How To Fix Your Phone’s Brightness Settings (And Protect Your Eyes From Harsh Light) (2023)

It’s a tough balancing act between trying to read a too-dark phone screen in broad daylight, and squinting to protect your eyes from what feels like the rays of 40 suns beaming out at you from your screen at night.

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Luckily, there’s a quick fix for every kind of screen brightness issue you encounter. Here are some simple solutions to three of the most common problems.

Problem No. 1: My Screen Brightness Keeps Shifting

The likely culprit is your auto brightness setting–it doesn’t always match your preferences, meaning it can surprise you with a blinding or frustratingly dull screen at inopportune moments. Auto brightness does have useful purposes, but a screen blasting bright, white light all day long will kill your phone battery faster than you can say, “Can I borrow your charger?”

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Apple says its iOS devices use an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust brightness levels based on the light conditions in your surroundings. You can see this in action if you keep your eyes on the brightness slider, which will move according to those light conditions. So if it’s bright outside, the slider should move up to create a bright screen, and if you’re in a dark bedroom, the slider should move down to dim it.

Even though auto brightness is on by default, it’s pretty easy to switch it off or reset it—and your eyes will thank you.

📲 On iOS: Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size > Turn off auto-brightness. Then, adjust the brightness bar until you’ve reached your desired level of brightness. You can switch it back on to reset the auto-brightness settings, if desired.

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Most Android phones have a similar auto brightness feature. Here’s how Samsung says you can turn it off.

📲 On Android: Settings > Display > Tap the slider next to Adaptive brightness and switch it to the off position. Then, adjust the brightness bar until you’ve reached your desired level of brightness.

Problem No. 2: My Screen Is Constantly Too Dark

Assuming your display isn’t damaged, the most common culprit for a consistently darkened screen is power-saving mode. When your battery is close to being drained, your smartphone can turn off a number of background operations and tweak the display to use less power.

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But if you need to increase the brightness, it’s simple to switch that setting off.

📲 On iOS:Settings > Battery > Toggle the slider for Low Power Mode to the off position. Or, go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls. Add Low Power Mode to your Control Center for easy on/off access.

📲 On Android:Settings > Battery and device care > Battery > Toggle the switch off next to Power saving mode.

Problem No. 3: My Phone Screen Looks Really Orange

Have you been playing around in your phone settings, haphazardly changing things to see what happens? If so, you’ve probably switched on Night Shift, which isn’t a default setting.

Night Shift is akin to wrapping your iPhone screen in a pair of blue light-blocking glasses. By making the screen slightly yellow-orange, you can supposedly save your eyes from undue strain caused by blue light. Because orange is opposite of blue on the color wheel, orange light can counteract blue light.

The jury is still out on the scientific merits of blue-light blockers, so take this with a grain of salt. And in the meantime, if you’re watching Netflix after dark and can’t stand that everyone looks like an Oompa Loompa, take these steps.

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📲 On iOS:Open Control Center (swipe down from the top right-hand side of the display) > Long hold the Brightness slider > Tap the Night Shift icon to turn it on or off.

📲 On Android: Settings > Display > Night Light. Toggle to the off position.

Rachel Z. Arndt also contributed to this guide.

How To Fix Your Phone’s Brightness Settings (And Protect Your Eyes From Harsh Light) (3)

Courtney Linder

(Video) Increase Maximum Display Brightness on Any Samsung Galaxy Smartphone - Using Hidden Sensor

Deputy Editor

Before joining Pop Mech, Courtney was the technology reporter at her hometown newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied English and economics. Her favorite topics include, but are not limited to: the giant squid, punk rock, and robotics. She lives in the Philly suburbs with her partner, her black cat, and towers upon towers of books.


How can I make my phone easier to see in bright sunlight? ›

The brighter you can make your screen, the better you'll be able to see it in sunlight. Both iOS and Android have a "quick settings" feature to enable it - by swiping up from the bottom on iPhone or swiping down from the top on Android - and you can then slide the brightness bar all the way to the right.

Why does my phone brightness hurt my eyes? ›

Blue light has a shorter wavelength, sitting between 380 to 500 nanometres. Most light from screens is vibrating at around 400 to 490 nanometres. Blue light has been known to be phototoxic to your eyes, specifically for your retina, because of its shorter wavelength [5].

How do I make my phone anti glare? ›

Anti-glare screen protectors are a wonderful option since they block direct sunlight reflection. Anti-reflective coatings, on the other hand, stop incoming light from generating reflections in your eyes. Both of them are created to reduce glare from your device while also minimizing weariness at the end of the day.

What screen brightness is best for eyes? ›

[Point 5] Review your display brightness setting

This can greatly reduce the strain on your eyes. For example, in an office with normal brightness of 300-500 lux, the display brightness should be adjusted to around 100-150 cd/m2.

How do you make your phone screen easier on your eyes? ›

How to use the blue light filter on Android
  1. Slide your finger down from the top of the screen.
  2. Look for “blue light filter” in the buttons that appear in the menu.
  3. Tap and hold it.
  4. Choose “turn on as scheduled” or “turn on now.”
  5. Adjust the color temperature slider to meet your preferences.
Sep 6, 2020

How can I make my screen better in the sun? ›

To make your life easier, we'd love to share a few tips below:
  1. Adjust and Increase Brightness Settings. By increasing the monitor's brightness, you'll be able to see the screen more clearly, especially when working under direct sunlight. ...
  2. Put On Sunglasses. ...
  3. Pick a Shady Spot. ...
  4. Wear Dark Clothing. ...
  5. Face Against the Sun.
Dec 16, 2021


1. The Solution to Smartphone Eye Strain?
2. iPhone Screen Is Too Dark. Here's The Fix!
(Payette Forward)
3. How to Make Your iPhone Display BRIGHTER!
4. How to Change iPhone Bluelight Settings
(Andy Isom)
5. How to protect your eyes from mobile harmful light
6. What is Blue Light? How to Protect your Eyes from Your Devices - DIY in 5 Ep 145
(Kingston Technology)
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