How to Use YouTube's Dark Mode

Keep it to use or ditch it fast

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

 d3sign / Moment

YouTube's Dark Theme option, often referred to as the YouTube dark mode, is a simple setting available to all users which swaps out the default white background on the YouTube apps and website and replaces it with a dark one. Some text colors are also changed to match the new design aesthetic.

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.

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

  2. From the menu, tap Settings.

  3. Next to Dark theme, tap the switch to toggle the setting on or off.

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 a YouTube dark mode appearance on your smartphone, tablet, and computer, you'll need to enable it on each device.

How to Enable YouTube's Dark Theme on Android

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

Screenshots of the YouTube Android app
  1. Open the YouTube app on your Android device and tap your account profile icon in the top-right corner of the screen. A small menu will pop up.

    Your YouTube account icon may be hidden if you're watching a video or performing a search within the Android YouTube app. To get the option 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. Tap Settings.

  3. From within the Settings menu, tap General.

  4. The first option on the next screen should be Dark theme. Tap the switch to the right of the setting to enable the YouTube Dark Theme. To switch back to the default white mode, simply tap the switch again.

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 from Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to Opera and Microsoft Edge. Regardless of the computer and browser combination, the instructions for turning on dark mode will be the same.

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

  2. In the top-right corner of the screen, select your profile image.

  3. A small menu will appear. Select Dark theme: Off.

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

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