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How to Enable Chrome Dark Mode: Everything You Need to Know

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Google has made Dark Mode a reality for folks across the globe.

The tech giant on Oct. 23 unveiled a new Dark Mode for Chrome that automatically converts bright websites into dark websites during use. The idea is to reduce your eye strain and ultimately save battery life, whether surfing the web on your phone or laptop. And chances are, it could become one of the more important features in Chrome in quite some time.

Google has been working on Dark Mode for a long time. And now that it’s available, there’s a good chance it could fundamentally change how you surf the Web. Here’s what you need to know about Dark Mode in Chrome and how to enable it.

What Is Chrome Dark Mode?

Dark Mode has quickly become the go-to software feature in everything from operating systems to apps to browsers. The idea behind Dark Mode is that your screen will display menu bars, navigation bars, and in some cases, websites, that have a black background with white text instead of a white background with black text.

Dark Mode is a popular software feature now, but it’s also difficult to deliver, especially for a browser displaying web pages.

How does Dark Mode benefit me?

Dark Mode offers a few benefits for users. Chief among them is a reduction in eye strain by eliminating harsh bright light and making a screen easier on the eyes both during the day and at night. Indeed, Dark Mode might be most appealing at night, when bright lights would be harshest.

Aside from that, Dark Mode could offer a big boost for your laptop or phone’s battery life. Since your screen doesn’t need to be as bright, it won’t drain your battery nearly as quickly and help you save battery life.

For instance, in iOS 13, battery life is much longer when Dark Mode is enabled. A recent study showed as much as a 30 percent boost in battery life.

How does Dark Mode on Chrome Work?

Chrome’s Dark Mode is about as simple as it gets from a browsing perspective. Firstly, the Chrome browser in Dark Mode offers a black design, which means the navigation bar, tab bar, and window are black with white text.

But the real secret sauce is in Chrome’s ability to automatically convert websites into a Dark Mode. The browser does that by reversing colors to turn white backgrounds to black and black text to white. It also works to fix the images on a website, so they won’t be too garish when you’re surfing the Web.

When does Dark Mode for Chrome launch?

Dark Mode for Chrome is available now as a freely accessible feature in Chrome. You don’t need to spend money or download any extensions to get it to work. You just need to make sure you have the latest version of Chrome, which was Chrome 78 at the time of this writing. If you don't have it yet, check for updates and it should become available soon. 

How do I enable Dark Mode for Chrome?

One of the nice things about Dark Mode for Chrome is that it’s a quick feature to set up.

Regardless of whether you’re using Chrome, you can simply copy and paste this code — chrome://flags/#enable-force-dark — into the address bar. Once you hit Enter, the Dark Mode will be turned on and the feature will work its magic by converting websites and ensuring it goes easy on your eyes.

Why has it taken so long for Dark Mode on Chrome to launch?

Google has been largely quiet about why Dark Mode was a work in progress for so long. But beta users had noticed that the company had been tweaking the look and feel of pictures on websites to ensure they don’t appear too bright.