What You Need to Know About Mac's Dark Mode

In low-light environments, you may benefit from a darker Mac experience, and we recommend doing so. Apple is aware of this, which is why with the release of macOS 10 in 2018, the company introduced a system-wide Dark Mode. 14 Mojave  

Here, we introduce you to Dark Mode macOS and show you the ropes, walking you through the process of customizing Dark Mode, turning it on in apps, and adjusting the screen's brightness to your liking. Let’s go  

The simple way to activate "Dark Mode" on your Mac

The availability of a keyboard shortcut for activating Mac OS X's Dark Mode is music to our ears.  

Toggle Dark Mode on and off with a single click thanks to One Switch, a menu bar toggle. You can quickly adjust the display's darkness or brightness without opening the Settings menu.  

how to turn on mac dark using oneswitch

One Switch can also be used to centralize the rest of your most frequently accessed preferences in the toolbar. In a single click, you can conceal the desktop, keep your Mac awake, or activate Do Not Disturb. Individually, each of these switches will speed up your work considerably. Together, they will have a dramatic effect.  

Next, we'll look at how to set a dark theme as the default on a Mac without using any third-party apps to do so. If you want to use Dark Mode macOS, you'll need to make sure you're using Mojave or a later version of macOS. It's also important to note whether you're using the most recent version of macOS (Ventura) or an older version, as the Dark Mode preferences have changed slightly between the two.  

For MacOS Ventura's Dark Mode, Do These Things:

  1. Select "System Preferences" from the Apple menu.
  2. To change how you look, go to Appearance in the menu bar.
  3. You can either go with a completely blacked-out look, or you can let the auto setting determine how the look transitions between day and night.  

dark mode on macos ventura

Dark Mode can be activated in macOS Monterey, Big Sur, Catalina, and Mojave by performing the following steps:

  1. Select System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. To access this menu, select General.
  3. Pick a new look using one of the available options.  

Once you activate Dark Mode in macOS, exactly what can you expect to see? Because of the pervasive nature of Appearance modes, you can count on all of the preinstalled macOS applications to change to a black theme. So, for instance, Dark Mode is the solution if you want to know how to make Messages black on Mac. When you turn on Dark Mode, all of your system apps, including Messages, Mail, Notes, and Calendar, will immediately change to a dark theme.  

Implementing a toggle for a nighttime theme in the main menu

You should, without a doubt, have a simple on/off option. We've covered One Switch, which allows you to toggle Dark Mode from the menu bar, but if you don't want to install it on your Mac, you can always use the alternative provided by the Control Center.  

Toggle the Dark Mode switch in the System Preferences panel to activate it, which works in macOS Ventura and earlier versions.

  1. To access the Settings Panel, select it from the menu's top-right corner.
  2. Simply select the screen by clicking the Display button.
  3. Flip on the Night Mode Switch  

dark mode menu bar

If you're concerned that your menu bar is becoming too large, consider the following. We get it You can stop worrying once you have Bartender set up. In order to make room for all of your icons in the menu bar, this helpful tool lets you easily hide or collapse the icons there. More so, you won't have to worry about your menu bar being too crowded.

bartender menu bar

Dark Mode is limited to the iOS operating system and Apple applications. The obvious follow-up question is how to standardize the Mac Dark Mode theme across all third-party software. This is a challenging question, but we have a couple of suggestions:

  • Verify that the app is in step with your computer's preferences. Indeed, some third-party programs can conform to your Mac's chosen Appearance mode. Setapp, a macOS and iOS app subscription service, will adopt a dark theme as soon as you activate Dark Mode. This is also correct for Chrome and Signal.  
  • Explore the app's customization options for a nighttime mode. Find it in Slack's Preferences > Themes. The majority of your additional programs probably share a similar option.  

dark mode in apps

Tutorial: Adding Shadows to your Mac

If you're the type to put in long hours at the office or prefer to do your best work in low light, you'll appreciate the Dark Mode theme's benefits to your eyes. The brightness of the screen is also a factor. Your screen may still be too bright even with Dark Mode enabled. Screen brightness should be adjusted according to the amount of available light or the time of day.  

You can reduce the amount of light coming into your Mac's display by dragging the Brightness slider to the left in the Displays section of System Preferences or System Settings. On the other hand, the Control Panel provides an option to adjust screen brightness.  

make mac darker

Night Shift, found in the Display settings of the Control Center, is another way to further darken your screen. Night Shift is great for nighttime work but can make for an uneasy daytime experience because it changes your screen's color temperature from blue to yellow.  

night shift mac

It's also possible the opposite is true. Suppose you'd like to get some work done in a park while it's sunny out. Regardless of how bright you set your screen to be, it will still look too dim. Installing Vivid, an app that can double your screen's brightness, beyond what you thought was possible, gives you some leeway.

vivid mac

URL for image host: getvivid app

If you don't have a MacBook Pro or Pro Display XDR, you can't use Vivid.  

Brightness management on multiple monitors can be more complicated than usual if you use a multi-monitor setup. For this reason, we advise power users with multiple monitors to make use of DisplayBuddy.  

When you have multiple monitors set up, DisplayBuddy can make sure they all look the same. After you launch the app, it will appear in your menu bar and list all of your monitors so you can adjust and standardize their settings.  

display buddy macos

Very simple Disabling Dark Mode on a MacBook doesn't require any special training. All you have to do is undo the steps you took to turn it on. If you activate Dark Mode via One Switch in the menu bar, you can turn it off via the same method. In the Appearance section of System Settings, select Light or Auto as the mode. The same method applies to disabling the Dark Mode.  

Tutorial on Alternating Between the Light and Dark Theme

Since you are familiar with disabling Dark Mode on your MacBook, you also know how to toggle between Light and Dark modes. In accordance with your needs and preferences, you can employ any of the aforementioned approaches. Alternatively, you can use the convenient Auto Mode:

  1. To change your system's overall look and feel, navigate to the General/Appearance section of the system's settings or preferences.
  2. Automatic Mode
  3. Experience a tempo shift in your system's motif throughout the day.  

The latter will facilitate automation, eliminating the need to manually toggle between "day" and "night" themes. You'll still need to manually adjust screen brightness and toggle between modes on cloudy or exceptionally sunny days.  

With Setapp, you can make your Mac's Dark Mode a safe haven for your eyes.

The environment in which you perform your job duties has a significant impact on your efficiency and satisfaction at work. When working late at night or in low-light conditions, macOS Dark Mode (also known as OS X Dark Mode) can help protect your eyes from strain.  

Setapp has a plethora of utilities that make it easy to toggle between Dark and Light Modes with a single click, as well as fine-tune the brightness of your screen beyond its default limits, coordinate the settings of multiple monitors, and more. Apps such as DisplayBuddy, Vivid, One Switch, and Bartender, which were mentioned in the piece, are just a few of the 240 available. Setapp offers a free 7-day trial of their full suite of tools.  

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