How to Change the Keyboard on an iPhone

By Aaron Parson

Learn how to add new languages, layouts, emoji and third-party keyboard apps to your iPhone, and then switch keyboards as you type.

Things You'll Need

  • iPhone OS 2.0 or later

Whether you need to type in another language, rearrange your keyboard layout or just want to give the keyboard a new look, the iPhone Keyboard page of the Settings app has all the options you need to add and configure a new keyboard. After adding one, switch to it by tapping the globe icon near the space bar.


The iPhone has built-in support for alternate English keyboard layouts (AZERTY and QWERTZ), many alternate languages and emoji. For other custom keyboards, you need to download a keyboard app from the App Store and run it once before following these steps.


Apple introduced keyboard apps in iOS 8. Older versions do not support custom keyboards other than those included with the system, short of jailbreaking.

Open the Keyboard Settings

Step 1

Open the Settings app to the General section and tap Keyboard.

Step 2

Open the keyboard list

Tap Keyboards to see the list of installed keyboards. The number on the Keyboards line shows how many keyboards you have installed.

Step 3

Add a keyboard

Tap Add New Keyboard to see the keyboards available for installation.


To remove a keyboard, tap Edit on this screen. You can't remove a keyboard when you only have one installed, so if you don't want the default English keyboard, add another one first.

Add a Built-In Keyboard

Suggested keyboards

Choose a keyboard from the list to add it. Pick from the Suggested Keyboards section or scroll down to see all available keyboards. Some languages, such as English and Japanese, offer multiple layouts after you select them.

Add a Keyboard From an App

Third-party keyboards

If you've downloaded a keyboard app and opened it on the home screen, you'll see it listed in the Third-Party Keyboards section below the suggested keyboards. Tap one to install it.


  • Some third-party keyboards request "full access," with which the keyboard can potentially read, save and transmit everything you type. Keyboards have legitimate reasons to need full access, such as to learn predictive behaviors, but in the hands of a disreputable developer, full access can compromise your security.
  • To allow or deny full access, select a third-party keyboard on the Keyboards screen after adding it. By default, keyboards from the App Store do not have full access.

Switch Active Keyboards

Change keyboard button

After adding at least one extra keyboard, you'll see a globe icon on the keyboard whenever you type. Tap the globe to cycle through your installed keyboards. Tap and hold the icon to pick a specific keyboard from a list.