How to Turn Your iPhone Flashlight On & Off (UPDATED FOR iOS 12)

In the past, if you were wondering how to access the flashlight on your iPhone, we'd advise you to open the Control Center. Now, thanks to an iOS 12 flashlight update, there are three ways to turn the iPhone flashlight on or off; in the Control Center, from the Lock Screen, or by asking Siri to turn the iPhone flashlight on or off. Here's how to use each method to turn on the flashlight and turn off the flashlight on your iPhone.

Related: How to Access Flashlight & Camera from Lock Screen on iPhone X

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The LED flash in your iPhone Camera app doubles as a flashlight. That means all iPhones have the flashlight feature, including older models like the iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 7, all the way up through the newest iPhone XS and iPhone XR. So you don't need to pay for a flashlight app; it's free!

Turn on Your iPhone Flashlight with "Hey Siri"

As long as you've update your iPhone to iOS 12, just say, "Hey Siri," and then ask her to turn on the flashlight. You can use the same trick to turn your iPhone's flashlight back off. Just say, "Hey Siri turn off the flashlight." Hey Siri works on iPhone 6S and later.

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Without "Hey Siri"

If you don't have "Hey Siri" turned on, you can still ask Siri to turn the flashlight on and off for you in iOS 12. Just press the Side Button for iPhone X and later or the Home button for iPhone 8S and earlier to activate Siri and ask her to turn the flashlight off or on. 

How to Turn On the Flashlight on Your iPhone from the Control Center  

You can turn on the flashlight on your iPhone with a single tap in the Control Center.

  • Swipe down from the upper right corner of your Home Screen or your Lock Screen if you have an iPhone X or later, or up from the bottom of your screen if you have an older iPhone. (Can't access the Control Center from your Lock Screen? Make sure it's enabled in Settings.)

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  • Tap the flashlight icon in the lower left corner.

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The iPhone flashlight will remain on while you use your iPhone until your turn it off.

Lock Screen Flashlight: iPhone X, XS, XS Max & XR

If you own an iPhone X or later, you can also turn your iPhone flashlight on from your Lock Screen! 

  • Activate the Lock screen by raising the iPhone to wake or pressing the Side button.

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  • Once you're on the Lock Screen, simply tap the flashlight icon to turn the flashlight on.

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Ready to turn off the flashlight on the iPhone? The next part shows you how.

How to Turn Off Flashlight on iPhone

You can turn off the flashlight on iPhone from the Control Center or use the tip below this one to quickly and easily turn off the Flashlight from your Lock Screen. Otherwise, you turn off the Flashlight the same way you turned it on. Here’s how to turn off the Flashlight on your iPhone:

  • Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to open Control Center.

  • Tap the flashlight icon to turn the light off.

  • For the iPhone X and later, swipe down from the top right of your screen to open your Control Center again.
  • Tap the flashlight icon to turn the light off.

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How to Quickly Turn Off the Flashlight on Your iPhone (iOS 11 & 12)

The iPhone's built-in flashlight can come in handy in all sorts of situations. But since your iPhone usually goes to sleep while you’re completing these tasks, opening Control Center to turn off the flashlight when you are finished can feel like too many steps—especially if you prefer not to allow access to Control Center from your Lock screen or don't have "Hey Siri" enabled. Here’s how to turn off your iPhone’s flashlight without opening Control Center.

  • Press the Side button or, if you have Raise to Wake turned on, simply lift up your iPhone.
  • From the Lock Screen, start swiping left as though to access the Camera. Swipe the screen halfway and let it go.
  • The Flashlight will turn off, and you’ll still be on the Lock Screen.

How to Change the iPhone Flashlight's Brightness with 3D Touch

If you have an iPhone version 6s or later, you can use 3D Touch to change the brightness of your iPhone’s flashlight. To do this:

  • Swipe down to open Control Center if you have the iPhone X or later, or down if you have an older iPhone.
  • 3D Touch the flashlight icon by pressing firmly.

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  • A segmented bar will appear on-screen; Swipe up on the bar to to turn up the flashlight's brightness. Swipe down to dim the flashlight. 
  • Select the brightness you desire, then tap the screen to return to the Control Center.


You can't ask Siri to make your flashlight brighter or dimmer yet, but I'm sure that option will be available in a future operating system.

Where is the Flashlight on My iPhone with iOS 11 & 12?

There’s been some confusion as to where the iPhone flashlight has gone in iOS 11 and 12. This confusion is spurred by the changes in Control Center, which is now customizable. If you open your Control Center and can't find the flashlight, don't worry, you can get it back! Just follow this tip to put your flashlight back in Control Center where you want it. The tip was written for iOS 11, but it still works for iOS 12.

Top Image Credit: Vasin Lee / Shutterstock

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Sarah Kingsbury's picture

Sarah Kingsbury is the Senior Web Editor of iPhone Life magazine. Previously she wrote for and was the Associate Editor of the Iowa Source for many years.