How to enable dark mode in Windows 10

Trying to work early in the mornings with a bright computer screen can often feel like a shock to the system. Even if you have the brightness level turned down, some laptops just feel too bright for certain times of the day. This is where dark mode comes in.

Besides giving your eyes a break, enabling dark mode on a system like Windows 10 can also potentially help preserve the life of your battery.

Switching on the Windows 10 dark mode

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In the Windows 10 October 2018 update, Microsoft expanded the dark theme to also include all parts of File Explorer. This means things will get even darker when you enable the dark mode. Here’s how you can enable it in the most recent version of Windows 10.

Step 1: Go to Windows 10 Settings. You can either type it into the Windows search bar or click the gear icon in the Start menu.

Step 2: Head to Personalization, which features an icon of a paintbrush over a computer monitor.

Step 3: When the window opens, click Colors in the left-hand sidebar.

Step 4: Scroll to the middle of the page and look for the section that says, Choose your default Windows mode. You’ll then want to click on the option that says Choose your color. You’ll want to click the box and choose the option that says Dark.

Step 5: This step is optional, but you could also pick an accent color. Scroll up to the color palette at the top of the “Colors” window. With Dark Mode activated, the accent color is even more important to help you find the boundaries of Windows and locate where everything is at a glance.

Windows 10 Colors

We advise you to steer away from the very dark colors, like the dark greens and grays, as they are more difficult to spot. The lighter, more noticeable colors are generally a better bet. The reds are particularly edgy, while the blues add the most visibility. That said, it’s really your decision. The changes are instant, so feel free to click around until you find a color that works.

Keep in mind that many apps also allow you to change color settings for that individual app. So if you find the perfect accent combo, but find that it doesn’t work with your apps, there’s a way to fix it. Head into the app’s native settings, and look for options to change the theme or color mode.

Bonus tip: Activate dark mode in Microsoft Office

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If you do a lot of work in Office and wish it could also be darkened, we have good news: It can!

First, head to the File tab and select Options. Make sure in the sidebar that you are in the General section. Partway down in this section, you will see a heading that says, Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office.

In this section, one of the last choices should be Office Theme. Select this and switch it to Black. You’re all set!

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