Every time I want to take a photo, the iPhone enables a 3 second exposure in low light. This feature is horrible and does not work for any situation.

I want it to use the flash always.

Does anyone know how to permanently disable the 3 second nonsense, and make it always use the flash?

  • What model iPhone? What version of iOS? Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 14:51

2 Answers 2


... how to permanently disable the 3 second nonsense, and make it always use the flash?

The "3 second nonsense" is part of the iPhone photos Night Mode. It takes sufficient (auto or manually) exposition to be able to render a high quality photo.

You need to know that turning on Flash will automatically disable Night Mode.

To enable Flash mode :

  1. Open Camera app
  2. Click on the arrow going down at the top of your screen :
  3. Click on until the lightning symbol is not longer grey and has turned yellow and isn't crossed by a line ()

This will normally enable flash (it works for me on iPhone 12 Pro).

Edit : To turn off Night Mode by default.

When shooting a photo in the dark, click on the yellow "2s" button, slide the slider to "Off" (or 0) (the slider will appear on top of the take photo button). Then go to Settings > Camera > Preserve Settings > [toggle on] Night Mode. This will keep the Night Mode setting you have just setted as default : to no Night Mode.

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Good luck!

  • Is there a permanent setting, for this as I know I can keep turning the flash on. But I just want to permanently disable 'night mode' - it is not a feature that is at all useful to me
    – John
    Commented Mar 25, 2023 at 21:17
  • @John Yes! It's possible! I added how to do as an edit to the answer! :)
    – Thinkr
    Commented Mar 25, 2023 at 21:32

The "3 second exposure in low light" is know as Night Mode.

You can follow that link to learn more about it, how to adjust it.

The quick fix is to turn on flash to prevent a long exposure. Otherwise, you'll have to line up external lighting to ensure a good exposure without the phone / iPad flash.

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