How to Use the New One-Handed Keyboard in iOS 11


There are a lot of little small tweaks and feature changes buried in iOS 11, and an option for a one-handed keyboard is one of them. With the one-handed keyboard, the entire on-screen keyboard can be shifted to either the left or the right so you can type more comfortably with a single hand even with a phone as large as the iPhone 7 Plus.

The feature is compatible with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones, although it appears it may not work on 4.7-inch iPhones if display zoom has been turned on.

Once you know the feature is available it's easy to get to and activate, as long as you have multiple keyboards turned on in Settings. Here's how:

  1. With the keyboard open, long press on the globe or the emoji symbol if you have the emoji keyboard activated. A simple tap won't work because this brings up emoji or other keyboard options.
  2. At the bottom of the display, there are three keyboard options: shifted left, centered, and shifted right. Choose right or left to pick one of the one-handed keyboards.

With the one-handed keyboard enabled, the keys are shifted to the left or right by about an inch on the iPhone 7 Plus. The keys remain off-center for as long as you're using the keyboard, unless you tap the large white arrow.

Tapping on that arrow returns the keyboard to its standard center position, and you'll need to repeat the above steps to get it to shift over again.

one hand keyboard settings
If you don't have multiple keyboards set up, you'll need to either turn on another keyboard by navigating to the Keyboards option within the General section of your Settings app or manually turn on one-handed keyboard to the left or right on that same page.

Top Rated Comments

drzen Avatar
44 months ago
Microsoft's implementation was much better with the curved arc one handed keyboard mode.

Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Heebeejeebies Avatar
44 months ago

Thanks, folks...we added a clarification on the models it works with.

Seeing some reports from 6s owners that it doesn't work even with zoom turned off. (Like the post above this one. :))

I don't think we have a 6s among our staff members to test on, so would appreciate any other reports.

I've got a 6s. Works fine for me.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GreyOS Avatar
44 months ago
Article could clarify that it’s available on the 4.7” phones too, but not if you have Zoom mode enabled
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WildCowboy Avatar
44 months ago
Thanks, folks...we added a clarification on the models it works with.

Seeing some reports from 6s owners that it doesn't work even with zoom turned off. (Like the post above this one. :))

I don't think we have a 6s among our staff members to test on, so would appreciate any other reports.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
subjonas Avatar
44 months ago

not available on SE but probably not necessary

Yes the whole phone is one-handed :cool:
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrGimper Avatar
44 months ago

Article could clarify that it’s available on the 4.7” phones too, but not if you have Zoom mode enabled

Thanks for the heads up. I thought it should be available on the 4.7 too but it wasn't showing on my wife's 6s. However, she has zoom mode enabled, so that explains it
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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