Home Tech Guides How to Enable Dark Mode in Windows 10

How to Enable Dark Mode in Windows 10

Key Pointers: To enable dark mode on Windows 10, launch the Settings app, navigate to Personalization > Color, and select "Dark." Some programs may respect your system settings, while others will require you to manually switch to dark mode.

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Windows 10 has a dark mode that applies to programs downloaded from the Windows Store. Most desktop programs are unaffected, but we have additional options for them. Here’s how to make your entire desktop (or as much of it as possible) dark.

Enable Dark Mode for Windows 10 Settings and Apps

Go to Settings > Personalization > Colors to enable Dark Mode. Under the “Choose your color” area, select “Dark” from the drop-down menu.

The Settings program, like many other “Universal Windows Platform” apps, goes dark instantly (those you get from the Windows Store). It is up to each developer, however, to support Dark Mode, and many do not. And, as previously stated, this setting has little effect on most desktop apps. Those that remain white or follow their own color scheme. Some desktop apps, such as File Explorer and Paint.NET, do respect this option, but the vast majority do not.

Enable Dark Mode in Microsoft Edge

The Microsoft Edge web browser that comes with Windows 10 features a dark mode as well. It is set to Light mode by default, but it may be configured to respect system settings or to compel the usage of dark mode.

To enable dark mode in Edge, go to the toolbar’s menu button (the icon with three dots on the far right side), and then select the “Settings” option. On the left, click “Appearance,” and then change the color scheme to “System Default” or “Dark.”

Note: Edge’s title bar, toolbars, and menus darken, but most online pages remain unaffected—unless the website decides to respect your dark theme. To turn the entire web black, you’ll need a browser plugin like Turn Off the Lights.

You may also change the theme of the Groove music player, Movies & TV video player, and Photos applications independently. They will, however, utilize your system theme by default. You don’t need to modify the setting manually.

Related: How to Enable Dark Mode in Microsoft Edge

Enable the Dark Theme in Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office also has a dark mode, or theme, which is not activated by default and must be enabled manually.

To enable dark mode, launch an Office product such as Word or Excel and navigate to File > Options or select “Options” in the lower left corner as soon as the program launches. Look for the “Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office” section on the “General” page and change the “Office Theme” drop-down to “Black.”

Apply Dark Themes for Other Applications

Many additional Windows desktop programs have their own theme and engine settings. Google Chrome, for example, will honor the color mode defined in the system settings, but you may override it to install your own themes. Some of Chrome’s dark themes differ significantly from the default dark mode, so they’re worth exploring if you want to add some personal flare. You may enable Firefox’s built-in dark theme.

For instance, we installed the Morpheon Dark Chrome theme. Chrome now seems considerably more at home on a dark-themed desktop.

You should check to see if the applications you frequently use have their own theme options.

Activate Dark Mode for Windows Desktop Apps

The actual issue with the new Dark Mode option is that it does not apply to all Windows desktop programs. Some desktop apps, like Notepad, continue to use the standard, light appearance.

Windows has a dark mode for desktop apps, although it’s definitely not optimal. Go to Settings > Ease of Access > High Contrast to enable it. Enable the “Turn on High Contrast” option on the right and select “High Contrast Black” from the “Choose a Theme” selection. To save the setting, click “Apply.”

When you use this high-contrast theme, most desktop programs will have a dark backdrop. They don’t, however, look all that fantastic. High contrast themes are an accessibility option that boosts contrast to make the screen easier to see and understand. They don’t seem as polished as a contemporary dark mode would.

You’ll need to use third-party software to get a smoother dark mode for desktop applications that don’t alter the system settings. While there are a few options, we recommend WindowBlinds by Stardock (the same company that provides programs like Fences and Start10). The app costs $9.99, but there is a free 30-day trial to see whether it’s appropriate for you.

The good thing about WindowBlinds is that when you apply a theme, it applies to everything—UWP programs, desktop apps, dialog boxes, you name it.

After installing it, launch it and navigate to the “Style” page. To apply a theme, just choose it and then click the “Apply Style To Desktop” option.

WindowBlinds does not provide a dark mode (though some built-in themes are darker than others). You may always make your own by selecting the “Modify Style” option from any theme. You can change almost everything you can think of. But there is a simpler method.

Simply navigate to the WindowBlinds area of the WinCustomize website. There, you may download a variety of WindowBlinds-compatible skins. Double-click the file after downloading it. The theme will be uploaded to WindowsBlinds’ “Style” tab, where you may apply (or change) it.

Here’s a screenshot of File Explorer with the Dark Mode skin (our favorite of the site’s several dark themes) applied via WindowBlinds:

Isn’t that good? And with a little tinkering, you could make it look exactly how you want.


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Mabuhay Manila, Edmar Consular here! I studied Adobe Photoshop Short Courses in addition to my academic career in Automotive Technology. Here at Manila Shaker, I'm the Junior Editor in charge of writing article reviews, tech news, and video scripts.

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