How to use and turn off VoiceOver on an iPhone, and disable the audio descriptions and gestures associated with the accessibility feature

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty ImagesYou can turn off VoiceOver on your iPhone if you don’t prefer to use the feature’s gestures or hear its audio descriptions.
  • You can turn off VoiceOver on your iPhone in the Settings app or by using Siri.
  • VoiceOver is an iOSAccessibility feature that reads screen descriptions aloud so you can use an iPhone without being able to see the screen.
  • VoiceOver also changes the way gestures work on your iPhone, and to turn it off in Settings, you will have to use the new gestures associated with VoiceOver.
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Apple includes several Accessibility features which make it easier for everyone – especially users with low vision, hearing, and limited motor skills – to navigate the iPhone easily and conveniently.

VoiceOver changes the way iPhone gestures work and will also give you audible screen descriptions. This way, you know what something is going to do before you tap on or select it, so you can control your iPhone with confidence even if you can’t see the screen.

There are many ways to customise the VoiceOver feature, but here are the major changes to your iPhone when VoiceOver is enabled:

  • Your iPhone plays a sound and reads aloud the first item on the screen whenever you navigate to a new screen or page.
  • When you tap on an item, it’s read aloud. Double tap to activate it.
  • Use three fingers to scroll.
  • Double tap with two fingers to start or stop an action in the current app. For example, you would double-tap with two fingers to take a photo using the Camera app, or double-tap with two fingers to start or stop music in the Music app.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone 11 (From $US699.99 at Best Buy)

How to turn on VoiceOver mode on an iPhone

1. Start the Settings app.

2. Tap “General.”

3. Tap “Accessibility.”

Voiceover 1Dave Johnson/Business InsiderTo find VoiceOver, open the Accessibility page.

4. On the Accessibility page, tap “VoiceOver.”

5. Turn on VoiceOver by swiping the button to the right.

Voiceover 2Dave Johnson/Business InsiderWhen you turn on VoiceOver, ordinary gestures change, so be sure you know how to navigate around your iPhone.

6. A pop-up appears that warns that the way gestures work will change if you turn on VoiceOver. Tap each part of the pop-up to hear it read aloud. To continue, double-tap “OK.”

You can fine-tune the way VoiceOver works using the other settings on this page. You can control the speed at which VoiceOver reads text aloud using the Speaking Rate slider, for example.

How to turn off VoiceOver mode on an iPhone

1. Start the Settings app (tap the Settings app to choose it, then double tap to open the app).

2. Tap “General” to choose it, and then double-tap to open it.

3. Tap “Accessibility” to choose it, and then double-tap to open it.

4. Tap “VoiceOver.” Then double-tap to turn it off.

Other ways to turn VoiceOver on or off

There are several other ways to turn VoiceOver on and off:

  • You can use Siri. Start Siri and then say, “Turn on VoiceOver” or “Turn off VoiceOver.”
  • If you add Accessibility shortcuts to the Control Centre, you can turn it on or off from there. Start Settings and choose “Control Centre,” then add “Accessibility Shortcuts” from the “Customise Controls” section. Now you’ll be able to turn VoiceOver on and off by pulling down the Control Centre from the top right of the screen.
Voiceover 3Dave Johnson/Business InsiderYou can enable or disable VoiceOver from the Control Centre.
  • If you enable Accessibility shortcuts for the Side or Home button, you can enable VoiceOver by triple-clicking that button. Start Settings, tap “General,” then choose “Accessibility,” then scroll to the bottom and choose “Accessibility Shortcut.” Choose VoiceOver, and now you can turn it on and off with a triple-click.

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