If you’re taking a photo with your iPhone in a dark area and want to shed some light on a subject, it’s easy to turn on your phone’s built-in flash in the Camera app. The process is slightly different for different iPhone models. Heres how to do it.
How to enable flash on iPhones with Face ID
If you have an iPhone with Face ID (such as the iPhone X, 11, 12, and 13), the layout of the Camera app is slightly different than iPhones with Touch ID (which we’ll cover separately below). On these devices, turning on the flash is a somewhat confusing, multi-step process.
First, open the Camera app and go to Portrait or Portrait mode. Tap the caret-shaped arrow in the top center of the screen (if you’re holding your iPhone vertically) or on the left side of the screen (if you’re holding it horizontally).
This will expand a menu on the other side of the screen above (or to the left) of the large white shutter button. In the row of icons that appears, tap the flash icon that looks like a lightning bolt.
After clicking on the lightning bolt icon, another small menu will appear near it with three options: “Auto”, “On flash” and “Off”. If you select Auto, your iPhone will only use the flash when the Camera app detects a dark scene. If you choose “on flash”, the flash will always turn on every time you take a photo. Choose one of these two options.
Once the flash is enabled, you will see a special flash icon (yellow lightning bolt) in several places on the screen.
To disable the flash, repeat the above process, but select “Off” in the menu. Or you can click the flash icon in the upper left (portrait orientation) or lower left (horizontal) corner of the screen until the bolt icon appears crossed out.
Related: How to Use iPhone Camera App: The Ultimate Guide
How to enable flash on iPhones with Touch ID
Turning on flash on iPhone with Home button and Touch ID (such as iPhone SE or iPhone 8 and earlier) is an easy two-step process. To do this, open the Camera app first and make sure you are in Portrait or Portrait mode. In the corner of the screen, tap the flash icon that looks like a lightning bolt.
(If you’re holding the phone sideways, the flash icon will be in the lower left corner. If you’re holding it upright, the icon will be in the upper left corner.)
After clicking on the icon, a small menu will appear. Tap “Auto” to enable the auto flash that only works when the camera app detects low light. Click “On” to keep the flash active with every photo regardless of ambient light conditions.
While the flash is active, you will see a yellow lightning bolt icon at the top of the screen. To turn off the flash, tap the flash icon in the corner of the screen again and select “Off”. Enjoy – I hope you take some great photos!
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