Embrace Evil by Enabling Dark Mode in Every App

Evil WeekEvil WeekWelcome to Evil Week, our annual dive into all the slightly sketchy hacks we’d usually refrain from recommending. Want to weasel your way into free drinks, play elaborate mind games, or, er, launder some money? We’ve got all the info you need to be successfully unsavory.

If you love staring at the bright, white backgrounds in your various devices’ operating systems, this article is not for you. I can’t stand it, personally. I stare at enough screens during the day that switching over to dark mode is an almost indescribable relief on my eyes. Plus, it’s super goth. Here’s how to set up dark mode—the official mode of Evil Weekin all of your apps.

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How to enable “Dark Mode” in Windows 10

Illustration for article titled Embrace Evil by Enabling Dark Mode in Every App

Screenshot: David Murphy

When you’re ready to make the switch to the dark side, pull up Windows 10’s Settings and click on Personalization. From there, click on Colors on the left-hand sidebar. Look for the “Choose your color” drop-down menu on the right side of the window, and switch from Light to Dark.

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How to enable “Dark Mode” in macOS Mojave, Catalina, or Big Sur

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Screenshot: David Murphy

This one’s easy. Pull up System Preferences in macOS Mojave (or later), click on General, and select Light, Dark, or Auto to change your operating system’s appearance. (The third option switches between the two modes based on the time of day.)

Of course, if you’re impatient, or want to control your appearance manually without having to visit your System Preferences all the time, you can also create a keyboard shortcut that lets you hop between the two instantly.

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How to enable “Dark Mode” on Android 9 or later

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Photo: David Murphy

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Make sure you’re running Android 9 (Pie), at minimum. Pull up your Settings app, and then:

“Tap on Display, and you should either see an option for “Dark theme,” “Night mode,” or something to that effect. If you don’t, tap on the Advanced section, and you’ll undoubtedly find it there. 

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It’s also super-easy to add a shortcut to your Quick Settings menu that you can then use to flip between your phone’s dark and light modes as needed.


How to enable “Dark Mode” on iOS / iPadOS 13 or later

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Assuming you’re running at least iOS 13 or iPadOS 13, enabling your device’s dark mode is easy:

“Tap on Settings > Display & Brightness, and then pick Light or Dark.

If you want to get fancy, you can also use the “Automatic” setting to shift your device from its Light theme to its Dark theme at sunrise or sunset (or on whatever custom schedule you prefer). And if you find that some of your favorite apps don’t have a dark mode they can use, you can force that, too.”

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How to enable “Dark Mode” in Chrome OS

The good news: Chrome OS has a dark mode. The bad news: You’ll need to run the Canary (experimental) version of the operating system to access it. That might lead to some system instability, unexpected bugs, or who-knows-what on your Chromebook. Still, if you demand the dark, here’s how you get it:

  • Open your Chromebook’s Settings and click on “About Chrome OS”
  • Click on “Detailed Build Information”
  • Change the “Channel” to “Developer” and confirm your decision
  • Click on the “Restart” button on the “About Chrome OS” page
  • Once your Chromebook reboots, fire up Chrome, type these two flags into your browser’s address bar, and enable them: chrome://flags/#enable-force-dark and chrome://flags/#enable-webui-dark-mode

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How to enable “Dark Mode” in your Chrome desktop browser

Illustration for article titled Embrace Evil by Enabling Dark Mode in Every App
Screenshot: David Murphy

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Chrome should follow your system settings by default, so as long as you’ve set up dark mode on your operating system, you’ll have dark mode in Chrome. To change Chrome’s appearance manually you’ll need to:

  • Pull up Chrome’s Settings
  • Click on Appearance
  • Change the “Default theme” to Dark

You can also force a dark theme for web content:

It’s not gorgeous, but it gets the job done if you despise being surprised by bright websites. (Rhymes unintentional.) To turn on Force Dark Mode, simply enter chrome://flags/#enable-force-dark in your address bar, hit Enter, and turn the feature on.

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How to enable “Dark Mode” in your Edge Chromium desktop browser

Illustration for article titled Embrace Evil by Enabling Dark Mode in Every App
Screenshot: David Murphy

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Second verse, same as the first; Edge Chromium should also follow your system’s settings by default. If not, or you want to mix a dark browser on a light operating system UI, simply:

  • Pull up Edge Chromium’s Settings
  • Click on Appearance
  • Change the “Default theme” to “Dark”

The same “force a dark theme” trick in Chrome also works in Edge Chromium.


How to enable “Dark Mode” in your Firefox desktop browser

Illustration for article titled Embrace Evil by Enabling Dark Mode in Every App
Screenshot: David Murphy

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Like Google Chrome and Edge Chromium, Firefox should respect your system settings for a light or dark theme. To adjust this:

  • Pull up Firefox’s Add-Ons menu
  • Click on Themes
  • Switch from “Default” to “Dark” or “Light”

How to enable “Dark Mode” on Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / YouTube / WhatsApp / Google Docs / Slack / Discord / Twitch

Illustration for article titled Embrace Evil by Enabling Dark Mode in Every App
Screenshot: David Murphy

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That’s quite a list, I know. There are plenty of services out there that come with their own dark modes on the web—or, potentially, in their apps. I’ll focus on the former, whenever possible, since odds are good that any decently coded app will simply follow the theme you picked for Android or iOS. A website, though, needs a little coaxing:

Twitter (web)

Simply go here and select “Dim” or “Lights Out.”

Instagram (app)

Instagram follows your Android or iOS preference; if you’re dark in your operating system, you’ll be dark in Instagram, too. There’s no web-based dark mode (yet), but I have faith it’ll arrive someday.

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Facebook (web)

In Facebook’s latest UI, simply click on the down-arrow in the upper-right corner. Click on Display Preferences, and enable “Dark mode.”

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YouTube (web)

Click on your face in the upper-right corner, click on Appearance, and pick “Dark theme.” 

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WhatsApp (web)

Log into WhatsApp on the web, and then:

“…click on the triple-dot icon above your message list and select Settings. Click on Theme and then switch it to Dark. You’ll now have this much more pleasing interface to work with.” 

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Google Docs (app)

There’s no web-based dark mode (yet), but there is one for various Google productivity apps (Docs, Sheets, and Slides) on iOS and Android. To activate it, if it’s not already enabled on your device by default:

  • Open up the Settings menu in each app
  • Tap on Choose Theme or Theme
  • Tap on “Dark”

Slack (desktop app)

Use the dark side as you bother your coworkers. To activate Slack’s dark mode if it’s not already following your operating system’s preferences, simply:

  • Launch Slack’s Preferences (shortcut: CTRL+Comma)
  • Click on Themes
  • Click on “Dark”

Discord (desktop app)

Chat with all your gamer friends—or whatever else you do on Discord—without being blinded by the light. To activate dark mode:

  • Click on the gear icon in the lower-left corner to pull up Discord’s settings
  • Click on Appearance
  • Select “Dark” for Discord’s theme

Twitch (website)

This one couldn’t be any easier: Simply log into Twitch, click on your profile image in the upper-right corner, and enable the “Dark theme” slider.

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