Are you one of the increasing number of dark mode fans and your work involves the use of Google Docs? If so, you should know that Google has introduced the dark theme to its Docs application.
Despite the introduction of this dark theme, the default theme for Google Docs is almost always light. However, there are several easy ways to enable Google Docs dark mode.
Many of the most popular apps and websites that you will encounter across the Internet have started to provide their users with options to view content in dark mode. This includes sites like YouTube, Twitch, many popular Web browsers, and even the entire Windows 10 operating system.
In this tutorial, we will be discussing how you can activate the Google Docs dark mode through Android, iOS, and even Google Chrome on your computer, after highlighting the various benefits that this mode has for you and your device.
Benefits of Using Dark Mode in Google Docs
- Better visual ergonomics, resulting in lower eye strain
- Allows screens to adjust in accordance with the lighting conditions
- Can be used during the night as well as in darker environments
- Saves battery power
- Reduction in screen glare, resulting in minimal blue light and flickering
However, there are cases where dark mode might not be the best choice. For instance, using dark themes under brightly lit conditions can make the text seem washed out, thereby leading to greater – rather than reduced – eye strain and fatigue. Additionally, lengthy pieces of text or content are often harder to read with the dark theme enabled.
How to Put the Google Docs Mobile App in Dark Mode
- Open the Docs app.
- Tap the menu button at the top-left.
- Choose Settings.
- Select Theme.
- Touch Dark.
Our article continues below with additional information on putting Google Docs into dark mode across a variety of different devices.
How to Enable Google Docs Dark Mode on iOS (Guide with Pictures)
Fortunately, the Google Docs app will use your light or dark mode setting on the iPhone or iPad so, if you have already enabled dark mode there, then Docs will use it by default. You can toggle Dark Mode on or off for your iPhone by going to Settings > Display & Brightness > then choosing Dark under Appearance.
However, if you don’t use the Dark Theme on your iPhone, or if you only use it at night, then you may be looking for a way to dark mode on Google Docs all the time. You can enable dark mode with the following steps.
Step 1: Open the Docs app.
Step 2: Tap the three lines at the top left.
Step 3: Choose Settings.
Step 4: Select Theme.
Step 5: Choose Dark.
There is another way to get into Google Docs dark mode on your iPhone which we will cover in the section below.
How to Use Dark Mode in the iOS Google Docs App with Smart Invert
A mere few tweaks on your iPad or iPhone settings can allow you to enable Google Docs dark mode on your iOS device using an interesting setting called “Smart Invert.” Here are the steps that you need to perform:
- Start by visiting the ‘App Store’ and downloading Google Docs – if you have not done this already.
- Now, before going ahead and selecting Google Docs, you will have to ensure that the Smart Invert is enabled on your device. To enable the Smart Invert option, go to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size > Smart Invert.
- Now you can exit the Settings app and open Google Docs. You will now observe that the app has a comparatively darker theme.
These steps will allow you to preview all your documents using Google Docs dark mode. The only drawback is that, once you exit Google Docs, you will probably find that the elements and colors in iOS are not playing well. This is mainly because although Smart Invert does the job, it is not the perfect solution for dark mode. So, if you find the colors unsuitable, an easy option is to simply turn the Smart Invert off once you are done with your work on Google Docs.
However, we know how tedious it can be to keep turning Smart Invert on and off, especially when you are busy working. Hence, we will next provide a few steps that will make the process faster:
- Visit ‘Settings’
- Select ‘Control Center’
- Scroll down
- Add the ‘Accessibility Shortcut’ option
- Turn back and hit ‘Accessibility’
- Keep scrolling right until you get to the bottom
- Select ‘Accessibility Shortcut’
- Check the ‘Smart Invert’ box
Now, the next time you need to activate Smart Invert, you will not have to visit the ‘Settings’ section of your iOS device. Instead, all you will need to do is go to the ‘Control Center’ on the iPad or iPhone, and a mere tap on the ‘Accessibility’ shortcut will allow you to activate or deactivate Smart Invert.
How to Enable Google Docs Dark Mode on Android
Since Google Docs dark mode is still a relatively new feature, it is possible that it is not apparent on your device. If that is the case, you need not worry, as you will be getting the feature sooner rather than later. However, if you do have Google Docs dark mode on your Android tablet or phone, here is how you can activate it:
- Turn on Google Docs on the Android device.
- Select the hamburger-looking icon.
- Visit ‘Settings’.
- Select ‘Choose theme’.
- Tap ‘Dark’ and you will enable Google Docs dark mode on your tablet or phone.
If you want to check a specific file or document in the light mode without switching the dark mode off, you can also make that happen. Here is how:
- Turn on Google Docs on your Android device.
- Since you already have Google Docs dark mode turned on, select a particular file.
- Select the three vertical dotted icon.
- Choose ‘View in light theme’.
How to Enable Google Docs Dark Mode on Desktop or Laptop
Much like iOS, your computer’s Web browser does not have an official way of opening the Google Docs dark mode. However, if you play around with a few Google Chrome settings, you should be able to bring about the dark theme on Google Docs. You can follow the below steps:
Step 1: Open Google Chrome and click inside the address bar.
Step 2: Enter the following URL in the Chrome address bar:
Then press Enter on your keyboard.
Step 3: Click the Force Dark Mode for Web Contents dropdown, which is likely marked as Default or Disabled. Change this option to ‘Enabled’ then click the blue Relaunch button at the bottom right to restart the browser.
After doing this, you will be able to operate Google Docs dark mode on your computer.
If you want to turn the feature off, all you need to do is enter the same chrome://flags/#enable-force-dark on a new Google Chrome tab, and choose Disable or Default for ‘Force Dark Mode for Web Contents’. A way to reach this experimental flag faster is by bookmarking the address.
There is a possibility that the blinking cursor might not work smoothly with documents that have white fonts. Since almost every dark-mode document will have white fonts, the above method of operating Google Docs dark mode on your computer is more suited for situations that involve more reading and almost no typing.
This is another dark mode extension for Google Chrome and is considered one of the very best. As far as rendering websites in dark themes go, the Dark Reader is even better than the method discussed above and is also excellent in terms of performance. After installing the Dark Reader, you will notice that every website you use has dark mode activated – this includes Google Docs.
If you are only looking for Google Docs dark mode, that can also be done. All you need to do is add docs.google.com under the ‘Invert listed only’ option, and all the other websites except for Google Docs will go back to their default light themes.
In terms of the overall experience, you will find using Google Docs with Dark Reader really satisfactory. Not only do all elements within the application show up quickly and crisply, but all images added to the document or file will remain unhampered. Moreover, you will not be experiencing any lags while the documents are operational.
All of this makes Dark Reader perhaps the best Google Docs dark mode extension for the time being.
However, let us caution you that extensions might cause your privacy to become compromised. If this is a major issue for you, we recommend sticking to the experimental flag for Google Docs dark mode that we discussed earlier.
Final Word on Using Google Docs Dark Mode
Regardless of whether one operates Google Docs on one’s computer or Android and iOS devices, it is safe to say that Google Docs dark mode is becoming increasingly popular with each passing day. We hope that this blog will serve as a useful resource for anyone looking to activate the dark theme on Google Docs, regardless of the device that they use to operate the app.
In addition, the steps discussed in this blog can also be used for activating the dark mode on other Google apps such as Google Slides or Google Sheets, so this guide will also come in handy if you want to activate the dark mode on these apps.
Matt Jacobs has been working as an IT consultant for small businesses since receiving his Master’s degree in 2003. While he still does some consulting work, his primary focus now is on creating technology support content for SupportYourTech.com.
His work can be found on many websites and focuses on topics such as Microsoft Office, Apple devices, Android devices, Photoshop and more.