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What is Grayscale mode on iPhone?

Grayscale mode on iPhone allows users to switch their screen to display only shades of gray instead of color. This mode was introduced by Apple to help users minimize distractions and focus on their tasks. In grayscale mode, everything on the screen including apps, photos, videos will be desaturated. Here is a comprehensive guide on how grayscale works and how to use it on your iPhone.

What are the benefits of using Grayscale mode?

There are several benefits of using grayscale mode on your iPhone:

  • Improves focus and concentration – With no colors to distract you, grayscale mode minimizes distractions helping you stay focused on your work or task at hand.
  • Reduces eye strain – Staring at a colored screen for too long can cause eye fatigue. Grayscale puts less strain on your eyes.
  • Saves battery life – Your iPhone’s screen uses less power to display grayscale compared to color. So it can help extend battery life.
  • Promotes digital wellbeing – Grayscale mode encourages you to spend less time on your phone as apps become less stimulating without color.

So if you want to avoid distractions, reduce eye strain, save battery life, or promote digital wellbeing, switching to grayscale can be helpful.

How to enable Grayscale on iPhone

There are a couple of ways to turn on Grayscale on your iPhone.

Through Settings app

1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

2. Scroll down and tap on Accessibility.

3. Under Vision, tap on Grayscale.

4. Toggle the Grayscale switch on.

This will immediately turn your screen into grayscale mode. All apps and content will now be desaturated. To turn off Grayscale, simply toggle the switch off in Settings.

Through Control Center

The faster way to enable Grayscale is via Control Center:

1. Swipe down from top right corner of your iPhone to bring up Control Center.

2. Long press on the brightness slider.

3. Tap on the Grayscale icon to switch it on.

This will instantly activate grayscale on your screen. To turn it off, simply tap on the Grayscale icon again in Control Center.

Customizing Grayscale on iPhone

There are a couple of customization options available for grayscale mode:


You can schedule when grayscale automatically turns on and off on your iPhone. To do this:

1. Open Settings and go to Accessibility > Grayscale.

2. Tap on Turn On Automatically.

3. Choose Sunset to Sunset to have grayscale turn on from dusk to dawn.

You can also set a custom schedule using the Start Time and End Time options. This is useful to enable grayscale only during work or study hours for example.

Smart Invert

Along with grayscale, your iPhone also offers Smart Invert mode under Accessibility settings. When enabled:

  • The screen colors are inverted except images, videos, apps that use dark color styles.
  • Text remains black and easy to read.

So Smart Invert inverts the iPhone screen to light mode and keeps media colors intact. You can use this as an alternative to grayscale if needed.

Per app settings

You can set grayscale to work only in specific apps on iPhone. To do this:

1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Grayscale.

2. Tap on Applications in the bottom.

3. Choose the apps you want to use with grayscale turned on.

This will enable grayscale mode only when you open the selected apps. It will switch back to color for other apps.

Grayscale on 3D Touch iPhones

On iPhone models with 3D Touch, you can quickly toggle grayscale by pressing firmly on the screen:

1. Press firmly on any screen until Haptic Touch menu pops up.

2. Tap on the Grayscale option to enable it.

You’ll now see the colors drain away instantly. Press firmly and disable grayscale to switch back to colors.

Grayscale on Face ID iPhones

For iPhones with Face ID, there is no 3D Touch. But you can still quickly enable grayscale using Accessibility Shortcut:

1. Go to Settings > Accessibility.

2. Under General, choose Accessibility Shortcut.

3. Select Grayscale from the list.

Now triple click the Side/Home button to instantly turn grayscale on or off on your iPhone.

Grayscale in Low Power mode

When Low Power mode is enabled, iPhone automatically turns on grayscale to save battery life. Colors will be disabled until you turn off Low Power mode again.

So grayscale and Low Power go hand-in-hand to extend battery life when you are running low.


Grayscale mode is a useful accessibility feature on iPhone to stay focused, reduce eye strain, save battery, and promote digital health. It desaturates colors and makes everything grayscale. You can easily enable it from Settings, Control Center or with 3D Touch. And customize it to suit your needs and usage style.

So next time you want to avoid distractions or give your eyes some rest, remember to switch on grayscale mode on your iPhone. It helps you stay productive and reduces stimulation from colors when required.