How to Use Assistive Access on iPhone and iPad

Apple has also worked towards making its products more comfortable and accessible for those who are differently abled. For example, you can enable the VoiceOver Screen Reader on a Mac for visually challenged. And with the release of iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, Apple has made another addition to its list of accessibility functions.

It is called Assistive Access. We will show you how to use Assistive Access on iPhone and iPad. We are using the Public Beta of iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 for this post. And this feature will be made available during the stable software release later in September.

What Is Assistive Access

Assistive Access is an accessibility feature designed specifically for those with cognitive disabilities. As per the FCC, “Cognitive disabilities” is a term that refers to a broad range of conditions that include intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, severe, persistent mental illness, brain injury, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and other dementias.

So if any of your loved ones are experiencing any such cognitive disabilities, you can enable Assistive Access on their iPhone or iPad to simplify the user interface of their device. After you enable this feature, the user will only see a stripped-down version of their device software with the basic apps like Calls, Messages, Photos, Camera, and Music on the home screen.

This will make it way easier for the user to access the basic functions of the iPhone and iPad. You can also use Assistive Touch for your grandparents who want the basic apps and find the regular user interface overwhelming and strenuous.

How to Turn On Assistive Access on iPhone

Let us show you the steps to turn on Assistive Access in iOS. The process is the same for turning on Assistive Access on iPad. But before you proceed, here are a couple of things to remember:

  • Register the Face ID of the user for whom you will be setting up Assistive Access
  • Set up ‘Hey Siri’ using the person’s voice.
  • Ensure the iPhone or iPad is connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network.

After you have taken care of the above points, here’s how to proceed with the setup.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on the iPhone or iPad.

open settings on iphone

Step 2: Scroll down and tap on Accessibility.

accessibilty settings iphone

Step 3: Scroll down and tap on Assistive Access.

assistive access settings iphone

Step 4: Tap on Set Up Assistive Access.

set up assistive access iphone

Step 5: Tap Continue on the splash screen.

continue set up assistive access iphone

Step 6: Tap on Continue again to confirm your Apple ID. If you want to add a new one, select Change Apple ID.

continue with apple ID assistive access iPhone

Step 7: Select the appearance of app icons for Assistive Access and tap on Continue.

select appearance assistive access iPhone

Step 8: Tap the Plus icon next to add apps to Assistive Access you want the person to use.

choose apps for assistive access iphone

Step 9: Select the app functionality you wish to enable and tap on Continue.

continue adding app to assistive access iPhone

You can also choose other apps apart from the basic ones.

choose other apps for assistive access iPhone

Step 10: After your app selection is complete, tap on Continue at the top-right corner.

finish app selection assistive access iPhone

Step 11: Tap on Continue to proceed further.

things to know assistive access iPhone

Step 12: Tap on Continue to set the Password for Assistive Access which you and the user need to know.

confirm device password assistive access iPhone

Step 13: Confirm the password and proceed.

Step 14: After it is set up, tap on Start Assistive Access.

start assistive access on iPhone

Enter the password and your iPhone or iPad will take a few seconds to launch Assistive Access mode.

enter password to launch assistive access

After you enable it, the person can use Assistive Access to access all the selected apps with ease.

use assistive access iPhone

There will a single navigation button at the bottom for easy usage and the text size will increase for better readability.

messages app in asssistive touch iPhone

How to Turn Off Assistive Access on iPhone

To turn off Assistive Access, just press the Power Button of your iPhone three times and enter the password to exit the mode. Do note that you will have to turn off Assistive Access to update the software version of your iPhone or iPad.

exit assistive touch iPhone

How to Edit Assistive Access Settings on iPhone

Here’s how you can edit and make changes in the Assistive Access on your iPhone.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

open settings on iphone

Step 2: Scroll down and tap on Accessibility.

accessibilty settings iphone

Step 3: Scroll down and tap on Assistive Access.

assistive access settings iphone

Step 4: You can make changes for Assistive Access, like removing chosen apps, adding a wallpaper, changing the app appearance, and more.

You can also enable Siri for Assistive Access and change the password.

enable siri for Assistive access iPhone

Use Assistive Access on iPhone and iPad

This feature will improve the ease of accessing the iPhone and iPad for users who have cognitive disabilities or for the elderly at your house. Another feature is the automatic dimming of flashing lights while watching videos on iPhone and iPad.

Last updated on 21 July, 2023

The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.