How to enable dark mode in Windows 10 October 2018 Update

And Edge and Office apps, too.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops, desktops, all-in-one PCs, streaming devices, streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Windows 10 is finally getting a system-wide dark mode. Once Microsoft releases its next major update to Windows -- Windows 10 October 2018 Update -- you'll be able to turn backgrounds from bright white to black to make nighttime computing sessions easier on the eyes -- or just because it looks cool.

Judging by the update's name, Microsoft will release the Windows 10 October 2018 Update next month. If you can't wait, you can install the beta right now to check out dark mode and the other features the update will introduce to your PC.

Windows 10 dark mode

After updating to Windows 10 October 2018 Update, you'll be able to toggle between light and dark modes. Here's how:

Head to Settings > Personalization > Colors, scroll to the bottom and for Choose your default app mode, choose Dark.

Dark mode paints Microsoft's apps black, including File Explorer, Settings and the App Store. It does not, however, change the look for Microsoft Office apps or Microsoft's Edge browser.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Dark mode for Office and Edge

Office and Edge have their own dark modes.

For Office apps, click File and then choose Account. For Office Theme, the default is Colorful but you can change it to Dark Gray or Black.

For Edge, click the triple-dot button in the top right and then click Settings. On the Settings panel, find Choose a theme and change it from Light to Dark. You'll find that Edge's theme only affects the row of tabs and URL bar at the top of the browser and little else. Thankfully, there's an extension that gives Edge a real dark mode.