Low iPhone 7 Screen Brightness? This Should Help

Sep 19, 2016 - 32 Comments

iPhone 7 display brightness is brighter than ever according to Apple, if it looks dim it may be software

Some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus owners have found their new iPhone screen brightness appears dimmer than prior iPhone models. For some devices with a perceived less bright display, placing the iPhone 7 next to an iPhone 6s or earlier and turning the screen brightness up to 100% may reveal an apparent discrepancy in the display brightness (and some may notice the screen looks more warmer too, but you can fix the yellow screen with a simple adjustment). Apple markets the new iPhone 7 display as 25% brighter than prior screens, so what’s going on?

If your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus looks to have a dimmer screen, don’t panic, it might be software related. We’ll show you a simple trick that could boost the brightness level on some iPhone 7 screens that look dimmer than expected.

Dim iPhone 7 Screen? Reset the Device Settings

Resetting the devices settings may have a positive impact on screen brightness, here’s what you can do:

  1. Open the “Settings” app on the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus and go to “General”
  2. Scroll to the very bottom and choose “Reset”
  3. Select “Reset All Settings” and confirm that you want to “Reset All Settings”, this process won’t impact data but it does effect any settings related customizations to the device including wi-fi, text size, etc
  4. Let the iPhone 7 reboot and reset settings, it will show a progress bar on the screen and turn back on by itself

Fix iPhone 7 dim brightness by resetting all settings

Be careful to choose only “Reset All Settings”. We simply want to trash the device settings only, nothing else.

The recommendation to reset settings has been passed along from Apple Support, and a variety of users are reporting varying degrees of success with the trick at improving the display brightness of their iPhone 7 Plus units. I used this trick on my iPhone 7 Plus and it seems to have helped boost the brightness a bit, but do note it will also remove any adjustments made to the warmer screen color and you’ll need to set those again if desired.

iPhone 7 Screen Brightness Still Low? Find Bright Light

One final thing worth trying for an iPhone 7 screen that seems dim or less bright is to make sure Automatic Brightness setting is turned ON, and then bring the device outside into direct sun light, or indoors under very bright lighting. This should trigger the ambient light sensor to boost the brightness to maximum level.

The idea of an iPhone 7 screen being brightest in very high ambient lighting with Automatic Brightness turned on is mentioned in a display review of the iPhone 7 by DisplayMate from here:

“On the iPhone 7 the Maximum Screen Brightness can go much higher when Automatic Brightness is turned On, so that users can’t permanently park the Manual Brightness slider to very high values, which would run down the battery quickly. High Screen Brightness is only needed for High Ambient Light, so turning Automatic Brightness On will provide better high ambient light screen visibility and also longer battery running time.
 
When Automatic Brightness is turned On, the iPhone 7 produces up to an impressive 705 cd/m2 (nits) in High Ambient Light, where high Brightness is really needed – the Highest Peak Brightness for a Smartphone for any Average Picture Level APL, including Full Screen White.”

You can insure that Automatic Brightness is enabled by going to Settings > Display & Brightness and toggling the switch ON if it happened to be off.

Does your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus display seem 25% brighter than the prior iPhone display as Apple advertises? If your display looks dimmer or less bright, did you follow the advice above and notice an improvement? Let us know your experience with iPhone 7 display brightness in the comments below.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

32 Comments

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  1. Ian says:

    My iPhone 7 Plus screen is considerably less bright and the colors are sort of washed over with low contrast. It also has the strong yellow tint which makes colors look worse too. I don’t use a screen protector film or anything like that, it’s the bare glass.

    Maybe I have a bad unit? Maybe I should return it? I will think about it for a few days but there’s only a 14 day return policy so don’t have too much time to slack.

    • Jason says:

      Yes, you should return it if it doesn’t meet your expectations. The first run of iPhones (any version) that are returned are exchanged on the spot by Apple – the device is shipped back to the factory with a problem description so they can investigate and adjust manufacturing on the spot to improve.

      So I’ll be waiting a bit – send yours back so they can fix whatever problem and make mine better when I buy it. ;)

  2. Junior bengals says:

    I will check mine later

  3. Juan R says:

    Mine looks less bright than the iphone6. Have them side by side and it looks dimmer

    • Matt says:

      I can confirm this, the iPhone 7 screens I have seen is not as bright as before.

      I have two iPhone 7 Plus models, and I have them side by side to iPhone 6s, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 5c. The iPhone 7 is dimmer than all of the other iPhones.

      Every iPhone is turned up 100% brightness, even in bright light the iPhone 7 is harder to read and not as bright. Very disappointing, the 25% brighter claim is not the case with my Iphone 7 models anyway. The iPhone 6s is the brightest phone of all of them that I have.

  4. Chad says:

    Same issue here, my 6 Plus was noticeably brighter than the regular 7. Shipped back for replacement.

  5. Bill says:

    I had success changing from display zoom to standard, then zoom again.

    Settings / display & brightness / view

    My display is now much brighter than iPhone 6. Of course, brightness is still at max.

  6. Derrick says:

    upvote on Bill’s advice!

  7. Mike says:

    +1 for Bill’s solution. Fixed my 7 plus immediately. Thanks Bill!!!

  8. Elijah Nouvelage says:

    Another +1 on Bill’s advice. I’ve tried all the other solutions and this is the only one that worked. Thank you so much!

  9. Marcus says:

    I have same problem as well! I tried every single solution and none of them worked at all ! I have an appointment for apple tomorrow and wil ldef get it replaced if they cant fix it. My onky auestion about reolacing is what if it happens again !! Will i be able to get another replacment !? Since this is a manufacturing defect !?

  10. M singh says:

    Regarding Bill’s Zoom setting solution. Does it mean we have to have it set to Display Zoom permanently as I prefer Standard Zoom?

  11. M singh says:

    It did not work for me

    • Dillon says:

      mSingh, turning up the iPhone brightness will make the iPhone screen brighter, it will work for you. If the iPhone 7 screen is too dim or does not adjust up to be bright, you should contact Apple and they can fix or replace the screen for you.

  12. M singh says:

    Hi Dillon, thank you kindly for your points.

    I would rather avoid getting my iPhone replaced and use it as a very last resort.

    It just puzzles me why Bill’s fix worked for others (read posts above), but not for my iPhone 7plus.

  13. Dee says:

    went to use a pic from camera roll as a wallpaper . Once set,the picture is darker then the one on the camera roll.. has this happen to anyone?!

  14. Madeline says:

    I agree with Mike:

    +1 for Bill’s solution. Fixed my 7 plus immediately. Thanks Bill!!!

  15. Doug Lerner says:

    I went to the Apple service center today and they confirmed that it was dimmer than my iPhone 6 Plus. They tried resetting it completely and it didn’t help. They exchanged it for another one but it was dimmer than the first iPhone 7 Plus!

    So I’m back to the iPhone 7 Plus I got yesterday and not sure what to do.

    An Apple person is scheduled to call me tomorrow morning. It’s annoying.

  16. Doug Lerner says:

    An update – Apple is “looking at it” – they were supposed to get back to me by the end of the week, but haven’t yet. I have side-by-site photos if anybody wants to look at them here: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7744754

  17. Doug Lerner says:

    Apple is now saying “that’s just the way they are.” I am upset. It seems Apple is engaged in false advertising. Here’s my personal blog entry about. As a last hope I sent off a letter to Tim Cook, which I also posted here:

    :(

    doug

  18. Imraan Fredericks says:

    This reset helped me out a lot

    Thanks again
    Enjoying my 7PLUS now

  19. Karyn says:

    I had the same problem but noticed I have night shift on. Turn that off and your phone will be bright and white.

  20. Doug Lerner says:

    I received a call from the Apple liaison this evening and the final conclusion is that as far as Apple is concerned that’s just the way they are.

    They admit there is a variation in the phones during manufacture, but they aren’t willing to continue to exchange phones until we find one that is as bright and noticeably more vibrant and brilliant as advertised – or even as bright as the iPhone 7 Plus my friend from the U.S. has, which we compared side-by-side during his visit here to Japan.

    However, Apple are willing to let me think about it for a week or so and even though I bought it from my carrier, Softbank, and even though Softbank does not allow returns and refunds, Apple would be willing to let me sell the phone to Apple for the full retail price and I could then just buy another cell phone with the carrier. In other words, they are offering me a way out, if I decide I want to do that.

    So I will think about it.

    I’m of course disappointed with Apple and with the quality of the screen. And the logic of the engineering team bewilders me. They are advertising one thing and selling another. It’s clear to anybody who looks at my side-by-side photos, which compare the iPhone 7 Plus and my iPhone 6 Plus displays. It’s even more obvious in person. The Apple Store people who have seen it also agree. 100% of everybody who sees the two iPhones side-by-side agree the iPhone 6 Plus is the one that is brighter.

    So I will think about exactly how much this bothers me for a bit. I’ll see what my carrier offers. Perhaps an iPhone 6S Plus if I decide to stick with Apple. Or maybe it’s time to look into Android substitutes.

    Since Apple is offering a complete refund of the full purchase price, I suppose I will tentatively remain an Apple customer for now. But I certainly wouldn’t buy anything else from Apple again unless it was clear there was a full money-back guarantee from the start. I don’t want to go through this experience again.

    I guess that is the end of my story. I hope other people have better luck than I did with their iPhone 7 Pluses. And I hope Apple reconsiders the way they advertise the iPhone 7 Plus screen. Because what they are advertising just is not what you get.

  21. Richard Ghartey says:

    My iPhone 7 display light is dimmer as compared to the 6

  22. Richard Ghartey says:

    Tried all the above and it’s still not working

  23. Rafa Martín says:

    “Resetting settings ” worked perfectly well for me. Now they screen is as bright as one would expect for an iPhone 7.

    Thanks a lot for the info!!

  24. MSC says:

    I’ve tried all the suggestions and none worked. Friend and I both updated at the same time one day. He’s Verizon and I’m sprint. His display is bright. Mine dimmed after the update. Latestest update didn’t help. Sprint store said there was an issue with battery life and screen brightness, but before this update, my 7+ would last all day. NOW with a dimmer screen, I notice the battery charge is lower late in the afternoon. If Apple thinks they are making people happy by doing this, they are WRONG! Why not let ME control my screen brightness, and worry about my battery, instead of them controlling it for me!! I’m sure there are other 68-yr-olds who need more light!! I’ve had my phone since December, but I plan to call and see about a new phone, also.

  25. Kimberly says:

    I tried the first one and it worked perfectly TYSM my mom got so mad she thought I had broke it because it was so dark

  26. Stephanie says:

    Shout out to Bill! Thank you!

  27. Pj says:

    Bill’s Fox worked. Actually it did not work until I went inside from bright sun. Then all of a sudden brightness was set in the middle and when I moved it to brighter it worked. I was ready to drive to the Apple Store.

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