Dark mode is a feature in many apps and operating systems like MacOS and Android or iOS. It turns your windows black, changes the text and icons to lighter colors, and makes everything appear more shadowy. It’s a nice look if you prefer to work with darker tones, or prefer to work in darkened environments, where a bright screen can be harsh on the eyes.
The feature also offers up some battery life savings too, if you have a device with OLED display. In this guide, we’ll show you how to activate dark mode in Windows 10 in a few simple steps.
Switching on the Windows 10 dark mode
In the Windows 10 October 2018 update, Microsoft expanded the dark theme to also include all parts of File Explorer. This means you get even darker for your buck when you enable the dark mode below. Here’s how you can enable it in the most recent version of Windows 10.
Step 1: Go to Windows 10 Settings. You can either type it into the Windows search bar or click the gear icon in the Start menu.
Step 2: Head to Personalization, which features an icon of a paintbrush over a computer monitor.
Step 3: When the window opens, click Colors in the left-hand sidebar.
Step 4: Scroll to the middle of the page and look for the section that says Choose your default Windows mode. You’ll then want to click on the option that says Choose your color. You’ll want to click the box and choose the option that says Dark.
Step 5: This step is optional, but you could also pick an accent color. Scroll up to the color palette at the top of the “Colors” window. With dark mode activated, the accent color is even more important to help you find the boundaries of Windows and locate where everything is at a glance.
We advise you to steer away from the very dark colors, like the dark greens and grays, as they are more difficult to spot. The lighter, more noticeable colors are generally a better bet. The reds are particularly edgy, while the blues add the most visibility. That said, it’s really your decision. The changes are instant, so feel free to click around until you find a color that works.
Keep in mind that many apps also allow you to change color settings for that individual app. So if you find the perfect accent combo, but find that it doesn’t work with your apps, there’s a way to fix it. Head into the app’s native settings, and look for options to change the theme or color mode.
Bonus tip: Change Microsoft Office to the dark mode
If you do a lot of work in Office and wish that it could also be darkened, we have good news: It can!
First, head to the “File” tab, and select “Options.” Make sure in the sidebar that you are in the “General” section. Partway down in this section, you will see a heading that says, “Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office.”
In this section, one of the last choices should be Office Theme. Select this, and switch it to “Black.” You’re all set!