How to Enable Dark Mode in Microsoft Word

Word Dark Mode Featured

If your working sessions in Microsoft Word often continue well into the night, you may want to consider switching to dark mode to help reduce eye strain in low-light conditions and keep up your productivity levels. Even if you’re not a night owl, you may still appreciate the way Word looks cladded in black. This tutorial walks you through the basics of switching to dark mode in Microsoft Word.

How to Enable Dark Mode in Word on PC

Most people tend to use the Microsoft Word desktop app. If that describes you, follow these steps to transition to the “dark” side.

  1. Launch the Word app on your PC or open a document.
  2. Click on “File” from the menu bar at the top.
Word Dark Mode Pc File
  1. Click on “Account” in the menu on the left.
Word Dark Mode Pc Account
  1. Under “Office Theme,” click on the bar below to bring up more options. By default, your Word Theme should be set to “Colorful.”
Word Dark Mode Pc Office Theme
  1. To change to a darker shade, select “Dark Gray.” Word will automatically switch to the new tonality.
Word Dark Mode Pc Dark Gray View
  1. “Black” is another option you may find in this menu. It started rolling out to Insider Beta Channel users running Version 2012 (Build 13518.10000) or later. Microsoft typically releases features over time to ensure things are working smoothly. If you don’t see this option, you may have to upgrade to a newer Word version.
Word Dark Mode Pc Black Theme
  1. If you don’t have the “Black” option but want to go even darker, select “Use system settings” instead. This requires you to switch your system’s UI to “Dark” first.
Word Dark Mode Pc System Theme View
  1. If you don’t want your Windows to go completely dark, return to “Settings -> Personalization” and select “Custom” next to “Choose your mode.”
Word Dark Mode Pc Custom Theme
  1. Select “Light” next to “Choose your default Windows mode” and “Dark” next to “Choose your default app mode.”
  2. Dark mode will apply only to your opened apps.

As you can see in the screenshots, the results are quite different. Applying the “Dark Gray” theme will leave the document’s page(s) white, while applying the “System” theme will black out almost everything except the text style cards in the upper-right corner.

If you prefer a darker background with white pages, you’ll be okay opting for “Dark Gray.” But what if you prefer the blacker version? You can turn your pages white in this case as well. Jump to the next section to find out how.

If you’re on Mac, you’ll have to enable the system-wide dark mode option by going to “Settings -> General -> Appearance -> Dark.” Once this is done, go back to Word, go to “View -> Switch Modes” and toggle between the “Black” and “White” options.

How to Keep Word Documents White in Dark Mode

With the “Black” or “System” theme enabled, you can make the page white if you would like but cannot do this with the text style cards.

  1. Go to “File” in Word.
  2. In the menu on the left, select “Options” (all the way at the bottom). If your Word window is not maximized, you may need to press “More” first.
Word Dark Mode Pc Options
  1. A new window will pop up. Select “General” on the left, then look for the “Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office” section.
Word Dark Mode Pc Personalize
  1. Check the option to “Never change the document page color” next to “Office Theme.”
  2. Press “OK” to return to your document, which should look like this now.
Word Dark Mode Pc Black White Page
  1. Alternatively, click “View -> Switch Modes,” and your page will turn white.
Word Dark Mode Pc Switch

How to Enable Dark Mode in Word for Web

If you’d rather work on your project using Word in your browser, know that you can also turn dark mode on from there. Follow these steps to do so.

  1. Access the Microsoft Word live page. Keep in mind that you’ll need to log in with a Microsoft Account to access the web app.

Tip: learn how to use Windows 11 without a Microsoft account.

  1. From the menu at the top, select “View.”
Word Dark Mode Web View
  1. Click on “Dark Mode” to switch to the new view.
  2. If you want the pages in your Document to be white, click on the “Switch Background” button at the top right.
Word Dark Mode Web Switch Background
  1. Notice how the document turns white while the rest stays dark.
Word Dark Mode Web White Page

How to Enable Dark Mode in Word for Android and iOS

If you’d like to enable dark mode while using Word for Android and iOS, you can. Microsoft has started rolling out native support for dark mode in the Android app. There’s no option to switch to the dark theme from the iOS app, though. Instead, you’ll have to use a workaround to get a partial dark-themed experience on Word for iOS.


  1. Open the Word app on your phone.
  2. Tap your account bubble in the upper-left corner.
Word Dark Mode Mobile Profile Pic
  1. Select “Settings” at the bottom.
Word Dark Mode Mobile Settings
  1. Scroll down until you find the “Display Preferences” section and tap on “Theme.”
Word Dark Mode Mobile Theme
  1. Select “Dark.”
  2. Word, including your pages, will become completely dark.
  3. If you want your pages to be white, open a Document, tap on the three dots in the upper-right corner and select “Switch to Light Background” from the menu at the bottom.
Word Dark Mode Mobile Switch Light Background Now


On iOS, you’ll need to first enable the system-wide dark mode feature, which will force the Word app to automatically adopt it.

  1. Open the “Settings” app on your phone and go to “Display & Brightness.”
Word Dark Mode Mobile Ios Display Settings
  1. At the top, tap on the “Dark” option under “Appearance.”
Word Dark Mode Mobile Ios Enable Dark
  1. Open the Word app. It should feature blackened elements, but the page color will be white.
Word Dark Mode Mobile Ios Word View

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change the color of my page?

You can. Actually, this is an alternative to enabling the “Never change the document page color” feature in Options. To change your Word page color, simply go to the “Design” tab, press on “Page Color” and select white. Alternatively, pick any of the theme colors that appeals to you. This can be a solution if you want to use the “Dark Gray” theme and also change the page color to a shade of gray/black (as opposed to the default white). Note that if you open a new document, you’ll need to change the “Page Color” yet again to use the same color you set before. On mobile, this option is not available.

What’s the difference between the "Colorful" and "White" theme options?

If you go for the “White” option, the menu at the top won’t feature that familiar blue color. All tabs and options underneath will be white. However, the blue accent will remain on the “File” option, as well as the bottom part of the display. The “Colorful” theme retains the blue accents in the top menu.

Can I enable dark mode for other Microsoft Office apps?

Sure, you can. For instance, Excel has the same options as Word. You can even find it by following the same path: “File -> Account.”  The same applies in Outlook.

Image credit: dimarik16 via 123rf. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.

Alexandra Arici
Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

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