Toggling VoiceOver On and Off Using the Accessibility Shortcut

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, keep reading for instructions. This quick guide is for you.

Configure the Accessibility Shortcut

The Accessibility Shortcut allows you to enable or disable accessibility features by pressing the 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. Press the Home button to make sure you are on the device's Home screen.
  2. Locate and double tap Settings.
  3. Double tap General.
  4. Double tap Accessibility.
  5. Double tap Accessibility Shortcut.
  6. Double tap VoiceOver.
  7. Press the Home button to return to the Home screen.

Toggling VoiceOver On and Off

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

Notes:

  • Testing shows this feature may not work reliably when the device is locked. When this happens, the device announces VoiceOver's off status but stays quiet when toggling it back on. We recommend unlocking the device before triple tapping the Home button to toggle VoiceOver.
  • The procedures in this quick guide were tested on an iPhone 4 running iOS version 4.0.2. They are known to work on iPads, iPod Touches and iPhone 3 G S models running iOS versions 3 or 4.
  • This guide is loosely based on information found in the section of the iPhone 4 User Guide.

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Disclaimer

The guide 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 contained in this guide.

8 Comments

iOS 5 changes

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.

Default hasn't changed for all

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.

My Bad

I thought it was like that for everyone running iOS 5!

Apparently I was wrong.

Can't Find "Tripple-click home"

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

can not enable tripe click

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.

Go To…

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.

Toggling VO On in iTunes on a MacBook

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.