How to Schedule Dark Mode to Run Automatically at Sunset in macOS

Macos Ios Automatic Dark Mode

Both iOS and macOS have a built-in Dark Mode that’s easier on the eyes. When activated, the operating system uses a darker color palette for all screens, menus, and controls. To help foreground content stand out against these darker backgrounds, the system will use more vibrant tones for foreground content wherever possible.

If you think Dark Mode could make your night more enjoyable, it’s possible to schedule Dark Mode. Here we share a few different ways to automatically enable Dark Mode at sunset on both iOS and macOS.

Schedule Dark Mode on macOS

Dark Mode is available on macOS Mojave and higher, including macOS Catalina. Assuming that you’re running a recent version of macOS, you can schedule your Mac to switch themes automatically at sunset and sunrise.

This feature does use your location to determine when day turns to night in your particular part of the world, so you’ll need to grant macOS access to this information when enabling automatic Dark Mode.

To schedule Dark Mode:

1. Select the “Apple” icon in your Mac’s toolbar.

2. Navigate to “System Preferences -> General.”

3. In Appearance, select “Auto.”

You can activate Dark Mode automatically at sunset, in macOS' System Preferences.

Your Mac will now switch over to Dark Mode automatically in the evening and switch back to Light Mode at dawn. 

Alternatively, you can schedule Dark Mode for a specific time. This can be useful if macOS isn’t quite getting its scheduling right, or if you have a different definition of when day turns to night. For example, you may want Dark Mode to coincide with the end of your working day.

You can schedule Dark Mode for a specific time using the third-party NightOwl app. This application adds an owl icon to your Mac’s toolbar.

You can schedule Dark Mode for a specific time, using the NightOwl application.

You can activate Dark Mode at any time by clicking this icon and then selecting “Dark.” Alternatively, you can schedule Dark Mode to activate automatically at sunset by selecting “Sunrise/Sunset.”

However, if you want full control, you can use this app to schedule Dark Mode for a specific time by selecting the “Scheduled” checkbox. You can then choose the exact moment when macOS should switch between Dark Mode and Light Mode.

Schedule Dark Mode on iOS

Activate Dark Mode on your iPhone manually by launching the “Settings” application and navigating to “Display & Brightness,” then tap “Dark.”

You can schedule Dark Mode on your iPhone or iPad.

Also, quickly and easily activate Dark Mode from your phone’s Control Center. Simply drag from the bottom of the screen, then press and hold the “Brightness” control.

You can activate Dark Mode in iOS' Control Center.

You can now toggle Dark Mode on and off with the tap of a button. 

You can toggle Dark Mode, in iOS' Control Panel.

This is great for quickly switching between Light and Dark Modes, but if you’re activating Dark Mode at the same time every day, why not automate the process? You can schedule Dark Mode by launching your device’s “Settings” application. You can then select “Display & Brightness” and tap “Automatic.” You can now tap the subsequent “Options” item.

Your iOS device can switch between Dark and Light Mode.

You have two options: schedule Dark Mode to activate automatically at sunset or create a custom schedule. If you tap “Custom Schedule,” you’ll be prompted to choose a time when iOS will activate Dark Mode.  

You can create a custom schedule for your Apple iOS themes.

Simply enter a time and that’s it! The iOS operating system will now switch to a darker color scheme based on the schedule set by you.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, it is pretty easy to schedule the dark mode to activate automatically at sunset. If you are using Android, you can also make use of these tricks to enable dark mode for all apps in Android. Check it out.

Jessica Thornsby
Jessica Thornsby

Jessica Thornsby is a technical writer based in Derbyshire, UK. When she isn’t obsessing over all things tech, she enjoys researching her family tree, and spending far too much time with her house rabbits.

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