How to Make Mac Dark Mode

Are you tired of staring at a bright screen all day long? Mac’s Dark Mode is here to save the day! Dark Mode not only looks sleek and stylish, but it also reduces eye strain and saves battery life on your Mac. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to activate Dark Mode on your Mac and enjoy a more comfortable computing experience.

Dark Mode is a popular feature that changes the appearance of your Mac’s interface from light to dark, making it easier on the eyes, especially during nighttime or low-light conditions. It’s also a great option if you simply prefer a darker aesthetic. So, let’s dive in and learn how to enable Dark Mode on your Mac!

1. Open System Preferences

To get started, click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences” from the drop-down menu.

1.1 General Preferences

In the System Preferences window, click on the “General” icon. Here, you’ll find various settings related to the appearance and behavior of your Mac.

1.2 Appearance Settings

Within the General preferences, locate the “Appearance” section. You’ll see three options: Light, Dark, and Auto. Choose the “Dark” option to enable Dark Mode immediately.

1.3 Auto Mode

If you prefer to have Dark Mode automatically activate at specific times, select the “Auto” option. Your Mac will then switch to Dark Mode during the evening and return to Light Mode in the morning.

1.4 Accent Colors

Additionally, you can customize the accent colors of buttons, menus, and other elements by selecting different options from the “Accent color” dropdown menu in the General preferences.

2. Use Keyboard Shortcut

Another quick way to toggle Dark Mode is by using a keyboard shortcut. Simply press “Command + Option + Control + T” simultaneously, and your Mac’s interface will switch between Light and Dark Mode.

2.1 Remembering the Shortcut

Memorizing keyboard shortcuts can be challenging, especially when they involve multiple keys. However, with regular use, you’ll get the hang of it, and toggling Dark Mode will become second nature.

2.2 Modifying the Shortcut

If you’re not a fan of the default keyboard shortcut, you can customize it to something more memorable or convenient for you. To do this, go to “System Preferences” > “Keyboard” > “Shortcuts” and select “App Shortcuts” from the left sidebar. Then click the “+” button, choose “All Applications” in the Application dropdown, type “Toggle Dark Mode” in the Menu Title field, and assign your preferred shortcut.

2.3 Additional Options

In the Keyboard preferences, you’ll find a variety of other shortcuts that can enhance your productivity and efficiency while using your Mac. Take some time to explore and customize them to suit your needs.

3. Schedule Dark Mode

If you prefer to have Dark Mode automatically activate and deactivate at specific times, you can set a schedule for it. Here’s how:

3.1 Open System Preferences

Go to the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.” Then click on the “Displays” icon.

3.2 Display Preferences

In the Display preferences, navigate to the “Night Shift” tab.

3.3 Customize Schedule

Click on the “Schedule” dropdown menu and choose the “Custom” option. Set the desired start and end times for Dark Mode activation and deactivation.

3.4 Additional Night Shift Options

While in the Display preferences, you can also adjust the color temperature and intensity of Night Shift, which can help reduce eye strain further.

4. Dark Mode for Specific Apps

By default, Dark Mode applies to all apps on your Mac. However, you can customize the appearance of individual apps if needed.

4.1 Open App Preferences

Launch the app for which you want to enable Dark Mode and go to its preferences/settings.

4.2 App-Specific Appearance

Look for an option related to appearance or theme within the app’s settings. If available, you can select the Dark Mode option or a similar setting to apply Dark Mode specifically for that app.

4.3 Third-Party Apps

Note that not all apps may offer a built-in Dark Mode option. In such cases, you can explore third-party software or extensions that enable Dark Mode for unsupported apps.

4.4 Updating Apps

It’s important to keep your apps up to date, as developers often introduce Dark Mode compatibility with new versions. Check for updates regularly to ensure you have access to the latest features and improvements.

5. Accessibility Settings

Mac’s Dark Mode can also be beneficial for users with visual impairments or sensitivity to bright light. Here’s how to access Dark Mode through accessibility settings:

5.1 Open System Preferences

Click on the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.” Then choose the “Accessibility” icon.

5.2 Display Options

In the Accessibility preferences, select the “Display” tab.

5.3 Invert Colors

Check the “Invert colors” option to apply a high-contrast, inverted color scheme system-wide. This essentially creates a Dark Mode-like appearance.

5.4 Accessibility Shortcuts

If you frequently switch between normal and inverted colors, you can set up an accessibility shortcut for quick toggling. Go to “System Preferences” > “Keyboard” > “Shortcuts” and select “Accessibility” from the left sidebar. Enable the checkbox for “Invert colors” and assign a shortcut of your choice.

6. Menu Bar and Dock Appearance

Dark Mode not only affects the overall interface of your Mac but also extends to the menu bar and dock. Here’s how you can customize their appearance:

6.1 Menu Bar

To enable Dark Mode for the menu bar, navigate to “System Preferences” > “General” and check the box next to “Automatically hide and show the menu bar.” This option will make the menu bar translucent and adapt to the Dark Mode theme.

6.2 Dock

The dock can also reflect the Dark Mode theme. Right-click on the dock and select “Dock Preferences.” In the preferences window, choose the “Dark” option under the “Appearance” tab to apply Dark Mode to the dock.

6.3 Third-Party Tools

If you desire more extensive customization options for the menu bar and dock, you can explore third-party tools and utilities available for macOS. These tools often offer advanced features to personalize your Mac’s appearance further.

7. Dark Mode on macOS Mojave or Earlier

If you’re using an older version of macOS, such as Mojave or earlier, the process to enable Dark Mode may differ slightly. Here’s how to activate Dark Mode on these versions:

7.1 System Preferences

Open “System Preferences” and click on the “General” icon.

7.2 Appearance Settings

Look for the “Appearance” section and choose the “Dark” option to enable Dark Mode.

7.3 Enhanced Dark Mode

In macOS Mojave, you have an additional option called “Enhanced Dark Mode.” This mode provides a darker appearance, especially for native apps like Safari, Mail, and Calendar. To activate Enhanced Dark Mode, go to “System Preferences” > “General” and select the “Use dark menu bar and Dock” checkbox.

7.4 Customization Options

Unfortunately, customization options for Dark Mode in older macOS versions are limited. If you desire more control over Dark Mode’s appearance, consider updating to the latest version of macOS.

8. Dark Mode on Third-Party Apps

Dark Mode is not limited to the macOS interface; many third-party apps also support it. In this topic, we will discuss how to enable Dark Mode on popular third-party apps:

8.1 Web Browsers

Most web browsers, such as Safari, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, have Dark Mode options. Look for the settings or preferences menu within the browser and enable Dark Mode if available.

8.2 Office Suites

Applications like Microsoft Office and Apple iWork also offer Dark Mode. In the respective app’s preferences or settings, explore the appearance or theme options to activate Dark Mode.

8.3 Messaging Apps

Popular messaging apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Discord often have Dark Mode settings. Check the app’s preferences or settings and look for the appearance or theme options to switch to Dark Mode.

8.4 Media Players

Media players like VLC and iTunes also provide Dark Mode options. In the player’s preferences or settings, explore the appearance or interface sections to enable Dark Mode.

8.5 Note-Taking Apps

Note-taking apps like Evernote and Notion offer Dark Mode settings. Look for the app’s preferences or settings and navigate to the appearance or theme options to activate Dark Mode.

8.6 Design and Photo Editing Tools

Applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Sketch, and Figma often provide Dark Mode options for designers and photo editors. Check the app’s preferences or settings and look for the appearance or theme settings to enable Dark Mode.

8.7 Productivity and Task Management Apps

Popular productivity and task management apps like Todoist, Trello, and Asana also support Dark Mode. Explore the app’s preferences or settings to find the appearance or theme options and switch to Dark Mode.

8.8 Social Media Apps

Some social media apps, such as Twitter and Instagram, offer Dark Mode settings. Look for the app’s preferences or settings and navigate to the appearance or display options to enable Dark Mode.

9. Dark Mode Widgets

Widgets on your Mac’s dashboard can also be customized to match Dark Mode. Here’s how to set up Dark Mode for widgets:

9.1 Open Dashboard

To access the dashboard, use the keyboard shortcut “F12” or search for “Dashboard” in Spotlight.

9.2 Widget Management

Click on the “+” button in the bottom-left corner of the dashboard to open the widget management interface.

9.3 Customize Appearance

In the widget management interface, you can customize the appearance of each widget. Look for Dark Mode options or themes to match the overall Dark Mode aesthetic.

9.4 Reorder and Organize

Arrange the widgets in the desired order and organize them to suit your workflow. You can drag and drop widgets to reposition them.

10. Dark Mode on External Monitors

If you use an external monitor with your Mac,

10.1 System Preferences

Connect your external monitor to your Mac and open “System Preferences.”

10.2 Displays Settings

In the System Preferences window, click on the “Displays” icon.

10.3 External Monitor Configuration

Select the external monitor from the list of displays. If necessary, adjust the resolution or other settings specific to the external monitor.

10.4 Dark Mode Activation

Once your external monitor is configured, Dark Mode should automatically extend to the connected display. If it doesn’t, ensure that Dark Mode is enabled on your primary Mac display and try reconnecting the external monitor.

11. Dark Mode in Presentation Mode

If you frequently give presentations using your Mac, enabling Dark Mode during presentations can create a more focused and immersive experience. Here’s how to activate Dark Mode in presentation mode:

11.1 System Preferences

Open “System Preferences” and click on the “Displays” icon.

11.2 Presentation Mode Settings

In the Displays preferences, navigate to the “Color” tab and click on the “Color LCD” button.

11.3 Dark Mode Activation

In the color profile list, select a Dark Mode or similar profile to apply during presentations. This will adjust the color settings on your Mac’s display to a darker theme, enhancing the visual experience.

11.4 Custom Color Profiles

If you have specific color preferences for presentation mode, you can create custom color profiles using display calibration tools or third-party software.

12. Dark Mode Keyboard Backlight

If you have a MacBook with a backlit keyboard, you can adjust the keyboard backlight settings to complement Dark Mode. Here’s how:

12.1 Keyboard Settings

Open “System Preferences” and click on the “Keyboard” icon.

12.2 Keyboard Backlight

In the Keyboard preferences, navigate to the “Keyboard” tab.

12.3 Adjust Backlight Brightness

Use the slider to adjust the brightness of the keyboard backlight. Experiment with different levels to find the setting that complements the Dark Mode aesthetic.

12.4 Keyboard Backlight Timeout

You can also set the keyboard backlight to automatically turn off after a certain period of inactivity, helping conserve battery life.

13. Dark Mode on macOS Big Sur and Later

macOS Big Sur introduced an updated and refined Dark Mode experience. If you are using Big Sur or a later version, here’s how to make the most of Dark Mode:

13.1 Unified Control Center

With macOS Big Sur and later, Dark Mode extends to the Control Center. Simply click on the Control Center icon in the menu bar to access quick settings and toggles, all in a sleek dark interface.

13.2 Customizable Widgets

macOS Big Sur also introduced customizable widgets that can be placed on the desktop. You can select dark-themed widgets to match the Dark Mode aesthetic, providing a cohesive and visually appealing desktop experience.

13.3 Translucent Menu Bar

In macOS Big Sur, the menu bar becomes translucent when Dark Mode is enabled. This subtle visual enhancement adds depth and elegance to the overall interface.

13.4 Refined App Designs

Many apps in macOS Big Sur and later have undergone design updates to align with Dark Mode. This includes redesigned icons, menus, and windows, providing a more immersive and consistent experience across the system.

14. Dark Mode Shortcuts and Automations

To further enhance your Dark Mode experience, you can create shortcuts and automations to activate or deactivate Dark Mode based on specific triggers or schedules. Here’s how:

14.1 Shortcuts App

If you have macOS Monterey or later, you can use the Shortcuts app to create custom Dark Mode shortcuts. This allows you to activate Dark Mode with a single click or through Siri voice commands.

14.2 Automator

For earlier macOS versions, you can utilize the Automator app to create workflows that enable Dark Mode based on specific events or schedules. Automator provides a wide range of actions and conditions to automate Dark Mode activation and deactivation.

14.3 Third-Party Automation Tools

Alternatively, you can explore third-party automation tools like Keyboard Maestro, BetterTouchTool, or Alfred, which offer advanced scripting and automation capabilities. These tools allow you to create custom workflows that include Dark Mode activation as part of a broader automation scheme.

14.4 Siri Shortcuts

If you have a Mac with macOS Monterey or later, you can also use Siri Shortcuts to create voice-activated commands that enable or disable Dark Mode. This provides a convenient and hands-free way to switch between light and dark interfaces.

15. Feedback and Reporting

Dark Mode is continuously evolving, and you may encounter inconsistencies or issues with certain apps or system elements. To help improve Dark Mode, you can provide feedback and report bugs to Apple. Here’s how:

15.1 Feedback Assistant

Use the Feedback Assistant app on your Mac to submit feedback directly to Apple. Describe any problems you encounter or suggest improvements for Dark Mode. Your feedback helps Apple refine and enhance Dark Mode for future macOS updates.

15.2 Developer Feedback

If you’re a developer, Apple provides specific channels to report Dark Mode-related issues through the Apple Developer website or forums. Developers play a crucial role in optimizing Dark Mode compatibility for their apps, and their feedback contributes to a better Dark Mode experience.

15.3 Public Beta Testing

Consider participating in Apple’s public beta testing programs for macOS. By testing pre-release versions of macOS, you can provide valuable feedback on Dark Mode and contribute to its improvement before the official release.

15.4 Community Forums

Engage in community forums or discussion boards dedicated to macOS or Dark Mode. These platforms allow you to share your experiences, ask questions, and collaborate with other Mac users to troubleshoot Dark Mode-related issues and discover helpful tips and tricks.


Dark Mode on your Mac offers a visually appealing and comfortable user interface that reduces eye strain and enhances the overall computing experience. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily enable Dark Mode, customize its appearance, and extend it to various apps and settings. Whether you prefer a dark aesthetic, want to improve readability in low-light environments, or simply enjoy a change of interface, Dark Mode is a fantastic feature to explore on your Mac. Embrace the dark side and enjoy a sleek and stylish computing experience!

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