iPhone screen too dark or dim? Here are 15 ways to make it brighter

In this tutorial, we show you how to increase the brightness of your dark iPhone screen and prevent it from decreasing automatically and unnecessarily in the wrong situations.

These solutions will fix the problem if your iPhone screen is dim, brightness automatically goes down, or the iPhone screen is dark but brightness is up, and other similar issues.

Fix iPhone dark screen and make it brighter

Is it normal for my iPhone screen to be too dark or randomly change brightness?

Yes. It’s normal for your iPhone screen to automatically dim and change the brightness levels depending on ambient lighting.

Most smartphones, including your iPhone, have an ambient light sensor that powers the auto-brightness feature. Using this, your phone analyzes the light around you and adjusts the brightness of the iPhone display accordingly.

For example, if you are in strong light (like sunlight, studio, etc.), it’ll automatically set your iPhone display to the maximum, making it easier to see. But when you are in poor lighting conditions (indoors, in a movie hall, at night with lights off, and such), the iPhone screen brightness will automatically be at the minimum level. This ensures your eyes are comfortable viewing the display.

In most cases, auto-brightness works flawlessly. But since your iPhone brightness is low or automatically goes down abruptly at inappropriate times, auto-brightness is the most likely culprit.

How to fix iPhone dark screen and make it brighter

Let’s see how to fix it and make your iPhone screen bright again. As always, we will start with the basic solutions. And for most users, these basic ones are sufficient to solve the dim screen brightness issue. If not, you can turn off auto-brightness to fix this issue (steps below).

1. Wipe the top of your iPhone

The top portion of your iPhone has the ambient light sensor responsible for reading the light levels around you and adjusting the screen brightness.

After long calls, the top part of your iPhone might get body oils, dirt, etc. All these block the ambient light sensor from functioning correctly.

So, if your iPhone screen brightness is automatically going down even when you’re sitting at the same place with constant light, use a soft, dry cloth to wipe the top portion of your iPhone.

Once that’s done, iPhone screen brightness should not misbehave.

Further, if you are using such a fancy or seal-proof case that blocks the top part of your iPhone, please remove it so that auto-brightness can function correctly.

2. Check iPhone screen brightness and manually adjust it

Here are three ways to increase your iPhone screen brightness:

I. Via the Control Center:

  1. Open Control Center.
    • On iPhone with Face ID, swipe down from the top-right of the screen.
    • On iPhone with from Home button, swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen.
  2. Drag the brightness slider up.

II. Via the Settings app:

  1. Go to iPhone Settings > Display & Brightness.
  2. Drag the brightness slider to the right.

III. Using Siri:

Call Siri using any method you usually do. Now, ask it something like:

  • Turn up screen brightness.
  • Increase screen brightness.
  • Set screen brightness to 75%.
  • Set screen brightness to maximum.
Increase iPhone Screen brightness to make it easier to view
Increase iPhone Screen brightness from the Control Center or Settings app or by asking Siri.

3. Restart your iPhone

During regular use, it’s not unusual for your device to temporary glitch. One reliable and quick solution to fix this is to switch off your iPhone and switch it on after a minute.

4. Check Accessibility settings

Reduce White Point lowers the intensity of bright colors on your iPhone screen, making it easier for some people to see the display. When it’s enabled, your iPhone screen goes dark even when brightness is all the way up.

Here’s how to turn off Reduce White Point to fix the dim iPhone screen:

  1. Open Settings and tap Accessibility.
  2. Tap Display & Text Size.
  3. Turn off Reduce White Point.
  4. If you want to keep it enabled, drag the slider to the left at 25% only.
Disable Reduce White Point to make dim iPhone screen brighter

5. Turn off Low Power Mode

Higher the screen brightness, the more battery it consumes. Thus, your iPhone will slightly decrease the screen brightness in low power mode to preserve the battery.

To restore iPhone screen brightness, call Siri and ask it to turn off Low Power Mode or go to Settings > Battery and turn off the switch for Low Power Mode.

Turn off low power mode iPhone

6. Screen brightness in VLC and other media apps

Many video player apps or ones where you edit photos and clips have their own screen brightness slider. Some browsers like Aloha also have an invisible screen brightness slider when you play videos in them. One random, unintentional swipe down on the screen, and the iPhone brightness might go down.

To address this, look for any brightness button or slider in the app and make sure it is set to a comfortable level. If none is visible, consider swiping vertically (or horizontally) on the screen’s left and right (and top and lower) parts to reveal any such brightness slider.

Screen brightness in third-party apps iPhone
Screen brightness slider in VLC (left image) and Aloha browser (right image).

7. Turn off Do Not Disturb

In iOS 15, when your iPhone is in Do Not Disturb (DND) mode, the Lock Screen is dimmed significantly. To make it normal and brighter, tap the moon icon > Do Not Disturb to turn it off.

Disable DND on iPhone Lock Screen

8. Turn off auto-brightness on iPhone

Disabling auto-brightness is almost a sure-shot way to fix the issue of your iPhone screen brightness going down automatically. But I do not want you to disable it just yet because auto-brightness is an excellent feature that keeps your eyes comfortable and helps extend your iPhone’s battery life. So, I would recommend that you first read the FAQs below. And if they don’t address your problem, you can turn off auto-brightness.

Here’s how to disable auto-brightness to fix inconsistent screen brightness:

  1. Open the iPhone Settings app and tap Accessibility.
  2. Tap Display & Text Size.
  3. From the bottom, turn off the switch for Auto-Brightness.
  4. Now, open the Control Center and set the brightness as per your wish. It will stay the same and no longer decrease (or increase) automatically, making your iPhone dim.
Turn off auto-brightness to fix iPhone screen brightness going down automatically

9. Turn off iPhone screen zoom

Sometimes, the iPhone screen is dark, but the brightness is up. This can be due to an accessibility feature that zooms the entire iPhone display, and as a result, your screen brightness may be affected. To fix this, unzoom your iPhone screen or turn off this feature from Settings > Accessibility > Zoom.

10. Prevent iPhone from dimming by disabling Attention Aware Features

To extend the battery life, your iPhone X or later with Face ID can automatically dim the screen if it notices you aren’t looking. You can turn it off from iPhone Settings > Face ID & Passcode > Attention Aware Features.

Attention Aware Features iPhone

11. Tips to make your iPhone screen comfortable

In addition to good brightness, the following suggestions can come in handy to make it easy for you to view the iPhone display and navigate around.

Go to Settings > Display & Brightness and:

  • If you do not like the dark appearance, tap Light. Also, turn off the Automatic toggle to prevent the dark look from kicking in automatically.
  • Disable True Tone and see if you prefer this screen appearance or not.
  • Tap Auto-Lock and set it to 2 minutes or more. This will prevent the iPhone screen from dimming and locking quickly. Please note that when your iPhone is in Low Power Mode, it automatically dims and shuts after 30 seconds of inactivity.
  • Tap Text Size and increase it using the slider below.
  • Enable Bold Text.
  • Tap View and set Zoomed to have bigger app icons and elements.
Display and Brightness Settings iPhone

12. Let your iPhone cool down

If you have been using maps, navigation, etc., in sunlight, chances are your iPhone is too hot. As a result, its screen brightness may have been temporarily affected. To address this, force close the open apps and let your iPhone cool down. Even better, turn it off for a while.

13. Remove your iPhone screen protector

Please ignore this section if your iPhone screen brightness has been misbehaving only recently.

But if your iPhone screen has been too dark for a long time, or when you compare your iPhone screen to that of a friend or at an Apple Store and think your screen is too dark and unimpressive, it may be because of the additional screen protector. No doubt, screen protectors are to protect your display if your device takes a fall. But if brightness is paramount, you may consider removing this obstruction.

Must see: My favorite accessories for the iPhone 13 Pro Max

14. Reset all iPhone settings

Finally, if none of the solutions help, you can reset all settings, which will most likely solve the brightness issue.

15. Contact Apple Support regarding the third-party display

If you ever replaced your broken iPhone screen at an unauthorized Apple Store, chances are the screen is not an original one. Sure, it might have saved you a few dollars, but non-Apple displays can have lower screen brightness and other problems (like errors, popups, etc., in iPhone settings, disabled Face ID, and more).

To fix this, take your iPhone to an Apple Store or Apple-authorized service center and get it inspected.

FAQs related to iPhone screen

Here are some often-asked related questions with their answers.

My iPhone screen is black? How do I make it normal?

Your iPhone screen can be black due to two settings – Dark Mode or Color Invert. To make the screen normal, go to iPhone Settings > Display & Brightness and choose Light. Also, turn off the switch for Automatic. If the screen still stays dark, go to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size and turn off Smart Invert or Classic Invert.

How to fix my yellow and orangish iPhone screen?

Your iPhone screen may look light yellow or orangish because of True Tone and Night Shift. To turn these off, go to Settings > Display & Brightness and disable True Tone. Next, tap Night Shift and switch it off.

My iPhone screen is black & white or has weird colors. How to fix it?

Due to the Color Filters, your iPhone screen may be entirely black/gray and white or have a red, blue, pink, or any color tint to it. You can disable this from Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size > Color Filters and turn the switch for Color Filters off.

Light blue appears dark blue, green appears dark green, and all iPhone screen colors look darker. How to fix it?

This is because your iPhone screen is displaying increased color contrast between the app foreground and background. Usually, this makes it easier for some people to see the screen. But if you don’t want this, go to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size and turn off Increase Contrast.

My iPhone screen gets dark in sunlight. How to fix it?

In bright sunlight, all displays struggle to offer a good viewing experience. But once you follow the above solutions and set the screen brightness to maximum, it should be viewable. Also, newer iPhone models have a higher peak brightness and better display quality, giving them an edge over older iPhones when used in sunlight.

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