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How to use Night Shift on your iPhone or iPad

Cooler blue light typically given off by the displays on our iPhones and iPads interferes with the natural processes that help us fall and stay asleep. To reduce that interference, Apple has built in Night Shift. It lets you manually or automatically move the display towards the warmer, yellower part of the color spectrum at night. And that can help you get to sleep — and stay asleep — better.

Read Night Shift explained: How the color of your screen can help you sleep better

Note: Night Shift is only available on iPhone 5s and iPad Air 2 or later.

How to automatically set Night Shift from sunset to sunrise

If you like the idea of Night Shift and want it to just work from dusk to dawn, you can flip a few simple switches in settings and make it so.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Display & Brightness.
  3. Tap Night Shift.

  1. Switch Scheduled to the on position.
  2. Tap From/To — if it doesn't already say Sunset/Sunrise. (If it does say Sunset/Sunrise, you're done!)
  3. Tap Sunset to Sunrise.

Sunrise and Sunset times are pulled from your location, the same way it is in the Weather app. If you have any problems with the timing, double check your location settings.

How to automatically set Night Shift on a custom schedule

If sunrise and sunset feel too early and too late in the day for you, you can also pick any other static times you like.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Display & Brightness.
  3. Tap Night Shift.

  1. Switch Scheduled to the on position.
  2. Tap From/To.
  3. Tap Custom Schedule.

  1. Tap Turn On At.
  2. "Spin" the selector vertically to choose your on time. You can spin hours, minutes, and AM/PM separately.

  1. Tap Turn Off At.
  2. "Spin" the selector vertically to choose your off time. You can spin hours, minutes, and AM/PM separately.

There's no "done" button. Whatever you set last will be the time Night Shift uses. If you later decide the timing still isn't right, and you want to tweak it, simply repeat the steps and choose a different time.

How to manually control Night Shift using Control Center

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to activate Control Center.
  2. Press firmly (on 3D Touch-enabled devices) or hold and press on the screen brightness slider.
  3. Tap the Night Shift button at the bottom of the screen to turn Night Shift on or off.

How to manually set Night Shift at any time

If you don't want to go all-in on a schedule, you can also simply choose to manually enable Night Shift at any time.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Display & Brightness.

  1. Tap Night Shift.
  2. Tap Manually Enable Until Tomorrow.

Night shift will then turn on and stay on until the next day. If you want to use it again, you'll have to manually enable it again or set up a schedule.

How to adjust the color temperature for Night Shift

Seeing your screen pushed from the cooler blues you're used to towards the warmer yellows can be uncomfortable at first. The human brain is amazing at adapting, so you should get used to the default quickly. If for some reason, though, you find it too warm — or not warm enough — you can tweak the temperature to your liking.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Display & Brightness.

  1. Tap Night Shift.
  2. Slide the Color Temperature left for Less Warm (bluer) and right for More Warm (yellower) spectrum.

Note: If Night Shift isn't on while you're making the adjustments, the screen will temporarily simulate it so you can get a real sense of what your choice will look like.

How to turn off Night Shift

If you decide Night Shift isn't for you, at least for now, you can disable it completely.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Display & Brightness.
  3. Tap Night Shift.

  1. Switch Scheduled off.
  2. Switch Manually Enable Until Tomorrow off.

Night Shift will stay off until you flip one of those switches back on.

Any Night Shift questions?

If you're having any trouble with Night Shift, or have any additional questions, drop them in the comments below.

Updated October 2017: Added section for turning on Night Shift in Control Center, as well as updated screenshots for iOS 11.

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

24 Comments
  • What phones do night shift work on? I have a 5c and it isnt showing in my settings?
  • I assume only those with 64 bit processors A7+ Posted via the iMore App on my iPhone 6s Plus 64 gigabytes
  • So basically those of us with a 5c even with the update, doesn't change anything??
  • Exactly. It would use too much processing/power on older phones
  • I have the iPhone 5s and it works on mine. My son has an IPad and it updated but won't show night shift.
  • If you aren't seeing the option to set Night Shift to Sunset/Sunrise, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services and enable Setting Time Zone. I turned this option off long ago. I found the solution from a Mac Rumors article in January based on the beta.
  • Thanks for the information MooPenguin32; it worked for me. Although, I don't understand why, but I had to turn my iPhone 6 off and back on after turning on the Setting Time Zone toggle. Anyway thanks a million!!!
  • It would be nice is Apple would add night shift on your device is like the iPod touch fifth-generation and the iPad to generate second GEN respect Sent from the iMore App
  • It would be cool if Apple would add night shift on older devices like that I generation and iPad to like really Sent from the iMore App
  • Things can't be supported forever, you wouldn't expect to see iOS 10 on an iPhone 3G. Night Shift is enabled on the devices it works well with
  • Definitely a noticeable difference Sent from the iMore App
  • Very cool - thank you.
  • From iphonehacks.com:
    "Apple does not mention anything about Night Shift’s compatibility in the iOS 9.3 developer release notes, but as it turns out, the feature will not be available on older iOS devices that are powered by a 32-bit chipset. This means that following iOS device owners will NOT BE able to enjoy Night Shift once Apple commences the public roll out of iOS 9.3: iPhone 5
    iPhone 5c
    iPod touch 5G
    iPad mini
    iPad 2
    iPad 3
    iPad 4" Sent from the iMore App
  • Why not just add a dark theme option? My note 5 has tons of theme options without having to root ( jailbreak in the IOS world)... I would love to be able to do that on my iphone 6s or iPad for that matter. People like options. This seems like usual Apple spinning a feature that is 'revolutionary '....or ' the world's first ' ,BS. And I am an Apple fan! Blown opportunity . Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I agree. Can't stand night shift. Sent from the iMore App
  • Night Shift is cool but it'd be nice to have it in combination with a dark theme
  • I wouldn't like to see people theming their iPhones, as then you'd be seeing people with weird icons and ugly design on their phones. It'd be nice to have some color options though for the existing iOS theme, and a dark version of the theme which apps can pick up and use
  • Also night shift disables battery save mode if it is turned on!!! Why!!!! I cant have both!!!!
  • Wow that light just came on and it's like the lightbulbs they came out with a few years ago that are yellow-ish and made me feel sick and same thing with my phone made me feel sick I had to turn it back off! Sent from the iMore App
  • You should set it to work with sunrise/sunset. Then in the day it won't be on, and it will so slowly change during sunset that you won't really notice the difference.
  • On both my iphone 5s and ipad min 3, night shift seems to stop respecting my sunrise to sunset. I often wake up, well after sunrise, and NS is still engaged....
  • On my 5s, Night Shift is always on, scheduling doesn't work for some reason, it only turns on… So I have to turn it off manually… Sent from the iMore App
  • I wander the night shift's "color temperature". i have the "f.lux" on my mac but i don't know which color temperature is good. i think iPhone's night shift is great so that i want to setting the same with it.
  • Has everybody figured out how to turn on this exciting feature in the last year? Its pretty crazy and very technical. Good thing they have some directions. It has definitely changed all humanity. Good thing they brought it back up. Posted via the iMore App for Android