How to Enable Windows Explorer Dark Theme in Windows 10

Windows 10 has long offered the ability for users to change the way that the operating system appears. Sometimes this is done by adjusting some of the settings in Windows, other times it’s done by installing third-party themes.

One of the different appearance options in Windows 10 is a Dark Theme. This changes many of the common system settings, menus, and utilities to a mode that is easier to read in a dark environment. For example, using the Dark Theme in Windows 10 will change the color of your Windows Explorer (now called File Explorer in Windows 10) folders to black.

Use these steps to activate the Windows Explorer dark theme.

  1. Click the “Start” button at the bottom-left of the screen.

    click the Start button

  2. Select “Settings” from the left column.

    open the Windows Settings menu

  3. Choose the “Personalization” option.

    choose the Personalization option

  4. Click the “Colors” tab at the left side of the window.

    select the Colors tab

  5. Select the “Dark” option under “Choose your default app mode.”

    how to enable Windows Explorer dark mode in Windows 10

The switch will occur immediately, so you can open File Explorer to see how it looks. An example of the Windows 10 dark theme is shown below.

example of Windows Explorer dark mode

While dark mode is intended to change the appearance of items on your screen so that they are less stressful on your eyes in low-light environments, many people simply prefer the way it looks.

Many of the apps on your computer are going to switch to dark mode as well as a result of this adjustment. However, you may find that there are some apps that don’t have a dark mode, or that you need to change indiivudally.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between “Windows Explorer” and “File Explorer?”

They’re the same thing. Microsoft simply changed the name of Windows Explorer to File Explorer in Windows 10.

How do I switch out of dark mode in Windows 10?

Go to Settings > Personalization > Theme and choose the Windows option.
After you switch to dark mode in Windows 10, the “Colors” menu changes, and that “Default app mode” option goes away. Returning to the Windows theme will restore the Default app mode option and switch you out of the dark theme.

How do I customize the appearance of the Dark Theme in Windows 10?

You can adjust the Dark Theme appearance by going to Settings > Personalization > Colors and choosing different accent colors.
At the bottom of that menu are options for showing accent colors on the following surfaces:
– Start, taskbar, and action center
– Title bars and window borders

See also

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