To break the monotony, Microsoft introduced dark theme with its Windows 10 Anniversary Update that rolled out in early August 2016. The black theme is known as the Dark Mode in Windows 10 Anniversary Update; you might want to know the dark theme was available even in the earlier build, buy you had to edit the registry to activate it.
However, the dark theme is not available on all Windows apps; only a few and mostly native Windows apps can show the dark theme. A buzz kill for people who were looking forward to the dark theme.
How to enable Dark Theme on Win 10 Anniversary Update
First thing first, how do you enable the default dark theme on Windows 10 Anniversary Update? Well, it is as simple as pushing a toggle button on. Go to Setting > Personalization > Colors. You will need to scroll down and click on the Dark checkbox under the ‘Choose your app mode.’
Immediately, the Settings app will turn dark, as well will many other native Windows apps. You will notice other apps will remain as they usually are; because it is up to the individual developers to support the dark theme. The dark theme will also not apply to File Explorer, which will remain its normal color.
How to enable Dark Theme for all apps
When Microsoft said it is enabling the dark theme, what we expected is for everything to turn dark. This half-way satisfaction just doesn’t cut it for some of us. Thus, below are some pro tips on how to make as many apps as possible turn dark.
Microsoft Edge Dark
Although Edge browser is a native app on Windows 10 (or Anniversary Update OS), enabling the Dark mode under Settings as shown above for some reason does not turn it dark. To make Edge browser dark, open it and go to Menu > Settings > under ‘Choose a theme’ > select Dark.
Microsoft Office Dark
Microsoft Office 2016 also comes with the dark theme option, but it will not activate when you activate the Dark mode on Windows settings. To make it dark, you need to activate that theme manually.
To make MS Office dark, open any of its applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint …) and go to File > Options. Under the General tab, click on Office Theme under the ‘Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office’ and select the Black theme. Regardless of whether you enable the dark theme on Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, the dark theme will be enabled across all MS Office suite apps.
Chrome, Firefox Dark
You must understand that apps like Chrome and Firefox are 3rd party apps and independent of the Windows settings. It is upon their publishers to enable the dark mode for them, and luckily Chrome and Firefox both have the dark theming options under their independent theming engines. To make Google Chrome dark, you will need to install the dark theme from the Google Chrome themes page.
The same can be done to Firefox by installing the black theme from the Mozilla’s Firefox theme page. If you browse a lot on either of these two browsers and have the Dark mode enabled. Your desktop will look more in peace (color-wise) with each other.
Desktop Apps Dark
The funny thing about Windows 10 Dark mode is that it does not (at all) affect the desktop theme. Things like File Explorer will remain with their usual light theme. However, there is a workaround to that; a ‘trick’ that has always been there even on earlier Windows version but it is not exactly the best solutions.
That is because this trick was meant to help the visually impaired users, but setting color scheme up as a high contrast of black and white. To enable this trick, go to Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Change the Theme. You will need to scroll down and select the High Contrast Themes, choosing the High Contrast Black will make even the File Explorer turn dark.
Well, this trick will give the black theme all over, making your File Explorer and background dark. However, the feel and look will not be that great; like I said it is a trick applied for the wrong reason. It was meant to help visually impaired users by using a high contrast of black and white, but it will leave a lot more wanting regarding a rich and pleasurable GUI.