How to Turn On Google Sheets Dark Mode

Using dark mode in Google Sheets can help reduce eye strain and improve your device’s battery life. It can also help you focus more on your data. This tutorial shows how to turn on Google Sheets dark mode in both the online web app and the mobile version.

Good to know: for more help, learn about some lesser-known Google Sheets functions.

How to Turn On Google Sheets Dark Mode on a Computer

The Google Sheets web app doesn’t have a native feature that allows you to switch to dark mode. However, there are existing workarounds that you can apply, including the three methods outlined below.

1. Use a Browser Extension

The easiest way to turn on Google Sheets dark mode is to use a third-party browser extension. Just install it in your browser, then click a few buttons to use its features.

It doesn’t matter which browser extension you use, as long as it’s reputable. In this example, we are using Dark Theme for Chrome, one of the most popular options in the Chrome Web Store.

  1. Install Dark Theme for Chrome.
  2. Click the “Extensions” button located in the upper-right corner of your screen, then toggle on the pin for “Dark Theme for Chrome.”
How to pin an extension in Google Chrome.
  1. Open your spreadsheet, then click the crescent icon at the top.
  2. Click the power icon to turn on Google Sheets dark mode.
Google Sheets dark mode extension enabled.

If you are using a different browser, you may want to check whether it works with Chrome Web Store extensions. A good example here is Microsoft Edge, where the same steps mentioned above can be applied.

FYI: keep track of all your important dates by creating a calendar from scratch in Google Sheets.

2. Chrome Flags

Chrome packs many more features than what you usually see on the surface. These are mostly experimental and are not rolled out to users by default. You can access them in the form of “Chrome flags" and use them to turn on dark mode in Google Sheets.

  1. Click on the address bar, and type chrome://flags/ to open the "Experiments" tab in your browser.
Experiments tab in Google Chrome.
  1. Enter “dark mode" in the search bar.
  2. Open the drop-down list for “Auto Dark Mode for Web Contents,” and select “Enabled.”
Experimental auto dark mode feature in Google Chrome.
  1. Click the “Relaunch” button to restart Chrome and apply your changes.
Relaunch button when enabling Chrome flags.

It's important to note that while this method works, it does come with certain limitations. To be specific, the cells on your spreadsheet will continue to appear in light mode, while the other parts of Google Sheets will be in dark mode.

Preview of Google Sheets when in dark mode via Chrome flags.

If you wish to undo the changes, follow the same steps, but instead of “Enabled,” change the option to “Default.”

3. Switch to Another Browser

Some browsers have the ability to forcibly display web pages in dark mode, including Google Sheets. One of the most popular options is Opera. Follow the steps below to enable dark mode in Google Sheets on Opera:

  1. Enter opera://settings/ into the address bar of Opera to open the "Settings" tab.
Settings tab in Opera.
  1. Go to "Basic" in the "Settings" tab.
Basic section in the Settings of Opera Browser.
  1. Scroll down to "Appearance."
  2. Switch to "Dark" in the "Theme" drop-down menu.
  3. Toggle on the slider for "Force dark theme on pages." 
The force dark mode feature in Opera.

Google Sheets in Opera will look the way it did with Chrome flags.

With Opera force dark theme enabled.

FYI: do you like to watch the stocks? Learn how to track stocks in Google Sheets.

How to Turn On Google Sheets Dark Mode on the Mobile App

Unlike the computer version, the Google Sheets mobile app offers a built-in dark mode feature.

  1. Launch the Google Sheets app on your mobile phone.
  2. Open the navigation drawer by tapping the three-line icon in the top-left corner of your screen.
Navigation drawer button in the Sheets mobile app.
  1. Tap “Settings.”
Settings option in the Sheets app.
  1. Tap “Choose theme.”
Choose theme option in Sheets app settings.
  1. Choose "Dark."
Google Sheets dark mode option enabled.

Alternatively, use your phone’s system-wide dark mode feature. The interfaces will vary depending on whether you are using an Android device or an iPhone, but they result in the same thing. For the sake of demonstration, follow these steps to turn on dark mode in iOS.

  1. Launch the Settings app, and navigate to “Display & Brightness.”
iPhone Settings
  1. Choose the “Dark” option.
How to activate dark mode under the display & brightness settings

Note that when using the latter option, you have to set the Google Sheets app theme to “System default.”

Tip: want to erase some time? Start with one of these Google Sheets calendar templates.

Turning on Google Sheets dark mode can make the user experience much better. For more dark mode tips, read on to learn how to enable Google Docs dark mode on Android and add dark mode to Google Chrome.

Image credit: Google and Pexels All screenshots by Princess Angolluan.

Princess Angolluan

Princess is a freelance writer based in Croatia. She used to work as an English teacher in Hokkaido, Japan before she finally changed careers and focused on content writing & copywriting, while running their own digital marketing company in Europe. For 5 years, she has written many articles and web pages on various niches like technology, finance, digital marketing, etc. Princess loves playing FPS games, watching anime, and singing.

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