Phones Samsung

Why has my Samsung phone gone black and white?

Samsung Galaxy with black and white screen
Off colour: fix a black and white screen

I had a bit of a shock earlier when I looked at my Samsung Galaxy phone and the screen had turned black and white. I didn’t realise I’d bought the Samsung Galaxy 1975. It took me a while to work out what had happened, so if your Samsung Phone has gone black and white, let me save you from pounding through the settings and identify the likely culprit.

How to turn off the black and white screen on your phone

The reason my phone screen went black and white is because I’d accidentally activated Sleep Mode on my Samsung Galaxy Watch.

Sleep Mode is designed to help you get off to sleep and avoid potential disturbances. So it puts the display on a connected phone into black-and-white mode and silences most notifications. Note, this is different to Do Not Disturb, which is another similar mode. 

To turn off Sleep Mode from your Galaxy Watch:

  • Drag down from the top of the Watch screen
  • Find the icon of a person sleeping in a bed – if the icon is blue, you’ve got Sleep Mode activated and you can press to switch it off

To turn off Sleep Mode from the Samsung phone:

  • Open Settings
  • Search for ‘sleep’ by pressing the looking glass icon in the top-right of the screen and typing the word
  • You should find Sleep comes up in the search results, under Modes and Routines. Select this and switch off Sleep

There are other ways you may have accidentally turned the screen black and white in the Accessibility settings. To check these go to Settings > Accessibility > Visibility Enhancements. Here, you should check you haven’t mistakenly activated modes such as colour inversion, colour correction, high contrast or extra dim. 

If you click the Default button at the top of the Visibility Enhancements screen, it should return the phone to normal settings, although you may find that this switches off the phone’s Dark Mode, if you were using that previously. To pop that back on, exit Settings, drag your finger down from the top of the screen and select Dark Mode from the rows of icons. You may have to swipe left or right to find the Dark Mode option.

Additional troubleshooting steps

If the previous steps didn’t resolve the issue and your Samsung Galaxy phone is still stuck in black and white mode, here are a couple more troubleshooting steps you can try:

  1. Restart your phone: Sometimes a simple restart can help fix software glitches. Press and hold the power button until the power menu appears, then select Restart
  2. Check battery saver mode: Battery saver mode can sometimes cause the screen to appear in black and white. Swipe down from the top of the screen to open the Quick Settings panel and see if the battery saver mode is enabled. If it is, disable it and see if that restores colour to the screen

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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