Toggling VoiceOver On and Off Using the Accessibility Shortcut on iOS and iPadOS

Last modified
Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Do you need a way to easily turn off VoiceOver so a sighted friend can use your iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone? Are you playing a gesture-based audio game that requires you to disable VoiceOver? If you need a way to easily turn VoiceOver off and on without sighted assistance or Siri, keep reading for instructions. This quick guide is for you.

Configuring the Accessibility Shortcut

The Accessibility Shortcut allows you to enable or disable accessibility features by pressing the Home button (or Side button if you're device doesn't have a Home button) three times in rapid succession. Apple does not enable this feature by default, so it must be configured before it can be used. We assume VoiceOver is enabled while following this guide, so VoiceOver gestures are used. If you are sighted, you may wish to turn off VoiceOver before proceeding. Follow these steps to configure the Accessibility Shortcut to toggle VoiceOver:

  1. Go to your device's Home screen.
  2. Locate and double tap Settings.
  3. Double tap Accessibility.
  4. Double tap Accessibility Shortcut.
  5. Double tap VoiceOver.
  6. Now return to the Home screen.

Toggling VoiceOver On and Off

Simply triple tap (press three times in rapid succession) the Home (or Side) button to turn VoiceOver on or off. VoiceOver says, "VoiceOver on," or, "VoiceOver off," according to its status.

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The article on this page has generously been submitted by a member of the AppleVis community. As AppleVis is a community-powered website, we make no guarantee, either express or implied, of the accuracy or completeness of the information.

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Comments

Submitted by Kevan on Friday, November 4, 2011

This post needs to be updated for the changes in iOS5, as the tripple-click home feature is now enabled by default. A blind person can take any iDevice running iOS 5 and use it in 2 seconds. How exciting.

Submitted by Darrell Hilliker on Friday, November 4, 2011

In reply to by Kevan

Since the default behavior didn't change for all new iPhone 4S users, I don't think anything should be changed in this guide. The info remains valid despite the default.

Submitted by Samara on Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Please ignore my last comment. I flicked instead of searching the screen and was able to find it. I'm about 2 days old when it comes to this iPhone. Sam

Submitted by tbunce on Sunday, March 8, 2015

I am using IOS8 on a iPad air in the accessibilities their is no triple click home so where do I turn it on? I had to do a system reset which turned it off and I now can not turn it back on. I went into general then accessibility and their was no trip click for home.

Submitted by mehgcap on Sunday, March 8, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Go to Settings, then General, then Accessibility. At the bottom is an item called "Accessibility Shortcut", and in there you can find all the options. Choose VoiceOver by double tapping it, and you should be all set.

Submitted by Ekaj on Friday, September 2, 2016

Just as a head's-up, turning VO on when in iTunes on my MacBook Air does not produce any speech but only a beep. This has been the case at least for me with the current and previous few versions of iTunes. Your mileage may vary though.