How to Use the iPhone as a Flashlight

You always have a flashlight in your pocket when you have an iPhone

Stuck in the dark and need a light? As long as you have your phone, you're fine. The camera flash on the back of your iPhone can be used as a flashlight.

Normally the flash appears only for a short time when taking photos or when you have a notification, but with the built-in flashlight tool, you can keep the flash on until you shut it off. The iPhone flashlight is built-in and accessible through Control Center. There are also third-party apps that add other options to the iPhone flashlight, like strobing.

The iPhone flashlight functionality is available on iOS 7 and higher. This article refers to iOS 12 and up.

use iphone as flashlight
iPhone image: Apple 

How to Use the iPhone Flashlight in Control Center

To turn on the iPhone flashlight, follow these steps:

  1. Open Control Center. On the iPhone X and newer, do this by swiping down from the top right corner. On older models, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

  2. Tap the Flashlight icon to turn it on.

    Flashlight icon in iOS Control Center, Brightness toggle and Customize screen

    If you don't see the Flashlight icon in Control Center, open Settings and go to Control Center > Customize Controls. Find Flashlight and tap the plus sign next to it.

  3. The camera flash on the back of the iPhone turns on and stays on until you tap the Flashlight icon again to turn it off.

Using your iPhone as a flashlight can drain the battery quickly. If your iPhone is low on power and you won't have a chance to recharge soon, either avoid using the flashlight or use battery saving tips to conserve the iPhone battery.

How to Use the iPhone Flashlight from the Lock Screen

Screenshot of the iPhone lock screen with flashlight activated

Want an even faster way to turn on the iPhone flashlight? You can do it right from the lock screen.

Light up your iPhone screen by tapping it, raising the phone, or clicking the Side button. Then long press the flashlight icon in the bottom left corner of the screen to turn on the flashlight. Press it again to turn it off.

You can also use Siri to control the iPhone flashlight. Just activate Siri and say something like "turn on my flashlight" or "turn off the flashlight."

How to Control iPhone Flashlight Brightness

If you have an iPhone X or newer, you have an extra option for your flashlight: you can control how bright it is. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Control Center as described in the last section.

  2. Long press the flashlight icon in Control Center.

  3. Slide up and down on the bar that appears on the screen to make the flashlight dimmer or brighter.

Having problems with your flashlight? Check out iPhone Flashlight Not Working? Try These Fixes.

Other iPhone Flashlight Apps

While the flashlight app built into iOS is capable of basic uses, there are apps with more features. There are several flashlight apps available on the App Store. While many are very similar, there are a few that stand out:

  • Flashlight Ⓞ: This free flashlight app for iPhone controls the flashlight brightness and strobe effects. It also has compass and Maps integration so that you can see where you're going and know where it is on a map.
  • Flashlight for iPhone + iPad: Includes a compass and map, strobe mode, elevation tracking, music modes, a pulse that matches beats, a simulated lighter, and in-app purchases for visual themes.
  • Best Flash Light: This is a free flashlight app for iOS that includes the standard flashlight, strobe, and maps/compass features, along with a magnifying glass, the ability to turn the light on and off by clapping, and much more. In-app purchases unlock features and remove ads.

Android flashlight apps may supply user information to unknown parties, iPhone flashlight apps are not affected. Apple reviews all apps before making the apps available for download.