How to Add the Pinyin Chinese Keyboard on an iPhone: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding the Pinyin Chinese Keyboard on an iPhone is a relatively simple process that can be done by accessing the Keyboard settings within the General section of the iPhone’s Settings app. After adding the keyboard, you will have the ability to type in Chinese characters using the Pinyin input method.

After completing this action, your iPhone will have an additional keyboard installed that allows you to type in Chinese characters using Pinyin. This can be incredibly useful for those who need to communicate in Chinese for personal or professional reasons.


In today’s digitally connected world, the ability to communicate across languages is more important than ever. For the many iPhone users out there, communicating in Chinese can be vital, whether it’s for staying in touch with family, conducting business, or simply expanding one’s linguistic skills. That’s why knowing how to add the Pinyin Chinese Keyboard to your iPhone can be a game-changer.

Pinyin is the official romanization system for Standard Mandarin in mainland China, which uses the Latin alphabet to represent the sounds of Chinese characters. It’s a crucial tool for anyone learning Mandarin, as it bridges the gap between spoken and written language. Plus, with over a billion Mandarin speakers worldwide, the potential for connection is vast. The Pinyin Keyboard, therefore, is not just a convenience; it’s a necessity for those interacting with Chinese culture or language.

So, whether you’re a student of the language, a businessperson expanding markets, or a wanderlust traveler, setting up your iPhone with the Pinyin Keyboard is essential. Let’s walk through how to do just that.

Step by Step Tutorial: Adding the Pinyin Chinese Keyboard

This tutorial will guide you through the process of adding the Pinyin Chinese Keyboard to your iPhone. It’s a straightforward process that will ultimately enhance your device’s functionality for Chinese language input.

Step 1: Open the Settings App

Open the Settings app on your iPhone. This is where you will begin the process of adding a new keyboard.

In the Settings app, you will find a host of options for customizing your iPhone. For our purposes, you will need to navigate to the General settings to access keyboard options.

Step 2: Tap on General

From the Settings menu, tap on the General option. This will bring you to a new menu of settings related to your iPhone’s overall operation.

The General settings menu is a hub for all sorts of adjustments you can make to your iPhone. From this menu, we will access the Keyboard settings where you can manage the various keyboards installed on your device.

Step 3: Tap on Keyboard

Within the General settings menu, tap on Keyboard. This will take you to a menu dedicated to keyboard settings.

The Keyboard settings is where you can control features such as auto-correction, text replacement, and keyboard layouts. It’s also where you can add new keyboards, like the one we’re focusing on today.

Step 4: Tap on Keyboards

Once in the Keyboard menu, tap on Keyboards at the top. This will display a list of all the keyboards currently installed on your iPhone.

If you’ve never added a keyboard before, you’ll likely just see your default language listed. We’re about to add a new one to this list.

Step 5: Tap on Add New Keyboard

At the bottom of the Keyboards menu, tap on Add New Keyboard. This will bring up a list of available keyboard languages.

From this list, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of languages and input methods. The Pinyin Keyboard will be among the options for Chinese.

Step 6: Select Chinese (Simplified) or Chinese (Traditional)

From the list of available keyboards, select either Chinese (Simplified) or Chinese (Traditional), depending on your preference.

The choice between Simplified and Traditional Chinese depends on your specific needs. Simplified Chinese characters are used in mainland China and Singapore, while Traditional characters are used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Step 7: Choose Pinyin

After selecting Chinese (Simplified) or Chinese (Traditional), you’ll be taken to a menu with input method options. Choose Pinyin from the list.

Pinyin is just one of several input methods available for typing in Chinese. However, it’s the most commonly used, especially for those who are familiar with the Latin alphabet.

Step 8: Tap on Done

Once you’ve selected Pinyin, tap on Done. This will add the Pinyin Keyboard to your list of keyboards, and you can now begin typing in Chinese using Pinyin.

With the Pinyin Keyboard installed, you’ll be able to easily switch between languages when typing. This can typically be done by tapping the globe icon on your keyboard or using the spacebar gesture if you have multiple keyboards installed.


Enhanced CommunicationAdding the Pinyin Keyboard allows you to communicate in Chinese, broadening your ability to connect with Chinese speakers around the world.
Learning AidFor students of Mandarin, typing in Pinyin can reinforce language learning by bridging the gap between spoken and written Chinese.
ConvenienceHaving the Pinyin Keyboard at your fingertips means you can easily switch between languages without needing additional apps or devices.


Learning CurveIf you’re not familiar with Pinyin, there will be a learning curve to utilizing the keyboard efficiently.
Mistakes in InputAs with any keyboard, there can be errors in input, especially given the complexity of Chinese characters and tones.
Limited to PinyinThe keyboard is specific to Pinyin input, so those accustomed to other input methods like handwriting or Zhuyin may not find it as useful.

Additional Information

While adding the Pinyin Chinese Keyboard to your iPhone is a straightforward process, there are a few extra tips to keep in mind. For instance, once you’ve installed the keyboard, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the layout and features. The keyboard includes tone marks, which are essential for accurate Chinese pronunciation. Plus, autocorrect features can be both a help and a hindrance, so take some time to learn how to use them effectively.

Another point to consider is the convenience of switching between keyboards. Once the Pinyin Keyboard is installed, a globe icon will appear on your keyboard, allowing you to switch between languages easily. However, if you have multiple keyboards installed, you might need to cycle through them to get to the Pinyin Keyboard, which can be a bit of a hassle.

Remember also that the Pinyin Keyboard is not the only option for typing in Chinese on your iPhone. There are other input methods available, such as handwriting or the stroke-based Wubi method. So, if Pinyin isn’t your preferred method, explore the other options available to find the best fit for your needs.


  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Keyboard.
  4. Tap on Keyboards.
  5. Tap on Add New Keyboard.
  6. Select Chinese (Simplified) or Chinese (Traditional).
  7. Choose Pinyin.
  8. Tap on Done.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add both Simplified and Traditional Chinese Keyboards?

Yes, you can add both Simplified and Traditional Chinese Keyboards to your iPhone. You will just need to repeat the process for each one.

Will the Pinyin Keyboard suggest Chinese characters as I type?

Yes, the Pinyin Keyboard will provide suggestions for Chinese characters based on the Pinyin you input, which you can then select from.

Can I remove the Pinyin Keyboard if I no longer need it?

Certainly. You can remove the Pinyin Keyboard at any time by going back into your Keyboard settings and deleting it from the list of installed keyboards.

Is the Pinyin Keyboard available on all iPhone models?

The Pinyin Keyboard is available on all iPhone models that are running a recent version of iOS. Be sure to update your device to the latest software version for the best experience.

Does adding the Pinyin Keyboard change the language of my entire phone?

No, adding the Pinyin Keyboard simply adds an additional input method for typing. It does not change the language settings of your phone.


Adding the Pinyin Chinese Keyboard on an iPhone is a simple yet impactful way to enhance your device’s capabilities. Not only does it make typing in Chinese convenient, but it also opens up a world of communication possibilities.

Whether you’re learning Mandarin, doing business, or simply expanding your cultural horizons, having access to the Pinyin Keyboard is an asset. So go ahead, give it a try, and see how it transforms your iPhone into a more versatile tool for communication and learning.

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