Why Does My iPhone Keep Dimming? Here’s The Truth!

Your iPhone display keeps getting dimmer and you don’t know why. Even when you turn the screen brightness up, your iPhone just gets dim again. In this article, I’ll explain why your iPhone keeps dimming and show you how to fix the problem for good!

For those who would rather watch than read, check out our YouTube video about why your iPhone keeps dimming!

Why Your iPhone Keeps Dimming

Most of the time, your iPhone keeps dimming because Auto-Brightness is turned on. Auto-Brightness is a feature that automatically adjusts the brightness of your iPhone screen depending on the lighting conditions around you.

At night when it’s darker, Auto-Brightness will make your iPhone display darker so your eyes aren’t blinded by what you’re looking at on the screen. If you’re out at the beach on a bright and sunny day, Auto-Brightness will usually make your iPhone display as bright as possible so you can actually see what’s happening on the screen!

You’ll have to turn off Auto-Brightness if your iPhone keeps dimming and you want it to stop. Open Settings and tap Accessibility -> Display & Text Size. Then, turn off the switch next to Auto-Brightness.

turn off auto brightness on iphone

Apple notes that turning off Auto-Brightness can affect your iPhone’s battery life. Essentially, if you leave your iPhone on maximum brightness all day, it’ll drain the battery faster than if you had left your iPhone on minimum brightness all day. Check out our other article to learn more iPhone battery tips that’ll do much more to extend its battery life!

Is Night Shift Turned On?

Another common reason why it may look like your iPhone keeps dimming is that Night Shift has turned on. Night Shift is a feature that makes your iPhone display warmer, which can help make it easier to fall asleep at night after using your iPhone.

Go to Settings -> Display & Brightness and tap Night Shift. You’ll Night Shift is on if the switch next to Manually Enabled Until Tomorrow is turned on. Tap that switch to turn Night Shift off.

turn on night shift and iphone settings

If you’ve scheduled Night Shift on your iPhone, this feature will automatically turn on during a designated period of time. You can turn off the switch next to Scheduled to prevent Night Shift from turning on automatically during certain hours of the day.

Night Shift Scheduled Switch

Night Shift can also be toggled on or off from Control Center if your iPhone is updated to iOS 11 or newer. To open Control Center, swipe down from the upper right-hand corner of the screen on an iPhone with Face ID, or swipe up from the very bottom of the screen on an iPhone without Face ID.

Next, press and hold the brightness slider. Then, tap the Night Shift button to toggle it off or on.

turn on night shift in iphone control center

Is True Tone Turned On?

True Tone automatically adapts the color of your iPhone’s display based on the lighting conditions surrounding you. It’s possible that such a color adaptation is making it appear as though your iPhone display is getting dimmer.

Open Settings and tap Display & Brightness. Make sure the switch next to True Tone is off. If the problem persists, keep reading!

Turn Off Low Power Mode

Low Power Mode adjusts a variety of iPhone settings to help save battery life. One thing Low Power Mode does is reduce screen brightness. Head to Settings -> Battery and make sure the switch next to Low Power Mode is off.

turn off low power mode

Turn Off Reduce White Point

Reduce White Point reduces the intensity of bright colors on the display. When Reduce White Point is on, your screen becomes dimmer.

Open Settings and tap Accessibility -> Display & Text Size. Scroll down to Reduce White Point and check if the switch is on. If the switch is on, tap it to turn off Reduce White Point.

If you’d like to leave Reduce White Point on, try dragging the slider all the way to the left. The further the slider is to the right, the more the intensity of bright colors is reduced.

iphone reduce white point

Turn Off Always On Display

The iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max come with a new feature: Always On Display. This feature dims your iPhone’s Lock Screen while still displaying some important information like the time and your widgets.

Always On Display is essentially a darker version of the Lock Screen that stays on all the time. It may look like your iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max keeps dimming when it transitions to Always On Display.

To turn off Always On Display, open Settings and tap Display & Brightness. Scroll down and turn off the switch next to Always On.

My iPhone Is Still Dimming!

Although it’s unlikely, your iPhone could still get dimmer after Auto-Brightness, Night Shift, and Low Power Mode have been turned off. A software problem or a hardware problem could be the reason why your iPhone keeps dimming.

The steps below will walk you through some basic software troubleshooting steps and help you find a repair option if your iPhone is broken!

Restart Your iPhone

Restarting your iPhone is a common fix for minor software problems that could be dimming the display. Here’s how to restart your iPhone depending on which model you have:

  • iPhones without Face ID: Press and hold down the power button until “slide to power off” appears. Then swipe the red power icon from left to right to shut down your iPhone. To turn your iPhone back on, press and hold the power button again until the Apple logo appears directly on the center of the screen.
  • iPhones with Face ID: Simultaneously press and hold the side button and either volume button until “slide to power off” appears on the display. Then, swipe the red power icon from left to right across “slide to power off”. Wait a few moments, then press and hold the side button again to turn your iPhone X or newer back on.

Is Your iPhone Hot?

Your iPhone screen may dim when it becomes too hot. This is a safety precaution built into the iPhone to help prevent hardware problems from occurring when your iPhone overheats.

If your iPhone is hot to the touch, try putting it down in a shady spot for awhile to let it cool off. Check out our other article if your iPhone continues to overheat!

Update Your iPhone

Apple regularly releases software updates to introduce new iPhone features and fix troublesome bugs and errors. Open Settings again and tap General -> Software Update. Tap Download and Install if a software update is available.

install ios 15 on your iphone

After the update is complete, go back to Settings -> Accessibility -> Display & Text Size and make sure Auto-Brightness is turned off. Sometimes this feature gets turned back on after updating iOS!

Back Up Your iPhone

Before going any further, make sure you save a backup of your iPhone. A backup is a copy of all the information on your iPhone. Our next step is a DFU restore, so you’ll want to have a backup ready so you don’t lose any of your data or personal information.

DFU Restore Your iPhone

The DFU restore is the deepest type of iPhone restore. All the code on your iPhone gets erased and reloaded when you put it in DFU mode and restore. This is the final step you can take to completely rule out a software problem. Check out our other article to learn how to put your iPhone in DFU mode!

iPhone Repair Options

Although it’s pretty unlikely, your iPhone may be dimming because of a hardware problem with the display. Set up an appointment and take your iPhone into your local Apple Store, especially if you have AppleCare+. A Genius will be able to assess the damage and let you know if a repair is necessary.

iPhone Keeps Dimming: Fixed!

You’ve fixed your dim iPhone and the display looks normal again! Next time your iPhone keeps dimming, you’ll know exactly how to fix the problem. Leave any other questions you have about your iPhone’s display in the comments section down below.

About Author

David Lynch is an expert on cell phones, cell phone plans, and other tech. After using a flip phone into his early 20s, he learned the ropes about iPhones and Androids from a former Apple employee. Today, his articles and videos are read and viewed by millions, and he has been cited by major publications including Reader's Digest, Wired, CMSWire, Consumers Advocate, and more.

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JEFF O
14 days ago

Had the phone for weeks now. And it did this for the first time I think? It was Accessibility > Display and Text Size > Auto -Brightness. Thanks a bunch!

Derya
1 month ago

I found the solution. If none of these solutions in the article worked for you try this. Go to Settings>General>Background App Refresh and turn off all the unnecessary applications that you don’t use daily. That solved my problem. I hope it helps you as well.
And I think the refresh causes the overheating. Like pc.

Last edited 1 month ago by Derya
BAdams
1 month ago

White point fixed the darker than usual with Auto Dim on. Even when I turned off Auto Dim it was dark. I was sitting in the exact same lighting environment and was steadily getting darker. I rebooted the 13 and was normal for about 10 seconds then went dark again. Now White Point is off and good. This was really frustrating trying to show my screen outside for photos. Thanks for the tip!!

Ev
2 months ago

Overheated was my culprit, never knew about that one. No clue why it’s overheating, I don’t play video games, don’t have much running, and I force-close everything when I’m done with it. So much for investing in the 13 Pro Max model, I never had issues like this with my XR.

Chad
2 months ago
Reply to  Ev

Same here – nearly unuseable on a hot and sunny day…

Derya
1 month ago
Reply to  Ev

Try this. Settings>General>Background App Refresh And turn off all the unnecessary apps for you. This solved my dim screen problem. I think it causes overheating too.

Heather
2 months ago

I don’t know when I even accessed “accessibility” in settings to change the setting to Auto-brightness, it happened randomly and was driving me crazy!! So glad for your helpful page here. Thank you. Thank you!!

Lew
2 months ago

I have attempted to reset my iPhone in order to maintain brightness in full sun yet it dims, and it dims, and it dips. I’m standing next to a lake and I’m prepared to pitch it in and buy a Samsung Galaxy. I’m so tired of iPhones. They’re so expensive, yet I can’t use it in the sunlight, it truly sucks. My iPhone third generation did not do this, they really have us by the balls

Heather
2 months ago
Reply to  Lew

So true! And how about the new data cables, because they clearly aren’t for power, that are “included” in the box… okay, $800 one then I have to buy 1-3 assorted adaptors depending on how I am able to keep the darn thing powered up so I can use it… Note: this is my first iPhone. Thanks Apple for making this experience so memorable 🙂

Tomek
3 months ago

Hi, what solved this issue in my case was setting the Auto Lock time up from 30 seconds to 3 minutes (or any option above 30 seconds).
Hope this helps. I have iOS15 with iPhone 11.

Laura Lee
2 months ago
Reply to  Tomek

Thank you so much. That fixed the problem. None of the other suggestions worked.!!!

pel
3 months ago

there is no solution to this problem, there are thousands commnents on how you cannot see anything outside in a sunny warm place. Because it is a hardware issue they cannot do anything. iPhone 12 Pro Max

Your Lord and Savior
4 months ago

Your phone is dimming when it’s over-heated. It cools itself by reducing power, you might also notice it wont refresh background apps. I’m not sure why no one ever talks about this. I often have my phone on my dashboard in the car for directions, and I get infuriated when it dims, and now I know why 🙂

Thelasdan
5 months ago

Heat. The phone is overheating inside, so to protect itself, it dims the brightness regardless of what options you have off/on. That is what has happened to my phone and drove me crazy while trying to figure it out.

Randy
5 months ago

My dimming issue started within hours of updating to ios 15. Had NEVER occurred prior to that. I have done all the settings changes and reloaded the software, but the problem persists. I am convinced this is blatant sabotage through the upgrade process in order to force users to buy a new phone.

Fong
5 months ago

One of the seting I discovered while troubleshooting for my friend’s iPhone, is to change:
Setting > Accessibility > Zoom > Zoom Filter > Change value to “None”

Starr
5 months ago
Reply to  Fong

Omg Thank you. That worked!

Johnny
3 months ago
Reply to  Fong

Yes. This. EXACTLY THIS !!! As someone with a visual impairment, I require the following settings: Display & Brightness / Brightness = Max Accessibility / Display & Text Size / Auto-Brightness = Off Accessibility / Zoom = On The problem is that whilst first enabling the Zoom=On setting above, the “Zoom Filter” setting was auto-set by Apple to “Low Light” which caused my iPhone to go haywire w/regards to screen brightness. Even with Auto-Brightness turned off, the phone would randomly go bright/dark/bright/dark. Then it would randomly stay dark for hours, days, or weeks at a time. In an attempt to… Read more »

Craig M
1 month ago
Reply to  Fong

I heart you. That totally worked.

Niels Otto
7 months ago

If dimming on iOS and iPadOS still persists it not a software or hardware problem in the sense of a bug or faulty hardware, its most likely to prevent heat damage. I think most players of PUBG Mobile or COD experienced it. Its an annoying but regular software behavior..

Robert Burns
8 months ago

My control was located elsewhere, under Display, in my Galaxy S7 but I found it and turned it off, thanks.

Dennis Allard
8 months ago

The solution for me was to turn off low power mode. My phone kept dimming after about 10 seconds. I would have to touch the screen to make the screen bright again. I noticed my little battery icon had a yellow background even though the phone was plugged in and fully charged 100%. I stumbled across a battery setting called low power mode which was on. I turned it off and that solved the problem.

Frustrated with janky iphones
4 months ago
Reply to  Dennis Allard

This leads me to think the low power mode option may be broken in the software. Mine shows off, but still dims after a few seconds. It is not heat related. I can take mine off an AC vent and it will dim after a few seconds. It will dim regardless of app being used, or just on the home screen. It’s infuriating to have to turn the brightness up every time i use the dang thing.

Mike
9 months ago

Thank you!
i had Auto-Brightness turned on and I was not going to find the option as it is buried. I am surprised I had it on.

Paul
1 year ago

My iphone has this issue where I constantly can’t see the screen! I will turn the brightness up and I will realize a few minutes later that I can’t see the screen again. It goes down to 75%. I turn it up and a couple minutes later I can’t see the screen again. I am inside, the phone is not hot, its charged, and I have done all the steps on this page.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul
Katie
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Go to Accessibility > Display and Text Size > Turn everything off except for possibly the Contrast. That took care of my dimming issues! I have an iPhone 12.

Emma
1 year ago

There is one other thing to mention actually I had to try all these options and none of them worked even the update but I figured it out on my own there’s a setting in the phone reduce white point” do you have to lower that and this fixed everything!

Shelly Constant
1 year ago
Reply to  Emma

Just found this myself also. I turned that off and, at least for now, it solved the problem of getting dimmer in the sun.
I didn’t have the auto brightness on or the night shift on, so it definitely wasn’t that.
The only change I made was this: I turned the reduce white point down. And then I just decided to turn it off altogether.
Now I don’t have to struggle (as much) to see when outside and looking at my iPhone’s screen.

Moafaq
1 year ago

I face this issue on my iPhone 12 Mini when in with midday sun. Instead of been able to brighten it, it got dimmer! It kind works when I restart but that’s not a good solution to do every time so I just try to squeeze my eyes to see the screen till I get inside.

Chelsi
1 year ago

I heard it could be dimming because the phone is getting too hot. Try cooling your phone down and see if it helps. Or low power mode under the “battery” section could be turned on.

Janet
1 year ago

My iPhone 12 seriously dimmed itself four times while I was reading this article. So annoying!!

David
1 year ago

How to fix dimming issue on a samsung galaxy a71

kevin lenihan
1 year ago

Tried all these steps, and it’s still dimming. It does down to about 25%. The battery is charged and it’s not overheating.

Ahad
1 year ago

Thanks, it worked! (I turned off and then turned on my iPhone and that fixed the problem)

mickey mouse
1 year ago

Another reason is because you need to find and disable Peak Performance Capability.

Valerie
1 year ago

My iPhone 8 screen dims within seconds if I stop moving thru the article (as I am reading), pics, etc.
This started yesterday after an automatic update the night before!!
I went thru as many of your steps as I could, no change
What can I do?

Timothy Shaw
1 year ago

Mine dims by itself overnight. I turn the screen off and set it on the nightstand face down. Without fail, it is vastly dimmer the next morning and I will have to change it in the morning. I have auto brightness and auto dimming turned off. I think there is something else that your article does not address. And I’ve seen the heat dimming. This is not that.

Sa Ta
1 year ago

it might be a outdated comment but I had the (almost) same problem. You might accidentally activated low brightness mode (or whatever it is called). Currently I have a iphone 11 pro; to activate/deactivate that function you need to press lock button + volume down button 3 times (with no delay). I cannot remember which combination I used for iphone 6s, but I think it was 3 times pressing lock/unlock button.
Hope it helps:)
\S

SaTa
1 year ago

it might be a outdated comment but I had the (almost) same problem. You might accidentally activated low brightness mode (or whatever it is called). Currently I have a iphone 11 pro; to activate/deactivate that function you need to press lock button + volume down button 3 times (with no delay). I cannot remember which combination I used for iphone 6s, but I think it was 3 times pressing lock/unlock button.
Hope it helps:)
\S

Jackie
1 year ago

Why does the screen on my iPhone go black sometimes within 15 seconds while I’m talking on the phone

Michael
2 years ago

If all this fails, it’s good to also know auto-dimming can occur when the phone heats up too much. This could be because of direct sunlight (phone sitting in the sun too long), or apps taxing the resources. There is no way to turn this one off (as far as I’ve found – maybe a jail-broken phone can?), as it’s meant to help cool the electronics before they overheat and die.

Kevin Holt
2 years ago

Hi
i have done all of your ‘fixes’ but when in bright sunlight it goes so dim I cannot see to use it.

George
2 years ago

My 6s also does this. It went dim. I went to payetteforward, got through the article and reading comments and it brightens back up. Auto brightness off, night shift off, not hot. Happens all the time. Annoying.

Merle
2 years ago

I also have this very annoying problem. Had it with My 7plus, and now with the XS. Took all steps as described except the re install. It is impossible to see anything in bright sunlight. Seems to appear while phone gets hot. Screen seems to lead a life of its own ?

Liam Shotwell
2 years ago
Reply to  Merle

Your iPhone Xs screen uses AMOLED technology which is great for vibrant colors and saving power, but it also is notorious for being pretty dim. Not being able to see your phone in the sun is a common problem with almost all phones, not just yours, unfortunately. As your phone struggles to become bright enough for you to see in the sun, it uses more power and also absorbs more sunlight which is why your phone gets hot. You’re just going to have to use your phone mainly when indoors or in the shade, sadly.

jason
2 years ago
Reply to  Liam Shotwell

rubbish, amoleds are not known for being pretty dim at all nowadays, almost all amoled displays on flagships have very high levels of brightness, your claim is for amoleds from YEARS ago, not with modern screens at all, my note 10+ out performs almost every phone screen on the market in terms of brightness, including the XS, the iphone 11 super xdr display (Amoled) won the award for best display and one of the highest brightness of any phone on the market ever

Liam Shotwell
2 years ago
Reply to  jason

Good point, but if you want to get the maximum brightness possible, just use light mode in the Discord app… ?

Yeah, you’re right. My Note 9 blinding me occasionally in the dark when my auto-brightness gets confused is a good example!

Wadz
2 years ago

This was helpful!! Thanks.

Michael Adkins
2 years ago

Mine still dims. It does it on my iPhone 11 Max Pro, and it did it on my iPhone 7 Plus. I was able to reproduce the issue at the Apple store for one of the customer reps, but he didn’t know the cause of it either.

Tom
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael Adkins

Auto brightness is not the issue/solution. Forced dimming when hot remains an issue. Issue has been documented over multiple OS releases

big chungus
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom

You should include this in your article

Tom
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom

Not the issue… it dims down in the shade while playing a game, I put the sensors in direct sunlight it brightens back up. The auto dimming is constantly working regardless if you have it turned off. My phone is not getting hot.

jim
2 years ago

brightness goes black for no reason
 

Gary B
2 years ago

The trouble I have is screen in the sun light well go dark. auto-bright is off, night shift is off and still go dark in bright light.

Abo
2 years ago

And what about auto dimming when iphone heats up by playing games ? Can you turn that off too ? Beacause that is way more annoying.

Mickey
1 year ago
Reply to  Abo

Exactly!!! This chip is supposed to be so great though.

hellonurse
2 years ago

Huge help!! Thanks!!??

Ann
2 years ago

Thanks, David. THis helped!

Dawn
2 years ago

Thank you!!! Idk why auto bright is hidden behind 3957362 steps