How to Use Night Mode on iPhone

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

If you're into iPhone photography and looking for ways to get the best shots in low light, you're in luck. iPhone 11 and newer models offer a feature called Night mode. Night mode makes night photography easy, allowing users to take clear, vivid pictures in low-light situations. So, how do you use Night mode for iPhone 11 or later? We'll go over the ins and outs of these camera settings below.  

Related: 15 Photography Tips to Help You Master Your iPhone's Camera

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Why You'll Love This Tip

  • Take vivid photos in low-light situations.
  • Avoid blurry photos at night. 

How Do I Put My iPhone Camera on Night Mode?

One of the most convenient aspects of Night mode on the iPhone 11 and newer models is that it turns on automatically when the camera detects low-light settings. When opening the Camera app, Night mode is identified by an icon with a crescent moon and horizontal lines, which is located at the top of your screen. Keep in mind that Night mode doesn't work for some models when using optical zoom. Read our article to learn about optical zoom before using Night mode, and to learn more about your Camera app and other iPhone apps, sign up for our Tip of the Day newsletter.

  1. When this icon is yellow, Night mode is on.

  2. When the icon is gray, Night mode is off.

How to Use Night Mode on the iPhone 11 & Newer

When Night mode is on, you'll notice a number next to the Night mode icon. This number indicates how long it will take your iPhone's camera to capture your picture. The darker the setting, the longer your shot will take. For the best photo possible:

  1. Check the number of seconds indicated by the Night mode icon.

    Night mode icon 
  2. If you don't see the Night mode icon at the bottom of your screen, tap the caret at the top to show more camera settings.

    Tap caret at the top of the screen
  3. Tap the Night mode icon in the settings options to show the slider.

    Tap Night mode icon at the bottom of the screen
  4. In the slider, scroll left or right to adjust the exposure time of your shot.

    swipe to adjust settings
  5. Press the Shutter button.

    Tap Shutter button
  6. Hold your camera still for the number of seconds required.

If you're having a hard time holding your iPhone still for the number of seconds required, try holding your elbows by your sides and slowly exhaling; take your shot at the end of the exhale. To add more stability, place your iPhone on a solid surface, or use a phone tripod

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays has over a dozen years of experience writing for online publications. As a Feature Writer for iPhone Life, she has authored hundreds of how-to, Apple news, and gear review articles, as well as a comprehensive Photos App guide. Leanne holds degrees in education and science and loves troubleshooting and repair. This combination makes her a perfect fit as manager of our Ask an Expert service, which helps iPhone Life Insiders with Apple hardware and software issues.
In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.