How to increase the font size in iOS

Tired of squinting at small text in your e-mails, text messages, notes, and the like? There's a hidden setting for making everything bigger.

Here's the iOS Messages app with normal text on the left and 20pt Large Text on the right.
Here's the iOS Messages app with normal text on the left and 20pt Large Text on the right. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

The iPhone 5 may have a bigger screen, but text still looks pretty small to my aging eyes. In fact, it looks that way on all my iDevices.

That's because iOS relies on a fixed font size, and while a smattering of apps let you increase that size, there's no "font" option to be found in iOS settings.

Actually, there is, kind of, if you know where to look. It turns out you can enlarge the default iOS font a little bit or quite a bit, depending on your eyesight needs. Here's how:

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

1. Tap Settings, General, then scroll down until you see Accessibility. Tap it.

2. Tap Large Text.

3. Choose one of the available sizes -- anywhere from 20pt to 56pt.

That's all there is to it! You'll now see larger text in the Contacts, Calendar, Mail, Messages, and Notes apps.

Keep in mind that larger text might mess with the formatting in some e-mail messages. You might have to experiment with the different sizes to find one that's best for you and your device.

Personally, I've found that 20pt makes Messages a lot easier on the eyes, even if it does force me to do a bit more scrolling (as the bigger font allows for less text to fit onscreen).

I'm pretty sure iOS has had this feature for a while now, but I must confess I didn't know it existed until recently. Better late than never!

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