Chrome dark mode for Windows 10 arrives – but there’s a catch

Eric Abent - Apr 24, 2019, 3:10 pm CDT
Chrome dark mode for Windows 10 arrives – but there’s a catch

After arriving on macOS last month, Chrome’s dark mode is finally making its way to Windows 10 today. The feature is shipping as part of Chrome 74, which is beginning its roll out to Mac, Windows, and Linux users. Google, unfortunately, is only launching dark mode on Windows 10 to a small number of users before sending it live to everyone, so it looks like we’ll have a little while to wait before it’s available for all.

If you’re one of the lucky ones to get Chrome’s dark mode after applying the update (which can be done by going into Chrome’s menu and clicking “About Google Chrome”), it seems that the only way to enable it is to turn on Windows 10’s dark mode settings. Whether Chrome uses dark or light mode is tied to these settings, and for now at least, there doesn’t seem be a way to change Chrome’s settings independently.

If you don’t have dark mode after updating to Chrome 74, The Verge has a detailed a way you can force the feature. On the shortcut you use to open Chrome, right click and head into properties. From there, add “–force-dark-mode” to the end of the target location and you’re good to go – Chrome will launch in dark mode the next time you start it up. The Verge does note that if you use a taskbar shortcut it will need to unpinned and then pinned again for this to work, but other than that, it’s a pretty easy way to force dark mode before Google is ready to roll it out to more users.

We don’t know when that’s going to happen, either. Google’s notes on Chrome 74 don’t mention the feature at all, and over on the Chrome help site, one of Google’s community managers simply says that the feature “will become more widely available in the near future.”

Perhaps that means we’ll see dark mode roll out to everyone in Chrome 75? Maybe even sooner than that? Time will tell, but we’ll keeping an eye out for more information nonetheless. For now, if you’ve got dark mode (or you decided to force it), head down to the comments section and let us know what you think of it!

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