How to use Dark Mode on your iPhone or iPad

Learn how to use Dark Mode, a visual style that can be easier on the eyes, especially under certain conditions.

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Image: Apple

One of the many new features in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 is Dark Mode. This mode can make it easier to see your screens at night and in low-light environments. But how does Dark Mode work, and how and when can you use it most effectively? You can manually enable and disable Dark Mode. You can set it to automatically go on and off at certain times. And you can use Dark Mode not just with built-in apps but also with supported third-party apps.

SEE: Apple iOS 13: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic) 

First, make sure you've updated to iOS 13.1 or higher on your iPhone or iPadOS 13.1 or higher on your iPad. Go to Settings and then General and select Software Update. You'll either be told that your software is up to date, or the latest update will make itself available for download and installation (Figure A).

Figure A

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To enable Dark Mode on your iPhone or iPad, navigate to Settings and then select Display & Brightness. Tap the button for Dark. Then check out the different screens, folders, and apps on your device. The folders will display with a darker background color. Most of the built-in apps will display with a black background and foreground text in white. Supported third-party apps will also take on a Dark Mode appearance (Figure B).

Figure B

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You can turn Dark Mode on and off more quickly through the Control Center. On an iPhone X or later and an iPad with iPadOS 13.1 or later, swipe down from the upper right corner of the screen. On older devices, swipe up from the bottom of any screen. At Control Center, press down on the control for brightness. Then tap the button for Dark Mode to turn it on or off (Figure C).

Figure C

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Next, you can control when Dark Mode goes on or off. Go back to Settings and select Display & Brightness. In the section for Dark Mode, turn on the switch for Automatic. Tap the setting for Options. At the Appearance Schedule screen, you can set Dark Mode to go on at Sunset and off at Sunrise. Alternatively, tap the option for Custom Schedule. Tap the entry for Light Appearance and set the time you want Dark Mode to go off. Tap the entry for Dark Appearance and set the time you want Dark Mode to go on (Figure D).

Figure D

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