Turn iPhone or iPad Screen Into Black & White with Grayscale Mode
The latest versions of iOS support an optional display mode that turns everything shown on the screen of an iPhone or iPad to black and white. Called Grayscale mode, the setting is mostly intended as an accessibility option, but it has other uses beyond that as well.
Turn On Grayscale Color Mode in iOS
- Open Settings app and go to “General” followed by “Accessibility”
- Under the ‘VISION’ section, locate “Grayscale” and toggle the switch to the ON position
The color change of Grayscale mode is immediate and all saturation will be removed, changing the visible screen to what is basically black and white.
If you’re using Grayscale mode for vision purposes, it’s probably a good idea to enable Bold Text, Darken Colors, and On / Off button toggles too, both of which make things a bit easier to interpret on a display of any iPhone or iPad.
Toggling Grayscale on will instantly switch the screen and everything on the display to black and white, but it has no impact on actual images on the device, or even screenshots. For example, if you have Grayscale mode on but take a photo with the Camera, the picture will appear in color as it normally would, at least until the image has been manually converted to black and white. The same applies to screen shots and videos taken with the iPhone or iPad in grayscale mode.
Grayscale mode is likely intended for users who have certain vision difficulties or are colorblind, where onscreen color elements may look garish or outright challenging to interpret. Beyond that, grayscale mode can function similar to the invert colors trick as an alternative display mode for use in a dark or dimly lit area, or to tone down color or saturation on an app or webpage where it becomes intrusive. It can also make for an interesting alternative look if you just get bored with seeing colors, or if you feel like yanking someones chain, a relatively harmless prank on an unsuspecting user.
For those who are curious, OS X includes the same setting as part of the Accessibility preference panel options.