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How to Use macOS Mojave's Dark Mode

In macOS Mojave, Apple's finally added Dark Mode, which dims many of the screen elements from their usual, blinding whites, to soothing dark tones, often matching its Space Gray MacBooks. It's a long-awaited feature, especially from those who work in the evenings.

Here's what Dark Mode is and how it works.

What is Dark Mode?

In Dark Mode, many of the operating system's brighter features go black or gray, including the dock, trash can, menu bar and system panels. That's also the case for select apps, including Safari, the Mac App Store, News and iTunes. The effect can be pretty dramatic, as you'll notice that colorful images pop more on the display. Other elements, such as hyperlinks, seem more prominent, as well.

How Do I Set Up Dark Mode?

If you skipped past the prompt when installing macOS Mojave (where you're asked which theme you prefer), don't worry, you can change this setting at any time.

1. Click the Apple icon in the top left corner.

2. Select System Preferences.

3. Click General.

4. Under Appearance, click the Dark Mode preview. Dark Mode does sort of disable macOS' dynamic desktop, as it sticks to the darkest background possible.

You've got Dark Mode!

If you want Light Mode during the day and Dark Mode at night, there's an option called Dynamic Desktop that will do that for you.

1. Back at System Preferences, click Desktop & Screen Saver

2. Select a desktop with the curving icon, which means its a Dynamic Desktop, is selected.

Which Apps Support Dark Mode?

Most of Apple's apps are already set up to support Dark Mode. Third party apps, though, will likely need updates, so you might see brighter borders and taskbars until those are updated. Apple has released an API for developers, so we expect to see a lot more apps support Dark Mode soon.

When Can I Try Dark Mode?

Right now, macOS Mojave is available via a Public Beta. The official release is pegged for the fall, and this current release is for those who want to try new features before they're fully baked.

Additional reporting from Andrew E. Freedman.

macOS Mojave Tips

Henry is a senior writer at Laptop Mag, covering security, Apple and operating systems. Prior to joining Laptop Mag — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and wondering why Apple decided to ditch its MagSafe power adapters.