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How do I put my iPhone in negative mode?

Putting your iPhone in negative mode is an interesting hidden feature that inverts the colors on your screen. This can be useful for improving accessibility, reducing eye strain in low light conditions, and creating unique artistic photos.

What is Negative Mode?

Negative mode, also known as inverted colors mode, inverts the colors displayed on an iPhone screen. Black becomes white, white becomes black, and all other colors are also inverted. This creates a negative effect like old film photographs. The backgrounds of apps and images will appear dark while the text and details appear light.

Apple first included a Negative Colors option under Accessibility settings with the release of iOS 11 in 2017. This allows users to quickly invert screen colors with a toggle in Settings. There are also certain shortcuts that can toggle negative mode on and off.

Benefits of Using Negative Mode

Here are some of the benefits of using negative mode on an iPhone:

  • Improves accessibility for some users with visual impairments
  • Reduces eyestrain in low light conditions
  • Makes it easier to read in very bright environments
  • Lets users take artistic negative photos
  • Provides a fun alternative interface style

The inverted colors can make it easier to see the screen in very bright conditions where there is glare. It can also reduce eyestrain in very low light situations. For some users with visual impairments like dyslexia, negative mode improves text legibility.

How to Turn on Negative Colors in Settings

The easiest way to toggle negative mode on and off is through the Settings app accessibility options:

  1. Open Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap Accessibility.
  3. Under Vision, tap Display & Text Size.
  4. Toggle the Invert Colors switch on (green).

This will immediately invert the colors on your iPhone screen. Follow the same steps to toggle Invert Colors off again.

Use Color Filters for Negative Mode

You can also use Color Filters under Accessibility to get a similar negative effect:

  1. Follow steps 1-3 above to get to Display & Text Size.
  2. Tap Color Filters.
  3. Select one of the filters with a negative color effect like Grayscale or Inverted.

This provides more control over the exact effect compared to just inverting all colors. Toggle the filters off to return to normal color display.

Triple-Click Home Button Shortcut

For a quicker way to toggle on inverted colors, you can set up a shortcut using the home button:

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut.
  2. Select Invert Colors.

Now you can quickly triple-click the home button on your iPhone to invert the display colors. Triple-click again to turn off negative mode. This shortcut works on any screen, even on the lock screen.

Use Siri Commands

You can also use Siri voice commands to turn negative colors on or off:

  • “Hey Siri, invert colors” or “enable inverted colors”
  • “Hey Siri, disable inverted colors” or “turn off inverted colors”

Just speak one of these commands to toggle negative mode on or off. This is handy if you don’t want to dig through Settings.

Enabling Grayscale

In addition to inverting colors, you can also quickly switch your display to grayscale only:

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size.
  2. Turn on the Color Filters option.
  3. Select Grayscale to remove all color from the screen.

Grayscale mode produces a black and white effect while still maintaining proper contrast and legibility. This can be easier on your eyes than inverted colors in some cases.

Use for Taking Photos

The inverted color effect can be used creatively for taking unique photos with your iPhone camera. Here’s how:

  1. First enable Invert Colors through Settings or use the home button shortcut.
  2. Open the Camera app to view the inverted live preview.
  3. Compose and take a photo as usual while in negative mode. This captures an inverted negative image.
  4. You can leave Invert Colors enabled to take more inverted photos or disable it go back to normal photo colors.

The resulting photos will appear in inverted negative colors. You can then edit them in the Photos app and apply filters while in negative mode to create interesting artistic effects.

Does Negative Mode Use More Battery?

Using inverted colors or grayscale does not significantly impact battery life. The iPhone’s screen uses the same amount of power regardless of what colors are displayed. However, you may notice some small increase in power usage because:

  • The darker backgrounds in apps cause the screen brightness to increase slightly to compensate.
  • The inverted colors put more strain on your eyes, so you may look at the screen more frequently.

But this effect is minor compared to other battery draining tasks like gaming or streaming video. Don’t hesitate to use negative mode when needed – it won’t make a big dent in your battery life.

Why Photos May Appear Normal in Gallery

If you take photos using the inverted color effect, you may notice they appear normal when viewing them in the Photos app gallery. This is because the images are being displayed using their original embedded color profiles. To view them in inverted negative colors:

  1. First make sure Invert Colors is enabled in Settings.
  2. Open the photo in the Photos app.
  3. Tap Edit and then re-save the photo.

Saving the photo again applies the inverted filter and displays it correctly in the Photos app. You can also edit the photo while in negative mode to enhance the artistic effect.

Troubleshooting Tips

Here are some troubleshooting tips if you’re having problems enabling negative mode on your iPhone:

Issue Solution
Invert Colors toggle is grayed out Update your iOS software to latest version
Shortcut not working Make sure Accessibility Shortcut is set to Invert Colors
Siri not responding Check internet connection and try phrasing command differently
Photos not inverted in gallery Re-save photos while in negative mode
Heavy battery drain Battery impact is minor, close heavy apps

Most issues can be fixed by updating your software, checking settings, and adjusting how commands are phrased. Contact Apple support if you’re unable to resolve any persistent problems enabling inverted colors.

Third Party Apps for More Options

While the built-in Accessibility options offer the easiest way to invert iPhone colors, there are also third party apps that provide more customizable filters and effects:

  • Negative Screen: Applies different color and contrast filters beyond just inverting.
  • Inverter: Lets you schedule when to enable negative mode and set exceptions.
  • Colorblind Pal: Provides filters designed for different types of color blindness.

These apps allow your greater control over the exact negative appearance. But most users will find the native iOS tools sufficient for their needs.


The inverted colors effect in negative mode can be useful for improving accessibility, reducing eye strain, and applying a fun artistic look. iOS makes it easy to enable inverted colors through Settings, shortcuts, or Siri. You can take creative photos with the Camera app while colors are inverted.

Keep in mind negative mode has minimal impact on battery life. Don’t hesitate to use it as needed – just remember it inverts colors on all screens, not just specific apps. With the power of accessibility features, we can explore the creative artistic possibilities our iPhones offer.