Dark themes are wanted on most operating systems yet they are slow to arrive. One can only wonder why, since they are battery-friendly for devices with AMOLED screens and also easy on the eyes. Well, guess what? You can get Windows 10’s dark theme if you ever wanted such a thing.
It’s not exactly an advertised feature as officially it’s only available for Windows 10 Insiders that are running the latest build. Also, it will be included in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update but if you’re not beta testing Windows 10 at the moment there’s no reason to wait until the official release.
You can get Windows 10’s dark theme right now with a simple registry hack. I’ll go through both methods (the one for Insiders and the registry hack for those running a stable build) below.
Get Windows 10’s dark theme (Insider Preview build)
Assuming you’re enrolled in the Windows 10 Insider program and running the latest build, head over to Settings -> Personalization -> Colors.
Scroll down and under ‘Choose your app mode’ switch to the Dark option. And voila!
As soon as you opt for Dark, you’ll be officially using the dark theme in Windows 10.
Get Windows 10’s dark theme (registry hack)
If you don’t want to join the Windows 10 Insider Program but you’d rather not wait until the Anniversary Update arrives in order to use the dark theme, you will need to tweak the Windows Registry in order to get it.
As usual, I feel compelled to warn you that changing any Registry setting carries its own risks so you should only do it if you know what you’re doing or at least are able to follow the instructions to a tee.
With that out of the way, and assuming you’re comfortable working with the system registry and aware of the risks, right-click on the Start button and select Run from the context menu.
In the Run window type regedit and then click OK.
The Registry Editor will open and there, you will have to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SOFTWARE -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVersion -> Themes -> Personalize.
It is possible that under Themes you won’t have Personalize and in this situation, you will have to manually create this subkey. You can do this by right-clicking on themes, then select New -> Key. Name the key Personalize.
Now we will need to create a new value inside the Personalize folder. Right-click on the folder’s name or inside the folder and select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value.
Name it AppsUseLightTheme and its value will be set to 0 by default and you should leave it like that.
Then you will need to repeat the above steps in a different Registry location, specifically HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> SOFTWARE -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVersion -> Themes -> Personalize.
Now all you need to do is log out and log back in, and then the dark theme will be applied. Also, if you decide you don’t like the dark theme you can revert to the light theme by returning to the above-mentioned registry path where all you need to do is delete the AppsUseLightTheme DWORDs from both locations or change their values to 1 via right-click -> Modify.