About the keyboards on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

With iOS, you can use the built-in keyboards on your device in every app, switch between international keyboards, use third-party keyboards, and more.

Change the built-in keyboard on your device

You can change the format of the built-in keyboard on your device or add additional languages. This also changes the dictionary used for auto-correction, the number of letters on the keyboard, and the arrangement of the keys. The language of the keyboard also determines the language of the dictionary used for predictive text.

Keyboards screen

To add software keyboards, go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards.

Keyboard layout options

With some languages, you can change the key layout. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards, tap the language, then select a new layout.

Option to look up a word     

Change the language

If you have iOS 10 or later, your keyboard automatically switches between the two languages you type with the most.1 To manually switch the keyboard, follow these steps: 

  1. Open an app and tap a text field.
  2. Tap Globe icon  to choose the next language on your keyboard. The chosen language appears on the Space bar. 
  3. Touch and hold  Globe icon to display a menu of keyboards. Drag your finger to choose a new keyboard.

Look up a word

To get the definition of a word, select the word and tap Look Up. The dictionary is a feature of the software keyboard only and is available in select languages.2

Use predictive text

You can type and complete entire sentences with just a few taps.

Messages predicting "tomorrow" from "tomo"

As you type, you'll see choices for words and phrases you'd probably type next, based on your past conversations and writing style. 


Option to turn off Predictive text

To turn off predictive text, touch and hold Emoji icon or  Globe icon, then tap Predictive. You can also turn off predictive text in Settings > General > Keyboard > Predictive.


See a full list of languages that support predictive text.

Add a third-party keyboard app

You can install third-party keyboard apps like you install other apps on your device. After you install a new keyboard, you need to add it before you can use it. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the App Store and find the keyboard app that you want.
  2. Tap Get > Install.
  3. Enter your Apple ID password or use Touch ID if it's available on your device.
  4. Then add the new keyboard. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add a New Keyboard and select the app that you installed.

Switch to another keyboard

While you use an app, you can switch to a different keyboard, like a third-party keyboard or a language keyboard. Just touch and hold Globe icon to cycle through your keyboards. You can also arrange the order of your keyboards. Just go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Edit. Then touch and hold three horizontal lines  to move it. Tap Done to save.

Sometimes, third-party keyboards aren't available:

  • If the developer of the app you’re using doesn’t allow third-party keyboards
  • If you type in a secure text field (like a password entry field that shows typed characters as dots instead of letters and numbers)
  • If you use a number pad instead of a standard keyboard

Instead, you’ll see the default keyboard until you finish typing.

Delete a third-party keyboard

Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Edit. Tap Delete icon, then tap Done. 

You can also delete a keyboard by deleting the companion app that you installed from the App Store. This also removes the keyboard from Settings.


Change the layout of your physical hardware keyboard

You can choose between multiple keyboard layouts to match the keys on your physical keyboard. You can also use an alternative keyboard layout that doesn't match the keys on your physical keyboard.

Before you can change your physical keyboard, you need to pair it with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Follow the instructions that came with your keyboard to place it in discovery or pair mode. After you pair it, go to Settings > General > Hardware Keyboard and select a layout.

Learn how to set up and use a Bluetooth accessory—like a keyboard—with your iOS device.

Learn more

Learn how to use Auto-Correction and text replacement when you type on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

  1. This feature is supported in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, as well as English and Chinese on the Pinyin keyboard.
  2. English, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish.


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