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How to Use Dark Mode on iPhone & iPad

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The iPhone and iPad now support Dark Mode, which is not to be confused with all Night Mode on the iPhone 11. This feature switches the colors to darker colors like grey and black to make the iPhone easier to use at night and in dim conditions. When you upgrade to iOS 13 you’ll see a prompt to turn it on, but there’s more to Dark Mode than just turning this new feature on.

The Dark Mode is brand new in iOS 13 and if you enable it, many apps will also switch to a dark mode. The number of apps that support Dark Mode is growing daily as developer push out updates. This is one of our favorite new iOS 13 features.

Using Dark Mode on the iPhone and iPad works essentially the same, but you can change a few options and you can turn Dark Mode on from various places on your iPhone or iPad.

How to Set Dark Mode Up on iPhone and iPad

Open Settings, Display & Brightness and tap on Dark.

When you first upgrade you will see a prompt asking if you want to turn Dark Mode on, but if you skipped this, you can still go to Settings and enable Dark Mode. This is where many people will get started with Dark Mode.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap on Display & Brightness
  3. Tap on Dark at the top.

This turns Dark Mode on, and it will automatically switch your apps to Dark Mode if they support it.

How to Turn Dark Mode on with Control Center

Long press or 3D Touch into the display options.

You can switch between Dark Mode and Light Mode in Control Center under the brightness slider.

  • Open Control Center
  • Long Press on the Brightness slider
  • Tap the Dark Mode icon in the lower left.

This isn’t the only way you can control Dark Mode in Control Center.

How to Add a Dark Mode Button to Control Center

Open Settings, Control Center and Customize.

You can also add a Dark Mode button to Control Center to easily toggle back and forth without the extra press into display settings.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap on Control Center.
  3. Tap on Customize Controls.
  4. Tap the + next to Dark Mode.

Tap the + and then move the position.

You can then drag the Dark Mode button up or down using the three lines to the right to change the order of the button in Control Center.

How to Set a Dark Mode Schedule on iPhone or iPad

Go to options and set a schedule for Dark Mode.

While you can manually turn Dark Mode on and off easily with the options above, you can also set a schedule. This is my preferred way to use Dark Mode. Apple lets you configure this to use sunrise and sunset at your location, or you can set a specific time period if your Dark Mode needs don’t align with the traditional night.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap on Display & Brightness
  3. Tap on Automatic below the Light & Dark options.
  4. Tap on Options.
  5. Choose Sunset to Sunrise to turn Dark Mode on at sunset and off at sunrise.
  6. Tap Custom Schedule to choose a start and end time for Dark Mode.
  7. Light Appearance – Pick the time Light mode starts.
  8. Dark Appearance – Pick the time Dark Mode starts.

This covers dark mode on your iPhone and iPad and you can use the manual switches if you need to go back to the other mode in the middle of the scheduled time.

How to Use Dark Mode in CarPlay

Tap on settings, Appearance and then choose Automatic or Dark Mode.

You can also set up Dark Mode on CarPlay with iOS 13. CarPlay defaults to the new Dark Mode as always on, but you can change this in the CarPlay settings.

  1. Start CarPlay in your car.
  2. Open Settings.
  3. Tap on Appearance.
    Choose always dark or automatic.
  4. Tap on Automatic to switch between light and dark.
  5. Tap on Always Dark to stick with Dark Mode all the time.

That’s all you need to master Dark Mode on your iPhone, iPad and in your car with CarPlay. You can also turn on Dark Mode for your Mac using this guide.

25 Exciting New iOS 13 & iOS 13.1 Features

Dark Mode in iOS 13

The biggest change to iOS in years is the new Dark Mode. This is a much-requested feature and one that will help you easily use your iPhone in low light -- or just see a cool new dark theme all the time. 

The new Dark Mode in iOS includes dark themes for the stock apps and menus, and you will also see support from many third-party apps. We already love apps like Apollo for Reddit and Tweetbot that offer up great dark themes and look forward to more with iOS 13. 

Read: How to Use Dark Mode in iOS 13


You can set up Dark Mode to be the default way you use your iPhone, you can set a schedule to switch between light and dark, or you can simply switch in the settings or Control Center. 

While iOS 12 apps can add in their own Dark mode options and settings, this is the first system-wide Dark Mode in iOS outside of an accessibility hack. 

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