iOS 7: Go Bold for Easy to Read Text

| TMO Quick Tip

iOS 7 sports a new look all the way down to the fonts used to display text and the time, and it turns out it's just a little too difficult on some people's eyes. If that's you, it's easy to make iOS 7's text more eye-friendly. Read on to learn how.

Standard text (left) isn't as easy to read as bold (right) in iOS 7Standard text (left) isn't as easy to read as bold (right) in iOS 7

The problem is that the strokes making up the letters and numbers in iOS 7's text are too thin for some people. The fix is to make those strokes thicker. Here's how:

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap General
  • Tap Accessibility
  • Set Bold Text to On

iOS 7 includes an option for easier to read bold textiOS 7 includes an option for easier to read bold text

Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch will reboot after enabling bold text and the different will be immediately noticeable when your device comes back to life. Display text, as well as the text in apps, will be bold and stand out much better against the background.

If you decide you prefer the default text style, you can shut off Bold in the Accessibility settings any time you like.

I found using the Bold setting makes the time and date much easier to read on my lock screen, and I was surprised at how much of a difference it made in apps like Messages, too.

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Thank you! this improves the one thing I was complaining about.

Lee Dronick

Thanks Jeff, that helps quite a bit with my legacy eyesight.

I saw the setting for increase contrast, but I can’t notice a difference.

Toby Sullivan

Thanks!  This is much better. 

Now…where can i get that TARDIS wallpaper?

Lee Dronick

Hmmmm, after using bold for a while I went back to the lightweight stroke. It started looking too heavy.

Christie Gaines Abell

Not really noticing a difference with bold on.  Does the green circle mean “on”?

Lee Dronick

Yes Christie, green means switched on, enabled. Try taking some screen shots with it enabled and disabled. Look at them in Photos were you can swipe between the them and see if there is a noticable difference to you.

Pashtun Wally

Thanks for the tip, but I find it unnecessary, despite 62 years, bad eyes, and an out-of-date prescription.  Glad it can help those who are helped, but I actually find the font HERE more difficult to read….


Too bad this doesn’t work everywhere, particularly on the status bar up top.


OMG, this is brilliant!!!  Thank You.


The look of iOS 7 seems better suited to the iPhone than the iPad. 

Great tip Jeff; thanks.


Been trying this, and I think I’ve figured out why it’s not quite right.
It would be much improved if only the item you’ve selected was bold; say an email, or a tweet. When everything is bold, it is still difficult to find your place when you’ve looked away from the screen.

Apple (or someone else) still needs to come up with a way to increase font sizes in the iOS.



This was one of the usability issues I’ve addressed in a memo to Apple’s Feedback line, and posted here:

Cheryl Limer Miller

It works for some things but not others…iCal is the worst with faded type but I can’t seem to affect that with the bold setting. I truly wish iCal had its own type adjust settings and hope someone comes up with an app to do it since Apple is unlikely to fix it

A Burgess-Trammell

I’ve been using this Bold Text with a slight larger font setting since I first installed iOS7.. I LOVE IT!!!
Question.. In your opinion do you think it wears down your battery life down faster? I’ve been playing around with different settings trying to get my battery life a bit better then it is, like it was in iOS6 but not having any luck.. This bold feather is about the only feather I’ve not turned off to test out the battery life without it on.. I enjoy it to much to go a day without it.. lol..
Your thoughts ...


I’ve been squinting like crazy with iOS 7, trying to see the icon labels in the sun.  Apple is becoming “stupid” with its changes.
I appreciate the tip about the bold text setting.

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