Working on your Mac all day can put a strain on your eyes, making you wonder – ‘How to enable Mac Dark Mode?’. Many of us spend unprecedented amounts of time staring at our screens due to the new work-from-home culture. Hence, the harmful effects of the blue light from your Mac’s screen are likely to be even more damaging than usual.

A handy feature to enhance your comfort and productivity on Mac is Dark Mode, especially during the night. Plus, it also helps you save some battery life on your MacBooks. Dark Mode is not a new feature on macOS. It has been part of the Apple OS since macOS Mojave in 2018.

Let’s discuss how you can enable dark mode on your Mac, how to turn it off if you want to, and how to go beyond Dark Mode to get an even darker macOS experience.


How to enable Dark Mode on macOS Monterey

Mac’s Dark Mode is a universal effect that applies not only to your native apps but also to a host of third-party apps. And naturally, Dark Mode interface applies to all your menus, buttons, windows, and the dock. If you’re browsing on Safari, not every website will be compatible with Dark Mode. Only the ones designed for it will turn dark when you turn Dark Mode on.

So how do you turn Dark Mode on? This depends on your macOS version. If your Mac is updated to the latest macOS Monterey, you can follow the steps below to enable Dark Mode on your screen. There are multiple ways you can achieve the same result. Let’s look at each of them.

Enable Dark Mode on Mac from System Preferences

This method works with all modern versions of macOS. Even if you’re running an older version of macOS, you’ll be able to turn on Dark Mode with the following steps:

  1. Click the Apple logo/button on the menu bar (top left of your screen).


  1. Select System Preferences.


  1. Click on General.

MacOS Settings General


  1. Next to the Appearance section, click on Dark to turn Dark Mode on.

MacOS Settings Dark Mode


  1. Your dock, buttons, menus, and windows will instantly turn dark, including the current System Preferences window you’re on.


  1. You can also select Auto to automatically turn on Dark Mode at sunset and turn it off at sunrise.


Enable Dark Mode on Mac from Control Center

Apple introduced the Control Center in macOS Big Sur and it’s also an essential part of the current macOS Monterey. Enabling Dark Mode on your Mac becomes much easier and faster through the Control Center.

  1. Click on the Control Center icon near the top right of your screen.

MacOS Control Center


  1. From the drop-down window, click on the Display panel.

MacOS Display Panel


  1. In the expanded panel, select Dark Mode button to turn Dark Mode on.

MacOS Dark Mode Toggle


Using this method, you can enable or disable Dark Mode right from your desktop, without needing to go into System Preferences.


Enable Dark Mode on Mac using Siri
Lastly, you can use Siri to simply ask your Mac to turn on Dark Mode. This method can prove useful if you’ve got your hands busy, say, during a meal, or you’re just too lazy to click around.

  1. Say ‘Hey Siri’ when you’re near your Mac.


  1. Once Siri activates, say something like ‘Turn on Dark Mode’ or just ‘Dark Mode’.


  1. Siri will instantly enable Dark Mode on your screen.


Bonus: Add a Dark Mode Toggle to your Menu Bar

On macOS Big Sur and newer, you can add a quick toggle for the Display settings right on your top menu bar.

  1. Open the Control Center from the top right of your screen.


  1. Drag and drop the Display panel to the menu bar.


  1. The Display panel will now reside on your menu bar as a separate button. You can click on it anytime to access the Dark Mode button.


How to enable Dark Mode on older macOS versions

As features like the Control Center were introduced only from macOS Big Sur, the steps to enable Dark Mode on older macOS versions are somewhat different.

Moreover, on macOS High Sierra and earlier versions, only the dock and the menu bar will turn dark upon enabling Dark Mode, not the windows and other interface elements.

That said, below are the steps to turn on Dark Mode on older macOS versions:


macOS Catalina

macOS Catalina preceded macOS Big Sur and introduced useful new features like Sidecar, allowing users to use an iPad as a second screen.

  1. Open System Preferences after clicking on the Apple logo.


  1. Click on General.


  1. Next to the Appearance section, click on Dark or Auto.


macOS Mojave

macOS Mojave was the version that first brought Dark Mode to macOS.

  1. Open System Preferences after clicking on the Apple logo.


  1. Click on General.


  1. Next to the Appearance section, click on Dark or Auto.


OS X Yosemite to macOS High Sierra

While the OS X Yosemite introduced major UI changes and macOS High Sierra made the switch to Apple File System (APFS), neither of the two (including the versions between them) support Dark Mode. Instead, you can apply the effect only to the dock and menu bar.

  1. Open System Preferences after clicking on the Apple logo.


  1. Click on General.


  1. Check the box next to Use dark menu bar and Dock.


How To Turn Off Dark Mode On Mac

Turning off or disabling Dark Mode on your Mac is pretty simple. You can either click on Light in the Display panel or in the Appearance section, as we discussed in the previous sections. You also have the option of selecting Auto if you want your screen to turn dark at sunset and light at sunrise automatically.


How To Switch Between Light and Dark Modes

Switching between Dark Mode and Light Mode is also fairly straightforward on your Mac. To do so, follow the familiar steps below:

  1. Head to the Display panel on macOS Big Sur or newer or the System Preferences > General > Appearance on all older versions.


  1. From here, you can turn Dark Mode off, effectively switching to Light Mode.


  1. To switch back to Dark Mode, simply click on Dark again.


You can also add a toggle for the Display panel to your menu bar and use that for quick switching between the two modes.


How To Make Your Mac Even Darker

If you want an even easier experience for your eyes, you can use two extra features in addition to Dark Mode – Dynamic Desktop and Night Shift.

Dynamic Desktop

Dynamic Desktop was introduced in macOS Mojave back in 2018. What it does is tweak your desktop wallpaper to correspond to the time of day. The same image will change to a night theme during the night and to a day theme during the day. This is applicable only when using the desktop wallpapers included by default in your Mac.

Follow the steps below to use Dynamic Desktop to add to your Dark Mode experience:

  1. Click the Apple logo/button on the menu bar (top left of your screen) and select System Preferences.


  1. Select Desktop & Screen Saver.


  1. Once the Desktop tab is selected at the top, select Desktop Pictures under Apple on the left pane.

MacOS Desktop Pictures


  1. From the collection of wallpapers on the right, select the one you like and select Dynamic from the drop-down menu next to the thumbnail of the image you selected.

MacOS Dynamic Desktop


Your selected wallpaper will now dynamically change from light to dark as the day progresses.


Night Shift

Night Shift is another display feature on macOS, introduced in macOS Sierra. It adjusts your screen’s brightness and color temperature automatically from cold to warm, as the day progresses, to ease the strain on your eyes.

It reduces blue light gradually during the day, progressively signaling to your body that night is getting closer.

You can turn Night Shift on from the same Display panel used for turning Dark Mode on.


How to Schedule Dark Mode on Your Mac

Choosing the Auto setting in the Display settings, you can turn Dark Mode on or off, but only at sunset and sunrise, not at a time of your choosing. But you can achieve this result using another feature discussed previously – Night Shift.

Night Shift can be scheduled to turn on or off based on any custom setting of your choice. And this scheduling affects Dark Mode as well. This way, you can effectively turn Dark Mode on and off based on the time you input in the Night Shift settings. Follow the steps below:

  1. Click the Apple logo/button on the menu bar (top left of your screen) and select System Preferences.


  1. Click on General.


  1. Select Auto in the Appearance section.


  1. Return to System Preferences and click on Displays.


  1. Click Night Shift and in the Schedule dropdown, select Custom.

MacOS schedule night shift


  1. Enter the times that you want Dark Mode to turn on and off respectively.


Doing this will schedule Night Shift and Dark Mode simultaneously. If you want the scheduling to affect only Dark Mode, you can turn the color temperature slider in the Night Shift menu as far left as possible, to effectively nullify the effect of Night Shift.


Wrapping Up

Turning on Dark Mode on your Mac can markedly improve your productivity, reduce eye strain, and enhance your overall user experience. Pairing it with the additional display features of macOS can elevate it to a whole new level. If you’re facing unexplained issues with your screen, you can instantly book a repair with us to get your iMac or MacBook checked out.







Wednesday 2nd November By

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