Google Drive dark mode: How to turn on this long-awaited feature in 4 clicks

Google Drive logo over gradient from light to dark
Google Drive dark mode rolled out widely this week, a welcome update for users who are downright tired of straining their eyes. (Image credit: Future Illustration)

Bless the stars: Google has embraced the beauty of dark mode in Google Drive. Below, we share how to quickly activate dark mode, a feature that users have been clamoring for nearly as long as Google Drive has been around (twelve years this month, not that we're counting).

Word of dark mode's long-awaited arrival in Google Drive surfaced in March, and as of right now, the feature appears to be live for many Google accounts. 

Dark mode for Google Drive has been a feature that many have hacked their way to over the years, creating homebrewed code batches and browser extensions. For example, Redditors created code a year ago for homemade dark mode, and Chrome Extension appeared in 2022, which claims 70,000 downloads. Presumably, those DIY dark modes are moot now that the official version has dropped.

Google's work isn't finished yet: No dark theme is available for Google Docs or Sheets on your laptop, but they're available on mobile.

However, there's bad news about using Google Drive at work: If an organization like your employer manages your Google account, Google Drive dark mode may not be available to you yet.

The official inclusion of dark mode for all users may signal that the company will follow suit with its other services.

How to turn on Google Drive dark mode

Google has made the switch to dark mode as simple as possible. Log into your account and you  the setting within seconds, so this will be a quick guide.

1. Open Google Drive.

How to activate Dark Mode theme Google Drive

Look for the gear icon. (Image credit: Google)

2. On the main page, click on the gear icon at the top right. It should be the third icon from the left.

How to activate dark mode in Google Drive

(Image credit: Google)

3. Select Settings.

How to activate dark mode in Google Drive

(Image credit: Google)

4. Underneath Appearance, select Dark.

And viola! As soon as you make your selection, Google Drive will instantly adapt to dark mode. You can also select device default, which will mirror the light or dark settings on your personal machine.

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Momo Tabari
Contributing Writer

Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Momo finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Momo is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.