How to use Chrome dark mode

How to use Chrome dark mode

How to use dark mode for Google Chrome

Cat Ellis

12 March 2021

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Enable Chrome dark mode and give your browser a whole new look

How to use Chrome dark mode

(Image: © Gargantiopa / Shutterstock)

Chrome dark mode has lots of advantages, and it’s easy to use. For mobile users, making the change will help boost battery life. Google itself has confirmed that apps need less battery power for darker interfaces than those with bright, white ones, particularly on devices with OLED displays, where black pixels are actually turned off.

Although the jury is still out on the subject, you might also find that dark mode

improves your sleep

, since it exposes you to less blue light, which might disturb your circadian rhythm. Being sleep-deprived will not only make you grumpy, but also puts you at greater risk of

obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease


That’s not to mention how cool it looks. It’s refreshing making the change to dark mode, since both Google’s

Material Design

language and

Facebook’s latest refresh

are very white and bright. If these reasons sound like a good reason to switch to Chrome dark mode, read on to find out how to switch in Windows, macOS, Android and iOS.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

Other Google services

Chrome isn’t the only Google product that supports dark mode.

Gmail dark mode

lets you view your inbox without the glare of the standard white interface, and there’s now a

universal dark mode for Google Maps

too. This is particularly handy for mobile devices, as it lets you conserve a little extra energy while using your phone’s battery-hungry GPS navigation.

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