In dark mode, text appears in a light color (white or grey) and all other elements of the display appear in a dark color (black or dark grey). The idea behind dark mode is that the screen emits more energy when displaying lighter colors, while darker colors consume less energy. As by default, most of the screen is white or lighter, the solution is to invert the background color to make it dark with light colored text.
As dark mode saves energy and extends the battery life of most devices, including Windows laptops, Macs, Android/iOS tablets and smartphones, it has become a popular choice for many individuals.
In some devices, especially smartphones, dark mode is the default setting. But Windows still comes with a traditional light background with dark text.
In this article, we will discuss how to enable dark mode in Windows 11 and other popular apps that are used in Windows.
Table of contents
How to enable dark mode in Windows 11
- Go to Settings (Windows key + i)
- Select Personalization
- On the right-hand pane, select Colors
- Under Choose your mode, select Dark
This will turn on dark mode for the Windows system including Windows file explorer, Settings and all other apps that support dark mode. If you want the Windows system to remain in Dark mode while opening other apps in light mode, select Custom from the drop-down menu.
Once you select Custom, you will have two options:
- Choose your default Windows mode
- Choose your default app mode
You can select light or dark for both of these options separately.
Enable dark contrast theme to enable dark mode system wide
Windows 11 dark mode is not a true dark mode. It uses a subtle dark grey background with light greyish text to make the screen easier on the eyes, especially at night. Windows also comes with a totally black and white theme. This is helpful for accessibility.
To enable the contrast theme, follow the steps below:
Open Windows Settings (Windows key + i). Go to Accessibility –> Contrast themes.
Under the theme preview, you will see a preview of each theme built for accessibility in Windows. Windows 11 comes with the following contrast themes:
- Desert (Light theme with good contrast)
- Night sky (Dark theme with high contrast)
The night sky is the darkest of all. Select the theme from the drop-down menu under Contrast themes.
Once you have selected the theme, you can toggle between the default Windows 11 theme and the contrast theme by using the keyboard shortcut Left shift + Left alt + Prtsc.
Enable dark mode in popular Windows apps
Some apps come with their own dark mode like Google Chrome. They don’t follow the Windows dark mode settings. In that case, you will need to enable dark mode in those apps separately.
Enable dark mode in Google Chrome
To enable dark mode in Chrome, go to Chrome Settings –> You and Google –>Customize your Chrome profile.
Choose a dark color profile under Pick a theme color.
Enable dark mode in Facebook Messenger
By default, Facebook Messenger uses system settings for enabling or disabling dark mode for the app. If you have configured dark mode in Windows, Facebook Messenger will also open in dark mode. But if you want to set up separate configurations for the app, you can follow the steps below:
- Click on your profile icon in the top left corner of Facebook Messenger window.
- Go to Preferences –> Appearance
- Under Theme, click on the dropdown menu and select the appropriate mode for the app. You will get the following mode options:
- Mirror system preferences
- High contrast (Dark)
- High contrast (Light)
While dark mode is a popular option, it comes with its own disadvantages. You can’t read long pieces of content in dark mode as it will cause eye fatigue. White text on a dark background is not always easier to concentrate and read but it is helpful in reducing eye strain at night. Dark mode is only useful in modern LED displays. If you are using an old monitor, it will not save energy for you.
Ultimately, the dark mode option is there for you to use whenever possible but over-using this mode will have negative effects on you. What are the situations when you prefer to use dark mode or light mode?