How to Turn on Windows 10 Dark Theme

Dark mode is easier on the eyes; set it up to reduce eye strain

Stock photo of woman staring at and using a Windows 10 Surface laptop while laying on a bed.

Microsoft/Microsoft Image Gallery

Eye strain due to prolonged computer and smartphone use seems almost as inevitable as it is uncomfortable. If you're a Windows 10 user, you can reduce eye strain by taking advantage of Windows 10's dark mode/dark theme — an easy way to customize your system's color scheme and display darker tones that are easier on the eyes.

Instructions provided in this guide only apply to PCs running Windows 10.

What Is Windows 10 Dark Theme?

Dark themes can be found in a variety of browsers, operating systems, and even individual apps. They're typically a type of system-level color scheme users can enable to change the colors of system features like menus and backgrounds to dark colors.

Essentially, the Windows 10 dark theme (referred to as dark mode within the OS), is just a simple color customization option you can turn on to turn your backgrounds black and darken the overall look of your display.

Not all aspects of Windows 10 will flip to dark mode. File Explorer, for example, will still use the default color scheme, and third-party apps will usually need their own dark themes enabled. Expect the Windows 10 dark theme to be automatically applied to settings menus, and apps like Microsoft Store, Mail, or Calculator.

How to Enable Windows 10 Dark Theme

  1. Select the Windows Start menu icon, located in the bottom left corner of the screen, then select the gear icon to open the settings.

    Method 1: Type "settings" into the search bar, located in the bottom left corner of the screen, then press Enter. In the search results that appear, select Settings.

  2. Select Personalization > Colors.

    A screenshot showing the main Settings menu of a Windows 10 PC and the location of the Personalization sub-menu button.
  3. Scroll down to the Choose your default app mode section, then select Dark.

    A screenshot of the Colors menu in Windows 10. This menu houses the dark mode option.
  4. You're done!