How to use a pointer device with AssistiveTouch on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

Find out how to connect a wired mouse, trackpad or assistive Bluetooth device to control an on-screen pointer on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

How to connect your pointer

Plug in your wired mouse, trackpad or Bluetooth device using a Lightning or USB-C port. If you're using USB-A devices, you'll need an adapter.

To connect a Bluetooth device:

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility, then select Touch.
  2. Select AssistiveTouch > Devices, then select Bluetooth Devices.
  3. Select your device from the list.

How to use your pointer

You can use a pointer to click icons on your screen that you might otherwise tap, or use it to navigate the AssistiveTouch menu. If you want to use an input button to show and hide the menu, go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch, then select Always Show Menu. 

With your pointer connected, turn on AssistiveTouch. You'll see a grey, circular pointer and the AssistiveTouch button on your screen. 

Adjust the colour, size or Auto-hide time on your iPad

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility.
  2. Select Pointer Control.

The pointer will move as you move your input device.

Adjust the colour, size or Auto-hide time on your iPhone or iPod touch

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility and select Touch.
  2. Select AssistiveTouch, then select Pointer Style.

The pointer will move as you move your input device.

Adjust the speed for trackpad or mouse

  1. Go to Settings > General.
  2. Select Trackpad & Mouse.
  3. Adjust the tracking speed.

Change the button assignments

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility and select Touch.
  2. Select AssistiveTouch > Devices.
  3. Select the name of the device you're using.
  4. Select the button, then use the drop-down menu to choose your preferred action for each button.

How to customise your settings

To configure the ability to drag items without holding a button on the input device, enable the Drag Lock function. This will allow you to hold the input key until the item is ready for dragging, then move it to another location without continuing to hold the button. If you click again, it will release the drag locked item.

If you use Zoom with AssistiveTouch, you can change how the zoomed-in area responds to the pointer location. Just go to Settings > Accessibility > Zoom, then select Zoom Pan. You'll have these options once you've enabled Zoom Pan:

  • Continuous: When zoomed in, the screen moves continuously with the cursor.
  • Centred: When zoomed in, the screen image moves when the cursor is at or near the centre of the screen.
  • Edges: When zoomed in, the screen image moves when the cursor reaches an edge. 

The Dwell options allow you to perform actions with the pointer without physically pressing buttons. Dwell has settings for Movement Tolerance and the amount of time before a selection action is carried out. When Dwell is enabled, the on-screen keyboard will always appear.

How to use a keyboard to control your pointer

If you're using a keyboard to control your pointer, you'll need to enable the Mouse Keys function. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility and select Touch. 
  2. Select AssistiveTouch, then select Mouse Keys.

From this screen, you can turn on Mouse Keys by pressing the Option Key five times. You can also set your Initial Delay and Maximum Speed settings to determine how the pointer moves when it's being controlled by keyboard keys.

If you'd like to type on the on-screen keyboard using Mouse Keys, or with the pointer while a keyboard is connected, you'll need to enable Show On-screen Keyboard from Settings > Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch.

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