iPhone and iPad

How to Turn on Dark Mode for iPhone and iPad

Apple’s iOS and iPadOS now allow system-wide dark mode if the harsh light of your iPhone or iPad monitor hurts your eyes or disrupts your sleep. Here’s how to turn it on.


Since looking at a shiny, white screen in a dim space is bad for the eyes, software developers have been using dark themes in their applications to combat the negative effects of blue light. If you have an iPhone or iPad, however, you can use a switch to allow system-wide dark mode.

Your iPhone must have iOS 13 or higher installed, and your iPad must have iPadOS installed. Go to Settings > General > Software Update to see which version you’re running. Tap Download and Install if an upgrade is available. Here’s how to dim the lights on your iPhone or iPad until it’s been updated.

How to Turn On Dark Mode

Navigate to Settings > View & Brightness on your iPhone or iPad, then select the Dark theme under Appearance. This will adjust the theme for built-in applications such as Files, Messages, Music, News, Notes, Photos, Safari, and TV, as well as certain third-party apps that are compatible, such as Gmail. Others, such as Facebook’s app, would need activation.

Swiping down on the upper-right corner of the panel toggles dark mode on and off from the Control Center. Toggle the Dark Mode option on and off by long-pressing the brightness shader and tapping the Dark Mode button in the bottom left corner.

Schedule Dark Mode

You can schedule when your system reaches and leaves dark mode if you’d like to restrict it to a certain time of day. Click the Automatic option on Settings > Display & Brightness.

It will run the light theme until sunset and the dark theme until sunrise by contrast. Tap Custom Schedule if you want to set separate times for dark and light mode. Set the time for the light mode to be on and the time for the dark mode to be used.

How to Turn on Dark Mode for iPhone and iPad


These themes can go away on a regular basis, but you are not bound by them. And if you have an Automatic set, you can always use Settings or Control Center to activate dark mode; light mode will activate in the next loop.

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