How to Reduce Your iPhone’s Brightness Lower Than iOS Allows

00_lead_image_reducing_screen_brightness

If you use your iPhone at night in a dark room, even the new Night Shift feature in iOS 9.3 can’t stop your screen from seemingly burning your eyes. Luckily, there is a way to reduce the brightness of the screen lower than iOS actually allows.

You might think that reducing the screen brightness too much will make the screen so dim that you can’t read it. That may be the case in daylight or a brightly-lit room, but you would be surprised how bright a fully-dimmed iPhone screen is in a dark room. If using your iPhone in a dark room is too bright and bothers your eyes, you can further reduce the screen brightness beyond standard iOS levels.

How to Reduce the Brightness Futerh with the “Low Light” Accessibility Filter

To begin, tap the “Settings” app icon on the Home screen.

01_tapping_settings

On the Settings screen, tap “General”.

02_tapping_general

Tap “Accessibility” on the General screen.

03_tapping_accessibility

Then, tap “Zoom” on the Accessibility screen.

04_tapping_zoom

You need to make sure the Zoom Region field reads “Window Zoom”. (We’ll be changing it to Full Screen Zoom later in a different location.) If it reads “Full Screen Zoom”, tap on the field…

04a_tapping_zoom_region

…and on the Zoom Region screen, tap “Windows Zoom”.

04b_tapping_window_zoom

The blue check mark moves to Window Zoom. Tap the “Zoom” back link in the upper-left corner of the screen.

04c_tapping_zoom_back_link

Now, the Zoom Region field should read Window Zoom. Tap “Zoom” to turn on the zoom feature.

05_turning_on_zoom

A zoom box displays with part of the screen enlarged. Triple tap on the screen with three fingers.

06_double_tap_three_fingers

An overlay displays. Tap “Full Screen Zoom”.

07_zoom_menu_popup

On the new overlay that displays, zoom all the way out by moving the slider button all the way to the left (towards the magnifying glass icon with a minus sign). Leave this overlay open.

08_use_slider_to_zoom_out

Then, on the same overlay, tap “Choose Filter”.

09_tapping_choose_filter

Tap “Low Light” on the resulting overlay.

10_tapping_low_light

The screen brightness reduces. Tap anywhere outside of the overlay to close it.

11_tapping_out_of_dialog

If the screen is too dim or bright, you can then adjust the level of brightness by using the regular brightness slider–just drag drag up from the bottom of the screen to access the Control Center and drag the brightness slider to the left (dimmer) or right (brighter) until you achieve the brightness you want.

12_adjust_brightness_as_needed

Remember, though, you’re setting this up to view in a dark room, so you may want to make this adjustment in a dark room to get the level where you want. We didn’t turn down the brightness too much, so you can still see the options on the images.

When you’re finished, you can continue using your phone as normal, without it burning your eyeballs.

This trick sets up a filter on the full screen zoom, where it’s zoomed out all the way, so the zoom level doesn’t actually change. However, the filter is reducing the brightness beyond what’s possible using the Control Center or the stock Settings app.

How to Activate This Feature with a Triple-Press of the Home Button

Now, we’ll set up the Home button so you can activate this special zoom setting with a triple click of the home button. On the Accessibility screen, tap “Accessibility Shortcut” at the bottom of the screen.

14_tapping_accessibility_shortcut

On the Accessibility Shortcut screen, tap “Zoom”.

15_tapping_zoom

You can choose multiple actions when you triple press the Home button, so when you selected “Zoom”, the default of VoiceOver remained selected as well. If you want a choice of actions when you triple press the Home button, you can leave VoiceOver selected (and select other options as well). For now, we’re going to only assign Zoom to the triple press of the Home button, so tap “VoiceOver” to remove the blue check mark next to it.

16_turning_off_voice_over

Now, when you triple press the Home button, this new zoom setting is invoked and the screen brightness will reduce to the level you set. Triple press the Home button again to return the screen to normal brightness. Just be careful when you invoke this setting. If you reduced the brightness to a very low level, you won’t be able to see the items on the screen and know what you’re tapping when you’re in daylight or in a well-lit room.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.