How to enable dark mode on Windows 11

Windows 11 includes a dark mode to personalize the desktop experience, and here's how to enable it.

Windows 11 dark theme enabled
  • To quickly ENABLE Windows 11 dark mode, open Windows 11 Settings > Personalization > Colors and choose the “Dark” option.
  • Or go to the “Personalization” settings and choose one of the dark themes to enable the dark mode.
  • You can also enable the dark high-contrast mode from the “Contrast themes” page.

On Windows 11, you can enable the “dark mode” through the “Personalization” settings. When in this color mode, the elements on the desktop, such as the Taskbar, Start menu and other menus, File Explorer, and other supported apps (for example, Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome), will also change to a dark color scheme with white fonts. If you choose the default dark theme, it will also include a dark version of the default wallpaper.

However, the dark mode will only affect the Windows 11 desktop and certain apps. If you want your web browser and other apps like Office, you must manually enable the dark color scheme for those applications.

This guide will teach you the steps to quickly change the color mode of Windows 11 and apps.

How to enable dark mode on Windows 11

To enable the dark color system mode on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on Personalization.

  3. Click the Colors tab.

  4. Select the “Dark” option in the “Choose your mode” setting to enable the dark mode on Windows 11.

    Enable Windows 11 dark mode

Once you complete the steps, the color of Windows 11 will change to dark mode, tinting the desktop elements with a dark color scheme.

How to enable dark mode using theme on Windows 11

To enable dark mode with a theme on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Personalization.

  3. Under the “Select a theme to apply” section, choose the “Windows (dark)” theme.

    Windows 11 default dark mode

  4. (Optional) Click the Themes tab.

  5. Under the “Current theme” section, choose the “Windows (dark)” theme or any other with a dark color scheme like “Glow” and “Captured” motion.

    Windows 11 default themes

Once you complete the steps, the color of Windows 11 will change to the “dark mode,” tinting the desktop elements with a dark color scheme.

How to enable dark mode using high contrast on Windows 11

Alternatively, you can also use the high-contrast dark mode, a feature designed to improve text readability with low contrast for people with load vision. The high-contrast mode uses dark colors for the background and fonts colors that are easier to read across the desktop, applications, and websites.

To enable the dark high-contrast feature on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Accessibility.

  3. Click the Contrast themes tab.

  4. Select the high-contrast theme (Aquatic, Dusk, and Night sky) to enable the dark mode with the “Contrast themes” setting.

    Enable high-contrast dark mode

  5. Click the Apply button.

After you complete the steps, the system will switch to the high-contrast mode on Windows 11.

How to enable dark mode automatically on Windows 11

Although Windows 11 doesn’t include a feature to schedule to switch from light to dark mode, you can use a third-party app to control the color system modes.

Install Auto Dark Mode X

To install Auto Dark Mode X on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to download and install the Auto Dark Mode X app and press Enter:

    winget install --id Armin2208.WindowsAutoNightMode

    winget install Auto Dark Mode X

Once you complete the steps, you can launch the application and automatically configure the schedule to switch between the light and dark modes.

Enable dark mode automatically

To enable dark mode automatically at sunset on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Auto Dark Mode X and click the top result to open the app.

  3. Click on Time.

  4. Select the “Set custom hours” option.

    Switch light to dark automatically

  5. Specify when Windows 11 should enable the light mode.

  6. Specify the schedule when to switch to dark mode automatically.

  7. (Optional) Select the “From sunset to sunrise” option to automatically switch between the two system color modes during sunset and sunrise.

  8. Click on Switch Modes.

    Switch color mode conditions

  9. (Optional) Check the “Don’t switch while playing video games” option.

  10. (Optional) Check the “Battery powered devices” option.

  11. Click on Apps.

    Control apps color mode

  12. Use the Apps option to decide whether compatible apps should follow the system color mod or stay on the light or dark mode.

  13. Use the System option to decide whether Windows 11 should follow the system color mod or stay on the light or dark mode.

  14. Use the Microsoft Office option to decide whether Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook should follow the system color mod or stay on the light or dark mode.

After you complete the steps, Windows 11 will change the color mode to dark according to your configuration.

How to enable dark mode for web browser on Windows 11

On Windows 11, apps like your web browser can switch to dark mode. Usually, apps that support theming by default will respond to the system color theme automatically. However, you can also change the color theme to dark manually.

Microsoft Edge dark mode

To enable dark mode for Microsoft Edge on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge.

  2. Click the Settings and more (three-dotted) button on the top-right corner and select the Settings option.

  3. Click on Appearance.

  4. Under the “Overall appearance” section, select the Dark option.

    Edge enable dark mode

Once you complete the steps, Edge will start using the dark mode on Windows 11.

Google Chrome dark mode

Google Chrome cannot change color modes because it automatically responds to the system color mode. However, a simple switch can force the browser to always start in dark mode. Here’s how:

  1. Open Chrome.

  2. Right-click the app button in the Taskbar.

  3. Select the Pin to taskbar option.

  4. Right-click the app button again.

  5. Right-click the Google Chrome item and select the Properties option.

    Chrome open button properties

  6. Click the Shortcut tab.

  7. In the “Target” field, append the following flag at the end of the path:

    --force-dark-mode

    The Target should look similar to this line: "C:\Users\xboxl\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome SxS\Application\chrome.exe" --force-dark-mode.

    Chrome enable dark mode

  8. Click the Apply button.

  9. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, every time you launch Google Chrome from the Taskbar, it’ll open in dark mode.

If you want to revert the changes, use the same instructions, but on step No. 8, make sure to remove the --force-dark-mode flag from the “Target” field.

Mozilla Firefox dark mode

To enable dark mode on Firefox, use these steps:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox.

  2. Click the main menu (hamburger) button and select the Settings option.

  3. Click on General.

  4. Under the “Website appearance” section, select the Dark option.

    Firefox enable dark mode

  5. Click the Extensions & Themes option.

  6. Click the Enable option for the Dark theme.

    Firefox enable dark theme

After you complete the steps, the browser will switch to dark mode.

How to enable dark mode for Office apps on Windows 11

To enable dark mode for Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook), use these steps:

  1. Open an Office app.

  2. Click on Options from the bottom-left.

  3. Click on General.

  4. Select the Dark option for the “Office Themes” setting.

    Office apps dark mode

  5. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, the suite of Office apps will change the color mode to dark.