How to Turn Off Auto-Brightness in iOS 11 and iOS 12

Not a fan of your device's bright screen? Try this

A person looking at a smartphone in a dark room

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Apple moved the Auto-Brightness setting to the Accessibility menu starting with iOS 11 and continuing in iOS 12.

Turn Off Auto-Brightness on iOS 11 and iOS 12

Auto-Brightness has moved from the Display & Brightness section to the Accessibility section, but it is just as easy to find if you know where to look.

  1. First, launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. 

  2. Scroll down and choose General from the menu.

  3. Tap Accessibility.

  4. Select Display Accommodations. This option is in the VISION section of the Accessibility settings.

  5. Tap the on-off switch next to Auto-Brightness to turn the setting on or off.

    Screenshot of Accessibility settings on an iPhone
  6. You can also turn on Reduce White Point, which allows you to adjust the intensity of colors. This is similar to the overall brightness setting, but will affect brighter colors more than darker colors. A percentage bar will appear when Reduce White Point is turned on, allowing you to select the intensity of the effect.

Auto-Brightness is a feature that is intended to both balance the brightness of the screen based on the ambient light, which should make it easier to read, and to save battery power by lowering brightness when it isn't as needed. Auto Brightness is based on the brightness level in Settings and adjusts based on that level, so it is possible to lower the overall brightness to save battery life and still keep auto brightness on in the accessibility settings. A good reason to turn off Auto-Brightness is when you are fighting with your iPhone or iPad to get the right brightness level.

How to Quickly Adjust Brightness on Your iPhone or iPad

You don't need to travel back to the Settings app simply to adjust the brightness level on your iPhone or iPad, however. The quickest way to tone it down or brighten up your screen is to use what Apple calls the Control Center which is just a swipe away.

On non iPhones X models just swipe up from the very bottom of the screen. On iPhone X models, swipe down from the upper right corner.

On iPads that have upgraded to iOS 12, swipe down from the upper right corner. iPads running iOS 11 can swipe up from the bottom.

The brightness controls are highlighted with the icon of a sun and allow you to adjust the brightness by sliding a finger up or down on the brightness control. You can also hold your finger down (or push down) on the control to reveal a button that allows Night Shift to be turned on or off.