How to Make Google Chrome Dark Mode on Mac

It may be trendy but it’s also a lot easier on your eyes, which is the reason why many of us have started using dark mode on our Mac applications when possible. Since Chrome is one of those apps that many of us tend to use very often, running it in dark mode can be very beneficial.

Chrome has this darkened theme but it’s not super easy to find unless you know where the setting is located. Thankfully it is possible to configure it using Chrome’s flags. This will give you the esthetic that you are looking for but most of all it will be much easier on your eyes.

My name is Eric and I have been working with computers and different operating systems for many years. Trying to custom configure settings for applications and desktops is something that I have done for a while and hopefully, I can pass some of that information on to you.

If you keep reading, we will explain what dark mode is, why it is trendy, and look at how to configure the Chrome browser application to run in dark mode for almost any website that you visit.

What is Dark Mode?

This is a theme setting in which your desktop or applications use dark or even black background colors as opposed to a light or white background.

It’s nothing new, it was actually kind of the default of almost all older computer systems in the 70s and early 80s. They basically used a dark-colored background with light-colored text. You may remember old terminal interfaces with a black background and green or white text.

It may not have been called dark mode, back then but it was basically the same thing and it didn’t really have any purpose. It was just the way that many systems happened to be designed and defaulted to.

The modern default is to use a light or white-colored background that resembles paper and dark or black text. Many operating systems and devices started using this light mode because they felt it would make non-techies more comfortable with using them.

So, dark mode basically uses darker background colors in default areas such as the background of your text editor, email, or other applications. Because of the dark background, it needs to use light text, borders, etc so that the contrast is enough that you can see things.

Many new operating systems and applications are now providing a dark mode theme that can easily be configured in the settings. Some apps will take on the theme of your macOS but not all of them will. Chrome is one such app that we need to configure separately.

Let’s take a look at how to do that. The steps are very easy and if you wish to change your Chrome browser to use this new and popular theme, just follow them in the next section and you’ll have it working in no time. 

How to Set Chrome to Dark Mode

Your Mac already has a dark mode theme and it is easy to set. Once set it may appear that Chrome is in dark mode as well. When you start it up, it has the darker colors and background you are looking for. See this Apple article on how to set your Mac’s theme to dark mode.

But you will soon find when you go to a website, that the background is still white or light colors, so it is not really running in dark mode. This is very easy to fix and I will show you how below. All you will need is your Chrome browser and to follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open your Chrome browser and type chrome://flags in the URL field.

Step 2: In the search box, type Dark Mode and look for the Force Dark Mode for Web Contents setting.

Step 3: Change the setting to Enabled.

Step 4: Click the button in the lower right corner to relaunch Chrome.

Once Chrome has restarted, you should be in dark mode for any websites that you navigate to.

If you would like to learn more about Chrome’s experimental flags, take a look at this guide from PCMag to find out more.

Why Use Dark Mode?

As I mentioned above, dark mode has become somewhat trendy lately, so some may want to use it just for a cool look. But there are a couple of other reasons to use it. These reasons have been known to spark a few debates but I will leave it to you to decide if they are valid.

1. It’s Easier on Your Eyes.

Many experts including some eye doctors and professionals claim that dark mode is much better for your eyes. It seems to make sense. Less bright light being emitted into your eyes as you stare at your screen all day sounds like it would be beneficial.

I myself use dark mode for this very reason and I do feel that it helps me to have fewer headaches and my eyes feel less tired at the end of the day. With as much screen time as the average person now participates in, this probably is not a bad idea at all.

2. Power Saving

This is another debatable issue, but many feel that dark mode uses less power than light mode. Makes sense right? If there are fewer pixels being illuminated on the screen or they don’t need to be as bright, then it should use less power.

The question is whether or not that power saving is enough to make a difference. Will it significantly lengthen the time your battery stays charged? I guess this is something that could be measured and compared.

Who knows, maybe there are some studies out there to prove it one way or the other.

Final Words

Using dark mode can be a great choice for many users due to the reasons we have discussed above. If you feel it is right for you, then it is quite simple to implement this theme on your Mac and it is supported by many apps including Google Chrome.

I hope that this article has helped you to get your Chrome app into dark mode and as usual, please let me know if you have any questions or comments. I would love to hear from you.

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