How to Disable or Enable Auto-Brightness in iOS 12 for iPhone and iPad
Auto-Brightness is a screen setting on the iPhone and iPad which causes the device to automatically adjust the display brightness depending on ambient lighting conditions. For example, if you’re outdoors or in bright lighting, the screen would adjust to be brighter so that it is more visible, and if you’re in a dim room or outdoors at night, the screen would adjust to lower the brightness so that the screen isn’t as glaringly bright. Auto-brightness in iOS also can improve battery life by adjusting the brightness of the iPhone or iPad display down as the ambient lighting permits.
Some users like to turn off auto-brightness, or to make sure that auto-brightness is enabled on their iPad or iPhone. However, as of iOS 11 and iOS 12, the auto-brightness setting has been relocated from the standard Display settings area to deeper within the settings of iOS. This has led some users to think that auto-brightness was removed in iOS 11 and iOS 12, but in fact the setting was merely relocated.
How to Turn OFF or ON Auto-Brightness in iOS 12 on iPhone and iPad
The auto-brightness setting has a new home in iOS 11 & iOS 12 onward, now contained within the Accessibility section of the Settings app, here is where it can be found:
- Open the “Settings” app and go to “General” and then to “Accessibility”
- Choose “Display Accommodations”
- Find the setting for “Auto-Brightness” and toggle OFF or ON as needed
- Exit out of Settings when finished
The Display Accommodations settings mention that “Turning off auto-brightness may affect battery life”, which can be particularly true if you turn the brightness of a device up quite a bit but then disable the ability for the brightness of the screen to automatically adjust downward. If you’re experiencing rapid battery life drain with iOS 11 or other battery life problems then you should probably not turn off the auto-brightness setting and instead leave it enabled while toggling other features accordingly, like geolocation usage and background activity as discussed here.
For what it’s worth, the auto-brightness setting used to exist within the “Display and Brightness” section of Settings in iOS, but for whatever reason it was relocated to be deeper within accessibility settings in new iOS versions from iOS 11 onward. Just keep this in mind if you’re using the feature on different devices running different versions of iOS, since the relocation of options can be a bit confusing and lead users to wonder “where did the auto-brightness setting go?” Well, now you know!