How To Fix A Phone Screen That Has Turned Gray / Grayscale

Kimberly Perez

Phone In Grayscale

A gray screen on a smartphone can be unsettling, but it’s usually caused by the grayscale mode being turned on. This mode is designed to save battery power or reduce distractions, and it can be turned on accidentally. It’s important to determine the cause of the issue, as it could be a simple setting that needs to be adjusted or an underlying software issue that requires more troubleshooting. To identify the problem, you can try safe mode, which loads only the basic system software and allows you to see if the issue persists without the influence of downloaded apps. If the screen functions normally in safe mode, the problem likely lies with a recently installed app.

Dealing with a Grayscale Screen

A gray screen on your phone can be frustrating. It can happen unexpectedly and leave you wondering what to do. Don’t worry, here are some troubleshooting steps to try, depending on if you have an iPhone or Android device.

iPhone Troubleshooting

Check Accessibility Settings

  1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility.
  2. Tap on Display Accommodations.
  3. Locate Color Filters and ensure it is turned off.

Force Restart Your iPhone

If the grayscale issue persists, try a force restart:

  • iPhone 8 or later: Quickly press and release the Volume Up button, then the Volume Down button. Finally, press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears.
  • iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold the side button and the Volume Down button simultaneously until you see the Apple logo.
  • iPhone 6s or earlier: Press and hold the side (or top) button and the Home button until the Apple logo appears.

Android Troubleshooting

Android Grayscale

Check Accessibility Settings

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Vision.
  2. Ensure Grayscale is turned off.

Enter Safe Mode

  1. Press and hold the power button.
  2. Tap and hold the Power Off option.
  3. Tap OK when the Safe mode prompt appears.

If the grey screen disappears in safe mode, a third-party app is likely the culprit. Uninstall recently installed apps one by one until the issue is resolved.

Clear Cache Partition

  1. Turn off your phone.
  2. Press and hold the power button, volume up button, and (if applicable) the home button. This will vary depending on your Android model.
  3. Release the buttons when the recovery menu appears.
  4. Use the volume keys to navigate to Wipe Cache Partition and confirm with the power button.
  5. Reboot your phone.

Table of Troubleshooting Tips

Grayscale ModeSettings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Color Filters (ensure turned off)Settings > Accessibility > Vision > Grayscale (ensure turned off)
Software GlitchForce RestartSafe Mode
Faulty AppN/ASafe Mode (uninstall recent apps if issue resolved)
Hardware IssueContact Apple SupportContact phone manufacturer or authorized repair center

Key Takeaways

  • Grayscale screens may occur due to specific settings or software issues.
  • Safe mode is helpful for diagnosing third-party app conflicts.
  • Adjusting accessibility settings can often revert the screen back to color.

Diagnosing Screen Discoloration

When your phone screen turns grey, it could be due to several reasons ranging from enabled settings to serious hardware issues. It’s important to pinpoint the cause before attempting a fix.

Understanding Grayscale Mode

Grayscale mode changes the screen to shades of grey and is often used to reduce distraction. On an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, check if this setting is on by going to Settings, tapping Accessibility, then Display & Text Size, and looking for Color Filters. Make sure the Grayscale toggle is off.

Identifying Software Issues

Software glitches can cause screen discoloration. Check for pending software updates in your device’s settings and install the latest version. If the screen remains grey, try a force restart which can resolve many iOS issues without losing data. For persistent problems, go back to Settings, then General, and choose Reset to Restore iPhone. Remember to backup data before a system recovery.

Recognizing Hardware Malfunctions

If software fixes don’t work the problem might be the hardware. Look for any signs of physical damage. A black or grey screen can signal a malfunction with the display itself. In this case, professional repair may be necessary. Avoid DIY repairs if you’re not experienced as they can sometimes cause more issues with your phone screen. If you own a Samsung phone, there’s also a Visibility Enhancements mode in the settings which should be checked similar to the iPhone’s Color Filters.