Earlier days macOS used to display all the apps and interfaces with white background. Though it looks elegant, sometimes it will be annoying to see everything in white. This default display mode in Mac can also affect your eyes when you need to look at the computer for long time. To offer additional options for customizing the appearance, Apple introduce dark mode in macOS Mojave. Now, you can easily switch between light or dark modes to change the appearance of your apps and work conveniently. In this article, we will explain how to use dark mode in Mac and the impact on some of the default apps.
Enable Dark Mode in Mac
There are two ways to enable dark mode in macOS. One is from Control Center and other is from System Preferences section. Though there are no other customization options available, you can toggle dark mode for some of the default and third-party apps like Microsoft Word.
Setup Dark Mode from System Preferences
Follow the below instructions to setup dark mode from System Preferences section.
- Click on the Apple logo menu on top left corner and go to “System Preferences…”.
- You will see list of icons and click on the “General” option.
- Here you can change the appearance to light or dark mode similar to Windows computer.
Once you select the mode, it will apply instantly on you Mac. Below is how the dark mode will look like on your Mac.
You can also select the accent/highlight colors for changing icons and highlighting colors (for example, Safari address bar) shown in the apps. The “Auto” option helps you to dynamically apply the dark or light mode based on the lighting throughout the day. Generally, it will apply the dark mode during night time and apply light mode during day time.
Use Control Center to Toggle Dark Mode in Mac
If you are familiar with using Control Center in your iPhone, you cal also make use of the Control Center in Mac for similar purposes.
- Click on the Control Center icon showing on the top menu bar. It will show different items depending upon your settings under “Dock & Menu Bar” preferences and click on the “Display” item.
- It will show dark mode and night shift mode controls and click on “Dark Mode” icon to turn on the option.
- Now, you will see the dark mode icon showing “On Until Tomorrow”.
It means enabling dark mode from Control Center will be applied only for the current day. When the calendar moves to next day, the mode will be reset and follow the settings as per your System Preferences section.
Dark Mode Impact on Default Apps
Dark mode will invert the light colors and apply dark colors (black) to title bar, status bar and other parts of the apps. It does not affect the background and the default apps generally show white background. However, you can toggle dark mode and white background options in some of the apps. Here is the behavior of popular Mac apps when you enable dark mode.
- Safari – there are not separate options in Safari to change the white background of websites. If the site supports toggling dark mode, it supports changing the colors accordingly.
- TextEdit – this app will add a new “Use Dark Background for Windows” item under “View” menu which you can use to toggle the background color when using system dark mode.
- Notes, Mail and Maps – these apps will show additional option in app preferences section to toggle the background color. For example, Note app will show an option “Use dark backgrounds for note content”. You can disable this checkbox to continue using white background in Notes app while using system dark mode.
Similar to default macOS apps, third-party apps either use system settings or have their own control to enable or disable dark mode. For example, the popular Google Chrome browser app in Mac will use the system setting. However, for Microsoft Office apps have an option to use its own setting for dark mode. For example, you can go to app preferences in Word for Mac and disable dark mode using “Turn off Dark Mode” option under “General” section. Similarly, you can change the page’s color to white or black when using system dark mode.
Night Mode Vs Dark Mode in Mac
As you can see in the Control Center, Mac also offers night mode in addition to dark mode. Night mode helps to apply warm colors and reduce the stress on your eyes. This is useful especially when you are looking at the screen during night time with lights switched off in the surroundings. However, dark mode inverts the light colors to dark black color which is useful when you want to avoid light or white backgrounds. You can play around with both night and dark modes and use the option that makes you convenient.