How to access the iOS 11 one-handed keyboard

How to access the iOS 11 one-handed keyboard

Last updated: October 7, 2017 

Welcome to the world, iOS 11. Apple released the latest iteration of its mobile operating system to the public today. Accompanying it are a huge number of new features and enhancements. A handy but buried feature is the one-handed keyboard. The one-handed keyboard lets users hold their iOS device with one hand and more easily type with that hand’s thumb. The keyboard scrunches to the left or right of the screen depending upon your hand selection. What you do with your free hand is your business.

Relieving your carpal thumbel syndrome is easy once you know where to tap. Access to the iOS 11 one-handed keyboard is possible within any app where a keyboard displays. The selector is right where you would expect it to be — under the keyboard’s emoji button. Follow the steps below to learn how to get there.

Step 1. Launch an app that requires a keyboard (Messages, Notes, Mail, etc.)

Step 2. Tap and hold the emoji button

access the iOS 11 one-handed keyboard

Step 3. Select the keyboard for your typing hand

access the iOS 11 one-handed keyboard



Three keyboard options display — left-handed, standard, and right-handed. Standard is the default keyboard in the middle. Tap the keyboard that matches the hand with your preferred typing thumb. For example, if you tap the left-handed keyboard, the keys shift to the left side of the display.

access the iOS 11 one-handed keyboard

The keyboard selector disappears once you make your selection. Note that iOS retains the one-handed keyboard selection you make so you don’t have to change it from app to app.

Step 4. Revert to the Standard keyboard

To use the Standard keyboard again at any time, tap the white arrowhead next to the keyboard.

access the iOS 11 one-handed keyboard

Configure One-Handed Keyboard Preference from Settings

If needed, the option exists to set up your one-handed keyboard preference from Settings instead of from an app’s keyboard.

Step 1. Go to Keyboards settings

Locate the settings for your iOS device keyboards under Settings > General > Keyboards. In the Keyboards settings, tap One Handed Keyboard.

access the iOS 11 one-handed keyboard

Step 2. Select configuration

Tap Off, Left or Right for the one-handed keyboard option that best fits your thumb’s lifestyle.

access the iOS 11 one-handed keyboard

Do you know anyone with an iPhone, tiny hands, and too much power? If so, please tweet this information along to them if they haven’t blocked you yet.

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