FADE TO BLACK

Apple’s macOS Mojave is here: Here’s how to put your entire life into “dark mode”

Apple’s new macOS Mojave desktop, in dark mode.
Apple’s new macOS Mojave desktop, in dark mode.
Image: Apple
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Apple made the latest version of its computer operating system, macOS Mojave, available to download for free on Monday (Sept. 24). For the most part, the upgrades are pretty minor: iOS apps like Stocks and News are now available on the Mac, there’s a new Mac App Store, and users now have the ability to sort files into little stacks. But one feature got people particularly excited when it was first announced at Apple’s developer conference this summer: “dark mode,” which swaps most of the OS’s white and light grey aspects for black and dark grey. Dark mode doesn’t have any particular benefits (other than possibly being easier on the eyes), but it does look very cool.

Although Apple’s operating systems have been able to slowly decrease the brightness (and whiteness) of screens as the day progresses, light screens are still pervasive within the apps. Now, most of Apple’s main apps, including Mail, Calendar, Safari, Photos, and its iWork software, have been updated to include a dark mode. But most people use at least a few non-Apple apps as well. Here’s a quick rundown on how to darken some of the most popular among them:

Chrome

Google’s web browser has supported themes for years, and there are a heap of dark-color ones available on the Chrome Web Store. I’m currently using the “macOS Mojave Dark Mode” theme created by user SemanticZoom, which does a decent job of mirroring the colors of the Mac’s theme. I also use the Pocket New Tab extension, which shows some top stories saved by Pocket users whenever I open a new tab. It also has a dark mode option in its settings, which you can find when you open a new tab.

Twitter/TweetDeck

If you’re an avid tweeter, you’ll be happy to know that Twitter’s website and the desktop TweetDeck app both have dark mode options. For Twitter, click on your avatar near the top-right of any page. At the bottom of the drop-down menu, there should be an option to turn on night mode, next to a little moon (☽) icon.

For TweetDeck, click on the settings gear icon near the bottom-left of the app. In the “General” settings page, there’s an option to switch between “light” and “dark” themes. Make sure to press done.

Slack

The popular workplace communication app does have a few custom theme colors which you can access from Preferences > Sidebar > Customize your theme. There are a several options you can customize to be as dark as the night’s sky, but the main text area will still remain brilliantly light. There was a dark mode add-on that turned the entire app dark, but it was pulled from the web for violating Slack’s terms of use. If you’re up for a challenge though, you can still install it yourself, as the code remains up on GitHub.

There are also Chrome extensions that will turn Slack’s website dark, but that won’t help users who prefer to use the standalone app. Users have been asking for years, but Slack doesn’t seem to have any plans to develop a dark mode just yet:

YouTube

Click your profile avatar all the way on the top-right of the website. Halfway down the drop-down menu that pops up there’s a “Dark theme” toggle. Turn it on to watch videos under the comfort of darkness.

Reddit’s new website

Similar to YouTube, click on your profile avatar at the top-right of the page. Again halfway down the pop-up menu, there’s an option to toggle on “Night Mode.”

The actual internet

Even if you’ve managed to darken just about every piece of software on your computer, most users spend a large part of their time on the web, and most of what’s on there is still blindingly white. Although this can be useful when reading long pieces of text, staring at all that white when not reading text can be tiring, especially at night. There are extensions, like Dark Reader for Chrome, and Dark Mode for Safari, that turn the white content of the web into black or dark grey.

Everything else

There are more apps out there, often with more niche audiences, that also support dark mode. There’s Notion, the life-organizing app; the web browser Opera; management software Trello; search engine DuckDuckGo; among others. For a full list of what other sites and apps support dark modes, check out the Dark Mode List.