VoiceOver Gestures on iOS

VoiceOver Gestures on iOS

Screen Reader Keyboard Shortcuts and Gestures > VoiceOver for iOS

VoiceOver is a screen reader program that comes on new Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. VoiceOver was first introduced in Mac OS X 10.4 in 2005.

Also available in a single-page printer-friendly PDF version.

Also available in a PDF with images depicting the gesture shortcuts.


VoiceOver works best with Safari. If you try to use it with any other browser, it may work for some things, but not as consistently as with Safari.
VoiceOver + Safari

Getting Started

The shortcut for turning VoiceOver on and off is triple-pressing the home or side button. To turn on the VoiceOver shortcut, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut.

To move between page elements in VoiceOver, swipe left or right. To navigate by specific elements, select a navigation setting in the rotor (next section) and then swipe up or down.

The Rotor

Choose navigation options in VoiceOver using the Rotor. To use the rotor, twist two fingers in a circle on the screen, as if you are turning a knob. Select a navigation option from the rotor, then swipe up or down to move between the selected element type. Navigation options are extensive, but include Headings, Links, Tables, and Form Controls. You can choose which of the navigation options you would like to appear in the rotor by going to VoiceOver Settings > Rotor.

The Basics

Topic Task Command
On/Off: Turn VO on/off (When setting is enabled) Triple-press home button or side button (iPhone X +)
Reading: Pause or resume reading Two-finger tap
Start reading continuously from this point on Two-finger swipe down
Read entire page Two-finger swipe up
Read next item Swipe right
Activate: Link Double-tap
Button Double-tap
Close/Cancel: Close popup, cancel last action Two-finger scrub
Headings: Go to next heading Rotor, swipe down
Landmarks: Go to next landmark/region Rotor, swipe down
Item Chooser: Choose from a complete list of items on page Two-finger triple-tap
Tables: Go to next table Rotor, swipe down
Navigate table cells Swipe left or right
Navigate table rows Rotor: rows, swipe up or down
Lists: Go to next list Rotor, swipe down
Go to next list item Swipe right
Images: Go to next image Rotor, swipe right
Links: Go to next link Rotor, swipe down
Navigate: Go to first (last) item on page 4-finger tap upper (lower) half of screen
Scroll (vertically or horizontally) 3-finger swipe up, down, left, or right
Go backward: To previous heading, landmark, table, focusable item, etc. Swipe up

Reading text

Topic Task Command
Line: Say prior line Rotor, swipe up
Say next line Rotor, swipe down
Character: Say prior character Rotor, swipe up
Say next character Rotor, swipe down
Say character phonetically Settings > VO > Phonetic feedback
Word: Say prior word Rotor, swipe up
Say next word Rotor, swipe down
Speech: Toggle speech on/off
(good for braille use)
Three-finger double-tap
Note: When Zoom is on, 3-finger double-tap zooms, and 3-finger double-tap and drag changes zoom.


Topic Task Command
Table: Go to next table Rotor, swipe down
Cell: Cell to right Swipe right
Cell to left Swipe left
Row below Rotor: rows, swipe down
Row above Rotor: rows, swipe up


Topic Task Command
Navigate: Next form Rotor, swipe down
Next focusable item Swipe right
Next button Rotor, swipe down
Checkboxes: Select and deselect Double-tap
Next checkbox Rotor (Same item or form controls), swipe down
Combo boxes (<select>): Open combo box Double-tap
Browse options Drag finger to hear options
Select options Double-tap desired option(s)
Next combo box Rotor (Same item or form controls), swipe down
Radio buttons: Toggle selection Double-tap
Next radio button Rotor (Form controls or same item), swipe down

Text editing

The virtual keyboard appears when you enter a text field. Use the rotor to navigate through and edit the text you type.

Default typing: explore keyboard with one finger, tap with a second finger to select.

Touch typing: touch a key on the keyboard, lift finger to select.

Direct touch: interact with the keyboard as if VoiceOver is off.

Task Command
Select/deselect text Pinch out/in
Copy the last spoken text to the clipboard Three-finger quadruple-tap
Backspace Select the delete button
Dictate Text Two-finger double tap
Change keyboard mode Rotor > Keyboard mode, swipe up or down

Handwriting mode

Task Command
Change case, punctuation, numbers 3-finger swipe up or down
Insert space Two-finger swipe right
Backspace Two-finger swipe left
Write letters, numbers, punctation Draw on screen using finger

Other commands

Task Command
Gesture help 4-finger double-tap
Help with current element Rotor (Hints) swipe up/down to enable hints
Toggle screen curtain on/off (VO works but screen is off) Three-finger triple-tap
Split tap quick-activation Select and hold with one finger, tap with another
Double-press button Triple-tap
Speak words/characters typed Settings > General > VoiceOver > Typing Feedback
Access control center
Bring focus to status bar, 3-finger swipe up (down)
Next/Previous App 4-finger swipe Right/Left
Drag mode Tap twice and hold