How to Use iPhone Magnifier Camera

Feb 7, 2017 - 17 Comments

iPhone Magnifier

The latest versions of iOS for iPhone include an excellent Magnifier feature which can turn the iPhone camera and screen into a magnifying glass. This has many potential uses, but perhaps the most useful in day-to-day life is as a reading aid to read tiny text without squinting and straining your eyes. Instead, you can quickly access the iPhone camera magnifier to zoom into and clarify what you are looking at, just like a real magnifying glass.


The iPhone Magnifier ability must be enabled before it can be used, and then it’s easily to access from anywhere. There are even various adjustments that can be made to the magnifier once it has been accessed, including to zoom level, brightness, contrast, and different color filters as well.

Magnifier on iPhone requires a modern version of iOS, the iPhone must be on iOS 10.0 or newer to have the feature available. Update the iOS version if you wish to have the feature and currently don’t.

How to Enable iPhone Magnifier Camera

Before you can use Magnifier it must be enabled in settings:

  1. Open the “Settings” app on iPhone and go to “General” and then to “Accessibility”
  2. Tap on “Magnifier” and then toggle the switch next to “Magnifier” to the ON position
  3. Enable iPhone Magnifier

  4. Exit out of Settings
  5. To access the iPhone magnifying lens, triple-click the Home button
  6. Tap the camera button to freeze the screen on the magnified item
  7. iPhone magnifier glass feature with camera lens

Now that Magnifier is enabled, you can access it from the Locked screen of iPhone, the Home Screen, or anywhere else with the triple-click on the Home button.

Using the iPhone Magnifying Camera Lens

After you have enabled the iPhone Magnifier feature, you can use it anytime easily:

  1. Access the iPhone magnifier by triple-clicking the Home button
  2. Adjust the zoom level on Magnifier with the slider as necessary
  3. Zoom into iPhone Magnifier

  4. Optionally, adjust the Magnifier filters:
    • Brightness – increase or decrease brightness of the magnifier camera
    • Contrast – increase or decrease the contrast of the magnifier
    • None – no color filter
    • White / Blue – filter colors to whites and blues
    • Yellow / Blue – filter colors to yellow and blue
    • Yellow / Black – filter colors to yellow and black
    • Red / Black – filter colors to red and black
    • Invert – invert colors, or invert/reverse filter colors

    iPhone magnifier filter lens

  5. Tap the round camera button to freeze the magnifier screen on the subject, tap again to discard and start over
  6. Exit iPhone Magnifier by pressing the Home button again

Note the iPhone Magnifier is completely different from the photography related features of iPhone camera, as it’s not intended to take pictures with. When you tap the camera button it does not actually save the picture, it just freezes the magnified item on the screen so that you can focus on it, read it, zoom, pan, or adjust was needed. This feature is available on all modern iPhone devices, and while the Plus models can use the same 2x optical zoom camera lens all iPhone with the Magnifier feature enabled can use digital zoom to magnify subjects further, just like you can zoom with the regular iPhone camera.

This is a really great iPhone feature, particularly if you wear corrective lenses or you’re human and have a hard time reading micro fonts that too often are printed on anything from packaging to labels. If you enjoy the iPhone magnifier tip, don’t forget to show it to friends and relatives too, they’ll likely appreciate it just the same!

Mac users have a similar feature available in Preview app to zoom into pictures, and also OS-wide with a little zoom window utility, though neither of which uses the Mac camera as these features on the Mac only apply to what is on screen.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks

17 Comments

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  1. Katbel says:

    Great tip! like many others :)
    Thanks for all your work, much appreciated

  2. A. Dee says:

    You can save the frozen magnification screen to your Camera Roll by the usual save-screenshot method: press and hold lock button (upper right side on my iPhone 6 Plus), then press and release the Home button.

  3. “Exit iPhone Magnifier by pressing the Home button again

    This does not work for me. The view I looked at just stays, even if I close down.

  4. J-L says:

    Good tip. What is the purpose of the little lock symbol next to the flash symbol?

  5. Twinkle says:

    Also works for ipad. Great tip. Found this once by accident and did not know how to get it back. Great work!

  6. In T says:

    Thank you for the tip. The only thing that doesn’t work for me is the ability to freeze the image – pressing the camera or the padlock has no effect at all. I have brand new iPhone 7, latest iOS.

    • Rob Rah says:

      Pressing the camera button after getting the close up does not “freeze” the picture for me. It takes me back to the lock screen. iPhone 6+ iOS 10.2.1

  7. Rod Erict says:

    Agree, good tip, I also can take photo as A.Dee says and Imalso would like to know purpose of padlock symbol.

  8. david place says:

    was using this magnification feature and loving it … but … the iPhone 6+ was showing an unreadable dim low contrast screen … turning the mag feature off the screen returned to normal brightness

    anyone else have this happen ????

  9. Donna Pointer says:

    I use triple click to reverse colors. Wouldn’t this conflict with that?

    • Karan M says:

      You could give it a try to find out … won’t break anything. ;)

      But the quick answer is no. You can have multiple Accessibility features available through triple-click. Once you enable more than 1, you’ll get asked what you want to enable/disable from a list of features you’ve enabled.

    • KaranM says:

      You could give it a try to find out … won’t break anything. ;)

      But the quick answer is no. You can have multiple Accessibility features available through triple-click. Once you enable more than 1, you’ll get asked what you want to enable/disable from a list of features you’ve enabled.

    • Ian T says:

      Well, not in my case anyway. When you tripple-click the Home Button, up slides a window showing all the options available, from which you choose the one you want.

  10. katbel says:

    It works with the iPad as well

  11. Conrad says:

    This is going to be really useful. Pity one can’t have the torch on at the same time.

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