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How to invert colors on a computer?

Inverting colors on your computer screen can help make text easier to read, reduce eye strain, and create interesting visual effects. Color inversion switches the hue and brightness values of pixels on your screen to their opposite, creating a photo negative type effect. It’s a simple setting that can be toggled on and off as needed. Here’s how to invert colors on both Windows and Mac computers.

Why Invert Colors?

There are a few key reasons why you may want to invert your computer screen colors:

  • Improve text readability – Flipping dark text on a light background to light text on a dark background can help reduce eye strain.
  • Dim brightness – At night or in a dark room, an inverted screen creates darker colors and may be more comfortable to look at.
  • Artistic effect – Photographers and graphic designers sometimes invert screenshots for an interesting visual effect.
  • Accessibility – People with visual impairments like light sensitivity benefit from darker color themes.

Now let’s look at the steps to activate color inversion on Windows and Mac.

Invert Colors on Windows

There are a couple ways to quickly invert screen colors on a Windows PC.

Use Magnifier

All Windows computers have the Magnifier accessibility tool. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Click the Windows Start button and type “Magnifier” to find the app.
  2. Open Magnifier and click the menu icon in the upper left corner.
  3. Select “Invert colors” to switch it on. The screen will now be inverted.
  4. Click the menu icon again and choose “Invert colors” to switch back to normal colors.

Use Keyboard Shortcut

Alternatively, you can use this keyboard shortcut:

  • Press the Windows logo key + Ctrl + C on your keyboard to invert colors.
  • Press the same keyboard shortcut again to revert to normal colors.

Enable Through Settings

You can also activate color inversion through the Windows Settings menu:

  1. Open Settings and go to Ease of Access > Color filters.
  2. Toggle the “Invert colors” switch to On.
  3. The screen will immediately be inverted.
  4. Toggle the switch Off to get normal colors back.

Use Registry Editor

The color inversion can be hardcoded through the Windows Registry editor for a persistent setting across reboots. Here’s how:

  1. Type “regedit” into the Windows search bar and open the Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ColorFiltering\.
  3. Create a new DWORD value named “Invert” and set its value data to 1 to enable.
  4. Restart your computer for the change to take effect.
  5. To undo, delete the DWORD value or set its data to 0.

Invert Colors on Mac

Mac OS offers a couple ways to invert screen colors too. Here are the options:

Use Keyboard Shortcut

The fastest way is with a keyboard shortcut. Just press:

  • Control + Option + Command + 8

This will immediately invert the colors until pressed again.

Use Accessibility Settings

You can also change the setting permanently through System Preferences:

  1. Go to System Preferences > Accessibility.
  2. Select Display on the left side.
  3. Check the “Invert colors” box to enable.
  4. Uncheck to revert to normal.

Use Third-Party Apps

Some third-party Mac apps also include color inversion features. For example:

  • f.lux – Color temperature adjustment app with invert option.
  • Grayscale Mode – Open source app for color filters.
  • InvertColors – Menu bar app designed solely for inversion.

These provide additional options for triggering color inversion.

Apps That Support Color Inversion

Most modern applications will properly support an inverted color scheme. Here are some key examples:

Operating System Supported Apps
Windows Microsoft Office, Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Photoshop
Mac Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iPhoto
iOS Safari, Mail, Messages, Photos, Calendar
Android Chrome, Gmail, YouTube, Google Photos

This ensures the inversion doesn’t cause legibility issues in your core apps. Some exceptions include very old or poorly coded applications.

Additional Options

If system-wide color inversion is too intense, you have a few other options to ease eye strain:

  • Enable Night Light for an amber tint at night.
  • Adjust monitor brightness lower.
  • Use a dark theme in apps.
  • Download a color filter extension for your browser.

You can also adjust the color temperature in your monitor’s on-screen display menu for a more comfortable effect. And apps like f.lux let you schedule color changes automatically at sunset.


Inverting the colors on your computer screen can provide big improvements in text visibility, eye comfort, and artistic effect. It’s a built-in accessibility feature on Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Android. Just toggle it on when needed and off when done. With the steps outlined above, you can easily take advantage of color inversion on any device.