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.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 days ago

Thank you for sharing your expertise! I was able to fix my B&W screen in just two ticks! 😊

Imad Saade
18 days ago

It was the zoom filter , I took the phone to local repair center, they proposed to download the latest update and rest the phone to the original settings, I checked online for a solution as last resort
and it worked
thank you for sharing those solid information

David Ames
22 days ago

It was the zoom filter… I have no clue how I triggered it and I would never have figured it out. THANK YOU!!!!!

2 months ago

I realize I’m always looking into things for a deeper meaning and poetic interpretations and I was taking this a little too far with first this screen and then my replacement phone an iPhone SE followed by an eight plus no actually in xr respectively all of them black and white and I was just thinking oh no what does this mean what does this mean? perhaps it meant that I should just Google and find out thank you for your very easily explained and not so difficult to follow explanation and problem solving.

Liam Shotwell
2 months ago
Reply to  Pepper

hey, Pepper, I’m glad this was helpful for you! Thank you for stopping by the site! 😊

2 months ago

I followed these instructions as well as the making sure the zoom was turned off. I have also restarted my iPhone XS numerous times, my background still has a black screen. Any other suggestions? Yesterday it was fine. Just wish I knew what I did so it never happens again.

2 months ago

Thank you! The Zoom filter fixed it for me.

2 months ago

This saved me a trip to the phone store- THANK YOU!

2 months ago

My iPhone 12 mini is black and white. Tried some of the changes

2 months ago

Thank you. Second fix worked instantly!

Chris A
2 months ago

Thank you! All I could find is suggestions to turn off greyscale which was already off. But Zoom filters is counterintuitive.

3 months ago

Thank you so much! I have been trying so many different advices, but yours are the one who fixed it 🙏🏻☺️

3 months ago

Hi David, My iphone dropped hard on back at home and screen turn to black & whilte. After restarting twice and tried all you stated above, it is still B & W. Are you be able to help?

Liam Shotwell
3 months ago
Reply to  Wati

Make sure the grayscale accessibility setting mentioned in the article above is turned off. There are steps above to help you find it and turn it off. If that doesn’t work, you should consider your repair options.

3 months ago
Reply to  Liam Shotwell

Hi Liam, thank you for responding. At first it did not make any different whether the grayscale was turned off or on. But after trying to restart by pressing power on-off + vol + home button at the same time, 8x unsuccessful. After this the grayscale button suddenly worked. Thank God for that. 🙂

Liam Shotwell
3 months ago
Reply to  Wati

Nice! I’m glad that worked out for you 😊

Thank you so very much it worked. Merry Christmas
4 months ago

Thank you so very much, it worked. Merry Christmas and a happy new year