Having your Android device suddenly switch to black and white mode can be jarring and inconvenient. Thankfully, it’s usually easy to switch back to normal color mode. Here are some common reasons your Android may have gone to black and white mode and how to return it to color.
Checking if grayscale mode is enabled
The most likely reason your Android is in black and white is because grayscale mode has been enabled. This switches your screen to show only shades of gray to save battery life or make it easier to read in bright conditions.
To check if grayscale mode is on, follow these steps:
- Go to your Android’s Settings app.
- Look for an option called Vision, Display, Accessibility or a similar section.
- See if there is a setting called Grayscale or Color Inversion and make sure it is turned off.
Toggling this setting back to off or colored should instantly return your Android to normal color mode.
Checking Night Light mode
Another display setting that could make your screen black and white is Night Light mode. This tints your screen amber to reduce eye strain in low light.
To check for Night Light mode:
- Go to Settings > Display.
- Look for Night Light or Blue Light Filter.
- Make sure the schedule does not have it active or turn it off completely.
Disabling Night Light will remove the tint and restore regular color.
Checking reading mode
Some Android devices have a dedicated reading mode that optimizes the display for reading ebooks. This often involves using grayscale for easier reading.
To check for reading mode:
- Look for a Reading mode or eReader app on your device.
- Open the app or mode and make sure grayscale or night filters are disabled.
Exiting reading mode or any specialized book apps can return your display to color.
Checking battery saver mode
To maximize battery life, the battery saver or power saving mode on your Android may automatically turn on grayscale coloring. Check if this is enabled:
- Go to Settings > Battery.
- Look for Battery Saver or Power Saving and make sure it is off.
This will disable any grayscale effects it may be applying.
Checking third-party apps
Some apps like Kindle, Moon+ Reader, or Twilight also have their own grayscale modes for reading. If you recently used one of these apps, it may have carried over the setting to your main display.
Open the app and disable any black and white or dark mode settings before exiting. This should revert your overall Android display to color.
Checking accessibility settings
The accessibility settings on your Android allow you to invert colors, enable high contrast text, and other changes that may result in a black and white effect.
To check accessibility settings:
- Go to Settings > Accessibility.
- Look through options like Color Inversion, High Contrast Text, Color Correction and make sure they are disabled.
Reverting any accessibility changes can bring back your usual colors.
Checking Android version
Very old versions of Android had limited color support. If your phone is running a very outdated version like Android 1.0-2.3, the system may default to monochrome coloring.
To check your Android version:
- Go to Settings > About Phone.
- Look at the Android Version number.
If your version is older than Android 3.0, upgrading to a newer OS may enable full color support.
Restarting your device
Sometimes a simple restart or reboot of your Android can clear up any stuck settings. To restart:
- Hold down the Power button on your device until the power off prompt appears.
- Tap Restart to reboot your phone.
Once restarted, your display may automatically return to color. This can reset any bugs with display settings.
Factory resetting as a last resort
If all else fails and your Android is persistently stuck in black and white, performing a factory reset can restore your device to default settings:
- Back up any data you want to keep.
- Go to Settings > System > Reset.
- Choose Erase All Data (Factory Reset).
This will wipe your device and restore the original colors once it reboots. Only use this if nothing else has worked.
When to seek help
If you’ve tried all troubleshooting steps and your Android still has a black and white screen, it’s time to seek technical help. Contact the device manufacturer or take it to a phone repair shop. A hardware problem like a faulty display connector may be preventing full color mode.
Preventing black and white mode
To avoid this issue in the future, be mindful of any display settings you change. Disable things like grayscale and night light when not needed. Also avoid shady apps that promise to “enhance” or “optimize” your screen as they may enable problematic color filters.
Keeping your Android updated and backing up data in case a factory reset is needed can also help minimize issues with the screen changing to black and white unexpectedly.
A black and white Android screen can be annoying but is usually easy to fix. The most common culprits are display settings like grayscale mode, night light, or reading modes. Checking for these in your Settings app and toggling them off can instantly restore color. Rebooting your device or factory resetting as a last resort can also override any stuck settings producing a black and white effect. With a few simple troubleshooting steps, you can get your Android looking vibrant again.
|Grayscale mode enabled
|Disable in Settings > Display > Grayscale
|Night Light on
|Turn off in Settings > Display > Night Light
|Reading mode enabled
|Disable in Reading app or mode
|Battery Saver mode
|Disable in Settings > Battery > Battery Saver
|Third party app filter
|Open app, disable grayscale/dark mode
|Disable color inversion, etc in Settings > Accessibility
|Outdated Android OS
|Upgrade to Android 3.0 or newer
|Restart your device
|Display hardware issue
|Factory reset or take to repair shop