How to Turn On Dark Mode in Windows 11

How to Turn On Dark Mode in Windows 11

Dark mode is a popular user interface (UI) feature that reduces eye strain and conserves battery life by displaying light text on a dark background. Windows 11, the latest operating system from Microsoft, includes a built-in dark mode that can be easily activated. This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about enabling dark mode in Windows 11, from the basics of the feature to the steps required to turn it on.

Understanding Dark Mode:

Dark mode is a UI setting that alters the appearance of applications and system elements to display lighter text and icons on a darker background. This design choice offers several benefits:

a. Reduced eye strain: Dark mode can help reduce eye strain, particularly in low-light conditions, by decreasing the overall screen brightness and reducing the contrast between text and background.

b. Improved battery life: Dark mode can extend battery life on devices with OLED or AMOLED screens, as these displays consume less power when displaying darker colors.

c. Enhanced visual appeal: Many users find dark mode aesthetically pleasing and enjoy the modern, sleek look it provides.

Windows 11 Dark Mode Features:

Windows 11’s dark mode encompasses several aspects of the operating system, including:

a. System UI: Dark mode changes the appearance of system elements such as the Start menu, taskbar, and notification center.

b. File Explorer: Windows 11’s File Explorer also supports dark mode, displaying files and folders with light text on a dark background.

c. Built-in Apps: Many built-in Windows 11 applications, such as Settings, Calculator, and Mail, have dark mode themes that automatically adapt to the system-wide setting.

d. Third-Party Apps: Some third-party applications support dark mode and may automatically switch to a dark theme when the system-wide dark mode is enabled.

Enabling Dark Mode in Windows 11:

Follow the steps below to enable dark mode in Windows 11:

a. Right-click on the desktop and select “Personalize” from the context menu. This will open the “Personalization” settings.

b. In the “Personalization” settings, click on the “Colors” option in the left-hand pane.

c. Under the “Choose your color” section, select the “Dark” option to enable dark mode.

d. Optionally, you can choose the “Custom” option to mix and match light and dark mode settings for different parts of the UI. For example, you can set the system UI to dark mode while keeping the apps in light mode, or vice versa.

e. After selecting your desired dark mode configuration, close the “Settings” window. The changes will be applied automatically, and you will see the dark mode take effect across the system UI and compatible applications.

Customizing Accent Colors:

In addition to enabling dark mode, Windows 11 allows you to customize accent colors for added personalization. These accent colors affect various UI elements, such as window borders, buttons, and highlighted text. To customize accent colors, follow these steps:

a. Open the “Personalization” settings by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting “Personalize.”

b. Click on the “Colors” option in the left-hand pane.

c. Under the “Choose your accent color” section, you can either let Windows 11 automatically pick an accent color based on your background, or you can manually choose a color from the provided palette.

d. To apply your chosen accent color to additional UI elements, such as the Start menu, taskbar, and notification center, toggle on the “Show accent color on Start, taskbar, and action center” option.

e. Close the “Settings” window to apply your changes. The accent color will now be visible on the specified UI elements, complementing the dark mode theme.

Adjusting Text Size and Scaling:

Dark mode can sometimes make text more challenging to read, especially for users with visual impairments. Windows 11 provides options to adjust text size and scaling to improve readability. To modify these settings, follow these steps:

a. Right-click on the desktop and select “Display settings” from the context menu.

b. In the “Display” settings, locate the “Scale and layout” section.

c. Use the dropdown menu under “Change the size of text, apps, and other items” to adjust the scaling percentage. Higher percentages will make text and UI elements larger and more comfortable to read.

d. To adjust text size individually for different UI elements, click on the “Advanced scaling settings” link. Here, you can set custom text sizes for elements such as title bars, menus, and tooltips.

e. Close the “Settings” window to apply your changes. The text size and scaling adjustments will take effect immediately.

Enabling Dark Mode in Third-Party Applications:

While Windows 11’s dark mode automatically applies to many built-in applications, some third-party apps may require manual configuration. To enable dark mode in third-party applications, follow these general guidelines:

a. Open the application’s settings or preferences menu. This is typically accessible through a gear icon, a “Settings” or “Preferences” option in the app’s main menu, or by right-clicking on the app’s icon in the taskbar.

b. Look for a “Theme,” “Appearance,” or “Display” section in the settings menu.

c. If the app supports dark mode, you should find an option to enable it within this section. Toggle the dark mode setting on, or select a dark theme from a list of available themes.

d. Save your changes and restart the application if necessary. The app should now display in dark mode.

Troubleshooting Dark Mode Issues:

Occasionally, you may encounter issues with dark mode not displaying correctly or inconsistently across different applications. If you experience problems with dark mode in Windows 11, try the following troubleshooting steps:

a. Ensure your system is up to date by checking for Windows updates. Microsoft may release patches to address dark mode issues or improve compatibility with third-party applications.

b. Check for updates to individual applications that are not displaying dark mode correctly. Developers may release updates to add dark mode support or fix existing problems.

c. Restart your computer. Occasionally, dark mode settings may not take effect until the system is rebooted.

d. If a specific application continues to have issues with dark mode, consider reaching out to the app’s developer for support or reporting the issue through the app’s feedback system.


Enabling dark mode in Windows 11 is a simple process that offers numerous benefits, including reduced eye strain, improved battery life, and enhanced visual appeal. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily activate and customize dark mode to create a more comfortable and personalized computing experience.