How to Turn On Dark Mode on Your Mac

Macos Dark Mode Featured

Apple added Dark mode to macOS starting with Mojave. If you have not enabled it, we’re sure you’re going to be impressed by macOS’s appearance once you enable and activate this dramatic new look, especially at night. Depending on which version of macOS you use, there are several ways to activate Dark Mode on your computer. Here’s how to turn on Dark Mode on your Mac.  

Which macOS Versions Have Dark Mode Built In? 

Dark Mode first appeared on macOS Mojave, released in 2018. Therefore, the only requirement to use this feature is to have a Mac running macOS Mojave, Catalina, or Big Sur (the latest available version). 

If you haven’t yet updated your Mac, now’s the right time to do so. Make sure to go the “Apple -> System Preferences -> Software Update,” which will prompt your Mac to check for new updates automatically. 

1. Turn On Dark Mode via System Preferences

First up is a method to activate macOS’s Dark Mode across all of the macOS versions that support this feature. This method requires you to access your computer’s “System Preferences.” Here’s what you need to do.

1. Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen. A drop-down menu will appear. Pull up on “System Preferences.”

Macos Dark Mode System Menu

2. Next, click on “General” to access a wide range of macOS settings related to its appearance.

Macos Dark Mode System Preferences

3. At this moment, you should see three options (or two – if you have an older version of macOS) labeled Light, Dark, and Auto. The first two let you switch between Light and Dark Modes on demand. Click on either of those two buttons, and your macOS’s interface will change immediately. You can also click on “Auto” to prompt your Mac to use the light appearance during the day and for the dark appearance to kick in at night (based on your time zone, of course). 

Macos Dark Mode System Preferences Appearance

2. Enable Dark Mode via Siri

Next, Siri is another method to enable Dark Mode – and yes, we advise you to use Siri. For this method to work, you need to have a compatible computer running any macOS version that has Dark Mode built in (all those versions come with Siri built in as well).

1. To activate Siri, click on the digital assistant’s icon, typically found in the top-right corner of your screen (within the macOS’s menu bar). Alternatively, you can say “Hey Siri” to activate this digital assistant if you’ve previously enabled this option (System Preferences -> Siri > Listen for “Hey Siri”).

Macos Dark Mode Siri Activated

2. Say “Turn on Dark Mode,” “Enable Dark Mode,” or simply go with “Dark Mode.” Siri will take a few moments to apply this action, and you should see a confirmation once it has. 

Macos Dark Mode Siri Prompt

3. As you can expect, you can also say “Turn off Dark Mode,” “Disable Dark Mode,” or “Turn on Light Mode” to switch back to your Mac’s Light Mode. It’s as easy as that. 

Macos Dark Mode Siri Confirmation

3. Turn On Dark Mode via Control Center (Available on macOS Big Sur)

As many of you know, macOS Big Sur is a drastic departure from previous macOS versions in terms of its appearance. You now have an all-new Control Center, where you can perform all kinds of quick actions. Here’s how to turn on Dark Mode via this new option. 

1. Click on the Control Center icon, found in the top-right corner of your screen. Once you click on it, a whole array of options should appear underneath.

Macos Dark Mode Control Panel

2. Click on Display. More precisely, click on the arrow icon within the Display panel or anywhere outside of the “brightness slider” you’ll see there. 

Macos Dark Mode Display Settings Control Panel

3. You’ll see an icon labeled “Dark Mode.” Click on this to turn on Dark Mode on your Mac. If you wish to disable Dark Mode, click on the icon again. That’s it!

Macos Dark Mode Activated Control Panel

Wrapping Up

Those are three methods to turn on Dark Mode on your Mac. Additionally, we have a couple of useful resources. First, make sure to check out all there is to know about macOS Big Sur (new features, availability, and compatibility). Also, you’ll want to know how to customize macOS Big Sur to make it truly yours. 

Isaac Norman
Isaac Norman

Isaac is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience covering the latest technological innovations. Mainly focused on Apple-related software and hardware systems, his aspiration is to explore all the ways today's digital world intertwines with our everyday life.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox