How To Enable Dark Mode in Google’s Android Apps + Extras

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With the rollout of the highly requested system-wide dark mode in Android 10, Google and other popular app developers are adding a dark theme to their Android apps. Having the dark theme toggle in an app is great especially when you have a device with an OLED display. An OLED has the ability to turn off individual pixels, so using a black theme can effectively reduce battery consumption on your device. Though for most of the users, it just looks visually pleasing and helps out with eye strain at night.

So now we are going to highlight some Android apps from Google and others that support dark mode, and how to enable it. To learn more, continue reading this article.

Enable Android’s System-Wide Dark Mode

If you have a device that currently runs Android 10, you can enable system-wide dark mode on your device and be done with it. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Head over to the Settings app.
  2. Tap Display, and toggle on Dark theme.

Not only the UI elements change to a dark theme, but also Google’s first-party apps automatically adapt to it. This saves you from the hassle of manually toggling on dark mode for every app on your device.

Now, if you are still stuck on Android 9.0 Pie, you have to manually enable dark mode for every app. However, Samsung’s OneUI and Xiaomi’s MIUI 10 already has a dark mode feature, even though they are based on Android 9.0 Pie. Users have reported that it works the same as Android 10’s dark mode toggle.

Manually Enable Dark Mode For Google Apps

Some people don’t prefer the system-wide dark mode but separately enable it for specific apps of their choice. Or for those who don’t have the dark mode feature on their Android device, here’s how to manually enable it in different apps:

YouTube

Youtube is one of the first apps from Google to get dark mode treatment. To enable dark mode on Android:

  1. Launch the YouTube app.
  2. Tap your profile icon on the top-right corner of the app.
  3. Choose General from the list of options and toggle on the Dark theme.

You can also enable the feature on the web version by clicking your Profile icon and toggling on the ‘Dark theme’.

Google Chrome

While Google Chrome’s dark mode is already out for Windows and macOS, it is not added in the stable Android build yet. Though the toggle for the feature can be enabled from the hidden flags menu. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Chrome app on your device.
  2. In the search bar, enter the following URL: chrome://flags/#enable-android-night-mode
  3. Tap on the box below the highlighted option, select Enabled and relaunch Chrome.
  4. Now tap on the three-dot icon in the upper-right corner, and tap Themes in the Basics section.
  5. Finally, choose Dark to enable dark theme.

Google Drive

In Android 10, you can get the dark theme in Google Drive by enabling system-wide dark mode. But now you can enable it with a toggle found in the Google Drive settings. Here’s how:

  1. Tap on the three-lined sandwich icon, or swipe left to open the sidebar.
  2. Tap Settings > Choose Theme in the Theme section.
  3. Choose Dark to enable dark mode in Google Drive.

Files by Google

Google added a dark theme in the Files app a couple of days ago. Unlike other apps from Google, the dark theme in Files is pure black with gray UI elements. Let’s see how to manually enable dark mode in Files:

  1. Tap the three-lined sandwich icon in the upper left corner, or swipe left to open the sidebar.
  2. Tap Settings and scroll down to Other Settings section.
  3. Toggle on Dark theme.

Gmail

With the update on September 24, Google is finally rolling out dark mode for the Gmail app. If you spend most of your time browsing through your mails, then you should consider enabling dark mode to reduce eye strain. Here’s how to do it:

  1. In the Gmail app, tap the sandwich icon above and then tap Settings in the left sidebar.
  2. Tap General settings. You will find the Theme option at the top of the list.
  3. In the Theme dialog box, select Dark to enable dark mode in Gmail.

If you can’t find the option, make sure you have the latest update installed. Google is slowly rolling out the feature, so expect it to show up in a week.

Gallery Go

Gallery Go by Google Photos is a smart and light Gallery app for Android. It also has a dark mode that you can enable by following the steps below:

  1. In the app, tap on the three-dot icon above and select Settings.
  2. Toggle on Dark theme.

Google Fit

Similar to most other Google apps, the dark mode in Google Fit changes the white background to dark gray. To enable it:

  1. Tap Profile in the bottom bar, then again tap the cogwheel icon.
  2. Scroll down and select Theme from the Display section.
  3. Choose Dark to enable dark mode in Google Fit.

Google Keep

Keep is a simple note and reminders app from Google. It’s very easy to enable dark mode in this app.

  1. Open the sidebar by swiping left or tapping the sandwich icon.
  2. Tap Settings and toggle on Enable dark theme.

Google Maps

While there is no dark theme in Google Maps, you can force the night theme in the navigation mode. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Tap the three-lined sandwich icon above, or swipe left from the edge to open the sidebar.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Scroll down and tap Navigation settings.
  4. Again scroll down to the Map display section.
  5. Select Night option in Colour Scheme.

Now, whenever you go into navigation mode, you will see the map with a dark theme. The overall user interface will still remain white, so it’s not a perfect dark mode solution.

Google Calendar

In case you use Google Calendar as your default calendar app, here’s how you can manually enable dark mode:

  1. In the app, swipe left to open the left sidebar and tap Settings.
  2. Tap General > Theme.
  3. Select Dark from the options to enable dark mode in Google Calendar.

Calculator

Here’s how to get the dark theme in Google Calculator:

  1. Tap the three-dot icon.
  2. Select Choose Theme and tap Dark to enable dark mode.

Google News

Last week Google added dark mode to Google News. Again, the dark mode is not completely black, but rather a dark shade of gray. To enable it:

  1. Tap your profile icon in the upper right corner.
  2. Tap on Settings from the list of options.
  3. In the General section, tap Dark theme and choose Always to enable dark mode.

You can also choose Automatically to cycle between dark and white theme depending on time.

Google Photos

Dark Mode in Google Photos arrived as a server-side update with Android 10. Currently, there is no manual dark theme toggle in the app. Though some Xiaomi users have reported seeing the dark theme in Google Photos after enabling the dark mode feature in Pie-based MIUI 10.

Snapseed

If you do a lot of photo editing on your Android device, you probably know about Google Snapseed. To enable a dark theme in Snapseed:

  1. Head over to the app settings by tapping the three-dot icon above.
  2. Toggle on Dark Theme in the Appearance section.

Google Phone, Contacts & Messages

To enable dark mode in Google Phone:

  1. Go to Settings > Display options.
  2. Toggle on Dark theme.

To get the dark theme in Google Contacts:

  1. Tap the sandwich icon to open the side menu.
  2. Tap Turn dark theme on.

For dark mode in Android Messages:

  1. Tap the three-dot icon, then choose Settings.
  2. Tap Enable Dark Mode.

Google Play Store

Similar to Photos, Google is slowly rolling out a server-side update to the Play Store. You can get the dark theme on Play Store by toggling system-wide dark mode, but there is no dedicated toggle for it as of now.

Google Play Games

To get the dark theme in Play Games:

  1. Select Settings from the three-dot menu.
  2. In the General section, tap the green pencil icon and choose Use dark theme.

Google Authenticator

For those who use Google Authenticator for two-step account verifications, here’s how to enable dark mode in the app:

  1. Tap on the three-dot icon.
  2. Select View in dark mode.

Enable Dark Mode in Other Apps

In the previous section, we have talked about the dark mode in Google apps. Now let’s take a look at three popular social media apps with a dark theme toggle on Android and how to enable it.

  • Instagram

Yesterday with the latest update, Instagram released dark mode for Android and iOS devices. According to the changelog, the dark mode will be auto-enabled when you toggle on the system-wide dark mode on Android 10. As of now, there is no option to switch between dark and light mode within the app. Users are also reporting that the dark theme for Instagram is showing up on devices running Android Pie-based OneUI, OxygenOS, MIUI 10 with dark mode on.

  • Messenger

In April, Facebook rolled out dark mode for its Messenger app on Android. If you want to enable it on your device, follow the steps below:

  1. Tap on your profile icon in the top-left corner of the app.
  2. You will see the Dark Mode toggle under your profile photo. Tap on it to toggle on dark mode.

The dark theme on Messenger is pure black, so it does look good on an OLED screen.

  • Twitter

Even though Twitter for iOS has an AMOLED ‘Lights Out’ theme, a proper dark theme is absent from the Android counterpart. But you can enable Night Mode to at least save yourself from the white background of the Twitter app. Here’s how to do it:

  1. In the app, swipe left from the edge to bring up the sidebar.
  2. Tap the lightbulb icon below to enable dark mode.

Conclusion

It’s great to see more app developers joining the dark side after the introduction of system-wide dark mode in Android 10 and Apple’s iOS 13. In this article, we have tried to include almost all the Google apps and a couple of popular social media apps with a dark theme. If you want us to cover more apps with a dark mode feature, let us know in the comments section below.

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