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How to force a dark mode for websites in Chrome

Dark mode has become necessary considering how much time we spend in front of a screen. We have blue light filters but they’re not the same as a dark mode. System wide dark modes are now a feature on macOS, Windows 10, iOS 13, and Android 10, and quite a few apps now support it as well. The only place where it’s still missing is the internet. Websites still do not have a dark mode. You can force a dark mode for websites in Chrome with the latest update of the browser. Here’s how.

Force dark mode for websites

Chrome 78 was released a few days ago and it’s brought a few new end-user oriented features with it. There’s the new Colors and theme customization option for theming Chrome, and there’s the new dark mode for websites. It has to be enabled though.

Open a new tab in Chrome and enter the following. Tap Enter.

Chrome://flags

This will take you to the Chrome flags page. Use the search bar to look for a flag called Force Dark Mode for Web Contents. Open the dropdown next to it, and select the Enabled option from the menu. Relaunch Chrome.

When you visit a website, regardless of which one it is, a dark mode will be applied and it’s not bad at all. White backgrounds, which you will find plenty online, are changed to a dark grey. The text on the dark grey background is white but not a sharp one. For buttons and links, the results are a bit mixed. Links that normally appear blue are tinted orange but buttons aren’t as easy to re-color. Some links might not change color as well. Images that are white though aren’t going to be changed since that’s just not possible.

The feature works really well but since it’s in its early stages, it’s basic. This means it’s missing an option to toggle the dark mode On/Off. The dark mode, as good as it is, isn’t useful all the time. During the day, you might want to view websites in their regular themes. There is also no whitelisting or blacklisting option for websites.

Chrome extensions that add a dark mode to websites have existed for a long time. The idea isn’t new or novel, and in terms of features, many extensions have more than what Chrome has to offer. The difference is that they rarely worked better than Chrome’s forced dark mode for websites. It’s really very good and you need to give it a try. It even works for media players. Check it out on YouTube.

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