Having a hard time reading the tiny type on your iPad or iPhone screen? Believe me, you’re not the only one.

Indeed, after a long day of iPhone swiping, my aching eyes feel like they might get stuck in a perpetual squint.

Related: How to zoom the entire display on an Android phone

Springing for a new pair of reading glasses is one solution, or you could always “pinch” to zoom, say, a web page in Safari. And if you’ve updated your iPhone or iPad to iOS 7, you can always make the on-screen text a bit more bold.

But here’s another idea: by tweaking a key setting, you can zoom the entire display on your iPhone or iPad, no matter what app you’re using.

Zoom iPhone display three-finger tap

Want to zoom the entire display on your iPhone or iPad? A three-finger tap will do the trick.

Ready to give it a try? Here we go…

  • From your iPhone or iPad home screen, tap Settings, General, Accessibility, Zoom, then switch Zoom to “On.” You can also get quick access to the Zoom feature through the Home key.
  • Now double-tap the screen with three fingers at once, and well … zoom!
  • Want to pan around your zoomed-in iPhone/iPad display? Just swipe around as you normally would, except using three fingertips at once rather than just one.
  • You can also adjust the magnification level by double-tapping and holding with three fingers (it’s a “tap” and a “hold,” not a double-tap and then a hold), then dragging your fingertips up (to increase the zoom level) or down (to decrease the magnification).
  • Had enough? Double-tap the screen with three fingers again to make it jump back to the normal view.

Bonus tip

So, did you lock your iPhone while the display was still magnified, and is the “Slide to unlock” slider somewhere off the screen? Don’t panic.

Just double-tap the display with three fingers, and the display will instantly un-zoom, revealing the slider again.

Click here for more iOS 7 tips!

Note: This updated tip was first published in January 2013.