It’s becoming a popular trend to find ways to curb smartphone addiction, and the latest technique involves making your phone as dull- and boring-looking as possible — by enabling its grayscale mode. Enabling grayscale on a Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL is fairly straightforward, although it might not seem that way since there’s no grayscale option in the phone’s accessibility settings.

Steps to enable Google Pixel 2 grayscale display mode

  1. Enable developers options
  2. Enable ‘Monochromacy’ simulated color space
  3. Enjoy grayscale on your Google Pixel 2

1. Enable Developer Options

As mentioned, there’s no way to enable grayscale in the phone’s standard accessibility settings — although there are some display accessibility settings located there. From there, you can change the font size, display size, magnification, color correction, color inversion, and mouse pointer.

But for grayscale, you’re going to have to enable Developer Options. If you need detail on how to do that, then check out our other Android Basics post on the matter. Otherwise, all you have to do is head to Settings -> System -> About phone and tap on the “Build number” section several times until you get a notification on the bottom of the screen telling you that you’re a developer.

2. Enable ‘Monochromacy’ simulated color space

After you’ve done this, head back to the “System” settings menu. From there, tap on “Developer options”. This is a huge menu with dozens of advanced settings, so you’re going to have to do a bit of scrolling to find the one you want. Scroll down to the “Hardware accelerated rendering” section and find “Simulate color space”. Tap that, and choose “Monochromacy”. Congrats, you now have a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL with a grayscale display.

3. Enjoy grayscale on your Google Pixel 2

From here, your phone is going to stay in this grayscale mode until you tell it otherwise. Yes, the settings will persist through reboots and displays grayscale throughout the entirety of the UI. Of course, if you want to change the display mode back to normal, you can head back to Settings -> System -> Developer options -> Simulate color space and disable it.

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Stephen Hall

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