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.
To add software keyboards, go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards.
With some languages, you can change the key layout. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards, tap the language, then select a new layout.
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:
- Open an app and tap a text field.
- Tap to choose the next language on your keyboard. The chosen language appears on the Space bar.
- Touch and hold 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.
As you type, you'll see choices for words and phrases you'd probably type next, based on your past conversations and writing style.
To turn off predictive text, touch and hold or , 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:
- Go to the App Store and find the keyboard app that you want.
- Tap Get > Install.
- Enter your Apple ID password or use Touch ID if it's available on your device.
- 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 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 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 , 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.
- This feature is supported in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, as well as English and Chinese on the Pinyin keyboard.
- English, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish.