While many Android apps have already happily embraced users’ requests for a dark mode, Google Docs was holding out. However, Google announced the new Google Docs dark mode in July 2020. As with most new features, it’s coming to users in stages, so if you don’t see it just yet, don’t worry. I personally didn’t receive the update until early August. Some users still haven’t gotten the update. Naturally, it’ll be available to G Suite customers first.
Not Just Google Docs
Before you worry, Google Docs Dark mode isn’t just for Docs. It’ll be available for Sheets and Slides as well. You can enable the mode individually in each app, depending on your needs. You’ll also have the option to preview documents in light mode, even if dark mode is enabled. This can make it easier to view documents that are more difficult to see in darker themes. If you’re using a dark theme in Android, these Google apps will also automatically adjust to accommodate it, though you can still override it in the apps’ settings.
Benefits of Using Dark Mode
Google says the new feature will help with battery life and make screens easier to see in low-light settings. You’ve likely heard it’s also better for your eyes. It’s important to know that while reading white text on a black background often can actually increase eye strain, though in a low-light setting, it reduces eye strain. So, if you’re working at night or in dimmer light, you’ll definitely see and feel the benefits.
Remember, you can go back and forth as much as you want with this new setting. Feel free to adjust it based on when and where you’re using the apps.
Enable Google Docs Dark Mode
The first thing to do is to visit the Google Play Store and check for any new updates. If you don’t have any new updates and don’t see the feature available in your app settings, bookmark this article and wait for the feature to arrive. Right now, there isn’t any definitive date set.
If you’re up to date, it’s time to check to see if you have the feature. Open Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides.
Tap the hamburger menu and select Settings.
Next, tap Theme. This should be at the top of the list. If you don’t see it, it’s not available to you right now.
When you tap Theme, you’ll see three options – Dark, Light, and Set by Battery Saver. Tap Dark to enable dark mode.
You should see the change immediately, with even the settings windows turning dark.
If you want to switch back at any time, simply tap Theme again. Select Light or Set by Battery Saver. The latter may switch to a Dark mode to conserve battery if you’re getting low.
Preview in Light Mode
If you’re trying to view a document, but are having a hard time seeing it in dark mode, you don’t have to switch everything back. Instead, preview it in light mode. When you do this, the only document that changes is that one. When you’re done, it’ll revert back to dark.
Open any document. In the menu in the top right corner, tap “View in light theme.”
This feature is helpful for one-off documents or if you’re trying to show a document to someone else who might not like Dark mode either.
Image credit: Google