The dark mode is here to stay and everyone including Microsoft and Apple is finally starting to take it seriously. The native dark theme on your computer turns your Chrome browser dark but websites are still left intact. For me, it is an inconvenience and I would like to fix that, so in this article, we’ll try to force a dark on the Chrome browser for the desktop which would turn every website dark. Let’s begin.
There are plenty of ways to go about it but I’ll take the two of the most popular ways; using Chrome flags, and using a Chrome Extension. I’ll show you how to enable dark mode using both the methods and compare both on the basis of functionality and customizability.
Also read: How to Enable Dark Mode in Android 10
Turn On Dark Mode using Chrome Flags
Open the Google Chrome browser on your computer and make sure it’s updated to the latest version. Type ‘chrome://flags’ and hit enter.
It would load up the list of all the experimental features that you can enable on your browser to add more functionality to the browser. Click on the search bar and type ‘dark’.
It would show you a few different flags, select ‘force dark mode for web content’ and choose ‘enabled‘ from the drop-down menu.
Now, just restart your browser and viola all the websites are in the high contrast mode.
Turn on Dark Mode using a Chrome Extension
The extension doesn’t enable any experimental features on the browser instead, it manually inverts the color scheme and text of the webpage by reading its contents.
To use this, you’ll have to first download and add the Chrome extension Dark Reader to your web browser. You can either go to the Chrome Web Store and look up the Chrome extension or simply click this link to install.
After adding it to your browser, you can simply click on the icon next to the URL bar to reveal the options. You can turn it on or off, adjust the parameters, and set a dark mode for every website individually. Easy right?
Which one should you choose?
The Chrome Flag works surprisingly well considering it is an experimental feature. It only works on sites with a light background and it inverts the colors (just like the invert option on your Android smartphone). For example, a white background becomes black and black text becomes white. It detects if the website is already dark and retains those properties. It does, however, have a hard time recognizing the padding and shadows which can lead to unexpected patches at places like on the bottom of the YouTube player.
Overall, I can live with it because it doesn’t interfere with the media such as images and videos on a webpage.
The Chrome extension, however, is in a league of its own. You can customize almost every website on the entire world wide web and give it a dark theme and it would actually look decent.
You can adjust the brightness, contrast, blue filter of a webpage and customize these settings for every website separately. As I said, Dark Reader can alter any website which means it will also alter websites that are already dark so the extension gives you an option to preserve or change the original layout of the website. If that wasn’t enough, you can also change the font and typeface of the text on a website to your liking. However, Dark Reader also has its limitations, it doesn’t work on some websites which have an older layout such as Paul Graham’s website.
If you want a simple solution to go dark on the Chrome browser, choose the Chrome Flag. However, if you want a consistent look on all the websites, and the ability to customize the theme, then the Chrome extension is a great choice. What would you pick? Let me know in the comments below.