How to Enable Google Chrome’s Dark Mode on Windows 10

Google Chrome 74 offers a built-in dark mode under Windows. Rather than having its own flip-flop in dark mode, Chrome is only following the global application mode of Windows 10. This is how it works normally, but there is also a way to force it.

How to enable Chrome's dark mode

You can simply turn on Chrome's built-in dark mode by going to Settings> Personalization> Colors and choosing "Dark" in "Choose your default application mode". Windows 10 will become dark and Chrome, as well as other applications, will follow this general setting.

On a Mac, you can enable macOS dark mode to achieve the same thing.

For the moment, this only works for some people. As of the release of Chrome 74 on April 23, 2019, Google is testing this feature with "a small number of Chrome M74 users" and "it will be more and more available in the near future," according to one Chrome Community Manager. To activate it now, you can launch Chrome with the option –force-dark-mode.

Update: Google said it should work for everyone now. However, you can always force dark mode if you prefer to use Windows in light mode and Chrome in dark mode.

How to forcibly activate dark mode

Chrome has a built-in option that forcibly turns on dark mode. It works for the moment, even when the normal dark mode option in the whole system does not work. This will also force Chrome to switch to dark mode, even if the default application mode of Windows 10 is set to "clear".

To enable this option, find the shortcut you normally use to launch Chrome. For example, it may be on your taskbar or on your desktop. We will use the shortcut on the taskbar.

Right click on the shortcut and select "Properties". To use a Chrome taskbar shortcut, click the taskbar icon, right-click on "Google Chrome," then select "Properties."

Opening the Properties Window of the Chrome Taskbar Shortcut on Windows 10

Add a space followed by –force-dark-mode at the end of the Target area. For example, on our system, the Target area looks like this:

"C: Program Files (x86) Google Chrome Application chrome.exe" –force-dark-mode

This may be different on your system if Chrome is installed in another location.

Click "OK" to save your changes.

Forced activation of Google Chrome dark mode with --force-dark-mode

Click "OK" and use the shortcut to launch Chrome. If you already have Chrome open, you must close it before restarting it. To do this, click menu> Exit. Wait a moment for Chrome to close completely and launch Chrome with the shortcut you changed.

You will see the new dark mode theme, which unfortunately looks a lot like the Incognito mode.

The built-in dark mode of Chrome under Windows 10 displaying the new tab page

How to make the Chrome title bar colorful (or not)

If you do not want Chrome's title bar to be colored – or want it colorful-Go to the Settings> Customization> Colors interface and turn on the "Title Bars and Window Borders" option under "Show accent color on the following surfaces".

Choosing the color of the title bar of Chrome on Windows

When this option is enabled, Chrome's title bar uses the accent color that you set in the Colors pane here.

Choose an accent color on Windows 10

RELATED: How to get colored window title bars on Windows 10 (instead of white)

How to enable dark mode with a theme

If you do not want to interfere with this, or if you are using a previous version of Windows such as Windows 7, you can still install a dark-mode theme for Chrome. Google now offers an official theme collection for Chrome. Go to the Chrome Web Store and install the software "Just blackTheme.

This theme is darker than the dark-skinned theme of Chrome on Windows. You may even prefer it if you search for a darker browser. The Chrome Web Store has other themes you can install too.

Just Black Theme for Chrome

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