iOS 16 always shows status bar text in white, here’s a fix

Apple has changed how the home screen text shows for app icon names and in the status bar (time, and icons for signal, Wi-Fi, and battery) in iOS 16. Even if you have dark mode enabled, the text appears as white when you use a light-colored background wallpaper, which makes the text unreadable. Whether this is a bug, or Apple wants us all to use dark-colored backgrounds, here is a quick workaround to fix this issue.

Change iOS 16 status bar color to black

Change iOS 16 status bar color to black

While there is no way to change the app name color to black, on lighter backgrounds, there is an accessibility setting that lets you switch the status bar text, including time and icons, to black. Here is how can enable it.

  1. First of all, this is how your status bar text will look like on a light background: iOS 16 always shows status bar text in white 2
  2. Now, head over to Settings > General > Accessibility. iOS 16 always shows status bar text in white 3   iOS 16 always shows status bar text in white 4
  3. Scroll down and go to Per-App Settings. iOS 16 always shows status bar text in white 5
  4. In the list of apps to customize, tap on Home Screen. iOS 16 always shows status bar text in white 6
  5. Scroll down and tap on Smart Invert: iOS 16 always shows status bar text in white 7
  6. Tap on On, and go back to the home screen. iOS 16 always shows status bar text in white 1

You should now see the status bar text show in black color.

iOS 16 always shows status bar text in white 8

Ideally, you should not have to use this workaround. Hopefully, Apple will fix this in iOS 16.1, which is currently in beta. The update will be released for all iPhone models sometime in October.

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4 comments

  1. The text under my app icons suddenly changed to black. It’s the same with Dark Mode on or off, and it doesn’t change with light or dark colored backgrounds.

    Smart invert is not turned on.

  2. With iOS 15.7 we had an Aqua colored wallpaper (required for us) and all of the app title names and other text on the Home Screen was black. This was perfect. Very easy to read. After installing iOS 16.1.1 this text is now white and VERY difficult to read. How can I change the app title names back to black?

  3. I just got iOS 16.1.1. This is the first time I have the issue. Well, the text on the home screen will always be white. The new Smart Invert inverts the background image’s colors – as in a negative image.

  4. As of 1/24/23 with iOS 16.3 it’s still an unfixable problem 😡

    Unfortunately using Smart Invert just turned my background to a grey color and kept the white text 😖

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