How to Enable the Hidden Dark Mode in Windows 10

Ah, the fabled dark mode. In the past, many users were delighted to find the existence of something called Royale Noir, a dark theme option that was available for Windows XP. Yet for reasons unknown, Microsoft had kept knowledge of Royale Noir a secret until some bright minds discovered its existence, and the rest is history.

Fast forward to the present, and Microsoft has introduced a dark theme option for the new Edge browser in Windows 10, and it looks majestic.

Behold the new Edge browser with its Dark theme enabled.

As of right now, Microsoft has deemed only the Edge browser as worthy of possessing the knowledge of the dark arts. And that has made most users quite sad.

Luckily, there is a very simple and quick workaround for this. So if you want to be a cool kid and enable the hidden dark mode in other Windows 10 apps, the instructions are as follows.

Step 1: Launch the Registry Editor

Very simply, in the search bar, just type in "regedit" without the quotes and click on the disintegrating cube icon to launch the Registry Editor.

Depending on your security settings, User Account Control might prompt you for permission. If so, simply click on "Yes."

Step 2: Access the Proper Directory

On the left sidebar is the directory structure. For the following, simply click on the chevron next to the directory name to expand it and navigate down the hierarchy.

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> SOFTWARE -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVersion -> Themes -> Personalize

Step 3: Perform the Actual Magic

On the right pane, in an empty area, right-click and choose "New," then "DWORD (32-bit) Value."

You should now see a new entry on the right pane called "New Value #1" highlighted in blue.

Rename the highlighted field to "AppsUseLightTheme," and you'll now see a new entry in the right pane called "AppsUseLightTheme" with a default value set to 0.

Now just log out, then log back in.

To Wrap It Up...

Now there are a couple of disclaimers. The dark mode is not universal, since some apps don't fully support it yet. But in the apps that do support it, like Settings, it looks pretty sweet!

You did it!

Microsoft did have to delay some features for Windows 10 for the RTM release on July 29th, but the inclusion of the option to enable a dark theme for Edge gives us hope that Microsoft will roll out a system-wide option to enable dark mode in the near future.

Let us know how you're liking the dark theme as well as what else you wished Microsoft included, or left out, in the comment section below, or drop us a line on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.

15 Comments

awesome post. ill try this when i get windows 10

THANKS FOR TELLING THIS
GREAT POST !!!

This really messed up my display. Didn't create night mode at all, just made everything twice as big. Can someone please help me change it back?!

Hey Alyssa,

Sorry to hear this. Is your version of Windows 10 patched with the November 2015 Update? Have you tried changing the DPI settings to 100%. I think that might resolve your issue of everything being too big.

To do so, head over to Settings --> System --> Display. Then under the Change the size of text, apps and other items: (some number) % option drag the slider to 100%, then click on the Sign Out Now button.

Completing this process, should resolve your display showing everything twice as big dilemma.

Where can you go to switch on and off of the dark mode? Please type the instruction step by step. thank you so so much!

Sydney, the instructions I wrote are above. If you want to roll back, simply change the AppsUseLightTheme value to 1 or just delete the key.

That being said, updates to Windows 10 after the RTM release might have disabled this functionality.

My entire computer crashed. I had to restore it from scratch. Care to explain what I did wrong? Thank you! Good thing most of my stuff i saved in my email.

Did you follow the steps exactly as outlined above? To the best of my knowledge, solely enabling the apps use light theme option, should not disrupt your system like that ...

whoa, this is neat..
although, windows explorer seems to not be affected by this..

it'll be great if Microsoft could simply make a button to activate this in the notification bar/action centre, it won't hurt anyone..

Yea Windows Explorer is not affected by this, although there are custom themes out there that will give Explorer a darker look.

The toggle idea would be cool, hopefully in the anniversary update ...

I don't have a personalize folder in Themes. Please help me how to do it, I am on Windows 10 Home Edition

That is strange.

Try right clicking on Themes, then select New, then choose Key from the options.

Now type in Personalize for the name and proceed from here.

Simply doesn't work. Done all that & no change

how could apply this to watching movies on my laptop? is there a way to turn night mode on while watching downloaded movies so its not that bright?

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