Use This Hack To Create 'Dark Mode' Timers In Android 10

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse, Android 10

I enable dark themes on any OS, app, or website that lets me, and upgrading to Android 10 means I can now set dark themes as the default look for all supported apps and menus at the system level.

While I’m perfectly content to just turn on dark mode and never look back, you might prefer to swap between dark and light modes depending on the time of day or your environment. Unfortunately, not even Android 10 includes an easy way to do this, and you’re forced to manually change themes from the system settings or in each app unless you seek outside help.

Ideally, Android would have a built-in scheduler that swaps between light and dark modes automatically at set times, but there happens to be a third-party app called Automatic Dark Theme that does this very thing. Setting up this app is a bit more complicated than usual, but it’s absolutely worth trying.

  1. Install Automatic Dark Theme from Google Play.

  2. Put your phone into developer mode by going to Settings > About Phone, and tapping “Build Number” seven times until you see a pop up confirming you’ve enabled developer mode.

  3. Next, go to Setting > System > Developer options.

  4. Scroll down and turn on “USB Debugging.”

  5. On your PC, install ADB using this 15-second installer package from the XDA forums.

  6. Plug your phone into your PC via the USB charger.

  7. Open Command Prompt on your PC by pressing “Windows+R” then typing “cmd.” In the command prompt window, type: adb shell pm grant com.cannic.apps.automaticdarktheme android.permission.WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS

  8. Press “Enter” to run the command.

  9. After the changes have been applied, you can close Command Prompt and disconnect your phone from your PC. You should also then be able to turn off USB Debugging (for extra safety).

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse

With the app installed, here’s how to set a timer in Automatic Dark Theme:

  1. Open the Automatic Dark Theme app.

  2. Tap the slider next to “Enable” to turn on the timer.

  3. Tap “Enable dark theme at” or “Enable light theme at” to adjust the times each theme will be applied.

You can also change whether the app applies the change at the exact specified moment, or only while the screen is locked. Switching while the phone screen is locked is the preferred option. Otherwise, any open apps or menus will have to be re-loaded when the theme is changed, which can cause visual bugs or performance issues.


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