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How to force (almost) all apps to use dark mode on Android

Dark Mode
© BongkarnGraphic / Shutterstock.com

Most Android smartphones have a default system setting for enabling dark mode, but many apps available in the Play Store still lack support for such a function. However, thanks to a hidden feature in Android's developer options, it is possible to force any app to use dark mode.

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Since the feature to force dark mode is dependent on the developer options, the first thing to do is to enable developer mode on your Android device. To do this, simply follow this path:

  1. Open System Settings.
  2. Navigate to About phone > Device Identifiers (or Software information depending on your device).
  3. Click the Build number 7 times.
  4. Done! You now have access to the developer options.
NextPit Dev options
First thing to do is to enable developer mode on your Android device / © NextPit

The next step then is to enable the Force Dark Mode setting in third-party apps. To do this, you'll need to follow these steps:

  1. Open System Settings.
  2. Navigate to Developer Options.
  3. Scroll down the Hardware accelerated rendering section and enable the Override force-dark/Force dark mode* option.

*And remember, on some devices this step-by-step may change a bit. For Xiaomi devices, for example, the name of the function is "Dark theme".

NextPit dark mode apps
Using the developer options, you can force dark mode in almost any app. But Snapchat does not allow this feature yet! / © NextPit

For this feature to work, make sure you keep the developer options enabled and, of course, dark mode on your device. This way, whenever dark mode is enabled, third-party apps that do not support dark mode will be forced to use it.

Unfortunately, apps like Snapchat or Strava do not adhere to dark mode even with the option to force the feature enabled (as of April 2022)  However, the rest of the apps installed on the Google Pixel 5 (running with Android 12) now use dark mode by default.

So, did you know this trick before? Which apps would you like to use in dark mode, but don't offer such a feature yet?

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3 comments

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  • storm 1 month ago Link to comment

    Get real here now. Dark mode only matters for phones that are OLED and no others. You might find it aesthetically pleasing but there's no device level benefits without an OLED screen or similar technology.

    It strikes me as an important context for why dark mode even exists that is totally unmentioned here. Because I'm mostly a mid-range device purchaser I haven't had an OLED screen in years. And battery life and size have greatly improved even without OLED tech.


    • Rubens Eishima
      • Admin
      • Staff
      1 month ago Link to comment

      True.

      And all signs indicate a flood of OLED-equipped devices in the following years, with over 10 plants in construction, mostly from Chinese companies trying to dethrone Samsung and LG, whether we like it or not...


      • storm 1 month ago Link to comment

        That will be nice that OLED penetrates to more daily use by more common people. I hope the panel quality remains high.

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