If you find yourself in a situation where you need some extra light, the flash on your iPhone’s camera works great as a flashlight. There are more features to this than you might expect, so here’s how to use it.

Turn on the Flashlight Directly from the Lock Screen

If you need to access the flashlight in a pinch, you can do it right from the lock screen on iPhone X models. In the lower left corner, there’s a small icon that, unsurprisingly, looks like a flashlight.

Just tapping the icon won’t do anything—you need to hard-press it on the X/XS/XS Max or press it for about half a second on the XR (it turns on when you let go). This keeps the flashlight from accidentally turning on in your pocket or if you accidentally hit the icon while trying to do something else.

Left: Off; Right; On

Just repeat the same action to turn it off.

Turn on the Flashlight from the Control Center

If you want more granular control of the flashlight, you’ll want to fire it up from the Control Center. The process is the same regardless of whether you’re using an iPhone X model or an older handset with a home button.

First, bring up the Control Center—swipe up from the bottom of the screen on iPhones with a home button or down from the clock on X models.

Once there, you can tap the flashlight icon in the lower left corner to turn it on instantly.

But here’s the cool part: you can easily adjust the brightness from here, too. On iPhones with 3D Touch, hard press the flashlight icon; on the iPhone XR, simply long-press it to active Haptic Touch. This brings up a brightness slider so that you can adjust the intensity.

And that’s all there is to it.

Cameron Summerson Cameron Summerson
Cameron Summerson is How-To Geek's Senior Editor. He’s been covering technology for nearly a decade and has written over 4,000 posts and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times.
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