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How to turn on Google Maps dark mode

how to turn on Google Maps dark mode
(Image credit: Google)

Want to know how to turn on Google Maps dark mode? All you need is Android 11, and Google Maps will be easier on the eyes and less thirsty for battery power. Plus, you'll draw less attention to your phone’s backlight when you’re out walking at night.

Android has offered a mostly system-wise dark theme for a while, but this mainly affects the UI of Android itself rather than specific apps. With this Maps update, you can now make the map itself a night-friendly mix of blues and blacks. While we wait for Android 12 to hopefully do the same for other apps, here’s your guide on how to use dark mode in Google Maps.

How to turn on Google Maps dark mode

The easiest way to enable dark mode in Google Apps is to use the pop-up prompt that appears after your phone has installed the requisite Android 11 update. This only appeared for us after opening and closing Maps a few times, but once it appears you can switch on dark mode without having to dive into the settings.

How to use Google Maps dark mode — Enable dark theme

(Image credit: Future)

1. Tap your circular profile picture in the search bar, near the top-right corner. This will open a short menu. Tap on Settings.

How to use Google Maps in dark mode — Select profile picture

(Image credit: Future)

2. In the Settings menu, tap on Theme.

How to use Google Maps in dark mode — Google Maps settings

(Image credit: Future)

3. You’ll be presented with three options. Tap Always in dark theme to enable it; you can always come back and select Always in light theme to revert.

How to use Google Maps in dark mode — Select theme

(Image credit: Future)

Go back to the main map view and you’ll see it’s now in the battery-saving, retina-soothing dark theme.

How to use Google Maps in dark mode

(Image credit: Future)

You’ll also notice the third option, Same as device theme. This sets Google Maps to use the same theme, light or dark, that you’ve selected for Android itself. Here’s how to change the latter:

1. Open Android’s main settings by dragging down on the home screen to open the quick settings menu, then tap the cog icon.

How to use Google Maps in dark mode — Open Android settings

(Image credit: Future)

2. Tap on Display.

How to use Google Maps in dark mode — Display settings

(Image credit: Future)

3. Select the Dark theme toggle to enable or disable it. If you chose the Same as device theme option in Google Maps, it will now match the theme you’re using for Android itself.

How to use Google Maps in dark mode — Toggle Dark theme

(Image credit: Future)
James Archer

James joined Tom’s Guide in 2020, bringing years of experience in consumer tech and product testing. As Audio Editor, James covers headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also covers the occasional spot of computing and gaming news, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.