How to Enable Dark Theme on Any Android Phone

Featured Android Dark Theme Horror

In recent years, millions of Android users have been insisting Google enable dark themes on their Android phones. Aside from the appeal of Gothic looks for so many, it turns out that there can be real advantages of a night mode. Replacing all those white spaces with a dark background consumes less power which is a boon for battery life. It can also assist in lessening eye strain during nighttime use.

Depending on your Android instrument, you can enable dark themes using the below easy steps.

For Android 9.0 Pie and Higher

If you have the latest phone running on Android 9.0 Pie, switching to a dark theme might be no trouble at all. After several customer requests, Google has finally enabled manual dark themes in Android 9.0 Pie (scalable to higher versions in the future). You only need to check if your phone can be upgraded to 9.0 Pie. Once done, it’s a breeze to enable dark mode. All you have to do is visit “Display” in “Settings” and choose the dark mode among other options.

Android Pie Applying Dark Theme Procedure

Once switched, not every thing will be darkened though. It turns out that Google’s definition of “dark” for Android is, as of now, in a beta phase. All the windows have white screens just like before, albeit with darker borders. However, the main app drawer, caller app, and top menu icons do acquire a pitch black or greyish theme. The new effect is also easier on the eye.

Android Pie Dark Theme Contacts

Apart from Google Pixel devices and OnePlus 6/6T, 9.0 Pie updates will be available in a few examples given below. The list is indicative and not exhaustive.

  • Samsung: Galaxy S9, A8 Star, J7 2018
  • Motorola: Moto Z2 Force, Moto Z3 2018
  • Xiaomi: Mi 8, Mi A2, Redmi 6/Pro
  • Asus: Asus Zenphone 5
  • Huawei: Huawei Mate 10 Pro, Honor 10
  • Lenovo: Z5, S5

For Phones running Android 8 and below

If you’re using Android Oreo 8.1 and above, it is possible to upgrade to to 9.0 Pie on many devices. Anything below that, Google does not have your back. The only easy option here is to use a popular dark theme app launcher. Darkify is one popular example that has a wide variety of wallpapers for your needs. Pitch Black is another recommended app because, as the name suggests, you get a completely dark picture in the background.

Android Lollipop Dark Themes Applied with Darkify App

However, the effect is mostly cosmetic, just like with Google’s own dark theme mode in 9.0 Pie. That being said, you will notice a dark effect in the homepage screen and app drawers.

Android Lollipop Dark Theme App Window

Techie Way to Enable Dark Mode

Not satisfied with the above results? We will discuss a techie way to implement system-wide dark phone settings. First, ensure that your Android device is at least rooted. You can use a tool like Magisk for rooting the phone. After gaining root access, install an app called XPosed Installer. You can download the APK file from their site. Once installed, head over to “Modules” where you will have to tweak dark settings as a background.

Xposed Installer in Android

Go to “Download” where you can see a comprehensive list of modules to be imported into Xposed Installer. You must now download “Settings Editor/Editor Pro” from the Play Store.

Settings Editor Downloadable from XPose Installer

Open Settings Editor with Xposed. Do remember that this setting will only work for a rooted device. Otherwise, you will get an error screen as shown below.


Change the Settings inside the app and introduce the following variables as shown in the below screen.

  • Filter icon color with HTML color: #ffffffff (8 times)
  • Background color: #FF000000
  • Text color: #ffffffff


And, lo and behold, it’s the dark theme you’ve been waiting for! Unlike the dark theme app launchers, this technique works with many internal files and folders, but not with browsers and inside the apps. Also, note that this method will only work with Android Lollipop (5.1) and higher versions.

Android Lollipop Dark Theme Inner Folder

The effect is permanent, so you might want to change the variables back to what they were during daytime.


According to XDA Developers, many individual apps like YouTube are now supporting dark mode. You needn’t root the device if you mainly focus on a particular app.

What methods have you used to get a dark effect or an actual dark mode effect on your Android phone?

Sayak Boral
Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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