Apple Carplay allows car owners to use their iPhones through their infotainment screens. However, your eyes react to these screens in different ways.
A bright screen during the day gives clear vision, but it can be blinding at night, making many car owners adjust their screen’s brightness according to the time of the day.
When using the screen, whether directly or via CarPlay, users want a bright screen during the day and a dark screen at night. So how do you adjust Apple Carplay brightness as needed?
To adjust Apple Carplay brightness, adjust the brightness of your head unit instead. With CarPlay connected tap setup>display>illumination. Then set to how bright you want it during the day and at night. There are, however, other ways of adjusting the screen’s brightness since vehicles differ.
Adjusting Apple CarPlay Brightness
One cannot adjust CarPlay brightness but can via the interface on your infotainment screen. Adjusting the brightness of the head unit or screen in some vehicles adjusts Apple CarPlay’s brightness.
This is why if you try and use a CarPlay Siri command, to change the screen brightness, it won’t work.
1. The Dashboard
In some cars, adjusting the brightness of the dashboard light adjusts that of the CarPlay screen. But knowing how to do the setting is another thing as it works differently for vehicles.
In some cars like Subaru, the control knob to brighten the dashboard should not be set to maximum. The max setting disables the ambient light auto. Adjusting to anything below maximum activates the ambient light, automatically adjusting the screen light to suit lighting conditions.
2. Adjusting the Screen’s Brightness
The process works with most vehicles. First, however, one must understand if this is compatible with CarPlay.
- On the infotainment screen, tap settings
- Display settings
- Tap brightness and adjust as appropriate
3. Enabling Different Modes
iPhones running on iOS 13 give users a choice of setting CarPlay via the car’s screen to different times of the day. You can set it to NIGHT (dark), DAY, or AUTO.
NIGHT gives you a dark screen; DAY gives you a bright screen. While AUTO automatically adjusts the screen’s brightness according to lighting conditions.
To Enable Different Modes
- With CarPlay connected, go to settings. The setting app should be on the right side of the stereo. If not, swipe to the left.
- Click on Appearance
- Select mode and adjust accordingly
CarPlay Works Differently in Some Cars
- With Apple CarPlay connected, click on set up
- Choose mode and adjust brightness as needed
Note: In some cars, the usual way you adjust your screen brightness won’t work when CarPlay is connected.
Here’s an example of one car’s infotainment system and how you’d change the brightness in this scenario. Watch the video below:
The 2016 and 2020 Honda Civic Are Good Examples
To adjust screen brightness with the CarPlay on:
- Locate the tiny button at the top left corner of the screen by the A/C vent
- Lower or increase the brightness, or better still, switch to auto
4. The Headlights
Turning off the headlights in cars like the 2016 Honda Accord brightens the infotainment screen. Conversely, turning it on takes CarPlay into dark mode and darkens the screen.
See our full article regarding Apple maps CarPlay dark mode for more info on changing this for your navigation apps.
5. The Interior Lights
The screen’s brightness is tied to the interior lights in some vehicles. Turn down the interior lights; the screen goes dark; turn it on, and the screen becomes bright.
6. The Instrument Panel
In many cars, the screen’s brightness, especially at night, is tied to the dimmer switch that controls the brightness of the instrument panel. You can turn down the screen’s brightness by using this switch.
It won’t work in cars like the 2017 Ford Fusion if you dim the screen light. Instead, you should first adjust the brightness of the instrument panels before dimming the screen light.
7. The Console
Adjusting the brightness of the entire console also accommodates the screen’s brightness in some cars. This works well for Chevy Trax. However, this method changes everything in your vehicle and not just CarPlay.
8. The Odometer
In some cars, twisting the odometer reset button can help adjust the screen’s brightness with CarPlay on. However, some vehicles require the headlights to be on AUTO to save this setting for future use.
9. Settings with Headlights on
With CarPlay connected and the headlight turned on:
- Go to Settings on your infotainment screen
- Tap on display
- Go to CarPlay and adjust as appropriate
10. Users Manual
If none works, go through your owner’s manual to adjust the touchscreen brightness.
11. Contact Support
If you run out of options, contact the support system of the head unit you’re using. They should be able to point you in the right direction for how to adjust the CarPlay display brightness.
Apple CarPlay Brightness – Specific Vehicles
Different vehicles have different ways of adjusting screen brightness and therefore, Apple CarPlay brightness. Here are some examples of popular car models below: