How To Turn Off Auto Brightness on Apple Watch

Ever since I got my Apple Watch, there has always been an issue with the screen brightness, where the screen appears dim automatically even when there is enough light around.

This problem is primarily due to the Auto Brightness feature on the Apple Watch, which tries to adjust the screen brightness according to the lighting conditions around you.

Does Apple Watch Have Auto-Brightness?

Apple Watches are equipped with an auto-brightness feature that adjusts the screen’s brightness based on ambient light conditions. While designed to enhance user experience and conserve battery life, some users find the auto-brightness settings inadequate, particularly in dark environments.

Users cannot directly adjust or disable this feature through conventional settings within the Apple Watch interface.

Common Issues Reported

  • The screen appears excessively dim in low-light situations.
  • Difficulty reading text or viewing content in dark environments despite the brightness set to maximum.

Suggested Solutions and Workarounds

Several workarounds and suggestions have been shared within the Apple community to address the auto brightness issue. Here are some that you can try today.

1. Maximize Brightness Settings

  1. On your iPhone, open the Watch app.
  2. Go to My Watch > Brightness & Text Size.
  3. Use the slider to adjust it according to your needs.

You can also configure this from the Settings app on the watch. Users have attempted to resolve the dimness issue by setting the brightness to the maximum level within the Apple Watch settings. However, this doesn’t consistently address the problem in low-light environments.

2. Utilizing External Light Sources

Here is a trick: try shining external light sources, like the iPhone flashlight, directly onto the Apple Watch to temporarily achieve maximum brightness.

As soon as your Apple Watch screen starts to dim down:

  1. Take out your iPhone.
  2. Open Control Center and turn on your Flashlight.
  3. Point the light directly at your watch screen.

This solution often results in temporary brightness that reverts back to the lower setting after a short period.

3. Bonus: A Random Helpful Trick

The following steps may seem random but reportedly work to increase the brightness temporarily on your Apple Watch.

  1. On your watch, select the Phone app.
  2. Choose Keypad.
  3. Click on the little green ‘<‘ icon.
  4. Reselect Keypad.
  5. Press the Digital Crown twice to return to the clock face.

Final Words

You may find it difficult to use your Apple Watch in low-light conditions due to the auto brightness feature.

The workarounds provided above are temporary solutions. Unfortunately, there is no direct setting currently exists to disable or adjust auto brightness on the Apple Watch.

Leave a Comment

  1. This is a piss poor solution to the problem. The flashlight only works temporarily, so this is absolutely worthless; there needs to be a solution to set the auto brightness to off PERMANENTLY!

      • I confess I really hate this feature. It takes control out of the users hands. I literally cannot use my watch in the night time. It just goes to Dark. I have to keep reaching for my glasses but I don’t have to do that in the daytime which is bizarre that it’s bright enough for me to read in the day and not bright enough for me to read at night Apple needs to fix this ASAP. I will quite literally stop wearing the watch in fact thinking about returning it I’ve only had it for two days and it’s already bugging me I love everything else about it but makes no sense if you can’t even read it when The sun goes down.

    • Did you you try restarting your watch. I had this problem after updating, read all this stuff and turned it off. After I turned it on it works fine

  2. Hey Joe,
    This is such an oversight for Apple. I am getting older and need the watch to be bright so I can see it in dark conditions without blurring. As it is now, the watch is bordering on useless to me in dim conditions. In this day and age you would thing Apple would just have an option to turn this damn irritating feature off. Amazes me sometimes how organiizations that are so smart could be so ignorant to their customers’ needs.

  3. My screen darkening is intermittent and always happens indoors.
    To fix itI have to hole down the crown and on/off button and reboot the watch.
    It will be fine for about a day, then it happens again.

  4. I have an early apple watch, its a series one. The screen has gotten harder to read recently especially when I’m outdoors, in fact, I can’t really read it at all. Is the watch just getting old and worn out? I’ve adjusted the brightness and it doesn’t help. Maybe time to get a new watch?

  5. I have to agree. I am sure their intentions were good, but my 61 year old eyes require a brighter display, all the time. Talk to your optometrist, they will tell you the same thing. More light/bright is required as we age. They absolutely need to change this and add this as an option


  6. I’m with Joe. I’m taking back my SE for a refund. Worthless if you can’t see the watch face. I’ll download fall detection app to my Series 3 and I’m good. Unforgivable, Apple.

  7. Apple really needs to fix this by giving us an auto brightness on off setting. Apple becomes big brother enforces things that we don’t really want all too often. This is a great example.

    • Thank you so much. This problem was driving me crazy, and I found no solutions anywhere online — until I landed here. This FIXED it!

  8. Easy workaround for this issue:

    Open phone app on watch
    press keyboard
    press green
    press keyboard again
    double press crown
    screen brightness fixed

  9. If you can afford the battery power and have a compatible watch, always on. Whenever you raise your wrist the watch will go full bright.

  10. Possible Workaround on SE

    I can’t see my screen in a dark room. Accidentally figured out that if I swipe up from the bottom of the watch, turn on the flashlight (choose white and touch screen to turn it on), then double click the crown button, the brightness stays up as long as i am fumbling around with the watch. If I turn my wrist away and the display turns off it will be dim again, but this workaround takes about 4 seconds to do and maybe it will help someone else while we wait for the powers that be at apple allow us to turn off the automatic dimming feature.

  11. I have had my SE for about 6 months. All of a sudden it was too dim! I tried all of the temporary fixes listed here and none were permanent until…
    Hold the crown AND the OFF button down at the same time for 2 seconds and reboot the watch. Problem fixed!


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