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How to Turn on Dark Mode for iPhone and iPad

Staring at a bright, white screen in a dark room is terrible on the eyes, so developers have been incorporating dark themes in their apps to offset the impact of blue light. However, if you have an iPhone or iPad, you can turn on system-wide dark mode with the flip of a switch.

Your iPhone must be running iOS 13 or higher, and your iPad must have iPadOS. Check which version you’re running via Settings > General > Software Update. If there’s an update available, tap Download and Install. Once your device is up to date, here’s how to lower the lights on your iPhone or iPad.

Turn on Dark Mode

On your iPhone or iPad, navigate to Settings > Display & Brightness and tap the Dark theme under Appearance. This will automatically change the theme for built-in apps like Files, Messages, Music, News, Notes, Photos, Safari, and TV, as well as in some compatible third-party apps, such as Gmail. Others, like Facebook, will need to be switched on from its app.

iphone dark mode

Dark mode can also be switched on and off from the Control Center by swiping down on the upper-right corner of the screen. Long press on the brightness shader and tap the Dark Mode icon in the bottom left corner to turn the feature on and off.

control center dark mode

Schedule Dark Mode

If you’d prefer to limit dark mode to a specific time of day, you can schedule when your device enters and exits dark mode. Go to Settings > Display & Brightness and toggle the Automatic option to on.

automatic dark mode

By default, it will schedule the light theme until sunset and the dark theme until sunrise. If you want to set specific times for dark mode and light mode, tap Custom Schedule. Set the time light mode should turn on and set the time dark mode should be used.

schedule dark mode

These themes will switch off on a daily basis, but you’re not beholden to these times. Even with Automatic set, you can still turn on dark mode from Settings or Control Center; light mode will simply turn on with the next cycle.

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