How to get Dark Mode on Mac

Asya Karapetyan
Content marketer, who specializes in Mac how-to guides
September 8, 2023
7 minutes to read

The macOS Mojave Dark Mode feature has impressed Mac users worldwide. This time around, it not only darkens the lower menu bar like in previous night mode Mac versions but also makes your applications – and practically every corner of your Mac – black.
Although many users still prefer the lighter version, embracing the macOS Dark Mode can be somewhat refreshing and a great change for your eyes, especially if you are working in a shadowy environment. In this article, we will cover when and how to use Dark Mode on Mac.

Dark Mode on a Mac


  1. What is the macOS Dark Mode.
  2. Which is better – Mac light mode or Mac Dark Mode.
  3. How to turn on Dark Mode on Mac.
  4. How to optimize your experience when using Dark Mode.

What is the macOS dark mode

Dark Mode is a special feature of macOS Mojave which allows you to switch to a black user interface. With Dark Mode on, the Mac default apps will revert to a black background while the text in them will revert to white and light grey colors.
The Dark Mode was introduced in macOS Mojave as one of the main updates for the system. So if you want to use Dark Mode on your Mac, you need first update your current operating system to Mojave 10.14 or later.

Read also: “How boot Mac in Safe mode

Which is better – Mac light mode or Mac dark mode

Before you proceed with switching to macOS dark theme, you might want to weigh the pros and cons to see if it’s worth it. We’ve elaborated on some of the points that we think our readers should take into consideration when it comes to using the Light or Dark Mode in macOS Mojave.

Pros of Dark Mode for Mac:

  • Mac black mode can potentially take some pressure off your eyes. This can be especially relevant if you happen to use your Mac during the night or when it’s dark. One of the main reasons Dark Mode is implemented in computers and mobile devices is to reduce eye strain.
  • It looks slick and appeals to a wide audience. Many people choose to use the Dark Mode feature simply because of the aesthetics and not much more than that. With so many Mojave macOS features, a quick switch to Dark Mode is definitely something you should try out.

Cons of Dark Mode for Mac:

  • 𐄂 Poor readability. While Dark Mode might seem like a great idea at first, reading bright characters on a dark background can be challenging for some people. So if you’re about to go through large chunks of texts, we would advise using a light theme instead.
  • 𐄂 It can drain the battery more quickly than usual. Although there are many arguments both for and against this statement, with a little research you will see that many users have reported their battery life taking a significant hit after switching to Dark Mode. The main reason for this is that LCD displays require more energy to produce black colors, whereas light colors are the easiest to produce.

Now that you know both the good and bad sides of Dark Mode, you can decide which mode is better to use for you personally.

If you want to switch to Dark Mode on your Mac, read on. We will show you step-by-step how you can change Dark Mode on Mac.

How to turn on Dark Mode on Mac

Simply follow the step-by-step guide below to see how you can enable Mac Dark Mode

Steps to enable Dark Mode on Mac:

  1. Open System Settings.
  2. Click Appearance in the sidebar.
  3. Select the Dark Mode in the right panel.
System Settings showing how to enable darm mode on Mac

You can also use the accent color to change the button colors, as well as highlight color in the same section.

Steps to enable Dark Mode on macOS Monterey and earlier versions of macOS:

  1. Head to System Preferences and click on General.
    mac black
  2. To the right where it says Appearance, simply enable the Dark Mode.
    night mode mac

How to optimize your experience when using Dark Mode

As mentioned previously, the Dark Mode uses a lot of RAM and your Mac’s performance may slow down with it. But if you plan to use Dark Mode on a frequent basis anyway, you can use a free application Memory Cleaner, designed to clean your RAM and optimize your Mac’s speed.

Memory Cleaner automatically clears up your Mac’s RAM, so you won’t need to worry about Dark Mode taking too much power. Simply try out Memory Cleaner while using the macOS Dark Mode to feel the difference yourself!

Here is how to use the app:

  1. Launch the Memory Cleaner app.
  2. Click on Free Up and simply wait while the application cleans up unused RAM to optimize your Mac.
    Memory Cleaner window
  3. The app displays how much RAM is taken up by your apps in the Memory Usage section. And you can also set up the automatic clearing of inactive memory to prevent your Mac from getting slow.
    Memory Cleaner app
    As you can see, the whole process is pretty straightforward and with just one simple click, you can save at least a few GB of RAM memory.


Dark Mode is one of the many great macOS Mojave features that is endorsed by millions of Mac users for its sleek design. The fact that it can make using your Mac a bit easier on your eyes makes it even more attractive. Whether you consistently use the Dark Mode feature or not is entirely up to you.

Nevertheless, we would suggest trying it out at least once to see for yourself, and make sure to have Memory Cleaner installed on your Mac to prevent a drop in performance.

Frequently asked questions about macOS Dark Mode
Is Dark Mode better for your eyes?
Is Dark Mode better for your MacBook’s battery?
Can I use Dark Mode in macOS High Sierra?
How do I get rid of the Dark Mode on my Mac?
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