How to use Gmail dark mode on your devices

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Dark mode toggle image from iStock

Lots of people like to use Gmail dark mode, but how to switch it on varies depending on which platform you’re using. There actually isn’t an official dark setting for iOS and desktop Gmail. Instead, users of these platforms rely on a hack which makes the background dark. Let’s take a look at how to enable lights out for each platform.

Read more: How to turn on dark mode in Google Apps


To enable dark mode in Android, go to the settings, tap Theme and then Dark. In iOS, go into the Apple system settings, to Display & Brightness, and select Dark. On the desktop, go to Settings–>Themes and select the black background.


How to use Gmail dark mode (Android)

To switch off the lights in Android’s Gmail app, tap on the Settings link at the bottom left.

android gmail general settings

Under General settings, select Theme.

android gmail general settings 1

Now tap on Dark, and watch everything go….well, dark.

android gmail set dark mode

How to use Gmail dark mode (iOS)

For some reason, iOS users don’t have a built-in dark mode in their Gmail app. Instead, they have to switch on the dark display in the iOS system settings. The downside to this is that the entire phone will then go dark, not just Gmail. But if you’re happy with that, here’s what you need to do.

Go into iOS settings, and scroll down to Display & Brightness.

iOS settings

Now select Dark to make your entire phone black. You should also toggle off Automatic, otherwise the phone will go back to white, when it detects it’s daylight outside.

ios settings display

How to use Gmail dark mode (desktop)

The desktop Gmail uses a black theme instead. But it doesn’t make everything completely dark. The background will be black, but a new email window will remain white, and the folder sidebar will be grey.

To choose the black theme, go to the Themes section in Settings. Click on Set theme and a box will open with all of the available background themes. Scroll down, select the black option, and click Save.

gmail desktop themes

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