How to Switch to Gmail Dark Mode

Reduce eye strain with this theme change

A woman sitting in a darkened room in front of a laptop

Westend61/Getty Images 

Gmail dark mode is a specific visual setting that darkens your Gmail interface entirely so it's easier to see when working late at night. Here's why it's so great for your health (and your productivity levels), and how to set it up. 

What's the Difference Between Light and Dark Mode? 

By default, Gmail favors a white/light background. It's often great to use in the middle of the day when brightness is exactly what you need, but sometimes, it's useful to go dark. 

Using a dark theme has been proven to reduce eye strain when using your computer or smartphone at night. The primary reason is because it takes less effort for your eyes to take things in when surroundings are gloomy. 

Dark mode can also make things look more eye-catching. Looking at images can be clearer depending on the type of image it is, and it can help your eyes and mind focus better on the subject at hand. That way of thinking is why you can also change your Gmail theme to other specific options, as well as add a personal photo to the background if you want. 

How to Switch Gmail to Dark Mode on Your Web Browser

Switching to Gmail's dark theme only takes a few short steps.

  1. Open Gmail in your browser.

  2. Select the Settings cog on the right-hand corner of the screen.

    Gmail in a web browser, highlighting the Settings cog
  3. Select Themes.

    Gmail in a web browser with Themes option highlighted
  4. Scroll down and select the Dark theme.

    Gmail in a web browser with the Theme Chooser window open

    The dark theme is located next to the default theme.

  5. Select Save.

    Gmail in a web browser, with the save theme dialog box highlighted

To change the theme back to the default, retrace your steps and select Default

Can the Gmail App Use Dark Mode?

It's not currently possible to use Dark mode within the Gmail app, but there is a workaround involving the iOS' accessibility features and Android's accessibility settings.

Both iOS and Android users can use these settings to invert the colors on the screen so they get a form of dark mode when reading their email. 

The downside is it makes everything on your smartphone dark, so you'll need to switch it on and off. It's a little inconvenient, but if you're desperate to use dark mode though, it's an option.