How to toggle screen brightness with the home button on iPhone or iPad

Automatic display brightness is one of those smartphone features that just came about. It landed without any hype, without any praise whatsoever for what it silently does. Yet it should have gotten more attention, if you ask us, for its effect on user experience is greater than one may think. When a smartphone auto-adjusts the brightness of its screen, it optimizes its visibility depending on the user's surroundings, all the while conserving precious battery life.

Alas, a smartphone's auto-brightness option is no silver bullet – some people like their screens a tad brighter, while others prefer to keep them as dim as possible. And sometimes you need to switch between the two states as quickly as possible. That's why the option to control screen brightness manually is still present in mobile platforms, iOS 8 included. Of course, the brightness slider in iOS 8 works just fine. It has an alternative, however – an alternative that some might find useful. As Snazzy Labs recently revealed, there's a trick in Apple's platform allowing you to toggle between a standard and a dim setting with a triple tap of the home button. Here's how you do that.

  1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility and enable Zoom.
  2. At this time, a zoom window will appear. This is perfectly normal. Your next step is to triple-tap on the screen with three fingers. If you do this correctly, a menu should appear.
  3. Choose the second option, Full Screen Zoom. This will scale up the entire screen. Use the slider below to zoom out until the screen goes back to its normal size. 
  4. From the same pop-up menu, go to Choose Filter and select Low Light. This will significantly reduce the brightness of your screen. 
  5. Go a step back to the Accessibility menu and scroll all the way down. Hit the Accessibility shortcut option and choose Zoom. 

And that's it! From now on, triple-pressing the home button will switch to this low-light mode you just configured. Triple-pressing it again will cause the screen to behave normally. How and where would you use your iPhone's extra dim display? Let us know in the comments below!

source: Snazzy Labs (YouTube)



1. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Actually a pretty nifty feature...

2. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

This feature might be more useful to make the screen super bright, i.e. for outside use on sunny days, when it is important to quickly make the screen easier to see.

3. vuyonc

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

No offense, but why do I have the feeling that Apple isn't aware of this feature? The setup process is so convoluted.

4. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

This actually isn't a designed feature, it's more of a trick or hack to use one feature as other.

5. darkkjedii

Posts: 31596; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That is a pretty sweet feature.

6. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Pretty awesome actually, must admit. Makes turning down brightness that much faster, although triple tap home key is quite a lot of times though.

7. Hashed unregistered

All the hassle for enabling an option?! and how is it going to effect gaming, you know, games that requires multiple consecutive screen touches?! What's next? seven knocks on the screen and you'll enable nfc file transfer?

9. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

You know triple tapping the screen is just one of the many steps required to enable it. Turning it on requires triple tap of the home key.

8. nodes

Posts: 1163; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

wow, pretty great trick! the lowest brightness is not dark enough, with this, i can use it easier in the dark room. thanks a lot!

10. boot2arse

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 27, 2014

The only way i would ever buy an iphone, if the case is made of adamantium and has a shatterproof sapphire display. The only company in the world who has the nuts to charge its loyal customers 3 x the cost of manufacturing and gets away with it time and time again.

11. frederick333123

Posts: 76; Member since: Jun 15, 2013

helpful.. :)

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