Google Is Finally Rolling Out Chrome's Dark Mode for Windows 10

Illustration for article titled Google Is Finally Rolling Out Chrome's Dark Mode for Windows 10
Photo: Mark Lennihan (AP)

Finally, Windows 10 users will have access to Chrome’s official Dark Mode.

On Tuesday, Google announced that it would begin rolling out its stable version of Chrome 74 for Windows, Mac, and Linux in the coming weeks. Along with the update comes Dark Mode support for Windows 10 users that’s been available on MacOS since last month with the rollout of Chrome 73.


You’ll want to make sure Windows 10 is up to date and though Chrome automatically updates itself, you can force it by clicking the three little dots in the upper right corner of the browser, hovering over “help,” and clicking “about Chrome.”

As ZDNet notes, there is, unfortunately, no simple switch to enable the support. As with MacOS, for those Windows 10 users who already have Dark Mode enabled on their system, Chrome should match itself to their operating system setting. In other words, you have to go full Dark Mode or nothing.

According to a Community Manager on the Chrome Help forum, Google is reportedly only “rolling out this feature to a small number of Chrome M74 users now” ahead of an eventual wider rollout. If this is the case for you, one commenter suggested a workaround for force-enabling the setting:

- open the “Properties” of a Chrome shortcut

- in the “Target” field, after “C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” ADD “—force-dark-mode” (Without the quotation marks)

- “Apply” and “OK”

At the time of writing, this trick wasn’t working for us but it seems others have had success. It’s possible that you’ll have better luck.

Dark Mode in Windows 10, as with MacOS, mimics Chrome’s Incognito mode. The theme will change the theme of a new tab, the Bookmarks bar, and the options menu, according to Tech Times. As with the MacOS version, the Dark Mode does not appear to extend to Settings landing pages in Windows.

Chrome 74 also introduces security changes as well as a Lite Mode for Android that will replace its Data Saver setting, a whitepaper for which Google said it will publish in the coming months. Some other features introduced in Chrome 74 include an Android option to “Remove animations” to reduce motion sickness, as well as an option for blocking sites from knowing you’re browsing in Chrome’s Incognito Mode (though it has to be enabled).


If you’re among the poor souls who stare at a computer screen for 12 hours a day, I can’t recommend Dark Mode enough. Even if you’re not, Chrome’s new setting at least brings a welcome unified color scheme to its platform so we can put those busted Chrome Web Store Themes behind us.

Clarification: Because of a backend error, a double dash was changed to an em-dash in the suggested workaround from the Chrome Help commenter. Some Kinja readers noted that a single dash before “-force-dark-mode” works for force-enabling the Dark Mode setting. Neither single nor double dashes worked for us, but again, you might have better luck.



Kyle Driscoll

I tried two dashes instead of one long dash. That seemed to work.