Can’t schedule Dark Mode or Night Shift on iPhone and iPad? Here’s a fix

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Fix Dark Mode, Night Shift scheduling on iPhone and iPad
Don't wait for Apple to patch this problem.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

A strange bug introduced in a recent iPhone and iPad update is preventing many users from scheduling features like Dark Mode and Night Shift. But you don’t need to wait for Apple to fix it.

Discover the simple solution to this problem right here.

The jury’s out on whether Dark Mode and Night Shift actually offer any genuine health benefits. Either way, both make looking at your iPhone or iPad in dark rooms a much more pleasurable experience.

Scheduling in iOS and iPadOS allow these features to be enabled and disabled automatically depending on the time of day. But a newly-introduced bug stops scheduling from being activated by some.

Here’s how to fix this problem.

How to fix Dark Mode and Night Shift scheduling

You will know if your devices are affected by this bug when you attempt to enable Dark Mode or Night Shift scheduling for the first time. The toggles will be stuck and you won’t be able to enable them.

If that happens, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap Privacy.
  2. Tap Location Services, then tap System Services.
  3. Find System Customization and enable it. If it is already enabled, tap the toggle to disable it, then enable it again.
  4. Now return to your Dark Mode or Night Mode settings and try enabling scheduling again. You should find their toggles now work properly.
Fix Dark Mode, Night Shift scheduling on iPhone and iPad
Disable System Customization then enable it again.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Once scheduling is enabled, it should remain that way (until you disable it yourself). But here’s to hoping Apple fixes this problem soon so that the above workaround is no longer necessary.