How to Invert Colors on iPhone and iPad

Inverting your iPhone's or iPad's screen colors is a handy accessibility tool -- here's how to do it on demand.

By Kevin Shaw - Editor
3 Min Read
  • To invert the colors on your iPhone or iPad, you need to access the Display and Text Size section of the Accessibility menu in the Settings app.
  • There, you can choose either Smart Invertor Classic Invert.
  • Smart Invert reverses almost all the colors on the display, except for images, media, and some apps that use dark color styles. Classic Invert will invert all colors on your screen.
  • If you set up an Accessibility Shortcut, you can quickly turn on inverted colors by triple-clicking the Side, Home or Top button.

Are you looking to know how to invert colors on your iPhone or iPad? You may want to do this if you have color blindness or if you find the screen difficult to read. The process of inverting your iPhone’s or iPad’s display colors is simple and can be done in no time at all. Here’s how to enable inverted colors on your iPhone or iPad, and even set up a shortcut you can use to toggle the inverted mode on or off.

Color inversion on iPhone and iPad

Inverting your screen will switch every color to its exact opposite. For example, white is black, red turns into aqua, green changes to magenta, blue becomes yellow, and vice versa. It might look strange to some users, but it’s great for users with colorblindness or issues reading bright screens. There are two versions of color inversion:

1. Smart Invert

Smart Invert Colors inverts your iPhone’s or iPad’s screen, so white is black and black is white. What makes this feature Smart is that it’s generally intelligent enough to not invert images, media, and some apps that use dark color styles. The result is a surprisingly readable white-on-black view that’s better for certain apps when you’re in the dark.

Smart invert

2. Classic Invert

Classic Invert reverses all colors on the display.

Classic invert

How to invert the colors on your iPhone or iPad

There are two ways to turn on Smart or Classic Invert. In the sections below, I explain them.

Use Accessibility settings to enable or disable invert colors

For this method, you’ll need to go to the Accessibility settings on your iPhone or iPad. Each time you want to turn this feature on or off, you will need to follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Tap Display & Text Size.
  4. Turn on Smart Invert or Classic Invert.
  5. If you want to turn it off later, follow the same steps and then turn it off.

Use an Accessibility shortcut to quickly switch between invert and normal mode

If you don’t need inverted colors all the time, you can use the Accessibility Shortcuts option to quickly switch the feature on and off. This lets you turn on inverted colors by triple-clicking the Side button or Home button on your iPhone. If you are using an iPad, you will triple-click the top button or Home button.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of this page and select Accessibility Shortcut.
  4. In the menu that opens, select either Classic Invert or Smart Invert from the list. You can also select both.

Now you are done. Whenever you want to invert the colors on your iPhone or iPad, quickly press the Side (Home, top) button three times. If you select both the Smart and Classic options, triple-clicking the Side (Home, top) button will bring up a menu that lets you pick which one to activate. One negative side to selecting both options as a shortcut (Smart and Classic together) is that triple-pressing the Side (Home, top) button does not turn off the color inversion. You will need to go to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size to turn it off.

Why would you want to invert colors on an iPhone or iPad?

Inverting the display colors on your iPhone or iPad can be a helpful tool for those who are sensitive to brightness or have some other vision challenges. When color is inverted, it creates more contrast and, for some, an easier-to-read display. It’s important to note that while inverted colors can be a useful feature, they are not for everyone, and it may take some time to get used to inverted colors. However, if you find inverted colors to be helpful or think they do improve your overall viewing experience on an iPhone or iPad, it’s definitely worth enabling.

Which iPhone and iPad models support inverted colors?

To invert the display colors on iOS or iPadOS, you will need any of these devices:

  • iPhone 5s and later
  • iPad Pro (all models)
  • iPad (5th generation) and later
  • iPad Air (all models)
  • iPad mini 2 and later
  • iPod touch (6th generation)
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By Kevin Shaw Editor
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Kevin Shaw is a seasoned tech journalist based in Los Angeles with a penchant for all things Apple. He started writing about Apple products in 2007 and it's been a love affair ever since. He has spent over a decade testing and writing about iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other Apple products. In his spare time, he likes nothing more than catching up with the latest news and sports podcasts on the beach.
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