How to Turn the Flash on iPhones X, 11, 12 and 13

3 iphones on a table main

Figuring out a new phone isn’t always easy. Some people spend months using a phone before realizing that there is something they haven’t used or don’t know how to use. Seeing as one of the most significant selling factors of a phone is the camera quality, it makes sense that we want to know how to use the flash to ensure we can take photographs even when the light isn’t optimal.


Most iPhones have two or three options to enable or disable your camera flash. To “force” your flash on in most camera apps, you must swipe up from the viewfinder. There you will find the flash button along with the on, off, and auto options for your camera flash.


As everyone who has ever owned an iPhone knows, there are regular updates for their devices. As a result it is very likely that you might have to use different methods to accomplish the same task. Changing your camera flash options and where or how to find them might change as well.

How To Turn On Camera Flash On iPhone X


To turn on your camera flash on an iPhone X is a relatively simple process. After opening your camera app, you should be presented with a bar at the top of the screen. On the top left corner of the options bar, you should see a lightning bolt icon.


The lightning bolt icon is a universal icon for camera apps and usually represents a camera’s flash.  By clicking on the lightning bolt icon, three options should appear. Clicking on the “on” option, your phone camera should switch the flash on whenever you take a photo.


iphone X flash

How To Turn On Camera Flash On iPhone 11


The camera flash on the iPhone 11 is different from the flash on the iPhone X. With the newer phone comes changes to the camera app. There is an extra step to changing your flash options on the newer iPhones like the iPhone 11.

The first step, as before, is to open your camera app. After opening the camera app, you should be presented with the familiar camera screen. To change your flash options, start by swiping up from the camera viewfinder area on the camera screen.


The viewfinder area refers to the part of the screen that shows the image you will see when you take a photo. After swiping up, you should be presented with a couple of options. The options should include the universal flash button, a lightning bolt, on the left side. By clicking on this button, you can choose again between three options. By clicking the “on” option, your flash should be enabled when you take photos.


The third option is to look at the top of your screen in the left corner. There should also be a flash icon. By clicking on it, you will either see the icon be presented with a line through it or see the line being taken away. When the line does not appear over the icon, it means your flash is on.


There is also another way to put on the flash. Very similar to the first way except for one thing. If you look at the top bar next to the above-mentioned flash icon, you should see an arrow. By clicking this arrow, you should be able to follow the steps of the first method to switch your flash on or off or to change it to auto.


How To Turn On Camera Flash On iPhone 12


The iPhone 12 camera is almost identical to the iPhone 11 in the way that the flash works. Again, you are presented with three options.


By looking at the top of the screen and clicking on the left icon, a lightning bolt, you should be able to enable and disable your flash for photos. The second way is by swiping up from the viewfinder area, then clicking on the flash icon on the bottom menu bar.


By clicking on the flash icon, you should be able to choose between the three flash options. Clicking on the “on” button will enable flash whenever you take a photo.


The third step is again by clicking the arrow in the middle of the top bar, next to the flash icon, you will see a bar appear on the bottom of the screen where you can click on the flash icon. Doing this will allow you to choose between three options, and selecting the “on” option will enable flash whenever you take a photo.


How To Turn On Camera Flash On iPhone 13


Changing the camera’s flash settings on the iPhone 13 is very similar to both the iPhone 11 and 12. You are presented with three options. The easiest option is to look in the top left corner of the camera screen. By clicking on the flash icon, a lightning bolt, you can quickly enable and disable your flash.

iphone 13 close up

The second option is next to the flash icon on the left top of the screen you will find an arrow. By clicking on this arrow, you will bring up an options box on the bottom of the screen just above the shutter button. The leftmost icon should be the flash icon which you can tap to be presented with the three flash options.


The third method requires you to swipe up from the bottom of the viewfinder, or the part where you can see the photo you’re about to take. By swiping up on the screen, you will be presented with more icons just above the shutter button. The leftmost icon should be the flash button.

By tapping the flash icon, you should be given the options “on,” “off,” and “auto.”

Selecting the “on” option should enable your flash. This means that your flash will shine every time you take a photo by clicking on the shutter button.


The Three Flash Options


There are three flash options on most iPhones when you click on the hidden flash icon. These options all have different roles –


  • On – This option will enable your flash any time you take a photo. It is an option that means your flash will always be used.
  • Off – This option will disable the flash when you take a photo. It is an option that means your flash is always off.
  • Auto – This option allows your iPhone to choose when to put the flash on or when to keep it off. When your iPhone can see that there are low light levels in the photo you are about to take, the auto feature will allow the flash to enable to make sure there is enough light to see the image.


How to Use Flash Notifications

Did you know that you can also use your flash to get notifications? Yup! What will they think of next?!

If you turn on this feature your phone flash will blink when your phone is turned off to alert you that there is a notification. This allows you to not miss an important message. Here are 3 quick, easy steps if you want to try out this feature:

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility, then select Audio/Visual.
  2. Turn on LED Flash for Alerts.
  3. Turn on Flash on Silent if you want LED Flash for Alerts only when your iPhone or iPad Pro* is silenced.

One thing to remember is that LED Flash for Alerts works only when your device is locked.

Here’s a short video if you’re a visual learner:




For the most part, the iPhone camera app allows you to switch between three flash options in your camera app easily. Once you know how it works, you won’t have any problems switching your flash on and off. There is also the added benefit that it isn’t hard to understand how to change your flash settings if you upgrade to a newer iPhone as most of the time, the way to change the flash options stays the same or very similar.

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