How to use dark mode on iPhone and iPad

Dark mode has made its way to the iPhone and iPad in iOS 13 and iPadOS. Turning it on causes your device's system apps and interface elements, such as notifications and widgets, to adopt a darker hue, ranging from dark gray to pitch black. Activating it is fairly simple, but there are a couple of ways of doing it.

Because iOS and iPadOS are, for all intents and purposes, the same operating system, the process is the same on both iPhone and iPad.

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Mac (sadly, no public beta for the Apple Watch). While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That's why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.

How to activate dark mode on iPhone and iPad with Control Center

This is, by far, the fastest way to turn on dark mode.

  1. Open Control Center on your iPhone or iPad. Swipe down from the top-right corner on iPhone X or newer and iPad, or swipe up from the bottom of the screen on iPhone 8 and older.
  2. Press and hold or press firmly on the screen brightness slider.
  3. Tap the Appearance button in the bottom-left to switch between light and dark.

    Open Control Center, tap and hold or press firmly on screen brightness, tap Appearance

How to activate dark mode on iPhone and iPad with Settings

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Display & Brightness.
  3. Tap either Light or Dark to choose which appearance to use.

    Open Settings, tap Display & Brightness, tap Light or Dark

  4. Tap the switch next to Automatic to the green on if you want your iPhone or iPad to automatically switch between light and dark modes.
  5. Tap Options.
  6. Tap Sunset to Sunrise to have dark mode activated from each sunset until the next sunrise.

    Tap the switch, tap Options, tap Sunset to Sunrise

  7. Tap Custom Schedule if you want to set a custom time range in which you want dark mode to be active.
  8. Tap Light Appearance to choose when light mode should be activated.
  9. Tap Dark Appearance to choose when dark mode should be activated.

    Tap Custom Schedule, tap Light appearance, tap Dark Appearance

And that's it. Your iPhone or iPad is now rocking dark mode, whether it's all day and all night, or changes with the position of the sun.

Otter+Pop Symmetry Series Case ($50 and up at OtterBox)

The Otter+Pop Symmetry Series case for your iPhone model is an excellent buy. It has a built-in Popsocket on the back that sits flush when not in use, and it makes using your phone so much easier with one hand. Manage your email like a boss!

Maxboost Screen Protector ($14 at Amazon)

Make sure you protect your iPhone screen! This option from Maxboost for the iPhone XS provides tempered glass protection for your screen, so it's safe from everyday scratches and wear and tear. It is thin at only 0.25mm and 99 percent touch accurate—it feels like nothing is there. Plus you get three in a single pack, not a bad deal.

Questions?

If you have any questions about using dark mode on your iPhone or iPad, let us know in the comments.

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