Tech Tip: Going to the Dark Side in Windows 10

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Q. In Windows 10, how do you make the screen and window backgrounds black instead of white?

A. Windows 10 includes a “dark” theme that flips the backgrounds of some apps from white to black. The operating system also has a high-contrast mode available in the Ease of Access settings that inverts the white background with black, while also changing the colors of buttons and menus to make them stand out against the dark background.


In the Personalization area of the Windows 10 Settings app, select Colors and scroll down to choose a light or dark background for certain Windows screens and apps. Credit The New York Times

You can get to either option by pressing the Windows and I keys to open the Settings area, or by going to the Start menu and selecting the gear-shaped Settings icon. In Settings, choose Personalization and then Colors. In the Choose Your App Mode area toward the bottom of the window, select Dark; you can pick a custom accent color for your windows here, too.

The dark theme works with several Windows 10 apps, but does not give everything a black backdrop. For example, the File Explorer and browser windows keep their white backgrounds. Some versions of Microsoft Office have their own dark themes, too, as does the Edge browser. Other browsers have similar add-ons; Google offers its own High Contrast extension for its Chrome browser.

For a more universal system switch from white to black, click the High Contrast Settings link under the app mode options in the Personalization box, or click the Ease of Access icon in the main Settings area. In the Ease of Access box, select High Contrast and choose a color combination that suits you from the drop-down menu.

You can turn off or adjust either the dark theme or the high-contrast mode by returning to Settings.

Apple includes its own contrast and color settings for the Mac in the System Preferences. To make adjustments, open the System Preferences icon in the desktop dock, click the Accessibility icon and choose Display.

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