How to set up an iPhone for seniors

The iPhone has special settings for seniors. Find out what they are and how they can help you.

As we get older, it is com­mon for some sen­ses to be impai­red, which is why it is all the more important to com­pen­sate for these weaknesses.

Take a look at the hel­pful tips for the area where you per­so­nally expe­ri­ence the grea­test dif­fi­cul­ties. In addi­tion, the set­tings can also be used pre­ven­tively to engage the senses.

In gene­ral, we recom­mend taking the time to test dif­fe­rent set­tings with the senior.
set­ting opti­ons with the senior. Because only if the use feels good and is intui­tive will the cell phone be used in the end and the adjus­t­ments can con­tri­bute to bet­ter social participation.

You can also watch the indi­vi­dual videos in short form on our You­Tube channel.


If your hea­ring is impai­red, the fol­lo­wing adjus­t­ments can help you:

  • Under Set­tings → Sounds and hap­tics, under Vibrate, the phone can vibrate in addi­tion to the usual rin­ging. The phone also vibra­tes when it is set to silent.
  • Under Set­tings → Sounds and hap­tics, the ring­tone can be set to a lou­der volume under Ring and noti­fi­ca­tion tones. It is important that Change with but­tons is deac­ti­va­ted so that the volume of the ring­tone is not affec­ted when the gene­ral volume is changed.
  • Under Set­tings → Acces­si­bi­lity → Hea­ring aids, hea­ring aids can be con­nec­ted via Bluetooth.
  • Under Set­tings → Acces­si­bi­lity → Sub­tit­les, sub­tit­les can be acti­va­ted so that they are dis­played if available.
  • You can then go to Set­tings → Acces­si­bi­lity → Audio/Visual and acti­vate LED flash for noti­fi­ca­ti­ons at the bottom.


If your eye­sight is impai­red, the fol­lo­wing set­tings may help you.

You can acti­vate these set­tings under Set­tings → Acces­si­bi­lity → Dis­play & text size:

Bold text ensu­res that the text is dis­played thicker.

  • Lar­ger text allows you to change the font size.
  • If you acti­vate Lar­ger dyna­mic text, apps with dyna­mic text are adapted to the rea­ding size spe­ci­fied below.
  • On/Off labels create an “I” and an “O” next to the sliders.
  • Reduce trans­pa­rency increa­ses the con­trast of some back­grounds to improve readability.
  • Increase con­trast increa­ses the color con­trast bet­ween the app fore­ground and the background.
  • Dif­fe­ren­tiate wit­hout colors uses alter­na­ti­ves of ele­ments that are other­wise only iden­ti­fied by colors.

Under Set­tings → Dis­play & bright­ness, the dis­play can be set to enlar­ged at the bottom.

Motor skills

Under Set­tings → Acces­si­bi­lity you will find the Phy­si­cal and Moto­ri­zed area. There are many adjus­t­ments for active operation.

Under Touch → Touch cus­to­miza­ti­ons you will find the fol­lo­wing sel­ec­tion options:

  • The hol­ding time deter­mi­nes how long you have to leave your fin­ger on the screen for it to be reco­gni­zed as a touch. To do this, click on Hol­ding time to cus­to­mize the touch time using the plus and minus signs. For peo­ple with limi­ted motor skills, it makes sense to set a hol­ding time of more than 1 second.
  • Among other things, you can have acci­den­tal taps inter­pre­ted as a tap. This can be con­trol­led under Ignore repe­ti­tion by also set­ting a desi­red time.
  • The tap assistant helps you to inter­pret the first or last touch point of a swipe ges­ture as inten­ded. To do this, you must sel­ect Use first touch point or Use last touch point with a desi­red time.
  • Switch con­trol can be an inte­res­t­ing option, espe­ci­ally if users are easily over­whel­med by the many sel­ec­tion options.

You can also easily cus­to­mize your key­board. This will make typ­ing mes­sa­ges much easier.

  • With auto-capi­ta­liza­tion, the first word of a mes­sage auto­ma­ti­cally starts with a capi­tal letter.
  • With auto-cor­rect, the words you write are auto­ma­ti­cally cor­rec­ted if you make a typo.
  • By acti­vat­ing Sug­ges­ti­ons, you will receive word sug­ges­ti­ons that adapt to the sen­tence you have just written.
  • With cha­rac­ter pre­view, the typed let­ter appears enlar­ged on the key­board for a brief moment.

Fur­ther tips for easier use of your iPhone

Create cont­acts as favorites

You can create favo­ri­tes in the Phone app. Cont­acts with whom you make fre­quent calls can be found and cont­ac­ted more quickly.

  • Open the Phone app.
  • Tap on Favo­ri­tes in the bar at the bot­tom of the screen and then on the
    Plus ” + ” at the top left.
  • Now sel­ect the cont­act you want to add as a favo­rite. You can search for the cont­act by tap­ping on the bar with the magni­fy­ing glass. Alter­na­tively, you can scroll down with your fin­ger and tap on the desi­red contact.
  • Then tap on Call and on the phone number.
  • Your cont­act can now be found under Favo­ri­tes.

Making the home screen clearer

  • First go to the home screen of your iPhone and hold your fin­ger on a free area or an app until the app icons start to wiggle and a minus ” — ” appears in the left-hand cor­ner of the icon.
  • Tap on the minus ” — “.
  • Sel­ect your desi­red action. You have the fol­lo­wing options: 
    • Delete app
    • Remove app from the home screen
    • Can­cel the process
  • Do this for all desi­red apps.
  • When you have finis­hed, tap again on a free area of the screen or on the word Done at the top right.

Acti­vate “Siri” voice control

If you also need to use Apple’s voice con­trol to ask for the wea­ther or set an alarm, you need to acti­vate Siri.

  • First click on Set­tings → Siri & Search.
  • To acti­vate Siri, acti­vate the slider for Watch out for Hey Siri.
  • Siri must then be con­fi­gu­red. Fol­low the ins­truc­tions on your iPhone.
  • You can now make two addi­tio­nal set­tings. Decide for yours­elf to what ext­ent these set­tings are hel­pful for you. 
    • Acti­vate Siri when pres­sing the side button
    • Allow Siri when locked

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