How to enable Dark Mode on iOS 13 and iPadOS

After years of customer requests, Apple has finally bought Dark Mode to iPhones and iPads with the upcoming iOS 13 and iPadOS releases. 

Not just a palette swap, Dark Mode offers a significant boost to battery life for OLED iPhone users (iPhone X, iPhone XS and XS Max) by conserving power that would usually be used to light more pixels.

It also provides a display which is easier on your eyes in darker environments – perfect if you're using your iPhone or iPad in bed.

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap Display and Brightness
  • Tap Dark Mode

While developers have enabled their own Dark Modes within apps before, this is the first time Apple has included at a system level – meaning it permeates all sorts of apps, from contacts, to messages, to photos and Apple Music.

If you want to send your device into an emo phase, read on to find out how to enable Dark Mode on iPhone and iPad. It's worth noting though, this will only work on the current public betas of iOS 13 and iPadOS.

The final of build of these software platforms are expected to hit devices in September 2019, as a free software update.

How to enable Dark Mode on iOS 13

As you may imagine, how to enable Dark Mode on iPhone and iPad starts in the Settings app. Head there, and then tap Display and brightness.

You'll then find two small screenshots showing both Light and Dark mode – so take your pick. One tap on the Dark Mode image is all you need, and you'll see the Settings menu itself change color.

It really is as easy at that, but you can be cleverer with it…

How to schedule Dark Mode

Did you spot the “Automatic” toggle on the previous window? That allows your iPhone or iPad to switch to Dark Mode at sunset, before switching back to light mode at sunrise.

You can add a custom schedule, too, by tapping to Options menu that appears when you hit Automatic.

This will allow you to use Light Mode throughout the day, for example, and then Dark Mode from say, 5pm onwards.

How to enable Dark Mode from Control Center

This is one of Dark Mode's lesser known tricks, but a good one. There's a simpler way to activate Dark Mode on iPhone and iPad than having to dig into your settings menu or scheduling it.

Bring up the Control Center shortcuts panel on screen (by swiping up from the bottom of your phone if it has a home button or down from the top right corner if it doesn't have one), and press down on the Screen Brightness slider to make it bigger.

In the bottom left corner, you'll find a toggle labelled “Appearance” which you can use to quickly switch from Light Mode to Dark Mode.

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