How to Use YouTube's Dark Mode

Plus, why the theme is so popular

A woman turning on th YouTube Dark Theme on your laptop and smartphone.

 d3sign / Moment

YouTube's Dark Theme option, often referred to as YouTube's "dark mode," is a simple setting available to all users that swaps out the website and app's default white backgrounds with dark ones. Some text colors are also changed to match the new design aesthetic. We'll explain why it's so popular and how you can enable it yourself.

What Are the Benefits of YouTube's Dark Theme?

YouTube's dark mode is a purely cosmetic change that has no effect whatsoever on how the YouTube site or apps function or how YouTube videos are played. There are several reasons why users choose to activate it, though:

  • The color setting causes less eye strain in low light environments.
  • The dark mode can save battery life on devices with an OLED screen such as Apple's iPhone X smartphone.
  • Some think the darker color scheme simply looks cooler than the default white look.

How to Enable YouTube's Dark Theme on iOS

The official iOS YouTube app allows users to enable and disable dark mode on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Here's how to turn the YouTube Dark Theme on:

  1. Open the official YouTube app on your iOS smart device and tap your circle profile image in the top-right corner.

  2. Select Settings.

    You can access YouTube's Settings in iOS by tapping on your profile picture
  3. Next to Dark theme, tap the switch to toggle the setting on or off.

    You can access YouTube's Dark Theme from the Settings

The YouTube Dark Theme settings are device-specific; enabling it on one device won't turn it on across all of your other devices. If you want YouTube's dark mode on your smartphone, tablet, and computer, you need to enable it on each device.

How to Enable YouTube's Dark Theme on Android

The YouTube Dark Theme is available on the official YouTube app on Android smartphones and tablets. Here's how to turn it on and off.

  1. Open the YouTube app on your Android device and tap your account profile icon in the top-right corner of the screen.

    Your YouTube account icon may be hidden if you're watching a video or performing a search within the Android YouTube app. To get it to appear, simply drag the video you're watching (if any) to the bottom of the screen to minimize it, then tap Home from the bottom menu.

  2. Select Settings > General > Appearance.

  3. Here you have the option to use your device's theme, a light theme, or a dark theme. Choose Dark Theme.

    You can enable YouTube's dark theme on Android in the settings

How to Enable YouTube's Dark Theme on Desktop

YouTube's Dark Theme can be enabled on a PC or Mac computer using any internet browser, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, or Microsoft Edge. Regardless of the computer and browser combination, the instructions for turning on dark mode are the same.

  1. Open your preferred internet browser and go to the official YouTube website.

  2. Select your profile image in the top-right corner of the screen.

  3. Select Dark theme: Off.

  4. A small window pops up with a brief explanation of the YouTube Dark Theme and a small switch. Select the switch to enable dark mode.

    Screenshot of the YouTube website

Your YouTube Dark Theme preferences remain unique to each browser you use on your computer. For example, if you enable the dark mode in Firefox, it remains disabled in Chrome until you turn it on in that browser as well.