Why Is My iPhone Black And White? Here’s The Real Fix!

If your iPhone has suddenly turned black and white, you’ve come to the right place. Fortunately, the fix is simple and it won’t cost you a dime. In this article, we’ll discuss the reason why your iPhone is black and white and I’ll show you how to fix your black and white iPhone for good.

The solution I describe in this article will work equally well for iPhones, iPads, and iPods, because it’s software, not the physical hardware, that has turned your display black and white. If your iPad is black and white, this article will help you too.

Why Is My iPhone Black And White?

Your iPhone has changed to black and white because “Grayscale”, an Accessibility setting that was introduced in iOS 8, has accidentally been turned on. Grayscale mode makes it easier for people with color-blindness and difficulty seeing to use the iPhone.

It’s an lifesaver if you have difficulty seeing colors. If you don’t, having a black and white iPhone can be frustrating, especially if you don’t know how to turn it off.

How Do I Change My iPhone From Black And White To Color?

To change your iPhone back to color, go to Settings -> Accessibility -> Display & Text Size and turn off the switch next to Color Filters. Your iPhone will instantly change from black and white to full color. Problem solved — probably.

turn off grayscale color filter

A Second Place To Look

After I wrote this article, I received a number of emails from people whose iPhones were still black and white, even after they turned off the Grayscale setting. Special thanks goes to Anita, a commenter who let me know about a second setting that can turn iPhones black and white.

If your iPhone is still black and white, go to Settings -> Accessibility -> Zoom -> Zoom Filter and tap None. To learn more about how Zoom works on your iPhone, check out my article about how to fix iPhones that get stuck zoomed in.

turn off zoom grayscale filter

Another Setting To Watch Out For

Before you declare the problem solved for good, it’s important for me to point out one more setting that may be causing Grayscale to turn on and off without your knowledge. Head back to Settings -> Accessibility, scroll all the way to the bottom, and tap Accessibility Shortcut.

Accessibility Shortcut is a handy feature that makes it easy to turn Accessibility features on or off by triple-clicking the Home button (iPhone 8 and older) or the side button (iPhone X and newer). If any of the features you see listed have checkmarks to the right, it means that you can enable that feature by triple-clicking the Home button or side button.

iPhones running an older version of iOS will have a Grayscale option listed here. If Grayscale is checked, tap the checkmark to turn off that Accessibility shortcut. That way, you can’t accidentally turn Grayscale on or off as you go throughout your day.

Grayscale Accessibility Shortcut

Wrapping It Up

In this article, we discussed the reasons why your iPhone changed to black and white and how to restore your iPhone to full color. I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments section below. If you have other questions about your iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, or other technology, the Payette Forward Community is a great place to get help.

About Author

I'm a former Apple employee and the founder of Payette Forward, and I'm here to help you with your iPhone.

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1 day ago

Thank you for taking the time to write this page . I was in the same situation as Anita, but my problem is solved now.

4 days ago

Well, I liked your modest and honest site. First solution worked, 15 secs back in business! So as thank you and insurance, now subscribe! Ta!

8 days ago

Thanks a million.

Jeanie Ramuno
10 days ago

Thank you zoom filter worked 😉

15 days ago

Thank you! 2nd zoom filter worked for me

18 days ago

Your post has been the best help that I have found since my daughter accidentally turned on greyscale . The second method worked for. Thank you so much.

1 month ago

I dropped my iPhone 11 and the the screen went black and white. Photos looked like negatives.
None of the settings changes listed in this article worked, but I backed it up, did a factory reset and then restored and color was restored.
Now that the phone is fixed, I went back and experimented with the grayscale accessibility options and the appearance was not the same as the “fault” condition.

1 month ago

Thank you David,
Solution #2 worked for me.

biju varghese
1 month ago

Absolutely stunning result. It did not work for me initially when I followed the first set of instructions. After following the second set of instructions my phone’s screen went back to color.

Colin Boyd
1 month ago
Reply to  biju varghese

We’re so happy to hear this helped, Biju! THanks for reading!

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