How to Disable Dark Mode in iOS 13 and iPadOS

For years, you often had to go to crazy lengths to get dark mode functionality on the iPhone and iPad. Usually, that involved inverting the colors on your screen to swapping native apps for third-parties with built-in dark mode controls. However, all of that changed with the introduction of iOS 13 and iPadOS.

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Full-fledged native dark mode functionality is now present throughout the user interface and supported apps. It does look terrific on the eyes, and the resultant black pixels also help conserve battery life if your iOS device sports an OLED display.

But obviously, having dark mode running at all times can be kind of depressing. If you want to turn the functionality off, then here’s how you can do that.

Control Center

iOS 13 and iPadOS make it easy to enable and disable dark mode with the inclusion of a dedicated shortcut in the Control Center. However, it requires you to perform a 3D Touch or a Haptic Touch gesture to reach there. You won’t see it otherwise.

Step 1: Open the Control Center. On iPhone X and newer models, swipe down from the upper-right corner of the screen to do that. The same goes for all supported iPadOS devices starting from the iPad Air 2 onward.

If you are using an iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or an older device running iOS 13 (public beta), simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen instead.

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Step 2: Use 3D Touch on the Brightness bar. On devices without 3D Touch functionality, such as the iPhone XR and all iPad models, perform a Haptic Touch gesture (press and hold for a second) instead.

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Step 3: Tap the icon labeled Appearance, which appears underneath the Brightness bar. And voila! You’ve turned off dark mode.

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Note: If dark mode turns itself on at a certain time of the day, then that means your iPhone or iPad has the functionality scheduled automatically. To find out how to turn that off, check the next section.

Settings App

In addition to the Control Center, you can also disable dark mode in both iOS 13 and iPadOS via the Settings app.

Step 1: Tap the Settings icon from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad to open the Settings app. On the subsequent screen, tap the option labeled Display and Brightness.

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Step 2: Under the Appearance section, tap on Light to disable dark mode.

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Note: If the switch next to Automatic is turned on, then that means dark mode is scheduled to show up again at a certain time of the day. In that case, the Light control will only override the functionality temporarily. Turn the switch off if you don’t want that to happen.

Smart/Classic Invert

Rarely, your iPhone or iPad will render in dark mode regardless of turning it off using the controls above. Usually, that happens due to the color inversion effect generated from the built-in Smart Invert or Classic Invert functionalities.

Step 1: On the Settings app of your iOS 13 or iPadOS device, tap Accessibility, and then tap Display & Text Size.

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Step 2: On the subsequent screen, make sure that both the switches next to Smart Invert and Classic Invert are turned off.

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Tip: If you find yourself turning on Smart Invert or Classic Invert accidentally, then that’s likely if the said feature is bound to the Home or the Side buttons. To check if that’s the case and to remove the binding, open the Settings app, tap Accessibility, and then tap Accessibility Shortcut.

Custom Schedule

Instead of fully turning off dark mode functionality, both iOS 13 and iPadOS also features a scheduling option that you can use to enable or disable the feature automatically at specific times of the day.

Step 1: Within the Display & Brightness screen of the Settings app, turn on the switch next to Automatic. Next, tap Options.

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Step 2: Either select Sunset to Sunrise to automatically set dark mode to activate and deactivate itself automatically at night time according to your time zone (usually 6.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m.), or use the Custom Schedule option instead to determine a time manually.

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That’s it. Setting dark mode to show up after dusk, for example, will stop it from being an issue during daytime. And you can stop having to remember to turn it on and off all the time.

Turn On the Lights

So, that’s how you should go about disabling dark mode on iOS 13 and iPadOS. But once again, the inclusion of native dark mode functionality does bring about a host of benefits including better battery life and comfortably consuming content late at night. Rather than turning it off completely, do consider setting up a dark mode schedule to get at least some use out of this new implementation.

Next up: The Books app features its own unique dark mode functionality that works differently compared to other native apps. Here’s everything that you need to know about how it works.

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All You Need to Know About the Dark Mode in Books on iOS 12
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Dilum Senevirathne has written about tech and finance for over five years. When he isn’t messing around with the latest iOS apps, you can catch him tweaking a collection of IoT gadgets. Dilum is a management accounting student and a prospective charterholder.