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How to enable dark mode in Windows 10

If you are a PC user you can get dark mode, with some caveats, on your machine right now. CNET shows you how.

Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury
2 min read

Mac users may be excited by the addition of a dark mode to MacOS Mojave but did you know this is something Windows 10 could already do?

When the Windows 10 Anniversary Update arrived a few years back it brought the ability to put your device into Dark Mode, which offers black windows instead of white ones. Whether you're a developer, or simply need to use your computer in a shared space at night, Dark Mode can help. There may be one (big) caveat, but here's how to do it.

First, you'll need to access the settings of your PC. There are two ways you can do it, and the first is by pressing the Windows key + I. If you forget the shortcut you can instead click on the Windows icon on the taskbar and then click the Settings cog icon.

dark-mode
Screenshot: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Next, click on the Personalization icon (fifth on the list), and then Colors. At the bottom of the Colors menu you'll find "Choose your default app mode" with the option for Light (default) or Dark.  

dark-mode-3

Dark Mode features black backgrounds on most Windows 10 apps.

Screenshot: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Dark Mode features a black background, dark-gray scrollbars and white text, and works with most default Windows 10 apps.

Be aware that Dark Mode won't work with File Explorer, which still uses a white background. While Dark Mode is coming to the Explorer at some point -- it's available in the current Preview build -- Microsoft has yet to confirm when it will be included in the official release.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment. See everything announced at WWDC 2018 here.

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