Chrome dark mode is a new look for the web browser that changes its standard white interface to shades of black and gray – but why is that important, and how can you activate it?
There are several reasons to choose Chrome dark mode. On mobile devices, perhaps the biggest factor is battery life. Your phone’s screen uses a lot of power, and in 2018, Google itself confirmed that apps with darker interfaces use much less juice than their bright, white counterparts.
Choosing dark mode also means you’re exposed to less blue light, which may affect your ability to sleep. Lack of sleep not only leaves you feeling tired and cranky, it’s also associated with obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
Finally, it just looks cool. Google’s Material Design language and Facebook’s latest refresh are both very bright and white, and switching to dark mode makes a refreshing change. If those reasons are enough to tempt you, here’s how to make the switch to dark mode in Chrome for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS.
Unlike some browsers (such as Firefox and Vivaldi) there’s no simple box to tick or switch to click, and Chrome’s dark mode is activated in a different way for each operating system.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide, which will explain how to enable dark mode for Chrome for Windows, macOS, iOS, iPadOS or Android. We’ll also show you how Chrome can be used to ‘force’ dark mode on websites that don’t officially support it, transforming your whole online experience.
Get Chrome dark mode for Windows 10
1. Enter the Settings menu, choose ‘Personalization’ click ‘Colors’ and scroll down to the switch marked ‘Choose your default app mode’.
2. Change this to ‘Dark’ and all apps with a native dark mode, including Chrome, will change color. There’s no need to restart your browser.
Get Chrome dark mode for macOS
1. Open ‘System Preferences’, click ‘General’, select ‘Appearance’.
2. Select the ‘Dark’ option. As with Windows, all apps with a native dark mode will change automatically with no further input from you.
Get Chrome dark mode for Android
1. Dark mode is still an experimental feature in Chrome for Android, so bear in mind that some design elements might look a little strange. To activate it, enter chrome://flags in the browser’s address bar.
2. Tap the ‘Search flags’ box and enter the work dark. You’ll find two options here: ‘Android web contents dark mode’ and ‘Android Chrome UI dark mode’. If you activate the first option, Chrome will detect if a site’s developers have created a dark version and select it automatically. If there’s no dark version available, the browser will invert the site’s colors. Activating the second option means that the browser interface itself will turn dark.
3. Tap the drop-down menu under each of these options and change the setting to ‘Activated’, then restart Chrome.
4. Now open the settings menu, tap ‘Themes’ and select ‘Dark’. If you can’t see the Themes option, restart Chrome again and it should appear.
Get Chrome dark mode for iPad or iPhone
Google hasn’t released a dark mode for Chrome on iOS, but it’s a work in progress and may become available with the browser’s next major update. We’ll update this article with instructions on activating it when it arrives. For the time being, you can use the Invert feature to achieve a similar effect.
1. Open ‘Settings’ and select ‘General > Accessibility > Display accomodations’.
2. Toggle ‘Classic Invert’ to invert the colors of everything on your device’s screen, or ‘Smart invert’ to leave images alone but invert everything else.
Force dark mode on websites using Chrome
Some websites have their own dark modes, which will be activated automatically when you’re using dark mode in Chrome. For those that don’t, the browser can ‘force’ dark mode by inverting certain colors.
The feature isn’t yet fully implemented, so you won’t find it in the main menu, but you can try it out by visiting chrome://flags/#enable-force-dark and flipping the switch to ‘Enabled’.
Now, if you’re using Chrome in dark mode, all websites should automatically change color to match. The feature isn’t perfect yet, so some sites may look a little strange, but it generally works well.