If you’ve owned an iPhone for any amount of time, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced the phenomenon known as “iPhone dimming.” It’s when your screen starts to appear almost entirely black, except for small patches here and there that seem to light up just enough to prevent you from having a completely useless device. This is a software bug first discovered by users of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus after they upgraded to iOS 9; it has since been found on many other devices (including the iPhone 5s) running older versions of Apple’s operating system. If you or someone you know has an iPhone and has experienced dimming, read on. Here are six reasons why it happens, and how you can stop it from happening again.
Why Do My iPhone Keep Dimming?
1. It Could Be a Bug
Apple has yet to officially acknowledge the problem, but there is a good chance it’s a bug. A bug is defined as an error or fault in software or hardware that causes problems. In this case, the problem occurs when the iPhone’s software tries to run out of memory, which means it can’t store any more data on its storage system (i.e., your phone). When this happens, it attempts to throw away some of its stored information, which includes things like photos and videos — and that’s precisely what causes your screen to dim.
2. It Could Be a Feature
It’s also possible that you might be experiencing “iPhone dimming” because your screen is trying to save itself by turning off parts of itself whenever it thinks it might be about to run out of memory space (a feature we discussed in our article on how to free up space on your iPhone). The reason why you haven’t experienced “iPhone dimming” on every app you use all the time could be because each app has different settings for whether or not it needs any storage space. So if you have an app somewhere that doesn’t need any storage space at all, but other apps do (like Snapchat), then those apps will likely get shut down whenever the iPhone thinks they might need some memory back — and so will your screen.
3. You Could Have Too Many Apps Installed
This is another reason why you might be experiencing “iPhone dimming.” If you have more than a couple of apps running in the background, then your phone will constantly be asking your screen to save some of the information it has stored. The screen will then respond by turning off parts of itself, just as I mentioned above.
4. You Could Have Too Many Photos or Videos on Your iPhone
I don’t know about you, but I take a lot of photos and videos with my iPhone every week — and that means my phone is constantly in need of storage space (which it gets from photos and videos). This means that if there are a bunch of photos or videos on my phone, then the iPhone will keep asking the screen to save some memory back — and that might cause your screen to turn off certain parts of itself.
5. You Could Be Holding Your Phone in Just the Right Way (And You Might Not Even Know It)
The way you hold your iPhone can also play a big part in how much memory it uses up — which means if you hold it just right (i.e., by its edges rather than by its corners), then it might not need as much memory back as other people holding theirs do. If this is the case for you, then your problems could be solved simply by holding your phone differently — so long as this change doesn’t affect performance too badly! The best way to figure out whether you’re holding your iPhone the right way is to try holding it in a couple of different ways and then see which one allows you to use the phone for longer before it starts slowing down.
How To Stop iPhone Keep Dimming?
If you’re experiencing iPhone dimming, the first thing you should do is reboot your phone: Hold down the power button and wait for the “slide to power off” prompt. Once you see it, press the power button again to turn the device back on. If you’re experiencing dimming, rebooting will usually fix it. What’s causing the problem? In almost all cases, it’s an issue with Auto-Brightness — the feature that automatically adjusts your screen’s brightness depending on the amount of light in the room. Auto-Brightness is a tricky piece of software, and it has a tendency to go haywire every now and then. Rebooting your phone resets it, which often fixes the problem. Rebooting is a great first step, but it doesn’t always solve the problem. If it doesn’t, you’ll want to continue reading to see what else you can do.
iOS Updates Cause Dimming
If you recently updated your iPhone and noticed that it started dimming, there’s a good chance the culprit is iOS itself. Some users who updated to iOS 11 have reported that their iPhones were dimming for a few days before the issue was resolved. One user even said that Apple support suggested he wait a week to see if the problem was fixed. If you’re experiencing dimming, but it only started after an iOS update, you can wait to see if the problem fixes itself — but don’t be surprised if you have to wait a little while. It’s also possible that the dimming is due to a smaller bug in the update itself. If that’s the case, it’ll likely be resolved in the next iOS software update.
Screen Protectors Are the Problem
The “iPhone dimming” bug is particularly common in people who use screen protectors. If you’ve ever used a screen protector to prevent your iPhone’s screen from getting scratched, you may have experienced the dimming bug. That’s because screen protectors can make your screen appear darker, triggering Auto-Brightness to dim the screen even further. There are a few things you can do if you use a screen protector and are experiencing dimming. You can try to replace your screen protector with one that has a lower brightness rating. Alternatively, you can buy an “Anti-Glare” protector that uses a matte finish that reduces the amount of glare on your screen.
It’s Due to Limiting Auto-Brightness
If you’re sure that you don’t use a screen protector, and you recently updated your iPhone to the latest version of iOS — but you’re still experiencing dimming — there’s a chance that Apple has implemented a way to limit Auto-Brightness on devices that experience it going haywire. If that’s the case, you can try restarting your device and waiting for Auto-Brightness to kick in. If it’s now working as expected, you may want to wait for the next iOS update to see if Apple fixes this. If Auto-Brightness is still limiting itself — but it should be working normally at this point the problem is likely due to battery issues. We’ll discuss those next.
Battery Issues Are to Blame
If you’ve ruled out Auto-Brightness and you’ve recently updated your iPhone, it’s possible that your battery is dying. If that’s the case, your iPhone will either be dimming completely or shutting off completely — and there’s a chance that it won’t start up again. If you’re lucky, though, the iPhone will start dimming instead. That’s a sign that your device is trying to deal with the battery issues, but it’s also a sign that you need to replace your battery. If your iPhone does shut off, though, you’ll want to charge it for at least 30 minutes before trying to turn it back on again.
If you’re experiencing dimming on your iPhone, your first step should be to reboot it. If that doesn’t work, try a few of the other suggestions we’ve outlined above. If you’ve tried all of the above and your iPhone is still experiencing dimming, it might be time to visit an Apple Store. You should also be sure to update your device to the latest version of iOS if you haven’t done so already. That way, you’ll be able to rule out any iOS-related issues.