Enable dark theme on Windows 10 with a single click or hotkey using Easy Dark Mode

Jan 2, 2020
Updated • Jan 2, 2020
Software, Windows software

Dark themes have been gaining popularity over the past few years among computer and mobile users, and companies have started to integrate dark modes into their programs and operating systems. Darker themes are easy on the eyes and may even help to save some battery, at least on phones.

Enable dark theme on Windows 10 with a single click or hotkey using Easy Dark Mode

Support for dark mode on Windows 10 is debatable, it works in very few elements in the operating system at the time of writing.

Some apps support partial dark modes only in which only some interface elements such as the titlebar are painted in dark colors.

Device Manager and Calculator are examples of legacy programs which don't support dark mode.

dark mode on Windows 10

Easy Dark Mode is a free tool for Windows that helps you switch to Dark mode in a single click. While it does not take care of programs that don't support the operating system's Dark Mode, it may be useful to users who use Dark Mode at times but not all the time.

The application is portable, though you can set it to run on Windows boot if required. The program starts in the system-tray area and has a square icon which is diagonally divided into black and white.

Left-click on the icon and watch the magic. Exiting the program does not switch to the previous theme, you'll need to switch back manually. To revert to the light theme, click on the tray icon again. The program uses Windows 10's Dark theme setting. Experienced users maybe aware that the operating system's theme is reflected in elements such as Windows Explorer or Settings, and also works in supported applications like Firefox or Chrome.

One-click or keyboard shortcut

So, why use this program? Windows 10's method to switch to dark mode is not a single-click procedure. You have to open Settings > Personalization > Colors > scroll down and set Dark Mode. Besides, with Easy Dark Mode you can do this with a keyboard shortcut.

To define a hotkey for the program, right-click the tray icon and select a key from the drop-down menu. You also have the option to use the Alt, Control, Shift and Windows keys as part of the combination, which is useful in case you're using hotkeys for other applications.

Here's how Easy Dark Mode works

easy dark mode demo

Tray Icon (Context menu)

The Start Mode lets you switch between the dark and light Windows theme when you run Easy Dark Mode. The second option, Switch Panel, places a floating icon on the screen. It is functionally identical to the system tray icon. This isn't enabled by default, and you can hide it when it is not required. I think it could be useful when working with full screen applications, but the tray icon does a fine job. You can change the switch panel's size to make it less distracting.  The "Theme" menu item in the program's tray icon can be used to change the interface to dark/light mode.

Note: The "Tools" option in the tray icon's context menu are web shortcuts for other tools from the same developer.

You'll need Windows 10 version 1803 or above for Easy Dark Mode to work. While it does the exact same thing that's available in the OS, the convenience of the hotkey and the single-click switch is quite nice, and something that I think should have been available in Windows. We have a dark mode switch on the quick settings panel in Android, don't we?

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  1. Anders said on March 21, 2023 at 8:26 pm

    Here is a small open source program for toggling between dark and light windows themes

  2. Andrew said on August 18, 2021 at 12:34 am

    Dark mode is NOT hard on the eyes the opposite is true, Bright mode strains the eyes and can cause cataracts (happened to me so I can tell you its real) dark mode is an absolute must now after having cataracts, to fix cataracts you need to have surgery to replace the lens in your eyes with an artificial lens, untreated you can go blind

  3. Andrew said on August 18, 2021 at 12:32 am

    To the idiots who say dark mode is hard on the eyes the opposite is true, Bright mode strains the eyes and can cause cataracts (happened to me so I can tell you its real) dark mode is an absolute must now after having cataracts, to fix cataracts you need to have surgery to replace the lens in your eyes with an artificial lens, untreated you can go blind

  4. Bob said on November 10, 2020 at 3:19 am

    There’s a keyboard shortcut somewhere…why not just say what it is

  5. Bob said on November 10, 2020 at 3:19 am

    There’s a keyboard shortcut somewhere…why not just say what it is

  6. asd said on January 3, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Do you use your computer at night? Do you dim room lights at night (you should, for your health.)? if the answer is yes to both, you would benefit from a dark theme on your screen.

  7. bunsem said on January 3, 2020 at 8:11 pm

    Try reading a normal book where the sunlight shines on the pages you are reading, and note how it strains your eyes. That’s how the glares on the white background computer monitors affect the eyes.

  8. Lindfors said on January 3, 2020 at 6:31 am

    I dont understand this dark hype. Very boring

    1. misinfowarlock said on January 3, 2020 at 8:30 am

      No worries, as lack of such understanding is merely due to a lack of empathy, which is a very normal trait among sociopaths.

      BTW, if you ever feel too bored, I suggest that you venture deep into wolf infested woods alone, at night, in the freezing winter, nude, with no tools, on shrooms+Bromo-DragonFLY.

      Perhaps after that you will understand and not feel so bored.

      1. george said on October 31, 2021 at 12:37 am

        0 to 100 real fast lmao

  9. GetRealAndStopActingLikeASissy said on January 3, 2020 at 12:36 am

    Dark theme easy on eyes? The truth is the opposite, but go ahead and damage your sight. But yes, some uneducated folks buy the man-made global warming/climate change nonsense as well.

    1. misinfowarlock said on January 3, 2020 at 8:09 am

      Really? Dark lighting conditions will damage your eyes and man-made global warming/climate change is nonsense.. Wow, thanks! And here I was thinking that I was better off trusting science than thinking some seemingly uneducated conspiracy nut knows any better.. But know I understand that trolling with disinformation is rewarding.. Fun facts: The earth is flat and we didn’t land on the moon.

      I feel so special now!

      1. Jill said on January 3, 2020 at 12:16 pm

        He didn’t say it “damages” he said it is EASIER on the eyes compared to dark theme, do you even understand the difference? I mean… do you even try to comprehend the text you replied to? Have you ever read in your life? because if you did, you would have known that reading a book white pages and black text will always be easier than black sheets with white text.

        And the person above has a point. I have actually read developers bringing “black themes” and saying “good for environment” which is total BS since light or black theme are not going to change anything. That’s the type of propaganda the person above is referring to, but you couldn’t even bring evidence of your views, and you couldn’t even argue in a civil manner to the person you disagree with, you seem like you are so desperate, just look at both your comments in this article… you just insulted and pretended like you are some type of smarter person for believing propaganda you haven’t even read about to understand if it is true or not, and by reading I mean both views. But I am sure you haven’t and you are just attacking the person because you are the clueless one, believing something you don’t even know, either view anti or pro climate change, you are clueless about it but opted to heard some small little bits or maybe nothing and still believe on it.

        But are you so clueless that you really think that there are not scientific people who disagrees with Climate Change? Or you just want to keep living in the propaganda and pretend you know it all because you heard so and not because you tried to understand both views? Have you ever tried to see who in the “Global warming petition project” can answer questions? or something better one of the 500 scientific people on the “European Climate Declaration” that show their names and nationality?

        Have you ever read about Climate Change Reconsidered or something on that matter?. Do you even understand how BS is the “97% scientific agree about man made global warming”. Do you even understand why first it was “global warming” and now it is “climate change” and all the predictions they have said about disasters for decades haven’t happened? actually Al Gore bought a nice house with ocean view so I doubt he even believes in the predictions either.

        But then, I believe you are those clueless who believe CO2 is evil, Fossil Fuels are so evil and electric cars and solar wind are “green energies” because someone told you so, even though you don’t know how non-green they are. I want to guess you would say Nuclear Energy is evil too, because that’s what ignorant people say.
        You would probably believe that we should be somehow tax more for some climate change crisis and then be slaves to some system based on nothing but words, because their catastrophe predictions have failed single time, now they said “12 years left” or whatever to make people scare and weaker and more stupid.
        If you really knew and believed Climate Change I would have to question why are you even typing in a computer or phone? Do you even know how bad for the environment a laptop or a phone are? What about the components for the ‘green energies’ you know, to transform from sun or wind to electricity and then store it?

        But the truth is most people who are ‘hysterical’ and complain about some “climate change crisis” are either clueless or hypocrites, it’s either people who haven’t read past the tiny bit of a headline without really studying it or to try to understand it or well, are the people who talk about climate change but don’t stop using their technology, like their non-green phones and computers among many non-green things they won’t stop using because they don’t care either way, real crisis or not.

      2. Leo said on October 2, 2020 at 4:02 pm

        Somehow a certain political party made people believe that a man written book called bible (nice story – btw) should be trusted, grab your guns and kill other in the name of the bible, Ok to shoot kids in schools but no ok to abortion, smoking does not cause cancer, masks are over-reach of gov. Yet they use logic to dispute the earth is heating based on pure opinion. Go ahead believe what you want to believe, you have the right to be stupid as you wish and raise your kids to be stupid. I guess all the wild fires, and hurricanes, and everything else that is happening is not proof to you.

  10. Yuliya said on January 2, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    This screenshot: https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/dark-mode-on-Windows-10.jpg
    What the hell??! And I have seen people claiming that Windows 10 looks better than 7.. mad people.

  11. chesscanoe said on January 2, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    Microsoft Scientific Calculator 10.1910.0.0 already works in Dark mode for me under Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.18363.535] and further can precisely verify this equation using 64 bit integer arithmetic:
    569936821221962380720³ + (-569936821113563493509)³ + (-472715493453327032)³ = 3 .
    I forget when this version was installed – perhaps when I installed Edge DEV?

  12. Gavin B. said on January 2, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    Direct link on the developer’s site

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