How to Turn On Dark Mode on Mac in 3 Easy Clicks

How to Turn ON Dark Mode on Mac

From reducing eye strain to improving battery life, Dark Mode has varying benefits. It is available on macOS Mojave and later and can be turned on to work across the entire system. It will change the menu bar’s appearance and the stock apps to make things easier on the eyes. It’s especially useful when working at night and helps you focus. So here’s out how to turn on ‌Dark Mode‌.

How to Enable Dark Mode on Mac

  1. Click on the Apple menu at the top of the screen and select System Preferences.
  2. Select on general in system preferences on mac
  3. Now, pick Dark from the Appearance options at the top of the window.
    Click on Dark to Enable Dark Mode on Mac

You will see two other options:

  • Light: It will keep the default light appearance across the system.
  • Auto (available in macOS Catalina): It will automatically use the light appearance during the day and switch to Dark Mode at night for optimal visual aesthetics.

Note: To turn off Dark Mode on Mac, you can follow the same steps above and choose the Light option.

How macOS Dark Mode works with Some Apps and Features

Some apps and features on your Mac have specific Dark Mode settings and options, as explained below.

Mail App

Even when in Dark Mode, you can use a light background for email messages.

Open Mail and click MailPreferences, then click the Viewing tab and untick “Use dark backgrounds for messages.

Click on Mail and Select Preferences on Mac
Select Viewing Tab and Disable Use Dark Backgrounds for Messages

Maps App

You can use a light background in maps even if Dark Mode is turned on.

Just click on View in the menu bar in Maps, then deselect Use Dark Map.

Use Dark Map in macOS

Notes App

You can use a light background for Notes while Dark Mode is enabled on your Mac.

At the top of the screen, select NotesPreferences. Then untick “Use dark backgrounds for note content.”

Disable Use dark backgrounds for note content in Notes Preferences on Mac

Safari Browser

When Dark Mode is turned on on your Mac, Safari automatically displays webpages in Dark Mode provided that they are designed to support it. If this is not the case, you can use Reader Mode to read in Dark Mode.

TextEdit App

To have a light background in documents while Dark Mode is turned on, click on View in the menu bar in TextEdit, and deselect the option Use Dark Background for Windows. (Requires macOS Mojave 10.14.2 or later.)

Click on View and Select Use Dark Background for Windows on Mac

Dynamic Desktop

If you enable Dark Mode while using Dynamic Desktop on your Mac, the desktop may change to the dark still image. You can change this setting by going to System PreferencesDesktop & Screen Saver.

Click on Desktop and Screen Savers in System Preferences on Mac
Select Desktop Tab and Change Preferences on Mac

As for third-party apps, many of them include the option to use Light Mode, Dark Mode, or match the system appearance. If supported, this feature can usually be found by clicking on the app’s name in the menu bar at the top left corner of the screen and clicking on Preferences.

How to Easily Control Mac Dark Mode with NightOwl

NightOwl is a free utility for macOS. For instance, it makes it possible to:

  • Quickly change between Dark Mode and Light Mode right from the Mac Manu Bar
  • Change Appearance automatically based on the time of day.
  • Override Dark Mode in specific apps to selectively use the Light appearance instead.
Easily Control Mac Dark Mode with NightOwl

Signing off

So, do you prefer to use Dark Mode on your Mac or not? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below. You might also like to check out how to use dark mode on iPhone or iPad.

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