How to enforce Dark Mode in many apps on Android

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 30, 2019
Google Android
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6

Lately, I have been switching programs and applications over to Dark Mode whenever possible on my Android devices to save battery and improve visibility especially in the morning and at night.

Some applications do support dark themes or dark mode, and Android does too natively. On my Google Pixel 3a, one of the first things that I did was enable Dark Mode in the Settings. Several native applications, including Settings, Google Chrome, or the Play Store applications started to switch to Dark Mode automatically when I made the change.

Others did not however which meant that the device switched between dark and light mode whenever I switched apps that supported it and those that did not.

Starting with Android Q, a system-wide dark mode was introduced but the feature does not enforce dark mode on applications. If an app supports it, it may switch to dark mode automatically but if it does not, the default or selected theme is used instead.

Android Q comes with a developer option to enforce Dark Mode. The effect of enabling the option is that many apps use a dark interface instead of the default one. The setting does not work for all applications though; WhatsApp keeps its light interface even after enabling the option and so do other apps such as Google Maps.

Note: The following instructions apply to a Google Pixel 3a device that is more or less stock Android. The features that you need to enabled may not be present in other Android devices, or they may be located somewhere else in the Settings. If you have found them in a different location, feel free to leave a comment to inform others about it.

force dark mode android

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Open up the Settings on your Android device and select Display.
  2. Toggle the Dark theme option to enabled.

The setting enables Dark theme on the device but does not enforce it. You need to open the Developer Options in the second step to make another configuration change to force it.

  1. If you have Developer Options in Settings already skip to step 4.
  2. Open the Settings and go to About Phone.
  3. Tap on the Build Number multiple times until you get a notification that Developer Options have been enabled.
  4. Select Settings > System > Advanced > Developer Options.
  5. Enable Override force-dark under "Hardware Accelerated Rendering".

Many apps will use a dark theme once you make the change.

Now you: do you prefer dark or light mode?

Summary
How to enforce Dark Mode in many apps on Android
Article Name
How to enforce Dark Mode in many apps on Android
Description
Find out how to enforce the use of a dark mode in many applications that don't support it natively on Android devices.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Albert said on August 18, 2023 at 1:49 pm
    Reply

    Thanks for the tip Martin.

    It is for these kinds of posts that I follow GHacks.

    1. Mike Williams said on August 26, 2023 at 8:55 pm
      Reply

      What’s up with the generic comment, are you a bot?

  2. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:23 pm
    Reply

    2G?

    Where on the planet is that still in use? I was forced to give up using my RAZRV3 years ago because 2G was phased out by AT&T.

    1. arbuz said on August 20, 2023 at 5:02 pm
      Reply

      Everywhere 3G has been turned off and you don’t have LTE coverage, and believe me there are many developed countries where this is the case and if it weren’t for 2G you wouldn’t even be able to make a phone call.

    2. Doc Fuddled said on August 31, 2023 at 5:55 pm
      Reply

      Maybe I missed it, but I don’t believe tha term “2G” is in the article. Perhaps you are referring to “AGM G2”??

  3. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:27 pm
    Reply

    @Martin

    Your website has gone insane.

    When I the post button I then saw my comment posted on a different article page. When I opened this article again, it is here.

    1. Martin P. said on August 31, 2023 at 4:39 pm
      Reply

      @Tachy @Martin Brinkmann

      ” Your website has gone insane. ”

      Same here. Has happened several times.

      1. owl said on September 1, 2023 at 3:42 am
        Reply

        @Tachy,
        @Martin P.,

        For over two weeks now,
        I’ve been seeing “Comments” posted by subscribers appearing in different, unrelated articles.
        https://www.ghacks.net/windows-11-update-stuck-fixed-for-good/#comment-4572991
        https://www.ghacks.net/windows-11-update-stuck-fixed-for-good/#comment-4572951
        For the time being,
        it would be better to specify the “article name and URL” at the beginning of the post.

  4. Anonymous said on August 18, 2023 at 11:17 pm
    Reply

    @tachy a lot of non-phone devices with a sim in them rely on 2G, at least here in europe.
    Usually things reporting usage or errors/alarms on something remote that does not get day to day inspection in person. They are out there in vast numbers doing important work. Reliable, good range. The low datarate is no problem at all in those cases.
    3G is gone or on its last legs everywhere, but this stuff still has too much use to cancel.

    Anyhow, interesting that they would put that in. I can see the point if you suspect a hostile 2G environment (amateur eavesdroppers with laptop, ranging up to professional grade MITM fake towers while “strangely” not getting the stronger crypto voip 4G because it is being jammed, and back down to something as old ‘stingray’ devices fallen into the wrong hands).

    But does this also mean that they have handled and rolled out a fix for that nasty 4G ‘pwn by broadcast’ problem you reported earlier this year? I had 4G disabled due to that, on the off chance that some of the local criminals would buy some cheap chinese gear, download a working exploit and probe every phone in range all over town in the hope of getting into phones of the police.

  5. Andy Prough said on August 19, 2023 at 3:04 am
    Reply

    >”While most may never be attacked in stingrays, it is still recommended to disable 2G cellular connections, especially since it does not have any downsides.”

    The downside would be losing connectivity. I spend a lot of time way out in the countryside where there’s often no service or almost none. My network allows 2G, and I need it sometimes. I have an option on the phone to disable 2G, I may do that when I’m in the city and I have good 5G connectivity, but not out in the country.

    I would imagine that the stingray exploits, like most of the bad things in this world, are probably things you will run into in the crowded big cities.

  6. owl said on August 21, 2023 at 3:40 am
    Reply

    I stopped using it in a mobile (Wi-Fi line) environment, so I’m almost ignorant of the actual situation,
    But the recent reality in Japan makes me realize that “the infrastructure of the web is nothing more than a papier-mâché fiction”.
    https://www.ghacks.net/2023/08/17/google-chrome-to-enable-https-first-by-default-for-all-users/#comment-4572402

    It is already beyond the scope of what an individual can do.
    What we should be aware of is the reality that “governments and those in power want to control the world through the Web”, and efforts to counter (resist and prevent) such ambitions are necessary.

  7. Anonymous said on August 26, 2023 at 9:27 pm
    Reply

    Why do you want people to disable the privacy features? Hmmmmm?

  8. Anonymous said on August 27, 2023 at 2:30 am
    Reply

    Now You: do you plan to keep the Ads privacy features enabled?

    I’d like to tell you, but apparently if you make a post critical of Google, you get censored. * [Editor: removed, just try to bring your opinion across without attacking anyone]

  9. Tachy said on August 27, 2023 at 5:15 am
    Reply

    @Martin

    You website is still psychotic. Comments attach to random stories.

  10. John G. said on August 28, 2023 at 2:46 pm
    Reply

    @Martin please do fix the comments, it’s completely insane commenting here! :[

  11. ECJ said on August 28, 2023 at 5:37 pm
    Reply

    @Martin

    The comments are seriously messed up on gHacks now. These comments are mixed with the article at the below URL.

    https://www.ghacks.net/2023/08/18/android-how-to-disable-2g-cellular-connections-to-improve-security/

    And comments on other articles are from as far back as 2010.

  12. Naimless said on August 29, 2023 at 12:57 am
    Reply

    What does this article has anything to do with all the comments on this article? LOL I think this Websuite is ran by ChatGPT. every article is messed up. Some older comments from 2015 shown up in recant articles, LOL

  13. Paul Knight said on August 31, 2023 at 3:35 am
    Reply

    The picture captioned “Clearing the Android Auto’s cache might resolve the issue” is from Apple Carplay ;)

  14. Anonymous said on August 31, 2023 at 9:57 pm
    Reply

    How about other things that matter:
    Drop survival?
    Screen toughness?
    Degree of water and dust protection?

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