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YouTube has a hidden dark mode. Here's how to turn it on

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YouTube is rolling out a redesign of its site that includes a dark theme that lends the site a more cinematic feel. You can wait for the new design to hit your computer or you can opt in by going to youtube.com/new.

YouTube's redesigned site features a new Dark Theme feature. After signing into your account, you will be able to activate Dark Theme from the account menu by clicking on your profile icon in the top-right corner.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

The Dark Theme feature was previously available only through Chrome and required you to dip your toes in Chrome's developer tools. You can still activate it this way; it takes less than a minute. Here's how:

1. Make sure you're using the most recent version of Chrome (version 57 or later).

2. Open Chrome, navigate to YouTube and log into your account.

3. Open Chrome's Developer Tools panel by hitting Command-Option-I on a Mac or Ctrl-Shift-I on Windows.

4. On the panel that opens on the right side of your Chrome window, click the Console tab.

5. Copy and paste this line of code: document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=fPQ4jCL6EiE"

and then hit Enter.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

6. Close the Developer Tools panel and refresh YouTube.

7. Click on your profile icon in the top right and you will see a more extensive menu, including a line for Dark Mode. Click it and click the toggle switch to Activate Dark Mode.

Unfortunately, you will need to reactive Dark Theme each time you restart Chrome if you use the above dev-mode script. If you activate it via YouTube's redesigned site, however, your light or dark preference remains upon subsequent visits, and you can use Dark Theme with any browser.

If you find you don't like YouTube's site redesign, you can go back to the old design by opening the account menu and choosing Restore classic YouTube.

Editors' note: This story was originally published on April 14, 2017, and has been updated.