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!

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 ios 13

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.

manually turn off night shift

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.

turn off scheduled night shift

Night Shift can also be toggled on or off from Control Center if your iPhone is updated to iOS 11 or 12. To open Control Center, swipe down from the upper right-hand corner of the screen on an iPhone X or newer, or swipe up from the very bottom of the screen on an iPhone 8 or older.

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

turn off night shift control center

My iPhone Is Still Dimming!

Although it’s unlikely, your iPhone could still get dimmer after Auto-Brightness and Night Shift 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:

  • iPhone 8 and earlier: 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.
  • iPhone X and newer: 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.

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.

update iphone to ios 12

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. 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.

Plug your iPhone into your computer using a Lightning cable and open up iTunes. Then, click the phone button near the upper left-hand corner of iTunes. Finally, click Back Up Now to create an iPhone backup.

ipad back up now itunes

Check out our YouTube video if you want to backup your iPhone to iCloud instead of iTunes!

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. Check out our thorough guide 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.

We also recommend Puls, an on-demand repair company who can send a certified technician to you in as little as sixty minutes!

Bright And Breezy

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.

Thanks for reading,
David L.

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I'm here to help you with your iPhone!

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1 month 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 month ago by Paul
3 months 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
2 months 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.

3 months 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.

5 months 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.

5 months ago

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

6 months ago

How to fix dimming issue on a samsung galaxy a71

kevin lenihan
6 months 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.

7 months ago

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

mickey mouse
8 months ago

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

9 months 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
10 months 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:)

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:)

1 year ago

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

1 year 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
1 year ago

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

1 year 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.

1 year 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
1 year 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.

1 year 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
1 year 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!

1 year ago

This was helpful!! Thanks.

Michael Adkins
1 year 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.

1 year 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
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom

You should include this in your article

10 months 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.

1 year ago

brightness goes black for no reason

Gary B
1 year 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.

1 year 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.

10 months ago
Reply to  Abo

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

1 year ago

Huge help!! Thanks!!??

1 year ago

Thanks, David. THis helped!

1 year ago

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