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How to Identify Shift Key (Caps Lock) Is ON / OFF in iOS 8

Last updated: October 9, 2014 at 9:32 am

We didn’t even notice the shift key was changed in iOS 8, and it is now even more difficult to find out if this key is turned ON or OFF. Sure, it is a minor change but it effects our typing to a greater degree.

Explanation: The arrow key (above 123 and left to the letter “z”) is the shift key in iOS 8 and the task of this key is to help you change letters from lowercase to uppercase. Tap on the shift key once, and you can change only one letter to an uppercase. Tap twice and every key, when pressed, is in uppercase.

iOS Shift Key History on iPhones & iPads

In iOS 8, we have a problem: it is not easy to find out whether the shift key is enabled or disabled. In earlier firmwares, it takes less than a second to figure out. Let’s see.

In iOS 6 firmware, this is how the shift key looks like on iPhone when it is turned OFF (not activated):


When shift key is ON:


Note that the upward-pointing arrow glows when you turn ON the shift (caps lock) key. It is extremely easy, right? Let’s look at the shift key in iOS 8.

In iOS 8 firmware, this is how the keyboard, with black background, looks like when the shift key is ON:


Press once to disable it, and this is how it looks:


Now, because both iOS 7 and iOS 8 has a special feature that forces the keyboard to adopt colors of the currently opened app, it can get a bit confusing. Here is an example of shift key turned ON on a grey-colored keyboard:


Shift key is now turned OFF:


Do you see a pattern? Do you understand how the shift key works on iOS 8 devices? No? Good. You are not alone. Hopefully, we have confused you enough.

At first, it wasn’t easy to figure out how the whole ON/OFF system works, especially when you use third-party keyboards like Swiftkey or Fleksy.

So what’s the solution? We have a “trick” that you could use.

Find Out Whether The Shift (Caps Lock) Key is Enabled or Disabled in iOS 8

So what’s the trick? You only have to look at the backspace button on your keyboard. The shift key, if turned ON, will always have a color opposite to that of the backspace key.

In simple words, if backspace key is white in color, then the arrow of the shift key will be black (when enabled).


Take a look at the above picture again. In short:

  • Backspace and shift key have same color? Shift key is disabled
  • Backspace and shift key have different color? Shift key is enabled

So we have finally cracked the secrets of iOS 8 and its shift/cap locks key, and we certainly feel good about it. But Apple, can you please make our life easier by adding some innovation (and simplicity) to help us use the shift key without breaking our head?

Update: Once you “get used to it,” capitalizing letters as you type on your iPhone’s or iPad’s keyboard is easier. You must also note that double-tapping the Shift Key switches on “Caps Lock” mode – meaning the next words you type will be in uppercase, always. This is indicated by a small line under the arrow as shown below — but just make sure that you have turned ON Caps Lock from the settings.


Note: Articles written at are valid for every Apple device running iOS 8.0, iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, iOS 8.3, iOS 8.4 / 8.4.1 firmware
  • Holy

    Thank you! Thank you!

    Using whatsapp and shift key bug was confusing me like hell!

  • wtf

    Wat. Isn’t a major point of a soft keyboard to change the layout? To show you what you’re pressing? Use upper case when shift / lock is on, lower otherwise.

  • am I missing something?

    Okay so this didn’t help at all. I get the shift key part. But what I was looking for was how do you enable caps lock so you can type consecutive letters in uppercase with out having to press the shift key every time. If I remember correctly, in iOS7 you could double tap the shift key and a line would appear under the arrow to let you know that caps lock was on. However in iOS 8 if I try and double tap the shift key it only toggles between upper case and lower case.