To switch to Google Sheets Dark mode, go to the settings menu and choose the dark theme. Below, I’ll cover how to make this change on desktop, mobile, and tablet. Read on for my quick guide, including a video on how to enable Google Spreadsheets dark mode.
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Enable Google Sheets Dark Mode: Quickest Method
If you’re working on a mobile device, it’s super easy to turn on Google Sheets to dark mode. Just open the iPhone or Android app and follow these instructions:
- Tap on the Menu (or the three lines on the top left if using a phone).
- Choose Settings.
- Select “Choose theme” and “Dark.”
How to Enable Google Sheets Dark Mode on Desktop
At the time of writing, there wasn’t a native dark mode for the Google Sheets desktop app. Thankfully, there’s a workaround. Just choose the Night Eye extension for Chrome, or choose from other popular browser extensions that produce the same result. Note that these aren’t perfect, but they enable dark mode on webpages and spreadsheets.
You also have a way to enable dark mode on Mozilla Firefox. There’s an extension called Dark Reader that does the same thing.
Let’s dive a little deeper into this with the Chrome extension.
To enable Dark Mode’s Night Eye extension, follow along with the following steps. Note that you’ll need Google Chrome (and other Chromium-based browsers) to get this to work. That shouldn’t be a surprise. Google makes both the spreadsheet software and the browser. Here’s how to enable the Google Docs dark mode browser extension.
- Click on the link above or search for a similar add-on in the Chrome Web Store.
2. Click on the “Add to Chrome” button. The extension should start installing in your browser.
3. Once the extension is installed, it should activate immediately. If you don’t see any changes, refresh the page to trigger the extension.
Enabling Dark Mode with a Desktop Browser
You don’t always need a browser extension to enable dark mode on a desktop. Some browsers (like Opera Mini) are designed to integrate dark mode themes directly onto websites. Here are the screenshots on how to turn on dark mode in the Opera Mini browser.
- Open the browser and click the O icon to open the browser menu.
- Go to settings.
- In Appearance, change the theme to dark
- Enable “Force dark theme on pages.”
Changing the Worksheet to Dark Mode in Google Sheets
Your Google Sheet will be in dark mode, except for the cells. If you prefer, you can highlight all of the cells and change the color. This is easily done by clicking the box above the one and to the left of the A, which selects all cells. Then, click the paint bucket to change the cell color to black. Finally, change your text color to white. It’s the easiest workaround when dealing with white cells in a spreadsheet.
Here’s how a spreadsheet might look with a dark blue background for the cells, white boarders, and white text. Just remember, you’ll need to change the color of your fonts if you choose a darker background. Otherwise, it may look like your data disappeared.
Related reading: Using Alternate Row Color in Google Sheets
Google Sheets Dark Mode on Mobile
There are two methods to enable dark mode on Google Sheets for mobile devices:
- using a system-wide dark mode
- enabling the dark theme inside the Google Sheets application
1. 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. You can enable this in your mobile device settings. Let’s talk about how to do it for Android and iPhone.
Enable Dark Mode on Android Phone
Since Android has plenty of system fragmentation, every phone varies. However, most Android smartphones will follow similar instructions:
- Go to Settings > Display options. There, you should see a toggle for Dark theme or Dark mode.
- Once you turn it on, the theme should switch on your device.
Enable Dark Mode on iPhone
It’s pretty easy to make this change on iOS devices. That means you can follow this same process on an iPhone, iPad, or even an iPod touch.
- Open Settings > Display & Brightness.
- Click the bubble under Dark.
Note: iOS also allows you to select a schedule for dark mode and can automatically switch between light theme to dark theme, depending on the times chosen.
In-App Google Sheets Dark Mode on Mobile
To set up dark mode for Google Sheets on mobile:
1. Click on the three horizontal lines (…) in the top-left corner to open the sidebar. Select settings.
2. Navigate to Theme > Choose your theme.
3. Click on “Dark” to change your theme. The colors should shift once you click on it.
Note: The “light” theme can only be applied to a document if the Sheets app already uses a dark theme (or the system default theme is set to dark).
Why Use Dark Mode?
The most common reason people prefer dark backgrounds to light backgrounds is that they’re working in darkened rooms. The bright glare from a primarily white background can be pretty intense. However, there are several more advantages of using dark mode.
- Less Blue Light: Google Sheets night mode can help reduce the exposure to blue light that’s present in the white light of electronic screens. Exposure has been linked to watery eyes, vision problems, eye strain, and potentially cataracts. Note: Many mobile phones come with a built-in blue light filter (found either in the display or the accessibility options of your device).
- Reduced Glare: In darker environments, using light mode can create uncomfortable glare. Using dark mode can dramatically reduce said the contrast in a darker room.
- Improved Focus: For people with certain eye health issues (like cataracts), a darker screen is easier to focus on for longer periods of time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions I hear from people who want to change the look of their spreadsheets. I’ve done my best to keep these answers concise.
Is There a Dark Mode for Google Sheets?
There’s a Google Sheets dark mode in the mobile app. The desktop version doesn’t have a native dark mode for desktop. The best workaround on desktop is to add a browser extension that enables dark mode on all websites. To change the work area itself to dark mode, you can just select all the cells and choose a darker color.
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’ll need to download an extension to obtain night mode. Night Eye is one popular option.
Is Dark Mode Better for Your Eyes?
Dark mode can reduce the stress on your eyes. It’s also one of the best ways to reduce blue light exposure before bed.
Does Dark Mode Cause Depression?
Dark colors are generally associated with negative emotions (like depression and sadness). However, using bright screens at night might affect sleep cycles that directly affect our brain chemistry.
Getting a Better Experience With Dark Mode
That’s my guide on how to use Google Sheets dark mode. Now, you know how to enable it with a few taps on your mobile device and with a few clicks on desktop. You can watch my video above for a quick reminder, or check out my YouTube channel to see it there. Note that this isn’t the only product with a dark mode. I also covered the Google Docs dark mode. I hope it helps! If you have any questions or comments, sound off below in the comments!