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How to get Dark Mode on your iPhone and iPad

A proper dark mode on iOS has been a wish for many users for some time now, a wish that's only grown more fervent since Apple released an iPhone with an OLED display that could really take advantage of a true dark mode. Though no true dark mode yet exists on iOS, we have something similar now called Smart Invert.

Like the classic inversion mode, Smart Invert on iOS inverts the colors across the system on your iPhone or iPad. But unlike classic invert, Smart Invert doesn't flip the colors on images and other media, as well as some apps that already use some kind of dark color scheme. So the colors on your iOS device will be changed such as white becoming black, but your photos and videos will look as they normally do.

Here's how to turn on Smart Invert on your iPhone or iPad

How to turn on Smart Invert on your iPhone or iPad

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

  1. Tap Display Accommodations.
  2. Tap Invert Colors.
  3. Tap the switch next to Smart Invert to flip it to the 'on' position.

The colors on your iOS device will now be inverted. This is the closest thing we've got to a true dark mode on iOS right now, but this isn't dark mode like you'll find on your Mac. Smart Invert is a feature meant to improve visual accessibility.

Questions?

Do you have any questions about activating Smart Invert on your iPhone or iPad? Let us know in the comments.

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

7 Comments
  • It works for the most part, but it doesn't in Pokemon Go, it inverts all the colour there.
  • The problem with Smart Invert is that it relies on developers to update their apps, technically Dark Mode on macOS does as well but the worst case there is that you have a light mode app amongst dark mode apps. Pokémon Go has continuously had poor support from the developers, so no surprise there
  • Is there a reason one would want to use Dark Mode besides aesthetic preference?
  • Yep. Dark colors use less power than light colors. So a dark mode will save battery as it uses less power.
  • I tried this trick and it was terrible. Colors invert for everything. Apple should be coming out with a dark mode this time around.....I THINK,.........I HOPE.
  • I'm pretty sure there will be a dark mode in iOS 13, there's been leaked info suggesting it, plus it aligns with Safari on the Mac getting dark mode support for websites, I've seen quite a few websites implement it already (not iMore though ☹️)
  • This is only true on OLED phones. The iPhone XR won't use less power with dark mode