How to Change YouTube to Dark Mode, Step by Step With Photos

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How to Change YouTube to Dark Mode, Step by Step With Photos

Dark Mode might seem like a new invention since Apple debuted it in iOS 13, but the truth is that it’s been around since the 1970s, at least. Dating back to some of the earliest PCs in history, Dark Mode has been an option for users the world over for decades now.

As of late, some of the biggest online platforms and social networks have begun to embrace the Dark Mode trend, as well. YouTube is just one of many to do so in recent years. But how do you change YouTube to Dark Mode? Follow along with the steps and photos below to find out.

Why Change YouTube to Dark Mode?

You might be thinking: Why in the world would I want to change YouTube to Dark Mode? What’s the point of making the screen all dark? Isn’t my computer or smartphone equipped with a super bright screen for a reason? As it turns out, there are a number of benefits to using Dark Mode. We’ve listed a few of the biggest advantages below.


Firstly, there’s the simple pleasure of having a dark-looking screen. Just as some choose to type in all lowercase letters, others opt for Dark Mode on all their devices and apps for a cooler, less bright, and bubbly aesthetic.

In Dark Mode, all of your favorite apps and features will carry a more serious, sleek, more modern look than that all-white, super-bright look that comes as the default. Looking beyond the serious benefits we’ve compiled below, it’s nevertheless worth mentioning that Dark Mode just looks cooler to some.

Eye Strain

Believe it or not, beyond the aesthetic benefit of Dark Mode, there’s also a medical advantage to the all-dark look. Because our eyes are strained more and more with each passing minute spent staring at a white screen, there’s a particular benefit to making the screen darker without having to lower the brightness.

With Dark Mode, you can still keep your screen bright and reduce eye strain at the same time. Think of it like looking outside during the day vs looking out the window at night. The former is going to strain your eyes a lot more than the latter. Dark Mode helps in the same way.

Battery Life

Thirdly, Dark Mode can also help the health of your computer, smartphone, or another electronic device. In addition to looking cooler and reducing the strain on your eyes, Dark Mode can also extend the life of your electronic device’s battery.

More energy — and, as such, more battery — is used to display a brighter screen as opposed to a darker one. For this reason, Dark Mode can help your computer use less energy (and thus save more battery) compared to Light Mode or whatever another bright mode your device defaults to.

How to Change YouTube to Dark Mode

Now that you can see why Dark Mode may be beneficial to your YouTube-watching experience, let’s break down how exactly you’re supposed to change YouTube to Dark Mode in the first place.

Follow along with the steps below, which include photos to help guide you. (Note: these steps are optimized for YouTube’s website. We’ll have more on Dark Mode for the YouTube app below.)

Step 1: Go to YouTube

how to change youtube to dark mode
Go to the YouTube home page to enter Dark Mode.

Firstly, go to the YouTube website on your device of choice. Here, we’ve shown YouTube on Safari. However, these steps will work the same on Chrome, Edge, or whatever your web browser of choice may be.

If your device is already in Dark Mode, then YouTube may default to Dark Mode automatically. In this case, mission accomplished! You’re already in Dark Mode, and you didn’t even have to do anything. If not, read on.

Step 2: Click the Drop-Down Menu

how to change youtube to dark mode
Click the Settings menu to Change YouTube to Dark Mode.

From the YouTube home page, navigate to the three dots in the top right-hand corner next to the Sign In button. Click those three dots, at which point a drop-down menu will appear. You’ll be given a list of settings and options to choose from, but we only need to worry about one.

Step 3: Click Appearance

how to change youtube to dark mode
On the drop-down Settings menu, click Appearance.

On the drop-down menu, navigate down to the option labeled “Appearance.” This is the setting we’re looking for to change YouTube to Dark Mode. You should see it second from the top, located in between the “Your data on YouTube” and “Language” tabs.

Step 4: Click “Dark Theme”

how to change youtube to dark mode
Click Dark theme to change YouTube to Dark Mode.

Lastly, click the option labeled “Dark theme.” With this simple move, you have now officially entered Dark Mode on YouTube. From this same section, you have the option to change back to the Light theme, or revert to the option to simply use your device’s default theme. That’s all there is to it!

Bonus: Change YouTube to Dark Mode on Mobile

To change YouTube to Dark Mode on your mobile device, we’re going to have to take a few additional steps. The process is a little more involved on mobile than it is on the web.

Step 1: Go to Settings

Download the YouTube app.

On the YouTube app, there’s not a handy little three-dot drop-down menu like we saw on the web. Instead, you have to tap the profile icon in the top right hand corner.

Choose Settings.

Tapping the profile icon will take you to a list of settings and options. As you can see, there are far more options here than on the web. Don’t worry, though. We won’t get lost. Just tap “Settings.”

Step 2: Tap “General,” Then “Appearance”

To change YouTube to Dark Mode, we need the General settings.

Now, in settings, you will want to tap the very first heading on the list. This one’s labeled “General,” and it will take us to — you guessed it! — the app’s general settings.

Tap Appearance to change YouTube to Dark Mode.

Within General, look for the option that says “Appearance.” (You’ll see it third down from the top.) Notice the wording here is exactly the same as it was on the web. We’re getting closer!

Step 3: Tap “Dark Theme”

Tap Dark theme to enter into Dark Mode.

Lastly, tap “Dark theme” to change YouTube to Dark Mode. You’ll see the same options as on the web, offering us the ability to revert back to “Light theme” or choose to automatically change the theme depending on the device’s theme. The choice is ultimately yours.

To go over the steps we’ve outlined above and see them in action check out the video below which shows you how to change YouTube to dark theme on both desktop and mobile.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dark Mode good for your eyes?

While there has not been enough substantive research done into the subject, the belief is that Dark Mode is less bright and therefore emits much less harmful blue light than regular Light Mode. With this thinking, Dark Mode could feasibly be better for your eyes than Light Mode.

When did Apple add Dark Mode?

Apple added Dark Mode to its iPhones with the release of iOS 13 in September 2019. Subsequent devices such as iPad tablets and Mac computers soon followed suit.

Who first invented Dark Mode?

Dark Mode dates back to the 1970s, at least, but if you think about it, computers really originated in Dark Mode. Think back to those earliest forms of computers, and you’ll see a black background with green text. Dark Mode has been a key part of computing since the beginning, honestly.

Does Dark Mode use less battery?

The thinking here is similar to the thinking that Dark Mode is better for your eyes than Light Mode. Because Dark Mode is inherently less bright, it likely uses less battery than a device in Light Mode. It’s not going to make an enormous difference, but a difference is a difference nonetheless.

Why did my phone automatically enter Dark Mode?

If your phone automatically entered into Dark Mode without you doing it manually, then you might have a Night Mode setting enabled. When on, this setting will flip your device into Dark Mode whenever it senses the amount of light around you dimming. You can turn this off in your device’s display settings.

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