How to enable Dark mode on Windows 10

You can change the system color mode in at least two ways on Windows 10, and here's how.

Windows 10 Dark mode settings
Windows 10 Dark mode settings
  • To enable the Dark mode on Windows 10, open Settings (Windows key + I) > Personalization > Colors and choose “Dark.”
  • Or, with or without a Windows 10 activation, you can turn on the Dark mode by setting the “AppsUseLightTheme” and “SystemUsesLightTheme” DWORD values to “0” in the Registry.

UPDATED 12/11/2023: On Windows 10, you can enable the Dark color system mode in two ways using the Settings app and Registry, and in this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps to apply this configuration on your device to personalize your desktop experience.

When turning on the dark mode, the elements on the desktop, such as the Start menu, Taskbar, File Explorer, and most apps, will change to the dark color scheme with white fonts while still retaining the color accent. 

If you want to switch from light to dark mode, Windows 10 makes it easier to change the settings from the Settings app. Also, if you want to create a script to change this setting or enable dark mode on an installation without activation, you must use the Registry to enable the color mode.

In this guide, I’ll show you the steps to switch from the light to the dark mode on Windows 10.

Warning: Modifying the Registry can cause severe problems if improperly used. It is assumed you know what you are doing and have created a system backup before proceeding.

Enable Dark mode on Windows 10 from Settings

To enable Dark mode on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.

  2. Click on Personalization.

  3. Click on Colors.

  4. Choose the Dark option in the “Choose your color” setting.

    Enable Dark mode

  5. (Optional) Choose a darker color accent in the “Choose your accent color” setting.

    Quick tip: When selecting a color, consider that the color you choose can affect the visibility of some elements, so pick the color carefully.
  6. (Optional) Clear the “Title bars and window borders” setting under the “Show accent color on the following surfaces” section to use the dark color for these elements.

    Turn off title bars and borders accent color

Once you complete the steps, Windows 10 elements will switch to the dark color scheme, and apps configured to follow the system color will also switch to the current mode, including File Explorer, the Settings app, Microsoft Edge, and even Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Some applications may not follow the color system mode. If this is the case, you will have to change the color settings from the application. For example, on apps from the Microsoft Store, the option should be available on the Settings > App theme.

Enable Dark mode on Windows 10 from Registry

To switch to the Windows 10 dark mode (with or without an activation) from the Registry, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for the regedit and click the top result to open the Registry Editor.

  3. Browse the following path:

  4. Double-click to open the “AppsUseLightTheme” DWORD and set its value from 1 to 0.

    AppsUseLightTheme dark mode value

  5. Click the OK button.

  6. Double-click to open the “SystemUsesLightTheme” DWORD and set its value from 1 to 0.

    SystemUsesLightTheme dark mode value

  7. Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, the app and system mode should switch to the dark color on Windows 10, regardless of whether your installation is activated.

If you change your mind, you can always revert the changes using the same instructions, but on steps 4 and 6, set the value of the DWORD to “1.”

Update December 11, 2023: This guide has been updated to ensure it’s accurate and reflects the new changes.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].