How to invert screen colors for visual accessibility on iPhone and iPad

How to invert screen colors for visual accessibility on iPhone and iPad

Inverting screen colors is an Accessibility feature that makes the iPhone and iPad easier on the eyes for some people with a sensitivity to brightness, easier to distinguish for some people with color blindness, and easier to make out for some people with low vision. It can even be used in combination with zoom to greatly increase legibility for anyone with a visual impairment.

Note: Some people invert screen colors as a pseudo-dark theme or nighttime reading mode for when they want to greatly reduce light and glare from the display.

How to invert screen colors on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Accessibility.
  4. Turn On the option for Invert Colors — it's under the Vision section at the top.

You'll notice the screen colors will now invert and somewhat resemble a photo negative. This can make it easier for those with certain visual impairments to pick out content and navigate easier. You can pop back into Settings at any time to disable it if you'd like to later on. You can also set the triple Home-click action to invert colors so you can do it on the fly without having to navigate through the Settings app. If you aren't sure how, you can follow our guide:

Note: Originally published, April 2013. Updated, August 2014.

How to get more help with accessibility for iPhone and iPad

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to invert screen colors for visual accessibility on iPhone and iPad


I actually use inverted colors! Especially at night, it really eases the strain on my eyes. Three rapid presses of the home button and voilà! When my friend first got his iPhone, I inverted his colors and told him that his iPhone was broken! It drove him nuts for about a day!

I saw inverted colours on the iPhone over 1.5 years ago... My niece was playing with my uncle's iPhone 3GS and suddenly my Uncle said "Oh! I think she's broken my phone!"

Somehow my niece - a little shy of 2 years at the time - had gone into settings, inverted the colours, turned on assistive touch, and a bit more. Made for a fun few minutes before we realized what had actually happened! ;)

I use this all the time for night time reading of apps that don't offer color themes (most don't!). That way, instead of black text on glaring white background that will wake you or you partner up, you see white text on black background-- easier to read.

Most apps need to add color themes-- or even better, Apple needs to build it into its SDK, if it hasn't already. You should always be able to change the colors, especially of that glaring white keyboard-- which, even in many apps that have a night mode (or color theming), do NOT change the keyboard colors.

By the way, night mode or changing colors is a godsend in astronomy-- you can preserve your dark adaptation, meaning you can see more in the sky, fainter things more distinctly. One quick look at a bright screen, especially with white background, and you'll need another 1/2 hour or more to get the adaptation back.

I honestly never thought of doing this for night time when reading. I might have to do this will Play Books because I haven't figured out how to do night time on iOS. Was easy for me to find out on Android.

This feature is incredible. Really trippy and fun to look at. Stumbled on it while trying to turn off government alerts. Very happy to see I'm not the only one who knows about this feature.

I am not colorblind or have any visual impairments, but my eyes are really sensitive to bright lights. I tried lowering the brightness to 0, but that makes it hard to read, I need the brightness at at least 20%. I tried the Jailbreak tweak f.lux, but that only marginally eases strain.

Now I just invert the colours on any screen I'm viewing. Since iOS 7 is so filled with white, it basically serves as a system-wide dark mode for me. I only hate when I'm viewing images, but otherwise it's an awesome feature.

Imagine if Apple made another option, instead of inverting colors it would make it become a true dark mode, with the FaceTime UI! Imagine!

So fucking tired of this super white that makes even my eyes sore and tired!

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Man I had no clue you could do this!! I'm using it now and I love it!! The only downside is it shows all your pictures and videos lookin weird .

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I prefer Google Maps over Apple Maps for navigation. One problem with Google Maps is that the screen does not change shades for night navigation like Apple Maps will. The alternative I have been using is to invert colors at night when navigating with Google Maps. It is much easier to look at. It also prevents my eyes from adjusting to the bright screen which allows me to keep my night vision which is a lot safer.

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Inverted colors is my default setting for night time or evening reading ... very helpful if you are reading articles or long notes.

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