Windows 10: Enable an early version of the dark mode

Zac Bowden

Windows 10

Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 build to leak onto the internet includes a few interesting tidbits which aren’t enabled by default. One of which is the new dark mode, which up until now has been partly on/off in leaked and official builds. Well, it appears a new registry edit can enable an early version of the new dark theme permanently.

The dark mode in build 10056 is far from ready. It doesn’t affect any title bars, however a few Windows apps do change when this new registry edit is applied. We understand that eventually the entire UI will switch between dark / light modes allowing the user to choose what suites them best.

You can try out the early version of the dark mode by applying this registry edit:

  1. Open regedit (WIN+R)
  2. Navigate to: HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize
  3. Create a new DWORD (32-bit)
  4. Name it “SystemUsesLightTheme”
  5. Set its value to 0

And that’s it. The dark theme is now enabled and when opening apps like Settings, Calculator and Alarms, you’ll be greeted with a much darker side to things. A few parts of the UI in build 10056 are already dark, such as the Notification Center. So being able to enable dark mode in the rest of the apps is nice.

Again, this is an early version of the dark mode, so changes will be made. You’ll eventually be able to make this change via the Settings app, much like on Windows Phone.