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YouTube is going dark, literally, with a desktop redesign

YouTube is adding a "dark theme" in a preview of a redesigned look and feel for the massive video site when watched from a computer or laptop.


YouTube's new "dark theme" for computer or laptop is meant to cut down on glare and better highlight videos themselves.


YouTube said Tuesday it is previewing a revamp of its design for computers and laptops.

The preview is available to "a small group of people from all around the world" so the company can get their feedback, according to a blog post by YouTube product manager Brian Marquardt. You can opt in to the preview at, and you can return to the current design by selecting "Restore classic YouTube" from your account menu.

Overall, the look of the new desktop YouTube design will feel familiar to people who use YouTube's mobile app.

One of the starkest changes is a new "dark theme." The design turns the background to black or dark gray throughout the YouTube site, as an option meant to cut down on glare and help videos and their thumbnails pop more. (Going dark previously required turning on a hidden developer mode.)

The revamp for desktop removes distracting visuals, like removing columns on the right-hand side from a channel's page that list other "related" channels. The new YouTube home page still includes most of the same carousels and navigation links that it had before, but now it has more white space. Or dark space, depending on which you pick.

It's also built on a faster framework, called Polymer, that it says will allow the company to roll out new features faster.