How to Enable the Haptic Keyboard on your iPhone

The haptic keyboard provides a slight vibration when you tap a key on the iPhone keyboard. Learn how to enable it here.

Image: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

By default, your iPhone keyboard emits a clicking sound when you tap a key on the keyboard, so you can hear a key press. But, you might want more sensory feedback indicating that you’ve pressed a key. With iOS 16, you can enable a haptic keyboard that gives off a slight vibration when you tap a key.

You can use the haptic keyboard with or without the clicking sound that occurs when you tap a key. Plus, the haptic keyboard even works if your phone is in Silent mode. Here’s how to enable it and how it works.

SEE: iOS 16 cheat sheet: Complete guide for 2022 (TechRepublic)

To get started, make sure you’ve updated your phone to iOS 16 or higher. Go to Settings, select General and then tap the option for Software Update. You’ll be told that iOS is up to date or prompted to download and install the latest update.

Enabling Vibration mode and Haptic and Sound keyboard features

To enable the haptic keyboard on an iPhone, make sure that Vibration mode is turned on. Go to Settings, select Accessibility and then select Touch. Turn on the switch for Vibration if it’s not already on (Figure A).

Figure A

iPhone iOS 16 Settings, Accessibility, and Touch menus side-by-side.
Access the Vibration feature for iPhone in the Touch Accessibility settings menu.

To test it out, open an app that triggers the keyboard, such as Notes, Reminder, Messages or Mail. Start tapping the keys on the keyboard to experience it with just the clicking sound turned on (FigureB).

FigureB

Email app open in iPhone.
Test the Vibrations feature in any app that uses the keyboard.

You can also set up your iPhone to use the haptics keyboard in Ring mode versus Silent mode. To do this, go to Settings, and select Sounds & Haptics. Tap the setting for Keyboard Feedback. Turn on the switch for Haptic. Go back to the Sounds & Haptics screen, and make sure the switches are enabled for Play Haptics in Ring Mode and Play Haptics in Silent mode (Figure C).

Figure C

iPhone iOS 16 Settings, Sounds & Haptics, and Keyboard Features menus side-by-side.
Access the Sound and Haptic features in the Sounds & Haptics Keyboard Features settings.

Return to the keyboard-based app you were using and continue tapping keys. Experience how tapping feels using the haptic keyboard to see if you prefer it enabled or disabled. You can switch back and forth with it on and off to get a better sense of it (Figure D).

Figure D

Email app open on an iPhone.
Test out the new Haptic and Sound features in an app that uses the keyboard.

You can also try typing with the Sound turned off. Return to the Keyboard Feedback screen under Sounds & Haptics and turn off the switch for Sound. Try different combinations of Sound and Haptic enabled and disabled to judge which setting works best for you (Figure E).

Figure E

The Keyboard Feedback menu with the Sound feature toggled off.
Test the haptic feature with the sound turned off.

Apple cautions that turning on keyboard haptics might affect the battery life of your iPhone. Without more details, it’s difficult to know if this is much of an issue. But, you may want to keep haptics turned off for a typical day and then turned on for another typical day to gauge any potential impact to your phone’s battery life.