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How to: Unlock your iPhone 4s/5 with voiceover activated and then turn off this feature

Yesterday, I ran into an issue, where my phone was locked and I was unable to access anything. I guess when the phone was in my pocket unlocked it had turned on an accessibility called Voice over. Then all I could do was look at my lock screen (or make an emergency call like 911) and that was it. To make matters worse even Siri, would not even assist in allowing me to enter a password verbally, which I thought was really strange for a voice menu program in a voice enabled accessibility mode.

This is all I could see and the OK button was greyed out.

Let me be upfront and state that the touch interface is totally different in VoiceOver. First you have to tap once to select the number, then you double tap anywhere on the screen to select the spoken element.

If your password was 1228, you would enter the following:

  • Tap once on 1, then double tap anywhere on the screen to enter 1
  • Tap once on 2, then double tap twice anywhere on the screen to enter 2 twice
  • Tap once on 8, then double tap anywhere in the screen to enter 8

Part 2: Now that your system is unlocked, how can you turn it off and get back to normal?

For those you who are unfamiliar with VoiceOver, it is one of a new number of accessibility applications for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These applications change the operating system in ways that help users with disabilities to be able to interact with the device easier. However, if you have not been trained in their use, they can effectively make your device unusable. In my case, VoiceOver had changed the normal scrolling from one finger, to a three finger gesture and changed the normal single tap to activate an item into a double tap. (Such as entering in a number stated above with entering in a password)

Here is what you can do to fix it:

  • Double-tap the Settings icon on your homepage.
  • Use three fingers to scroll down to the General menu, and double-click on it.

  • Use three fingers to scroll down to the Accessibility menu, and double-click on it

  • Double-tap on the VoiceOver menu item. (Toggles selection from on to off)
  • Turn VoiceOver off (As seen below)

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4 Responses to “How to: Unlock your iPhone 4s/5 with voiceover activated and then turn off this feature”

  1. L. Craycraft #

    finally by several three, four or more taps on home button the taps on the Home button, the voice over was off and the passcode was accepted normally. checked the voice over setting and it was off there. I could get two of the numbers accepted using your advis3e but that was it. Not sure how the multiple taps got it back to normal but I had read that the voice over could be turned on with I believe three taps for what that is worth. First smart and still trying to learn.


    August 29, 2013 at 1:41 PM
  2. donna #

    please help i have just got a 4s and the voice activation has locked my phone i am not even able to slide the unlock or turn off please help

    October 14, 2013 at 2:33 AM
    • Scott Mattie #

      Donna this article explains exactly how to get out of the situation. Please bear in mind that it takes a while to adjust to moving from one finger to three fingers to navigate. Hope that helps

      October 18, 2013 at 10:07 AM
  3. Bueno info . Qué suerte la mía parecí Web por accidente
    ( stumbleupon ) . que he guardado para más tarde!

    March 19, 2014 at 1:34 AM
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