How to Use Screen Distance on iPhone & iPad to Help Eye Health

Jun 17, 2024 - 5 Comments

Screen Distance is a feature on iPhone or iPad that can help reduce eyestrain and myopia

Screen Distance is a little-known health feature for iPhone and iPad that is designed to help users keep their eyes at a healthy distance from their displays. Theoretically, Screen Distance could help to reduce myopia and eye strain, and even if the feature isn’t right for you and your device, you may find it to be valuable for a family members iPad or iPhone. Many parents may find Screen Distance to be particularly useful if they have kids who like to use an iPhone or iPad, and often keep it too close to their eyes.

The Screen Distance feature works by using the front-facing cameras on iPhone, Mac, or iPad to determine if the users face is too close to the screen, and alerting the user if that is the case.

If this sounds like something you’d like to setup on your iPad, iPhone, Mac, or someone else’s device, read along and you’ll be using the feature in no time.

How to Enable Screen Distance on iPhone, iPad, Mac

  1. Open the “Settings” app on iPhone or iPad
  2. Go to “Screen Time”
  3. Locate and tap on the setting for “Screen Distance”
  4. Turn on Screen Distance on iPhone, iPad, or Mac

  5. If it’s your first time using the feature, you will be presented with a splash screen that explains Screen Distance, tap Continue
  6. Turning on Screen Distance on iPhone, iPad, or Mac

  7. You’ll see additional explanations of how Screen Distance works, and it will be enabled after you tap through these screens
  8. Screen Distance explained by Apple

Now if you hold the iPhone, iPad, or Mac too close to your face for too long (or someone else does while using the same device with this feature enabled), you’ll see an alert appear on the screen.

This feature is available on iPhone and iPad, and also you will find it on the Mac through the same Settings (rather, System Settings). Screen Distance may not be fully implemented on the Mac though, at least in my testing, I was not able to get the alert to activate despite having my face inches from the display, whereas on iPhone and iPad it would activate right away. Feel free to share in the comments what your experience is with this feature.

Is this going to prevent eye strain or cure myopia? Certainly not, but it could assist, and particularly for users who have a habit of keeping their devices a little too close to their eyes, it might be a particularly welcome health feature to enable on iPhone, iPad, or Mac.


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Posted by: Ali Khan in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Larry says:

    The phone asks for a 4 digit passcode. I have no idea what this is. Thus, I can’t enter this iPhone feature.

  2. Piyush Bhartia says:

    I could not find the screen distance under screen time mentioned in your article. My iOS & iPad & Mac software fully updated

  3. Alex says:

    In this article you wrote

    “The Screen Distance feature works by using the front-facing cameras on iPhone, Mac, or iPad”.

    This is absolutely wrong.

    Screen Distance in available on devices with TrueDepth camera, such as iPhones and iPads with FaceID.


    • Baron Circu says:

      So what you’re saying is Screen Time works by using the front camera on iPhone and iPad with a front camera and Face ID? Basically saying the same thing but… slightly different?

      I have the Screen Distance settings on my Mac, are you saying it does not work on my Mac? Why would the settings be on my Mac if it does not work on my Mac?

  4. Ben says:

    This should probably be enabled on every kids iPad and iPhone!

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