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How to turn on dark mode on a Mac

Give your Mac a moody Goth look.
December 1, 2022

It helps make the battery last longer, it’s easier on the eyes, and it just looks damn cool in a sleek kind of way. We’re talking, of course, about dark mode on the Macbook. If you’re fed up with the dull white look, or you want to turn the computer lights off at night, then read on to find out how to make your Mac dark.

Read more: How to enable notifications and focus modes on a Mac


To make your Mac dark, go to System Settings > Appearance. You can choose between Light, Dark, and Auto. Auto will switch between light and dark, depending on the time of day. Selecting Dark will make the computer permanently dark, regardless of the time of day. You should also change the Accent color and Highlight color to make other aspects of the screen stand out better.

How to turn on dark mode on a Mac

It only takes a few clicks to make your Mac dark. First, click the Apple logo in the top-left of the screen and click System Settings.

mac system settings light setting

Under the Appearance sub-tab, you will see three different options — Light, Dark, and Auto. Obviously, we’re not interested in Light, so let’s look at the other two.

  • Dark — this switches your entire Mac system to dark permanently (at least, until you change it again in System Settings.)
  • Auto — this switches your Mac system from light to dark to light again, depending on the time of day. Note that it works by your IP address to figure out your location and when it gets dark where you are. If you use a VPN to spoof your location, the auto function will not work at the right times if it puts you in a different timezone.
mac settings appearance dark

Once you choose Dark, your entire Mac will go black. Note that this will affect macOS functions such as Safari, Notes, Finder, and so on, which will also go black. Websites, however, will not go black as a general rule. You would have to enable dark mode on them on an individual basis. Saying that, some websites will detect the operating system change and ask you if you want to change the website colors accordingly. Facebook is one of them.

mac settings in dark mode

You should also take a moment to change the Accent Color and the Highlight Color. This will make things like buttons and bars different colors, making them stand out better against the new dark background.

Read more: How to add a printer to any Mac


If your Mac operating system is older than Mojave, then the dark mode option is not available.

Many sources have suggested that dark mode slows down your Mac because it uses more RAM. You need to assess your own situation and disable dark mode if it becomes unusable.

Dark mode only has an effect on MacBooks with OLED screens. Anything with LCD screens will not see a difference.