[How To] Get Bold Text Back on Your iPhone and iPad with iOS 7

One subtle change in iOS 7 is the thickness of text. Apple has changed the system font (and even the font of ‘iPhone’ on the back of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c) to a lighter, thinner version of Helvetica, the font they’ve used since the beginning of iPhone OS. While subtle, the change is noticeable, especially if you’re coming right from iOS 6. The good news is, it’s an easy fix if you want the thicker, bolder fonts back.

1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility


2. Toggle the “Bold Text” switch to ‘On’ and click ‘Continue’ to reboot your phone.

Here are a couple before and after screenshots.

Note: I also turned on “Increase Contrast” in the accessibility menu.

In the second screenshot, look down at the Dock — you can see the color  changed from a neon blue to a flatter, darker blue. That’s the result of the “Increase Contrast” setting, which you’ll see in other places throughout the OS as well.


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  • R-D-M-T-S

    Nice tip. Thanks.

  • Mark of Excellence

    Very cool. Thx. Any chance I can change the keyboard back to the iOS 6 version?

    • yo

      no

  • Aritos

    nice tip.

  • mcedillo510

    awesome! thank you!

  • Kelly Fasco

    AWESOME! This is great! Thank you so much!

  • MsAuntieM

    Fantabulis

  • HelsBells

    Fabulous – love it straight away!

  • iloveapples

    That’s cool. Thanks for sharing!

  • PG

    THANK YOU

  • LynneSnierson

    Really helpful- thank you!

  • Frank

    Thank you, thank you!!!

  • Applefan

    Thanks for the tip. The clock, calendar and contacts were really bugging me!

  • IOSBugged

    can we make the weather show the temp again?

  • Thoffman

    Thanks so much!

  • Normr

    Big improvement!

  • KK

    Thanks for the tips! Love the bolder font. I hate the calendar changes mostly…iOS6 was much better!

    • Taylor Elizabeth

      did it just restart your phone or wipe it all out?

  • JerryAW

    Thank you for that. It makes a big difference!

  • penemuel

    You may have just saved my eyesight and cut down on the number of migraines I’ve been having since the “upgrade” – thank you!

  • LadydonnaHoffman 3

    That was a big help. Thanks

  • Pat

    Thanks so much for helping my old eyes. Bolder is better!

  • Maria Lynam

    Thanks, Mike! I was struggling…they should let some everyday users test out these new apps!

  • Rob

    Does anyone think that the new IOS app icons look like they were designed by a 2 year old or is it just me, can we get apple to change them back somehow?

    • Hawndude

      YES!! Wtf? The OS improvements may be great, but from a visual perspective, the switch to IOS 7 was awful! Apple’s strength has always been their user-friendly interface. What in the world did they do??? I’m so disappointed!!

    • Trish

      it is so juvenile looking and not at all technical looking. I hate it. It is not appealing to the eye at all!

  • billcondie

    Thanks for the tips. But Apple should never have changed the views so drastically.

    It was change for the sake of change. Jobs will be turning in his grave

    • Des

      I agree with you! They really crewed up what Jobs worked so hard in accomplishing. I like the improved technology but should have kept the classic look.

  • Guest

    Appreciate this a LOT!!!

  • Josh Korn

    thanks. i was seriously bummed out by the new stickfont. I noticed that some apps use the old keyboard, which is – evidently – still present, and more readable.

  • fsventures

    Thank you for the info on changing type to BOLD. This was one of my major complaints about IOS 7

    • Mair

      Thanks Mike, it was a torture, I felt like a blind. I hate iOS7, it’s a big step back and (hope not) the beginning the demise of the Apple. I agree with the guy above, Steve would fire the chief designer. The interface is lousy, the colors are to appease the teenage girls who like to flash their panties! Improvements probably under the hood but overall it’s extremely disappointing. I’m sorry I “upgraded”.

  • Norma Bergsted Luman

    Wonderful thankyou so much for the tip. Apple could have left the type alone..

  • Bob Benton

    7 sucks. The depth, richness and visual dynamics of the new icons appeals to a child in my humble opinion. I regret downloading it. Remember “new Coke”, it too was one of the biggest mis-steps in marketing history. I think the “step” by Apple will prove to be worthy of being ensconced into the same category. Here is a good way to put it and I do not think i am over-stepping my bounds: Steve Jobs would have NEVER let this get out of the first draft. And moreover, he probably would have fired or demoted the nincompoop that proposed it in the first place. If you agree with me do what I did: first, call Apple and tell them what you think, then go to the site and leave a comment in the feedback section. My hope is that they will enable one to revert back to the look or feel of 5 if one so desires. I know I do.

    • LupineMP3j

      I think you’re wrong. Not about disliking it (how could you be wrong about that?) but about them changing it back.

      The thing about it is, every time a major change happens, some people are going to be unhappy with it, no matter what. If every company looked back just because some of their audience wrote them negative feedback, well things would never go anywhere. I’ve seen some pretty ridiculous arguments. “This disrespects the Apple name.” “This dishonors Steve Jobs, and so it dishonors us customers.” “How dare you take away the simplicity of our software?”

      Yeah, Apple has that kind of following.

      The truth is, a lot of people actually love iOS 7′s new look, and while there are things I think they could do better (neon green with thin, white text? Are you TRYING to make me blind?), changing everything back would be a big mistake for Apple. Also, considering the fact that it’s, well, Apple, they aren’t likely to add an optional feature for the old look. Unless there is some sort of massive outcry that might threaten their profits, iOS 7′s new look is probably here to stay.

      That’s not to say they might not make subtle tweaks if they have a good reason to, however.

      • AL

        I agree with Bob. iOS 7 was made for an audience under 35 or possibly even less. People of a “certain age” simply cannot see the screens no matter how much “bold”, etc. tweaking. In fact, friends have traded in their iphone for Samsung, etc. because of this. Also agree that Jobs would not have allowed this version to go live. Alot of simplistic functionality that is the beauty of Apple has been lost. One must go through alot more steps to get to things that were initially simple. E.g. you need to enter your passcode to hang up on an existing call. Really now? Consequently, just those two features alone make the phone a road hazard. I won’t even upgrade my ipad because I have no time to go through the mess of making it capatible with my Zagg, etc. There is more, but listed that on the Apple site. I hope they pay attention or they will lose an audience that has the largest demographic buying power and Apple will simply become a “toy” for the latter generations.

        • LupineMP3j

          As someone who has iOS 7, I have NEVER had to enter my passcode or even scan my fingerprint to hang up on a call, and I’ve never heard of anyone else who has. I’m not sure where you got that.

  • Mike

    Can I delete the IOS7

  • Suki

    Thank you very much! Any tips on how to get the month view back on Calendar? Why did the take away our options? IOS7 is sooo disappointing.

    • Ant

      month view is just pressing the top left hand “button”. i find this harder to navigate. if you sync with GMAIL then try using the web link to GCAL.

  • Lisa

    Thanks so much for the “bold” tip. I agree with everyone about 7. Apple messed up big time with all these changes. If I’d wanted an android or windows phone, I would have bought one instead of the iPhone. Hopefully with enough complaints they will fix this mess!

  • Haron Bedretdin

    Cool! Thanks. My eyes are better now. Haron

  • Tricia

    excellent. thank you.

  • Hubert Pereira

    I actually thought its time to go back and change my glasses ( this happens to some diabetes like me) however reading this post confirmed it’s the new inter~face. Thanks a million for the tip

  • momomary

    Thanks, the thin font was driving me crazy.

  • BandoMom

    Thanks Mike. I tried inverting the colors, but that was even worse. I’m with Mark of Excellence. I’d love to change back the keyboard.

  • NW

    Thanks for the advice! I just converted my phone back to Bold Text and it makes a huge difference compared to a minute ago.

  • REVEREND DAN

    How do you turn off apps that were used and are still running? Use to double click–start waiver for deletion and click to turn it off.

    • Angie

      Swipe the mini preview screen up.

    • Sharon

      Im having the same problem I did what Angie said and you used to be able to just hold them down and then click them away now it just takes you back to the page or app, so now what do you do? thanks

    • Allend in Atlanta

      Double tap home button, then the tiles will appear as cards, then you touch and swipe the tile/card in an upward motion “throwing them away” and off your screen. This is a much more efficient and easier way to close out apps than the old technique. One good improvement among many disappointments!

      • Jon Shannon

        Using the tiles, and swiping the tiles to throw them away was one of the best functions built into webOS on my HP Touchpad two years ago. I’m glad to see Apple adopt the idea.

      • Lynda

        I tried this and was unable to throw any of them away. Any other suggestions

      • Lynda

        OMG!!! Saying that is update is a disappointment is an understatement. I finally was able to figure out how to “throw away” the open app’s. Thanks for the info.

  • HvS

    how does this work on iPAD? the explanation seems to be about iPHONE only, I cannot see the options you mention on my iPad (Mini),
    Must say, I am NOT a fanof the new user interface at all,,

  • Killian

    So glad I found this discussion, have not upgraded to IOS7 yet as I am perfectly happy with the my Iphone5 right now. After reading this, I have no plans to upgrade, just keep ignoring and deleting the messages to update, maybe the fixes in a few months might convince me but don’t see any need to change now.

  • P-Co

    Thank you!!!!

  • Crys

    Please bring back a bolder, bigger font. I compared the old keyboard on my mom’s phone to the new one, and I can see hers so much better than on ios 7. I concur on the yellow font–needs to go. I’m glad some people have no trouble seeing it, but I’d bet you will start developing eye strain before you even turn 40+. Those of us who are there already, definitely need options on font. I’m having trouble while wearing reading glasses.

  • Jessica Britt

    i have done all of the above suggestions, and still not large enough for me to see easily or as good as the old OS on the 4s – I am not enjoying the iPhone 5 – deeply disappointed – including the phone contacts favorites, recent lists, being over sensitive and too easily going to delete …

  • Apples

    Do you lose you pictures