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How to turn up Apple Watch screen brightness

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Want to take advantage of Apple’s brightest screen yet on the Ultra? Or get your Apple Watch Series 8, SE, or earlier Apple Watch up to the full 1,000 nits? Here’s how to turn up Apple Watch screen brightness plus a couple of details to keep in mind.

Along with delivering its largest screen yet in a 49mm case, Apple Watch Ultra also comes with double the screen brightness of the rest of the wearables in the lineup.

However, for Apple Watch Ultra – Series 8, SE, an earlier too – the default screen brightness isn’t set to show off its full power.

watchOS doesn’t have a setting to change the auto-brightness like on iPhone even though the wearables include an ambient light sensor (going back to the original Apple Watch). But you should see the screen brightness automatically increase outside or in other environments with bright light.

Particularly when using your Apple Watch outside, full brightness is useful but you might also start to appreciate it inside too.

Turn up Apple Watch screen brightness

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch
  2. Swipe or scroll down to Display & Brightness
  3. Tap the larger sun on the right to turn up the maximum brightness
    • You can also tap the green lines to change the brightness
    • There are only three levels of brightness to choose from and no auto-brightness adjustment
  4. That’s it!
  • Keep in mind you’ll see faster battery drain with the brightness turned to max
  • The full 2,000 or 1,000 nits depending on which Apple Watch you have will only be enabled in certain lighting conditions

Here’s how it looks to turn up Apple Watch screen brightness:

Apple doesn’t appear to have a support document yet describing the impact of using full brightness on the newest Apple Watches, or exactly what nits to expect when using the 3 different brightness settings.

But going for level 3 of 3 seems to be the surest way to get the 2,000 nits for Apple Watch Ultra and 1,000 nits as promised in Apple’s tech specs.

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