How to Enable Windows 10’s Dark Theme
Windows 10’s Dark Theme a new default theme is very bright, with lots of white — from window backgrounds to white title bars. Microsoft built a black, dark theme into Windows 10, but it’s hidden.
Microsoft has said it will continue working on Windows 10, so it’s possible this feature will be improved and there will be an easy toggle for it in the Settings app in the future. For now, here’s how you have to activate the dark theme.
Update: We’ve been told the registry change only works on the Professional, Enterprise, and Education editions of Windows 10. it won’t work on the Home edition.
Enable a System-wide Dark Theme
Microsoft may eventually add a toggle to the Settings app that switches between a system-wide light theme and dark theme. This is the way it works on Windows Phone. For now, you can still enable a system-wide dark theme — it just requires editing the registry. This will enable the dark theme for quite a few universal apps, but not all of them.
You can do this manually with the instructions below, or download our Enable Dark Theme on Windows 10 registry hack. Just double-click the included .reg file to enable the dark theme, and double-click the other included .reg file to re-enable the light theme.
After you run the file, log out and log back in or restart your PC.
if you want to do this by hand, you’ll need to open the registry editor and create the following keys. In earlier builds of Windows 10, this value was named “SystemUsesLightTheme”, but it’s named “AppsUseLightTheme” in the final version of Windows 10.
- Under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize, create a DWORD value named “AppsUseLightTheme” with the value of “0”.
- Under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize, create a DWORD value named “AppsUseLightTheme” with a value of “0”.
Log out and log back in, or restart your computer. Delete these values later (or set them to “1”) to re-enable the light theme.
Dark Themes for Microsoft Edge and the Windows Store
Microsoft’s new Edge browser has an easy-to-enable dark theme. In Edge, open the menu and select Settings. Select the “Choose a theme” box, and pick “Dark.” This will make Edge’s browser interface dark.
This option won’t change the colors of web pages, which will remain mostly white. Making most web pages appear dark would require a custom stylesheet, which won’t be an option until Microsoft Edge eventually gains support for browser extensions.
The Windows Store also has a dark theme, although it’s hidden. Open the Windows Store and press Ctrl+T to toggle the dark theme. Press Ctrl+T again to switch back to the light theme.
Microsoft may add this option to more applications in future app updates that roll out through the Windows Store. The above tricks both work even if you haven’t enabled the system-wide dark theme option.
Dark Theme for Traditional Desktop Applications
While many universal apps will now use a darker theme, desktop applications like the File Explorer window will continue to use their standard, light, white-heavy themes. You can enable a dark theme for desktop applications in the same way you could on previous versions of Windows — by enabling a custom visual style.
Windows does include several “High-contrast” desktop themes you can enable if you really want a dark theme. To find this option, right-click the desktop, select Personalize, select Themes in the Settings window that appears, and select “Theme settings”. Select one of the high-contrast themes at the bottom of the window. However, these themes aren’t the best-looking, so you probably won’t want to use them.
To get a higher-quality dark theme on the Windows desktop — one that changes the interface of the File Explorer window to look dark, for example — you’ll need to do the same thing you had to do on previous versions of Windows. This involves patching your uxtheme.dll to allow user-created visual styles and downloading third-party Windows styles from the Internet.
Many applications do offer their own theme features, so you could also just theme individual applications you rely on. For example, you could install dark themes for the Chrome or Firefox browsers.
Windows 10’s dark themes certainly seem like a work in progress. As this is an option on Windows Phone — now known as Windows Mobile once again — it may eventually be polished enough and become a proper option in Windows 10’s Settings app. But, even when it does, you’ll still have to hunt down third-party dark themes for the desktop. The option only applies to those new universal apps.
Credit: How to geek