Enable A Hidden Dark Theme In Windows 10 Apps With A Registry Edit

Windows 10’s interface is pretty slick, but if you’re not a fan of bright colours on your screen, it might be a little hard on the eyes. You can switch to a darker theme for many system apps with a little tweak. As the video above from YouTuber BTNHD explains, a simple registry edit can enable a dark mode for Windows 10 system apps and other interface elements (that you can’t already customise). To enable it, follow these steps:

  1. Press Win+R to open a run dialog, type “regedit”, and press enter.
  2. Browse to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Themes > Personalise
  3. If there’s no Personalise folder, right-click Themes and select New > Key. Name it Personalise.
  4. Right-click Personalise and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name it AppsUseLightTheme and set its value to 0.
  5. Perform steps 3 and 4 again in the following location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Themes > Personalise
  6. Log out of your account and back in.

This feature will eventually come to Windows 10 with the upcoming Anniversary Update if you don’t want to mess with the registry. However, if you’re eager to get started or want to wait on the update when it arrives, this is a handy shortcut.

How to Unlock the Dark Themes in Windows 10 Apps [MakeUseOf]


  • Awesome! Thanks for this. Working at home at night, with all my graphics applications using neutral grey GUIs, going to a bright white Explorer window is almost blinding. I’ve been hanging out for the Anniversary update but I’ll be employing this hack tonight.

  • Or participate in the Insider Program. This feature rolled out to everyone including those on the “Slow Ring” a month or two ago.

    The selection switch is in Settings/Personalization/Colors

  • It didn’t work. There was a folder called “Personalize” – with a Z not an S – in my USER keys but not in the MACHINE keys, so maybe we need to spell it with a “Z” instead?

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