How to Fix: My iPad is Zoomed In or Shows a Magnifying Glass

What to Do When Your iPad Zoom is Stuck

iPad with magnifying glass
Blablo101/iStock
Was this page helpful?

The iPad's accessibility features include the ability to zoom the iPad into the screen, which will make the icons appear much larger. The zoom feature can also cause a square magnifying glass to appear on the screen, which has the same effect of making icons or text appear larger.

If you have failing vision, this feature can be a real boon for using the iPad.  Even if you have good vision but smaller text becomes a bit fuzzy, the zoom feature can be handy.

 But for those with good eyesight, getting the iPad's zoom feature stuck on can be a little frustrating if you don't know how to fix it.

The iPad's zoom feature can be configured in multiple ways, so we'll take a look at a few ways to fix the problem. 

The first thing to attempt is to double tap the iPad's display with three fingers.This is just like double tapping the screen, but you'll use your index, middle and ring fingers all at the same time. This is how the zoom-in feature is turned on and off. This should fix the problem, but you should still turn the zoom feature off in the iPad's settings to keep it from happening again. The accessibility settings are located in the general section of the iPad's settings.

Triple-clicking the Home Button can also work. The accessibility settings also have a shortcut for turning certain features on and off.  This shortcut is activated by triple-clicking the home button.

If the triple-click has been configured to zoom into the iPad, you can zoom out by using a triple click. This is a common reason why people accidentally engage the zoom. It can also be turned off in the accessibility settings.

If neither of these work, try pinch-to-zoom. The iPad's zoom-in feature is different than the pinch-to-zoom gesture.

Zooming into the entire display or popping up a magnifying glass is intended for those with very bad vision. However, some apps such as Safari allow us to pinch-to-zoom to zoom into a web page or a picture. If the screen still isn't zoomed out, place your thumb and index finger on the screen with the thumb and finger touching as if you were pinching the screen. Then, simply move your fingers apart while your fingertip and thumb tip are still touching the screen. This pinch-out will zoom-out the display if the pinch-to-zoom feature has been activated.

How to Turn the Zoom Feature Off

Of course, you got into this mess by having the zoom feature turned on in the accessibility settings.  An easy way to both correct the problem and make sure it doesn't happen is to simply turn the feature off.  So how do you do it?

  • First, go into the iPad's settings by launching the Settings app.
  • Next, scroll down the left-side menu and choose "General."
  • In the General settings, locate and tap "Accessibility".  These are the settings that allow the iPad to be easier to use for those with difficulties such as poor vision, color blindness, etc.
  • Tap on "Zoom" near the top of the Accessibility settings.
  • Last, tap the green On/Off switch next to "Zoom" at the top of the Zoom settings.

    What Else Can You Do With Zoom?

    If you have very good vision, it is easiest to simply turn the setting off, but if you sometimes find text on the screen blurry, you might try simply configuring the zoom to be more helpful.  A few settings that can help with this are the Smart Typing setting, which if turned on allows the on-screen keyboard to be displayed without being zoomed even if the zoom feature is activated, Idle Visibility, which determines how much of the zoom controller is shown when the feature is not in use, and Zoom Region, which allows you to switch from a full screen zoom to a window zoom similar to having a magnifying glass on the screen.