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Why use color inversion on phone?

In recent years, color inversion has become a popular accessibility feature on smartphones. This setting reverses the colors on the screen, changing white backgrounds to black and vice versa. For many users, inverting colors can make it easier to read text and view images on their phones. Here’s an in-depth look at what color inversion is, who can benefit from it, and how to use it on both Android and iOS devices.

What Is Color Inversion?

Color inversion, also known as reverse contrast or color negative, is a feature that swaps the foreground and background colors on a display. On most screens, the default color scheme is light text on a dark background. Color inversion flips this, making the text dark and the backgrounds light.

This setting essentially creates a negative version of the screen colors. The light values become dark, dark values become light, and colors are inverted. For example, a white background would turn black, black text would become white, blues would become orange, and greens would turn red. The overall contrast is increased as dark colors become lighter and vice versa.

Who Can Benefit from Color Inversion?

While color inversion may sound like a specialty setting, it can actually benefit a wide range of users. Here are some of the main groups who may find it helpful:

  • Low vision users – People with visual impairments like low vision often have trouble reading light text on dark backgrounds. Flipping the contrast makes screens easier to see.
  • Users with photosensitivity – Individuals with seizures triggered by flashing lights or contrast issues can sometimes use inversion to optimize screens.
  • Users with dyslexia – Some find that lighter text on darker backgrounds can make reading less strainful and texts easier to parse.
  • Nighttime users – Lowering the brightness of white backgrounds can be useful in dark environments.
  • Migraine sufferers – As migraine auras can create visual disturbances, adjusting contrast may help manage symptoms.
  • Elderly users – Increased contrast can aid users who have age-related vision decline.

Because it improves contrast, color inversion offers visibility benefits for a diverse range of users. It can make screens clearer and easier to read in many different situations.

How to Use Color Inversion on iPhone

Using color inversion on an iPhone is simple and straightforward. Here are the steps to enable it:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap Accessibility.
  3. Under the Vision section, you’ll find an option labeled Color Filters. Tap this.
  4. On the Color Filters screen, tap the toggle next to Invert Colors to turn it on. The colors will immediately invert.

Once enabled, color inversion will persist across the system until you manually turn it off again. This includes built-in apps, third-party apps, menus, web pages, images, and videos. The entire iOS interface will have inverted colors.

You can also adjust the intensity of the filter under Accessibility > Color Filters. Drag the slider left or right to make the inverted colors lighter or more pronounced. This lets you fine-tune it as needed.

The Color Filters menu also provides a number of other options, including grayscale, increased contrast, reduced white point, and tinted color overlays. These can be used together with inversion for even more customization.

How to Use Color Inversion on Android

Android also includes a systemwide color inversion setting. Here is how to turn it on:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Tap Accessibility or Accessibility Settings.
  3. Look for an option labeled Color Inversion, Color Correction, or Color Adjustment. Tap this.
  4. Toggle the Color Inversion switch to the on position to activate it.

As with iOS, inverted colors will now persist across the operating system on that Android device. The feature is available on Android 9 and above.

On Samsung Galaxy phones, there is an additional Blue Light Filter option that can invert colors specifically at night. This scheduler can be helpful for comfortable evening viewing.

Some Android devices also let you adjust the color intensity of the inversion filter for customized results.

Pros and Cons of Color Inversion

Before enabling this setting, it can be helpful to understand both the benefits and potential drawbacks of color inversion.


  • Improves contrast and readability of text
  • Makes screens easier to see in dark environments
  • Helpful for various visual impairments and conditions
  • Simple toggle, works across the operating system
  • Fully adjustable intensity on some devices
  • Often improved comfort and reduced eye strain


  • Inverted colors can appear unusual at first
  • May make color-coded info (like charts) harder to understand
  • Photos and videos will look inverted
  • Some apps do not supportinversion
  • Can sometimes reduce color accuracy

As with any accessibility feature, there are tradeoffs to weigh. While inversion improves text visibility, it does negatively impact graphics, video, and UI design. Testing the setting at various intensities can help find the right balance for your needs.

Tips for Using Color Inversion

Here are some tips to use color inversion most effectively:

  • Adjust intensity to find the clearest contrast for your vision needs
  • Use it selectively in apps where it’s most beneficial
  • Take screenshots with normal colors when needed for color accuracy
  • Use grayscale or color tints along with inversion for additional viewing options
  • Consider anti-glare screen protectors to further reduce eyestrain
  • Use the Bedtime/Night Shift mode in iOS for comfortable evening viewing

It can take some experimentation to find the right settings, but the customization options let you tailor it to your specific needs.

Sample Images With and Without Inversion

Here are some sample screenshots to give you an idea of how color inversion affects app and system interfaces:

Original Colors Inverted Colors
Sample app UI with normal color scheme Sample app UI with inverted color scheme

As you can see, the inversion completely flips the color scheme and contrast. Depending on the app content, this can either improve or reduce visibility. Testing it out on your own screens is the best way to judge its effectiveness.


Color inversion provides an easy way to improve contrast and readability for many smartphone users. It can benefit people with various visual needs, and the ability to adjust intensity gives great customization options. While the inverted colors take some adjustment, the visibility benefits often make it worthwhile, especially for reading text-heavy apps and websites. Give color inversion a try to see if it can make your mobile screens more comfortable and accessible.