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How to enable Windows 10’s hidden Dark Mode

Published Aug 4th, 2016 7:20PM EDT
Windows 10 Tips And Tricks 2016
Image: Dell

Somewhere deep inside Apple’s iOS 10 beta software there’s a special “dark mode” feature just waiting to come out. Sadly, users don’t have access to it just yet — in fact no one does unless you’re a developer and you know how to dig for it. As it turns out, Microsoft’s Windows 10 software also has a hidden dark mode. When enabled, it’s a theme that turns the platform’s entire interface dark. The heavy use of black and other dark tones in Microsoft’s dark theme make the UI look incredibly sleek, and it’s also a bit easier on your eyes.

The bad news is there’s no simple toggle in older versions of Windows 10 that makes enabling and disabling this cool feature simple. But the good news if you don’t want to install the new anniversary update is that unlike iOS 10’s dark mode, anyone can enable the dark theme in any version of Windows 10 in just a few minutes by following the guide below.

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YouTube user “BTNHD” posted a video to his account recently that walks users through the process of enabling the dark theme in Windows 10. It involves editing two different registry entries, which can sound a bit daunting if you’ve never edited Windows’ registry before. Believe us when we tell you that it’s incredibly simple though, and you’ll be fine as long as you stick to the guide.

Here’s the video that will explain everything.

If you prefer to follow a written guide, here are the simple steps you’ll need to take:

  1. From the desktop or home screen, press Win+R to open a dialog box and type “regedit.” Then press enter.
  2. In the regedit app, browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Themes > Personalize.
    • If there’s not already a “Personalize” folder, create one by right-clicking Themes. Then choose New > Key.
  3. Right-click the Personalize folder and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new entry AppsUseLightTheme and choose 0 as its value.
  4. Now browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Themes > Personalize. Create the folder if it’s not already there.
  5. Right-click the Personalize folder and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new entry AppsUseLightTheme and choose 0 as its value.

Now just log out of your account and log back in, and you should see the Windows 10 dark theme on your screen.


Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.