How to Turn on Google Sheets Dark Mode [3 Easy Steps]

Google Sheets is a free online spreadsheet program that’s part of Google’s free software office suite. It has a ton of useful native features. Unfortunately, switching to dark mode on the desktop version is not such a feature.

Yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

This article will discuss the advantages of using dark mode and various ways to enable the dark mode in Google Sheets for both mobile and desktop.

Why Use Dark Mode?

There are several advantages that dark mode has over using the light mode. Some of the advantages of using a Google Sheets black background include:

Less Blue-Light

Switching to Google Sheets night mode can help reduce the exposure to blue light present in the white light of a light-colored background.

Blue light is known to cause problems like vision loss, watery eyes, cataracts, and eye strain.

A lot of mobile phones come with a built-in blue light filter. You can activate this by going to either the display or the accessibility options on your device.

Better Battery Life

Tests have shown that using dark mode on your devices can improve battery life by around 30%. This means that you don’t need to charge your device as often, which also increases the longevity of your battery life.

AMOLED displays utilize dark mode better as black pixels mean that part of the display turns off completely, which can give you a massive boost in battery life.

Helps With Glare

In darker environments, a light mode can have that blinding glare that can be very uncomfortable for the eyes due to the contrast between the room and the screen. Using dark mode can help with that glare as a darker screen means that the white, blinding lights are cut out and replaced with darker colors.

How to Make Google Sheets Dark Mode

As we mentioned, it depends on the device your using to turn on dark mode. Below are the steps you need to follow to enable dark mode on Google Sheets for desktop and mobile.

Google Sheets Dark Mode Desktop

As of the writing of this article, there isn’t a native dark mode for the Google Sheets desktop app. However, there is a solution for this in Chrome extensions. These solutions are far from perfect but can be a good way to enable a dark theme to help lessen the strain on your eyes.

You can use extensions like Dark Mode for Google G Suite and Dark Mode – Night Eye.

To install them:

  1. Click on the links above or search a similar add-on in the Chrome Web Store
  2. On the web page, click on the Add to Chrome button, and the extension should start installing into your browser. Note that this only works on Google Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers.
  3. Once the extension is installed, it should activate immediately. If you don’t see any changes, refresh the page, which should trigger the extension.

Google Sheets Dark Mode on Mobile

There are two methods to enable dark mode on Google Sheets for your mobile devices. The first method works essentially by allowing the dark mode system-wide, while the second method works by enabling the dark theme inside the Google Sheets application.

System-Wide Dark Mode

The system-wide dark mode applies the dark mode to all your applications. This means all apps will work natively with the dark mode whether you’re using an Android or iOS.

Android has a lot of system fragmentation which means every phone varies. However, here is a general guide that applies to most Android smartphones:

  1. Go into your Settings and head over to the Display options. There, you should see a toggle for Dark theme or Dark mode.
  2. Simply turn it on, and the theme should switch on your device.

On iPhones:

  1. Open the Settings and go to Display & Brightness.
  2. Click on the bubble under Dark.

iOS also allows you to choose a schedule for dark mode and can switch from light theme to dark theme depending on the times you choose.

In-App Google Spreadsheets Dark Mode

Here’s how to set up dark mode for Google Sheets on mobile:

Step 1: Click on the three horizontal lines on the top left of the screen to open the sidebar. In the sidebar, click on Settings. This will take you to the settings page.

Step 2: In the settings page, look under the Theme section, click on Choose theme.

Step 3: Click on Dark to change your theme. The colors should shift as soon as you click on it, and Google Sheets will have a dark theme.

When using the dark theme, you may need to see how a document would look with the light theme. You could open the document first to check how a document would look with the light theme without changing the theme in the settings.

Or:

  1. Click on the three dots on the top right of the screen.
  2. Click on View in light theme. The document will then be shown in the light theme.
  3. To switch back to the dark theme, follow the same steps and click on View in dark theme.

Note: The light theme can only be applied to a document if the app is already using the dark theme or you have the system default theme set to the dark theme.

Google Sheets Dark Mode – FAQ

Is There a Dark Mode for Google Sheets?

Google Sheets doesn’t have a native dark mode on desktop. Google Sheets for mobile does have a native dark mode which can be accessed through the settings. If you want to have a black background in Google Sheets on your Chrome browser, it’s best to use an extension from the Chrome Web store.

How Do I Turn on Dark Mode in Google Sheets?

Google Sheets dark theme can be turned on by going into the settings on Android and iOS and changing the theme. On desktop, you will need to use an extension to achieve a night mode experience on Google Sheets.

Is Dark Mode Better for Your Eyes?

Dark mode is touted to decrease eye strain and helps with dry eyes for people who spend a lot of time staring at a screen. However, there isn’t much scientific data to prove this, and the only thing that dark mode is definitely known to help with is improving the device’s battery life.

The anecdotal evidence points toward using light mode at night induces significant strain, which can be very bad for the eyes as it makes you focus too hard and can cause you to have dry eyes.

Does Dark Mode Cause Depression?

Dark colors are generally associated with negative emotions connected to depression and sadness. However, using bright colors at night can induce fatigue and headaches which can also be argued are symptoms of depression.

There’s no existing scientific evidence pointing towards using dark mode causing depression.

Yet, it’s recommended to use dark mode at night and light mode in the morning when there is more surrounding light to illuminate your surroundings.

Getting a Better Experience With Dark Mode

Using Google Sheets dark mode can help reduce eye strain when looking at the screen for a long time. We hope this guide of how to make Google Sheets dark mode helped you out when trying to enable it on your device. Let us know if you have any questions or comments below.

If you’d like to learn more about Google Sheets, check out our guides. Alternatively, you may benefit from a structured course. There are plenty of them available online. Luckily for you, we’ve put together a list of the best for you to choose from.

Jake Wright

Jake Wright

Jake is a spreadsheet expert and content writer from New Zealand. He has a double Bachelor's Degree in Teaching and has been working in the education industry for over 11 years. His experience makes him adept at breaking down complex topics so that everyone is able to understand.