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How to enable the dark mode on Chrome

Chrome 73 has a dark mode. This new feature is available for both Windows 10 and macOS . Unfortunately, while it works great on macOS, it is only half-done on Windows 10. If you’re using a Mac, enabling dark mode on Chrome is easy. If you’re on Windows 10, it’s going to take a little trick to get it to work.

Chrome dark mode – macOS

Update Chrome to the latest version. To update Chrome, click the more options button at the top right and select Help>About Chrome. Once you’re on the Chrome About page, it will automatically check for updates and update you to Chrome 73. The update will require you relaunch the browser.

On macOS, Chrome will switch to the dark mode only if you’re using the system’s dark theme. To apply it, open the System Preferences app and go to the General preference. Select the dark theme and Chrome will change its UI to reflect it. You can see that it is lacking in some areas i.e., the labels on the speed dial websites are unreadable.

Chrome dark mode – Windows 10

The dark mode on Chrome isn’t officially available for Windows 10. You can force enable it with a switch and this has shortcomings that we’ll get into a little later.

To use the Chrome dark mode on Windows 10, create a desktop shortcut for Chrome. Right-click it and select Properties from the context menu. On the properties window, go to the Shortcut tab and in the target field, enter the following after adding one space.

-force-dark-mode

Close Chrome, and then use the shortcut to open it. You ought to see the dark mode. If you don’t, restart your system.

We mentioned that this has shortcomings and the shortcoming here is that on Windows 10, Chrome 73 doesn’t follow the dark/light theme of the system. You can change the theme to the light theme and if you use this same shortcut to open Chrome, it will still open in dark mode.

If you need to switch between the dark and light mode on Chrome, you can create a second shortcut and leave it unchanged. Use the edited shortcut when you need to open Chrome with the dark mode. Use the unedited shortcut to open Chrome in light mode.

Since you’re using a switch, you will not be able to use any other switch with Chrome and this might be a problem if you rely on one everyday. The alternative is to just wait for Chrome 74 to arrive. It’ll only take a few weeks and it will work with the Windows 10 light/dark theme.

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