How to change the keyboard on your iPhone, to add different languages or an alternate layout

You can change the keyboard on your iPhone to send messages in a different language.

caption
You can change the keyboard on your iPhone to send messages in a different language.
source
Aleksey Khilko/Shutterstock

  • You can easily change the keyboard on your iPhone via the Settings app to incorporate another language keyboard or an alternate layout.
  • Your iPhone comes with about 80 foreign language keyboards and is compatible with many more third-party alternatives.
  • After enabling additional keyboards, you can switch among them using the globe icon in the bottom left corner of the keyboard.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

While the basic iPhone keyboard is adequate for most people, you have a lot of additional options.

The iPhone comes with dozens of foreign language keyboards, which you can enable and use any time you need to type in a different language.

And that’s not all – you can install third-party keyboards and use them instead. Some keyboards feature alternate key layouts, additional emoji, or even “swipe” style input where you slide your finger around the keyboard instead of tapping specific keys.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone Xs (From $999.99 at Best Buy)

How to change the keyboard on an iPhone

The iPhone offers you access to more than 80 foreign language keyboards. Here’s how to enable and use them.

1. Start the Settings app.

2. Tap “General.” Then tap “Keyboard.”

3. Tap “Keyboards.”

4. On the Keyboard page, tap “Add New Keyboard…”

5. Find the keyboard you want to use and tap it, then tap “Done.” You should see it appear on the list of keyboards, along with your default keyboard and the Emoji keyboard.

The Add New Keyboard page lists all of the available keyboards you can use on the iPhone.

caption
The Add New Keyboard page lists all of the available keyboards you can use on the iPhone.
source
Dave Johnson/Business Insider

For more information, read our article, “How to change the language on your iPhone, and separately change the language that Siri speaks and understands.

How to change to a third-party keyboard on an iPhone

There are a lot of keyboards available in the App Store which give you a ton of options for how you can interact with your iPhone. Here’s how to enable and use them.

1. Download a keyboard from the App Store. (If you don’t know what to look for, search for “keyboard” and browse the results.)

2. Start the app for your newly installed keyboard and follow any instructions it offers. In some cases, you need to find the keyboard in the Settings app and enable features.

Start your new keyboard app and follow its instructions.

caption
Start your new keyboard app and follow its instructions.
source
Dave Johnson/Business Insider

3. Start the Settings app.

4. Tap “General.” Then tap “Keyboard.”

5. Tap “Keyboards.”

6. On the Keyboard page, tap “Add New Keyboard…”

7. In the Third Party Keyboards section, find your new keyboard and tap it.

This iPhone has a third-party keyboard enabled.

caption
This iPhone has a third-party keyboard enabled.
source
Dave Johnson/Business Insider

8. In the list of keyboards, tap the new keyboard entry and, if needed, grant it access.

Many keyboards require access to work properly.

caption
Many keyboards require access to work properly.
source
Dave Johnson/Business Insider

How to use a new keyboard on an iPhone after you’ve changed to it

Start an app that you can type in, like Messages or Mail. You should see a new button shaped like a globe at the bottom left of the screen. You can use the button in two ways:

  • Tap it. Every time you tap the button, it will cycle you through the available keyboards, from the default to Emoji, to the newly added keyboard, back to the default, and so on.
  • Tap and hold. If you tap and hold the globe, you’ll see a pop-up menu from which you can choose the keyboard you want to use with a tap.

Tap and hold the globe button to choose among your keyboard options.

caption
Tap and hold the globe button to choose among your keyboard options.
source
Dave Johnson/Business Insider

How to change your default keyboard on an iPhone

If you find you prefer a particular keyboard to the iPhone’s default, you can easily tell the iPhone to always use that new one by default.

1. Start the Settings app.

2. Tap “General.” Then tap “Keyboard.”

3. Tap “Keyboards.”

4. On the Keyboard page, tap “Edit.”

5. Rearrange the order of the keyboards. You can drag them using the “handles” – the three horizontal lines – on the right side of the screen. Drag the one you want to be the default to the top of the list.

Use the drag bars to rearrange the keyboards. The one on top is the default.

caption
Use the drag bars to rearrange the keyboards. The one on top is the default.
source
Dave Johnson/Business Insider

7. Tap “Done.”

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech: