How to Invert Colors to Turn On Dark Mode or Night Mode on iPhone (UPDATED FOR iOS 12)

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

A heavily requested feature for iOS 11 was Dark Mode. Dark Mode essentially turns white space black while leaving media, photos, and content the same. However, we did not get an official Dark Mode in iOS 11, and we haven't gotten one for iOS 12, either. Hopefully this will come out soon because macOS Mojave does offer this feature. For now, though, the next best thing is pretty darn fantastic. Inverting colors on iPhone in the past meant distorting the look of photos and content as well. But iOS 11 introduced Smart Invert, which is (almost) as good of a Dark Mode as we need. Here’s how to turn on Dark Mode or Night Mode in iOS 12 on iPhone, this will invert colors on your display and reduce eye strain.

Related: How to Lock & Unlock Your Workout on Apple Watch

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How to Turn on 'Dark Mode' or 'Night Mode' (Smart Invert)

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Select General.
  • Tap Accessibility.
  • Select Display Accommodations.
  • Tap Invert Colors.
ios 11 dark mode
invert colors iphone
  • Toggle on Smart Invert.
how to invert colors on iphone

In iOS 11 Smart Invert didn't work very well in some apps. For example, on YouTube and Instagram, the colors of videos and pictures were inverted. However, on Facebook, the media, photos, and content all appeared normal. Now with iOS 12, YouTube has non-inverted colors on the display but inverted for the background and menu. The same improvement happened for Instagram, but Pinterest looks like a strange, x-ray version of itself! So Smart Invert works in more third-party apps and in all Apple apps that with iOS 11, and I expect this will continue to improve as time goes on. Next, learn how to switch to Dark Mode on Mac!

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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.