How to Turn on Microsoft Word’s Dark Mode

  • You can run Microsoft Word in dark mode, which uses a dark color palette to help reduce eye strain in low light settings.
  • You can choose to make the document white or black using the Switch Modes button in the ribbon’s View tab. 
  • If you always want documents to appear white even in dark mode, use the “Disable dark mode” toggle in the Options menu. 
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In recent years, there’s been increased scrutiny on the glaring, bright screens many people use at all hours of the day and night. Concerned about the eye strain these programs cause, many programs offer a dark mode that typically flips the color palette so that large, brightly lit sections of the screen are dark, making the screen more comfortable to read.

Microsoft Word has its own dark mode that turns the toolbar and canvas surrounding the document dark, leaving just the document itself white. You also have the option to flip the document to white text on a black background as well.  

How to turn on Microsoft Word’s dark mode

Here’s how to turn on dark mode in Word:

1. In the ribbon at the top of the screen, click File, then click Account at the bottom of the File menu.  

2. In the Office Theme dropdown, choose Black

3. Click the Back arrow at the top left of the screen.

Account settings in Microsoft Word.]

Choose the Black theme to enable dark mode.

Dave Johnson

You should now see a dark interface with a black document. The advantage is that this darker view is typically easier on your eyes in low light settings, but it is a less accurate depiction of what other people will see when you share the finished document, so the choice is yours whether to use it or not.

You can also opt to make the document appear white (with black text and other modified colors). 

If you want the document to be white, click the View tab in the ribbon at the top of the page and then click Switch Modes. This will toggle the document color. You can switch back to black by clicking Switch Modes a second time. 

Microsoft Word switch themes

Toggle the document’s dark mode with Switch Themes.

Dave Johnson

If you prefer the more accurate white document and want to make sure that Word always starts that way even in dark mode, do this:

1. In the ribbon at the top of the screen, click File, then click Options at the bottom of the File menu.  

2. Make sure you are in the General tab, then find the Personalize your copy of Microsoft Word section.

3. Beside Office Theme, click the checkbox for Disable dark mode

4. Click OK.

Options menu in Microsoft Word.]

Use the Options menu to always start with a whiten document even in dark mode.

Dave Johnson

Now Word will always start with a white document even in dark mode. Keep in mind that you can still toggle the document to black by clicking Switch Modes in the View tab  — this overrides the Disable dark mode checkbox. 

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