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iPhone Darkmode: How to activate dark mode on iPhone X and Co.

Just before you go to bed, check your iPhone again for important news and messages. Unfortunately, the screen of the smartphone is so bright that you can barely see anything and you squint your eyes at first. How nice and practical a dark design would be here! A little tip: there is. The classic dark mode is missing on the iPhone, but there is a trick you can use to imitate the dark mode.

iPhone: Requirements for Darkmode

To anticipate it right away: a classic dark fashion does not yet exist on the iPhone - regardless of whether you are talking about an iPhone 5s, an iPhone 8 or an iPhone XS Max. So far, Apple has only succeeded in integrating dark mode on the iMac and MacBook. But that also means: Darkmode for the iPhone could still come in the future. Only when - that is the question.

However, there is a little trick to activate a mode that is very similar to Darkmode. The prerequisites for this are:

  • Your iPhone runs with the operating system iOS 11 or higher.
  • Your iPhone can do this Display adjustments.

There are no more requirements. In principle is every iPhone from iPhone 5 able to imitate dark mode. It only takes a few steps to do this. We'll show you how to do it.

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Activate iPhone dark mode: This is how it works

The dark mode on the iPhone is actually just a trick that Reverses the colors on your display. Depending on the setting, this affects all colors - including the icons of your installed apps. You have to know for yourself whether you like this look. The optics take getting used to at first - but in some circumstances it is much easier on the eyes than a bright display in the middle of the night.

To activate the slightly different dark mode on the iPhone, proceed the same for all iPhone models:

  1. Tap the Settings-App on your home screen. The app's icon resembles a gear.
  2. Scroll to General and go to there Accessibility.
  3. Here you can find under the category SEE the option Display adjustments. Tap on it.
  4. Select the top menu item Invert colors out.

You now have two options:

  • Reverse - Smart
  • Reverse - Classic

The biggest difference between the variants: Reverse - Classic strictly reverses all colors. This leads to results that take getting used to, especially with colorful app icons. Your smartphone display quickly looks like an old negative photo film.

Reverse - Smart however, proceed a little more cautiously. Above all, the bright color components of your display are darkened here. Pictures or app icons are not, or at least only minimally, affected by the changes. So if you use a dark wallpaper beforehand, it will stay dark and will not turn into a shiny negative.

However, there is a small catch here too: The colors of your home screen, your lower menu bar and the individual app symbols are all given a light gray haze. The display is not really dark as a result. In addition, depending on the presetting, a certain color cast is visible on light or white areas of the display.

The iPhone dark mode can be switched on by adjusting the display.

Activate Night Shift on the iPhone

It's not dark mode, but you won't be blinded unnecessarily at night: Night Shift. The function is also available as an automatic from iOS 12. over Settings > Display & brightness > Night Shift but you can also manually set from when to when your iPhone screen should be darkened. The display brightness is reduced to a minimum during this time.

Use color filters

Regardless of whether you use the dark mode on your iPhone using the Invert colors want to activate it or not - there is another way to customize your display. You can customize it with a color filter. This function is intended for people with visual impairments, but also darkens the display a bit as it changes the amount of white on your display. However, this effect is only slightly and cannot really be compared with a dark mode.

To use a color filter on your iPhone, do the following:

  1. Open the Settings, go to General > Accessibility > Display adjustments > Color filter.
  2. Drag the slider at Color filter right to activate it.
  3. Various preset color filters are now listed that you can apply.

The following color filters are available:

  • Grayscale
  • Red / green filter
  • Green / red filter
  • Blue / yellow filter

There is also the option Color cast, which you can find out more about below.

Try the first four options one by one and watch your icons and menu change. As soon as you like a result, you can leave it at that.

With the various color filters, your iPhone display can be customized even more.

Use color cast and customize display

If you don't like any of the first four (preset) color filters, you can use the iPhone display with the Color cast customize. To do this, select in the menu for the Color filter simply the bottom option Color cast by tapping on it. A menu with special customization options opens further down in the window:

  • Intensity: Use a slider to determine how intense the color cast should be. The further you move the slider to the right, the more intense the hue becomes.
  • Color: Use the slider to select the color in which your display should be immersed. In the standard preview you can see which color you are currently using with the colored pencils.

Try out a little bit here until you get a result that you are satisfied with.

Reduce the white point and weaken lighter colors

Another way to use your iPhone with a kind of dark mode is to reduce the white point. You can also find this option under the Display adjustments. Activate the slider next to Reduce the white pointso that it is highlighted in green. A slider then appears with which you can set the white point and thus darken or lighten the display.


  • The further you turn the slider to the left 0 % drag, the brighter and brighter your display will be.
  • The further you take him to the right direction 100 %drag, the darker and matte the screen becomes.
25% versus 100% - the difference in the white point has a relatively strong effect on the display brightness.

iPhone: Not a real dark mode, but a dark display

The iPhone may not have real dark mode, but it can imitate dark mode. To do this, you can use the settings to reverse the colors of the display, for example. Additional settings such as color filters, color casts or the variable white point make it possible to customize the color of the screen. So you can look at your iPhone at any time of the day or night without being dazzled or straining your eyes.

Disclaimer OTTO (GmbH & Co KG) assumes no liability for the correctness, topicality, completeness, effectiveness and harmlessness of the information and recommendations made available on It is expressly pointed out that the official manufacturer's specifications must be observed before all other information and recommendations and only these can guarantee a safe and proper use of the respective purchased items.

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