Dark mode is coming: to phones, laptops, websites, and even individual apps. If you’re not already taking advantage of it, we’re going to show you how, across all the apps and devices you use.
Dark mode is both easier on your eyes and easier on your device’s battery life. The darker tones are more relaxing for your eyes to take in, especially in low light, and don’t draw as much power as brighter colors.
Not every app has a dark mode feature, while some just follow the setting of the operating system they’re installed on. But here’s how to get it the places you’ll enjoy it most.
Windows comes with its own dark mode, which will apply to every app that runs on it—as long as those apps are built to support it, as most now are. To enable it, click the cog icon on the Start menu, then choose Personalization, Colors, and then either __Light __or Dark under the Choose your color heading.
Select Custom instead of Light or Dark, and you can set the light or dark mode separately for both Windows OS and individual apps. The system menus and dialogs can be in dark mode and your apps can stay light, for example.
Like Windows, macOS has a system-wide dark mode setting as well. You can find it by opening up the Apple menu, then choosing System Preferences, then General. Make your choice of Light, Dark or Auto by the Appearance heading.
If you choose the Auto setting, then the theme will shift depending on the time of day in your time zone. During the night and evening you’ll be met with dark mode, and during the day, light mode will be activated without you having to do anything. Apps that support dark and light modes—including all apps from Apple itself—will follow suit.
How you enable dark mode on Android will vary slightly depending on which manufacturer made your phone and how its Android skin works, but on stock Android 10 you can find it on the Display menu in the Settings app. Turn the Dark theme toggle switch on to change the colors.
Any apps that support dark mode, including Gmail and Android Messages, will follow the Android lead. To add a Dark theme toggle switch to the Quick Settings panel, swiped down with two fingers from the top of the screen, then tap the pen icon to the lower left.
iOS and iPadOS
Head to the Settings app in iOS or iPadOS, then tap Display & Brightness. As on macOS, there are three options to pick from: You can choose between the Light and Dark options, or turn the Automatic toggle switch on to have the setting shift based on the time of day.
If you decide to take the automatic route, you can have dark mode turn itself on between sunset and sunrise, based on your local time zone, or set your own custom schedule. Compatible apps, including the ones Apple makes, will adopt the same mode.
Facebook and Facebook Messenger
Facebook is testing dark mode on the web and on Android, but you may not have the feature yet—and it hasn’t shown up on iPhones or iPads at all. If you’ve got the very latest update to Facebook on the web, click your avatar in the top right corner to find the dark mode switch.
On Android, if you’ve been selected for early access to the feature, dark mode is switched on and off in line with the phone theme; there’s no manual switch for it yet. Facebook Messenger on Android and iOS does have a switch though: Tap your avatar on the front screen to get to it.
At the time of writing, dark mode is only available in the beta versions of WhatsApp. The iOS beta isn’t accepting new users, but you can get the Android beta here. In the not-too-distant future, the feature should roll out to everyone.
To enable dark mode in WhatsApp, go to Chats then Themes from the Settings page inside the app, where you’ll find a toggle switch. You can set the theme to light or dark, or tell WhatsApp to obey the setting passed down by the mobile OS.
As well as offering dark mode on Android as a whole, Google has also added it to Gmail for Android. Choose Settings then General settings from the app menu to find the Theme option, which gives you a list of three different modes to pick from.
Light and Dark are the light and dark modes respectively, as you might expect, while System default tells Gmail to switch between light and dark depending on how you’ve configured Android. As yet, Gmail for iOS doesn’t support dark mode.
Google Calendar is just like Gmail—there’s a dedicated dark mode switch in the Android app, but at the time of writing there’s no dark mode on the iOS app, and it won’t follow the iOS setting either.
From the Google Calendar Android app Settings page, pick General then Theme. As on Gmail, you can pick from a light or dark mode, or just tell Google Calendar to follow Android’s lead.
Twitter comes with a dark mode built in on both Android and iOS. Tap your avatar in the top left corner, then Settings and privacy, Display and sound, and Dark mode. The app can follow the settings of your device, or be forced into light or dark mode on iOS; on Android, you can have light mode, dark mode, or automatically switch based on the time of day.
On iOS, YouTube won’t follow the device’s light or dark setting, but you can change it in the app settings. Tap your avatar, then Settings, then Dark theme). On Android, YouTube does follow the system setting, and also lets you tweak it via General and Appearance on Settings. You can get there by tapping your avatar.
If you’re keen use of the dark mode for Instagram for Android and iOS, you’ll find it follows the lead of your device’s settings. As long as you’re running Android 10 or later, or iOS 13 or later, Instagram will match the OS settings outlined above.
Those are some of the apps that currently support dark mode, but there are more. Fortunately, most dark mode-enabled apps simply copy whatever it is that Android or iOS are doing, and the list is likely to keep on growing.
Apps that currently support dark mode for Android, iOS, or both include Feedly, Reddit, Pocket Casts, the Amazon Kindle app, Evernote, Firefox, Opera, Outlook, Slack, Pinterest, Wikipedia, Pocket, Instapaper, and just about every app developed by Apple or Google.
If you haven’t tried dark mode yet, give it a shot. Your eyes—and battery—will thank you.
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