How to Disable Auto-Brightness on the iPhone and iPad

The iPhone and iPad both offer an auto-brightness option in the iOS settings, which uses each device’s ambient light sensor to detect the light levels in the room and automatically adjust the display brightness accordingly.

How to Disable Auto-Brightness on the iPhone and iPad

Some users find this annoying while others don’t appreciate their devices adjusting the brightness for them. If that’s how you feel, keep reading! In this article, we’ll show you how to turn off the auto-brightness feature on iPhones and iPads.

What is the Auto-Brightness Feature?

In brighter rooms or outdoors, iOS increases the display brightness. In darker environments or at night, it will lower the brightness.
This is handy because it generally keeps your iPhone or iPad screen’s brightness appropriate for the lighting conditions without requiring you to go into Settings or visit Control Center.

iphone ambient light sensor patent

It also helps save battery life, as your device’s display is often the largest battery life eater and auto-brightness prevents the screen from being brighter than it needs to be.

But sometimes iOS’s “guess” at what the iPhone’s brightness should be isn’t what you want. For example, it may be quite dark in a room but you want to have maximum brightness for a particular app or movie. Or you may want to reduce screen brightness to save on battery life in an otherwise bright room.

How to Turn Off Auto-Brightness

You can always override iOS’s auto-brightness by manually adjusting the brightness via the Control Center or in Settings > Display & Brightness.

But if you prefer to manually control your iPhone or iPad’s screen brightness all the time, you can simply turn off the iOS auto-brightness feature. Here’s how.

Disable Auto-Brightness

To disable auto-brightness, grab your iPhone or iPad, do this:

  1. Open the Settings on your phone or iPad and tap on ‘Accessibility.’
  2. Next, tap on ‘Display & Text Size.’
  3. Toggle the switch off next to ‘Auto-Brightness.’

For older versions of iOS, follow these steps instead: Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations.

Just a heads up if you go this route, however. Disabling auto-brightness of course means that your device’s screen may be too dim to see when you first start using it outside. It also means that you may be blinded by a screen at full brightness if you turn your device on in a dark room.

Both situations are easily remedied by opening the Control Center and manually setting a more appropriate brightness. If you’re OK with these limitations, though, you’ll never have iOS change the brightness level you’ve manually set again.

Other Features

Apple’s iOS lets us customize quite a few screen brightness features outside of auto-brightness. In this section, we’ll show you some of the other neat features you can change on your iOS device.

ipad iphone auto brightness

In the screenshot above, you’ll see a number of display-related accessibility options, including the option to invert colors or, on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, limit the display’s frame rate.

Invert Colors

Inverting colors is often useful for people who have visual impairments or simply want to reduce eyestrain. Although, to most users, the screen may look a little too strange for everyday usage, others will certainly find this feature very useful.

All you need to do to invert colors on an iOS device is follow the same steps as listed above and toggle on the switch to invert colors. This will immediately change the appearance of the screen.

If the screen looks a little too strange you could enable the ‘Smart Invert’ feature. As opposed to the ‘Classic Invert’ this will keep important things like images in their original format.

Color Filters

Color filters are another useful feature that many who have difficulty seeing color can use to make the interactions with their phone more pleasant.

Just as above, head over to the Accessibility Settings on your iOS device and tap on ‘Display & Text.’ From here, you can tap on ‘Color Filters.’ One of the great things about this feature is that it is fully customizable to meet most users’ needs. Go through the Settings and find the one that is right for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you turn off auto-brightness on a Mac?

If you’re using a Mac or MacBook, the auto-brightness feature may become incredibly annoying (especially if you’re on a plane or in a vehicle where the light is shifting).

To turn this feature off on a Mac or MacBook follow the Apple Menu > System Preferences > Displays path and uncheck the ‘Automatically Adjust Brightness‘ box.

If you don’t see this option it’s likely due to the fact that not all Mac and MacBook products have the ambient light sensor.

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