Skip to main content

How to invert colors on an iPhone

The iPhone offers users a wide variety of display options, making it accessible to a similarly wide variety of needs and preferences. Chief among these is the ability to invert the colors displayed on its touchscreen, something that helps those who benefit from viewing text and images against a darker background. It’s not immediately obvious how to make use of this feature, so in this article, we explain how to invert colors on an iPhone.

This covers the Smart Invert and Classic Invert functions, while it also includes a section on Dark Mode and on how to set either Smart or Classic Invert as an accessibility shortcut. If you want further info on other accessibility options offered by the iPhone, you can check out our guide for iOS 14.

How to invert colors on an iPhone

You have two options when it comes to inverting colors on an iPhone: Smart Invert and Classic Invert.

Smart Invert inverts your overall display but leaves all images, media, and certain apps (which already use darker color schemes) as they are. In practice, this means your iPhone’s wallpaper and lock screen image will remain normal, but the backgrounds used on windows and tabs will be inverted, as will text and icons.

By contrast, Classic Invert inverts absolutely everything, including images and videos.

Regardless of which you prefer, you can activate either in the following way: Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size. Once on the Display & Text Size screen, tap the slider for either Smart Invert or Classic Invert, so that it turns green. You’ll notice a difference immediately (unless you choose Smart Invert and are already using Dark Mode).

Dark Mode

Dark Mode represents a kind of middle ground between Smart Invert and Classic Invert. While Smart Invert leaves some backgrounds white (or light), Dark Mode turns all backgrounds and windows black, but without inverting images and videos like Classic Invert.

If you want to switch on Dark Mode, simply go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Dark. Tapping Dark switches on Dark Mode, which is designed for low-light environments but can also be used during the day by anyone who prefers darker display colors.

As noted above, turning on Smart Invert doesn’t do anything when you already have Dark Mode on. However, if you have Dark Mode on and then activate Classic Invert, your iPhone’s display and background colors will then flip back to white (although images will still be inverted).

Setting Smart or Classic Invert as an accessibility shortcut

If you like to be able to invert colors on an iPhone at short notice, you can set either Smart or Classic Invert as an accessibility shortcut.

To do this, go to Settings > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut. Then tap either Classic Invert or Smart Invert. From now on, you can triple-lick the Side button (or Home button on the iPhone 8/iPhone SE 2020 and earlier models) to activate either invert option.

Editors' Recommendations

Simon Chandler
Simon Chandler is a journalist based in London, UK. He covers technology and finance, contributing to such titles as Digital…
The iPhone 15 Pro is overheating due to design compromises, prominent analyst says
Renders of the iPhone 15 Pro next to the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Apple’s new iPhone 15 handsets have been largely well received since their release on Friday, though one troubling issue has emerged with the pricier Pro versions of the device.

As reported by Digital Trends on Monday, some owners of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max have taken to online forums to express concerns that their new iPhone is heating up way beyond what seems normal, and certainly to a greater extent than their previous iPhone when performing the same or similar tasks.

Read more
Best phone deals: Save on iPhone 15, Google Pixel 7, and more
Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro cameras seen from the back.

It is time. Time for a phone upgrade and a new, hopefully more responsive device. If it's been a while, or you haven't been paying much attention to the smartphone market, you're in for a shock. You may find yourself overwhelmed with all the options that are available to you from brands like Apple, Samsung, Google, and more. To help you determine the best smartphone for you, we've gathered the top phone deals that you can shop right now across different retailers. You're going to have to decide quickly though, because the discounts attached to these devices usually don't last long. Proceed with your purchase as soon as possible so that you don't miss out on the low prices.

Apple iPhone 15 -- Free with Boost Mobile, was $830

Read more
Best iPhone deals: Save on iPhone 15, iPhone 14, and more
iPhone 13 Pro in blue.

Looking for great Apple deals on one of the best iPhones? There are plenty out there covering the absolute latest and fastest models as well as older models that will still keep many people happy. If you're keen to see what's out there and how you could save, read on while we take you through all the best iPhone deals available today.Shopping on a tight budget? Consider checking out our list of the best refurbished iPhone deals instead.
iPhone 15 -- free

The Apple iPhone 15 finally brings with it Dynamic Island which we've only previously seen on the Pro range. It's a real game changer at times and is very convenient. Alongside that, the Apple iPhone 15 has the Ceramic Shield front to keep it more protected while its 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display promises to be up to two times brighter than the iPhone 14 in the sun. There's also a 48MP main camera with 2x telephoto lens to help you take great shots. The A16 Bionic chip has plenty of processing power to aid with software adjustments. To get the phone for free, sign up to Boost Infinite for $60 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data.

Read more