How to Enable screen distance on iphone

Using your iPhone too close to your face for long periods can lead to eye strain and increase your risk of developing myopia or nearsightedness.Enable screen distance on iphone feature that detects when you are holding your device close and prompts you to move it farther away, helping promote healthy device usage habits. Follow this simple guide to turn on Screen Distance and take control of your viewing distance.

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What is Screen Distance?

Introduced in iOS 14, Screen Distance uses the TrueDepth camera on iPhone X, XS, 11, and 12 models to estimate the distance between your eyes and the screen. If you hold the phone close than 10 inches from your face for an extended period, Screen Distance will display an alert recommending you move farther back.

This feature aims to reduce eye strain and myopia risk by discouraging users from constant close-up viewing. Myopia develops in childhood and adolescence when the eye elongates due to excessive near work. By maintaining a safer viewing distance,  Enable screen distance on iphone helps promote healthy visual development and eye health.

Benefits of Using Screen Distance

Using Screen Distance can provide several benefits:

  • Reduces Eye Strain: Staring at a screen up close forces your eyes to work harder to focus. Screen Distance encourages better habits to prevent eye fatigue.
  • Lowers Myopia Risk: Myopia rates have rapidly increased with the rise of smartphones. Screen Distance minimizes close viewing tied to myopia progression.
  • Improves Posture: Hunching over a phone can strain the neck and back. Sitting upright with the screen farther away helps maintain better posture.
  • Enhances Sleep: Exposure to blue light before bed can disrupt sleep. Keeping the screen at arm’s length reduces these effects for better rest.
  • Eases Visual Discomfort: Taking breaks from intense smartphone use gives eyes a rest and eases discomfort. The Screen Distance alerts serve as useful reminders.

By alerting you when screen time is too close-up and intense, Screen Distance makes it easier to follow best practices for comfortable, healthy device use.

How to Turn On Screen Distance on iPhone

Enabling Screen Distance is simple and just takes a few steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Screen Time (displayed with an hourglass icon).
  3. On the Screen Time page, tap on See All Activity.
  4. Next tap on Screen Distance.
  5. Finally, toggle the switch next to Screen Distance to the ON position. It will turn green when activated.

Once enabled, Screen Distance will be monitoring your iPhone use. A reminder to move farther back will appear if you are detected viewing closer than 10 inches for a prolonged period.

Customizing Screen Distance Notifications

You can customize how Screen Distance notifications are delivered under Screen Time settings:

  • Notification Frequency: Choose whether reminders display Every 30 Minutes, Hourly, or Always.
  • Notification Type: Select if you want notifications as Banners or as Full Screen alerts.

Adjust these to control how often and prominently you are reminded about your viewing distance. You can further customize by disabling some Do Not Disturb settings.

Using Screen Distance with Kids

Screen Distance can be a helpful safeguard for children using iPhones. Within Screen Time parental controls, parents can:

  • Turn on Screen Distance remotely on a child’s device.
  • Prevent Screen Distance from being disabled by kids.
  • View Screen Distance usage data and distance notifications.

Use Screen Distance along with content filters, app limits, and downtime restrictions to promote healthy device habits for kids.

Screen Distance Tips and Tricks

Here are some handy tips for using Screen Distance effectively:

  • Position your iPhone at eye level rather than in your lap to maintain a better distance.
  • Use phone cases that act as stands to prop up your device and prevent slouching over it.
  • Adjust font sizes and zoom features for a more comfortable experience at a distance.
  • Set a timer to take regular breaks from close-up viewing.
  • Use Apple Watch to view notifications instead of your iPhone to give your eyes a rest.

Troubleshooting Screen Distance

If Screen Distance does not seem to be working properly, try these troubleshooting steps:

  • Check that Screen Distance is enabled in your Screen Time settings. Toggle it off and on.
  • Make sure Face ID is set up and enabled on your iPhone model. Screen Distance relies on the TrueDepth camera.
  • Screen Distance does not work with some camera modes and may be inconsistently accurate. Revert to standard mode.
  • Update to the latest iOS software version for any bug fixes.
  • Reset your Screen Time settings to defaults if Screen Distance problems persist.

In most cases, these simple troubleshooting tips should have Screen Distance working again properly. But contact Apple Support if issues remain.

Frequently Asked Questions About Screen Distance

Here are answers to some common questions about using Screen Distance on your iPhone:

How accurate is Screen Distance?

It estimates your distance from the screen but may not be precise. Use it as a general guideline for reducing close-up viewing.

Can I disable Screen Distance alerts?

Yes, you can toggle Screen Distance off or adjust notification settings. But keeping it enabled helps promote healthy habits.

Does Screen Distance work in landscape orientation?

Screen Distance functions in both portrait and landscape modes. But accuracy may be affected in landscape.

Can Screen Distance tell how far my child is holding their phone?

In Screen Time parent controls, you can view distance notifications and usage data to monitor your child’s habits.

Why am I still getting eye strain with Screen Distance on?

While helpful, Screen Distance has limitations. You still need to take regular breaks and use good lighting. See an optometrist if you have persistent eye strain.


Screen Distance provides a handy way to monitor your iPhone viewing distance and habits. By alerting you when your screen time is too close-up, it helps reduce eye strain and myopia risk. Enable Screen Distance in your Screen Time settings and customize notifications to experience the benefits of healthier device use. Along with other visual hygiene practices, Screen Distance can make your iPhone usage more comfortable and your vision healthier.

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