The computer and smartphone worlds alike are increasingly seeing the drive toward Dark Mode, which can effectively prolong battery life, improve the UX of any software, and allow users to customize the look of their device.
Now it’s easier to switch to dark or light theme in Windows 10 via the Windows Auto-Night Mode, which is free, open-source software for toggling between light and dark mode based on the time of day. Learn from our quick guide how you can automatically switch between light and dark mode using this tool.
Windows 10 Dark and Light Themes
Windows provides a setting called Dark Mode to apply a dark theme to apps that you get from the Windows Store. When this is enabled in Windows 10, all Universal Windows Platform (UWP) will use the Dark Mode, whereas a user had to previously resort to a registry tweak in order to get it done.
Here’s how to turn on Dark Mode in Windows 10:
- Go to the Start Menu. Click on Personalization.
- Locate Colors in the left panel. Choose that section.
- Scroll down in the settings until you find Choose your app mode, with the options Light and Dark. The former is the default choice, which you will see the Settings app turn black immediately once you select the Dark mode.
As mentioned, UWP apps, which you get from the Windows Store, will turn dark right away once you choose the Dark Mode. Note, though, that it is up to every developer to support Dark Mode – many still do not, and the option still doesn’t affect most desktop apps.
When it comes to dark themes, many browsers and apps have their own theming options as well as engines. For Google Chrome, head to the Chrome themes site and install a dark theme, while for Firefox, there’s a built-in dark theme that users can quickly enable. Websites such as YouTube and Gmail have a dark theme as well, and for other sites you will need to install a browser extension to turn the web dark.
We previously reported that Google confirmed how dark mode and night mode apps can effectively prolong battery life on smartphones with OLED screens.
Remember that the light and dark themes are different from apps such as F.Lux, which automatically adjusts color warmth based on the time of day in order to slash blue light exposure.
How to Use the Auto-Night Mode
Windows 10 Auto-Night Mode, a free, open-source program for the Windows 10 OS to switch between light and dark mode automatically, uses the Task Scheduler to get the job done.
Once you start it after installation, the app shows a configuration menu, which displays the current mode – light or dark – along with an option to switch to the “Change automatic” feature.
As its name implies, “Change automatic” switches between the two modes automatically depending on the time of day. It’s up to you to set start times for light and dark mode, such as light beginning at 7 a.m. and dark at 7 p.m. Clicking Apply initiates a new task that creates the automatic change based on the preferred starting times.
Note that when it comes to the Auto-Night Mode, there’s no background app running all the time, thanks to the Use of the Task Scheduler. However, you might receive a Windows SmartScreen security prompt once you download this tool, warning you against the software. Simply ignore this message.
Here are quick steps to use the Auto-Night Mode:
- Run the app. You will get a small window with options, and you can select either the light or dark theme or Change Automatic, which enables the Choose custom start time
- If you choose Change Automatic: Under the text box for Light, you can enter the time in 24-hour format in order to switch to the light theme. Under the Dark text box, you can also enter the time in 24-hour format.
- Click Apply once done.
As usual, make it a point to regularly clean out junk files and diagnose your Windows system for tiptop performance using a reliable third-party PC repair tool, especially when downloading and using new apps and programs like this.
The Auto-Night Mode is regularly updated with new features and already supports the next big Windows 10 release slated for spring 2019. The list of planned features in the future comprises an improved user interface, a release on Microsoft’s Store, and the ability to set the time based on sunset and sunrise data via location services.
The Windows 10 Auto-Night Mode is a nifty program for those who seek to apply the dark or light theme automatically based on the time of day. In the future, it’s expected to take things up a notch with an enhanced user interface and toggling between the two themes based on sunrise or sunset.
Any thoughts on this handy tool? Let us know in the comments!
A Computer Engineer by degree and a writer by profession, Cathy Trimidal writes for Software Tested and Outbyte. For years now, she has contributed articles focusing on the trends in IT, VPN, web apps, SEO, and digital marketing. Although she spends most of her days living in a virtual realm, she still finds time to satisfy her infinite list of interests.