iPhone 4 Trick: Invert Colors for White Text on Black Background

   Posted July 23, 2010 by David Kirk in Apple iPhone

iPhones and similar digital devices are frequently difficult to see in certain situations. The 4th generation of the iPhone now comes with a shortcut to quickly inverse the colors to improve visibility. Here is how to enable “white text on black background” inverse colors mode on the iPhone.

When reading a long time or in certain lighting situations, I love this shortcut to be able to quick inverse my colors. Just getting white-text on a black background is a nice change of pace.

The secret is the use the iPhone’s accessibility’s settings to assign the inverse color mode to the triple-tap of the Home button.

1. Click General icon
2. Select Accessibility
3. Select Triple-click Home
4. Select Toggle White on Black

how to setup invert colors on iPhone

Then to inverse (or to return to normal again) just triple click your home button.

The iPhone will not take a screenshot showing this mode so here’s an external picture showing the invert mode.

example of inverted iPhone


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • Also a spectacular prank to play on a non-Tech-Recipes reader.

    Which makes it a valuable lesson: read Tech-Recipes every day.

  • Javier

    Thank you for the cool tip!

  • Manny13

    Can you have only text (not pictures, icons, etc.) in high-contrast mode? Is there an app or setting that corrects this?

    • leni

      i have been trying to figure this out myself!!!!!!! have you figured it out???? it would be a huge help! THANK YOUUU

  • SweetartMD

    I found (on accident) that if you click your home button 3 times I can invert my colors.  I had no idea how to change it back till I messed around with it a little bit more! Very cool! 

  • Ella

    Manny13 I also would like to know about that as the black on White contrast isn’t clear enough but when I switch to White on black, its clear But I am not happy to view my pics in negatives 🙁

    • sadie

      > i love the invert look ,but why invert pictures and camera too?? thats just crazy 🙁

      • Ted

        Might be a lot easier on the eyes this way for reading ebooks.>

  • joshua

    I love this feature ‘Toggle white on black’ , I can now type on my iPhone keyboard like as twice as fast than the normal ‘black on white’ keyboard

  • don

    I only have one eye and the other one has a cataract so this trick makes it possible to see THANK YOU THANK YOU

  • destiny

    I was wondering if this can be done a verizon iphone 4s

  • Izzi

    Is there an app that you can use to make the poctures stay black and white

  • Crystal

    I wanna know how to change the colors to this I’ve been trying to do the background on my text of me and my bf and the color an I don’t know how to do it with out messing up my phone this is new to me

  • Stray Stevens

    Your post have solved sooooo many minor problems I’ve had, I cannot thank you enough.
    Here’s one more; I need to download all of my photos from my iPhone 4S with current updates, to my PC (Windows 7) because I have ran out of space. Ant help you can give is greatly appreciated.
    Having spent time in an ICU ward, thanks again, people will never get all that your job entails, thanks again!!

  • Carly

    As somebody with a visual impairment, this helps me out a lot, and it’s great to know the shortcut. It would be wonderful if photos weren’t inverted, though, and if there was an option to toggle inverted colors on/off per app.

  • dave

    Why doesn’t the VGA output invert when connected?

  • Caitie

    I love the invert color mode but is there a way to not invert the pictures and videos too?

  • Kyky

    How do u do it on the iPhone five c? I know the invert colors button but I don’t see the home button choice thing! Plz help!