Windows 11 allows you to use both light and dark modes to improve overall screen experience and reduce eye strain. Though enabling dark mode in Windows 11 is an easy task, it will be applied throughout the day which does not make any sense. It will be annoying to look at the dark black screen during bright afternoon time. Unfortunately, you need to manually toggle light and dark modes whenever needed as there are no options for automatic scheduling. In this article, we will explain alternate options available for automatically scheduling dark and light modes in Windows 11.
Schedule Light and Dark Modes in Windows 11
If you are aware of macOS, it offers an “Auto” appearance option. This helps to automatically change the mode in Mac based on the sunrise and set times. You can either use a third-party app to do the similar stuff in Windows or manually schedule a task with Task Scheduler.
1. Install Auto Dark Mode X
Auto Dark Mode X is a free application available on GitHub which automatically switches between dark and light modes in Windows 11. This app configures modes based on your geographical coordinates. Go to the official GitHub website and download the executable file of Auto Dark Mode X.
- Open the downloaded file and then select “Install for me only (recommended)” button. Follow the instructions and install Auto Dark Mode X app like any other app in your system.
The app has different sections as you can see in the sidebar. Let’s go through each section to show how you can customize.
Customizing the Mode Timing
Go to “Time” tab where you can set the timer for switching light and dark modes.
- Disabled – disable the mode switching.
- Set custom hours – select this option to set custom start timing to automatically start light or dark mode.
- From sunset to sunrise – as mentioned this is an ideal option to switch the modes based on the sunset/sunrise times for your location. The app will automatically get the location data from your system and use it here. If required, you can also set offset timing in minutes here.
- From sunset to sunrise (geographic coordinates) – this is a same option as above with a difference that you need to manually provide the longitude and the latitude of your location. If you do not know the coordinates, click “Find geo coordinates for your location” link to open a website where you can type the city and find the details. You need to enter the found coordinates and then click “Apply Coordinates” button.
- Follow Windows night light – this the last option which will follow the system’s night light mode timing. Click “Open night light settings” button to open Windows Settings and turn on “Schedule night light” option. You can either choose sunset to sunrise time or setup custom hours.
Setting Switching Conditions
As mentioned, sometimes it will be annoying to use light or dark mode as per the schedule. Go to “Switch Modes” section where you get different options including Conditions, Battery power devices, and Hotkeys.
- Conditions – enable these options to stop switching modes while playing games or when the system is busy. You can also get a notification before the theme switch.
- Battery powered devices – choose whether you want to only enable dark mode when the device is not plugged in.
- Hotkeys – enable this option and setup hotkeys for forcing light or dark mode. Using the set shortcut keys, you can overrule the default setting and change the mode when you need.
Other App Settings
Under the “Apps” section, you can set the option for using dark and light mode for the apps. Finally, under “Personalization” section you can setup a wallpaper or custom theme.
The easy way to use the app is to enable sunset to sunrise time and use hotkeys to force toggle the modes when you need.
2. Use Task Scheduler
Using the Task Scheduler is another option to schedule dark and light mode in Windows 11. This is a built-in Windows app for automating tasks on a fixed schedule. This is a lengthy process and you need to create two tasks one for light and another for dark mode.
Schedule Task for Dark Mode
- First, open the Task Scheduler app using Windows Search from Taskbar.
- Go to “Action” menu and select “Create Task…” option.
- Under “General” section, give a name for your task something like “switch_dark_theme”. Select “Run only when the user is logged in or not” and tick the “Do not store password” option.
- Go to the “Triggers” tab and click the “New” button.
- Select “On a schedule” for beginning the task and select “Daily” option. Set the time from when you want to start the dark mode and click “OK”. Also, make the “Recur every” option as 1 day so that the task will repeat every day.
- Next, select the “Actions” tab and then click on the “New” option. Type “reg” in the “Program/script” option and then type the following in “Add arguments” option and press OK.
add HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize /v AppsUseLightTheme /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
- Repeat the step and but this time add the following command:
add HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize /v SystemUsesLightTheme /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
- It should look like below in the app.
- Go to “Settings” tab and tick the items as shown in the below picture:
- Go to “Conditions” tab and uncheck the “Start the task only if the computer is on AC power” and then click OK.
- You will find the newly created task name is listed under “Task Scheduler library” and right-click on it, then select “Run” to start the task.
Schedule Task for Light Mode
For scheduling a light mode task, you need to repeat the same above steps with little bit of changes.
- Go to “Actions > Create task” and name it “switch_light_mode”. Select the same settings as before for this task also.
- Now go to the “Triggers” tab, click on “New” and set a different time schedule. Make sure this is not overlapping with dark mode task.
- Now open the “Actions” tab and click on the “New” button. This time you need to add different Arguments than before but for the same Program/Script “Reg”. The first one is:
add HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize /v AppsUseLightTheme /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f and then click on OK.
And the second one is:
add HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize /v SystemUsesLightTheme /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f and click on OK.
- Repeat the same steps for the “Settings” and “Conditions” tabs. Then find the newly created task and click on “Run”.
These are the two popular and easy methods that you can use to schedule dark and light mode in Windows 11. As you can see, Auto Dark Mode X is a more user-friendly and easy method to schedule and switch the modes. However, if you do not want to install a third-party app, then you can follow the above instructions to setup tasks using Task Scheduler app.
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