How to Switch to Google Sheets Dark Mode

Google Sheets offers tons of useful native features. Unfortunately, switching to dark mode on the desktop version isn’t one of those features yet. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

Our guide outlines the various ways to change to Google Sheets dark mode on mobile, desktop, and more!

Quick Answer: How to Turn on Google Sheets’ Dark Mode

To switch Google Sheets to dark mode:

  1. Open the app on your device.
  2. Tap on the Menu (or the three lines on the top left if using a phone).
  3. Choose Settings.
  4. Select “Choose theme” and “Dark.”

Google Sheets Dark Mode on Desktop

At the time of writing, there wasn’t a native dark mode for the Google Sheets desktop app. However, there’s a workaround through Chrome extensions (like Dark Mode – Night Eye). Though these solutions aren’t perfect, they’re a great way to enable dark themes.

Note: These instructions only work for Google Chrome (and other Chromium-based browsers).

  1. Click on the link above or search for a similar add-on in the Chrome Web Store.
Download Night Eye Dark Mode for Chrome

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.

Use Opera Mini for Dark Mode

Some browsers (like Opera Mini) are designed to integrate dark mode themes directly onto websites.

  1. Open the browser and click the O icon to open the browser menu.
click Opera icon to open the browser menu.
  1. Go to settings.
opera mini settings
  1. In Appearance, change the theme to dark
opera Mini change the theme to dark
  1. Enable “Force dark theme on pages.”
Enable Force dark theme on pages

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.

Your google sheet will be in dark mode except for the cells in the sheet like below:

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.

Dark Mode for Android

Since Android has plenty of system fragmentation, every phone varies. However, most Android smartphones will follow similar instructions:

  1. Go to Settings > Display options. There, you should see a toggle for Dark theme or Dark mode.
  2. Once you turn it on, the theme should switch on your device.

Dark Mode for iPhones

  1. Open Settings > Display & Brightness.
  2. 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.

Change the settings google sheets mobile

2. Navigate to Theme > Choose your theme.

Change the theme in google sheets mobile

3. Click on “Dark” to change your theme. The colors should shift once you click on it.

Select Dark light system default theme google sheets mobile

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? 

There are several advantages of using dark mode, including:

1. 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).

2. Helps With Glare

In darker environments, using light mode can create uncomfortable glare. Using dark mode can dramatically reduce said the contrast in a darker room.

3. May Improve 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

Is There a Dark Mode for Google Sheets?

Google Sheets doesn’t have a native dark mode for desktop. However, Google Sheets for mobile comes with a native dark mode that can be accessed through the settings. For a dark Google Sheets background on your Chrome browser, we recommend using 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’ll need to download an extension to obtain night mode.

Is Dark Mode Better for Your Eyes?

While dark mode has been touted to decrease eye strain and reduce the risk of eye issues, there isn’t a great deal of scientific data to prove this.

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

We hope our guide on using Google Sheets’ dark mode has helped you enable it on your device. If you have any questions or comments, sound off below in the comments!

If you’re looking to learn more about Google Sheets, check out our expert Sheets guides. You may also benefit from taking structured, affiliated courses from providers like Coursera!

Related reading:
How to Copy Conditional Formatting in Google Sheets
How to Use an IF THEN Formula in Google Sheets
How to Format Cells in Google Sheets

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Chris Daniel

Chris Daniel

Chris is a spreadsheet expert and content writer. 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.
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