-tap on the zoomed screen with three fingers
  • If successful, the iOS screen will immediately go back to normal view mode and exit zoom mode
  • If unsuccessful, the screen will stay zoomed in so just try again, quickly double-tap the screen with three fingers to exit zoom mode

Tap twice with three fingers to exit out of Zoom mode on iPhone

You must double-tap with three fingers to enter zoom mode, or exit zoom mode. This applies to all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, running any and all versions of iOS. Entering and exiting zoom mode, if it’s enabled, is always done through the three-finger double-tap.

Preventing iPhone / iPad from Being Stuck in Zoom Mode

Aside from avoiding an accidental three-finger double-tap, which can be easy or difficult depending on your device usage, the easiest way to prevent accidentally getting stuck into zoom mode is to disable the feature:

  1. If you haven’t done so yet, exit out of Zoom mode first by double-tapping on the screen with three fingers
  2. Open the Settings app and go to “General” then to “Accessibility”
  3. Choose “Zoom” from the list options, then toggle the switch for “Zoom” to the OFF position
  4. Exit Settings as usual, zoom mode is now disabled in iOS

Disabling screen zoom on iPhone

This will prevent the iOS device from being stuck in zoom mode again because the zoom feature is now disabled. You can always go back and enable zoom screen feature again if you choose to by toggling the switch back to ON, or you decide you like the feature and don’t want to lose the ability to zoom way in and back out of the devices screen.

I’ve heard of multiple users encountering the dual combo through their pocket or purse; unintentional zoom mode in combination with inadvertently entering the wrong passcode enough times to trigger the “iPhone is disabled” message, which can then make the iPhone inaccessible for minutes or longer as the device is locked up and zoomed so far in it’s hard to identify what’s going on with the screen. In any event, if that situation happens to you, remember to just double-tap with three fingers to exit out of zoom, then decide whether or not you wish to turn the feature off to prevent it from happening again.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


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  1. Carlos Vera says:

    thank you for your help, it was annoying the zoom activation without my intention to use it

  2. Lynda says:

    Thank you so much, I was about to return Watch. Had to attempt 3 finger taps multiple times then once it magically worked. BUT the zoom feature was already disabled /off?! Hoping it won’t happen again or if it does it’s in warrantee period.

  3. Scott Briggs says:

    Had the same problem, but 3 finger tap did Not work. Tried every tap know to man & nothing would work. All apps on screen were zoomed so much, couldn’t see them to tap. Shut down button would not work because the “off slide” was too big to see the slide and initiate.

    I too was headed to Apple but tried look up on line……….Info on internet which said to “force shutdown” for a fix & reboot.
    To do this just push top volume control button up then bottom control button down, release & push and hold power button till black screen comes up, then release.
    Apple icon will come up and phone will reboot & turn on.

    This will save you from freaking out like I did for 30 minutes.

    • Julie Pickford says:

      How does the top button push up and the bottom button push down they both just press. I’m hoping once phone dies it will reset when I turn it on again

  4. sarah says:

    this feature drove my poor mom insane for a few weeks, then thankfully, she appeared at my office, and we found this article. my mom could not successfully execute the three finger tap due to it being somewhat of an advanced technique, but luckily i was able to do it.

  5. Beth Johnson says:

    This worked perfectly on my iPhone X. I turned off the zoom so it won’t happen again.

  6. Schalk Pienaar says:

    iphone 5s – only trouble, this zoom thing makes it no-good
    my old nokia much better, wthout whatsup

  7. Ally Bocchicchia says:

    Worked like a charm! Also I couldn’t find anything that worked on a other website.

  8. Tamarr says:

    I *have* used the double tap and it usually works immediately.
    But, once in a while-like today- *nothing* worked. Double tapping three fingers brought up the “zoom slide” thing- but it slipped quickly away immediately.

    I tried until I was frustrated to tears.

    It does this zooming thing often, like another user so eloquently stated- my ears, the edge of my palm, my right back pocket and who knows what else- will suddenly set off a *Zoom* attack!
    Usually, the double tap works- my grandson brings me his phone to fix, when it’s all zoomed widely.
    But today it suddenly leapt into wide Zoom mode-and no amount of double tapping helped.
    My niece double-tapped and rebooted and let the battery die and then restarted and charged. She said it still says it’s disabled.
    But, I just now picked it up and it’s un-zoomed!

    Thank goodness!
    I too thought my new phone was wrecked!

    I’m on my way now to turn off the Zoom enable.

    Thank you for the information.. and possibly something I said will be helpul too; if nothing else, that this insanity happens to me, three- fingered taptap or not! 😉

  9. Troy Wood says:

    Thank you it worked and you made very easy to do!

  10. AC says:

    I have this problem 20 times a day.

    My ear activates zoom, my pocket activates zoom.

    Even if I turn off zoom in settings, next time my obviously three fingered ear touches the phone it comes up with a window asking if i want to turn on zoom, and if my ear is still touching it it turns on zoom and I’m back in zoomland.

    This is unbelievably irritating and user-unfriendly.
    The zoom needs a kill switch that allows you to disable it completely, and preferably permanently.

  11. Ole says:

    Thank You !

  12. M.G says:

    very helpful , it works thank you

  13. fiona mcmonagle says:

    This happens to me all the time. Using the 3 finger technique has never worked for me, I have always had to restart (force reboot) my iPhone to do this you have to hold the power button an home button at the same time until the apple logo appears.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The accessibility zoom is for the ios screen magnifier and has NOTHING to do with camera zoom. This is “FakeNews”

  15. Maya says:

    Hi , my iPhone 5s is stuck zoomed in the middle of my home screen. I have tried everything and nothing is working.. I really need help , I will take any offers if any.

  16. bella says:

    me too my phone wount zoom out even with the double tap trick and ive tried it many times but it doesnt seem to make a diffrence

  17. Stephanie says:

    Tried many times Double tap on the screen using 3 fingers but it doesn’t help at all. I also tried switch off Zoom using iTunes but it fails

  18. Jake da baws says:

    this saved my life almost had a heart attack. thought i messed my phone up for good thanks whoever posted this you the real mvp

  19. JimBob says:

    I had it happen on the lock screen so I couldn’t get to the bottom to open, and couldn’t drag photo up (pre-touch model). Drove over to the Apple store where the genius did the 3 finger tap described here. Blew my mind the answer was so simple.

  20. Wharf Xanadu says:

    This has happened to me before. I turned off zoom.

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