Dark and Light theme now work perfectly on ChromeOS

We’ve seen a lot of dark themes on our Android phones in the last couple of years. Instead of everything being displayed on a white screen with black text (light theme). We’ve been able to change our Android phones for white text to be displayed on a black background (dark theme).

You’ve been able to change your theme settings on your Chromebook for a while now. However, it has only been since the release of ChromeOS 104 that it has worked well enough to consider using it.

It’s really easy to change your Chromebook to use either dark or light mode. This is thanks to the latest ChromeOS 104 update that gives you access to the new customisation hub. Also, you can access this hub quickly because it’s accessible by right-clicking on your Chromebook desktop.

Accessing customisation hub from Chromebook desktop
Access the customisation hub by choosing ‘Set wallpaper & Style’ from your ChromeOS desktop

Why choose the dark theme

You may be wondering why we even have this new option to change our Chromebooks to a dark theme. Although a dark theme is a way of customising your laptop because it changes your menus and desktop shelf to a darker colour. This isn’t the main reason why the dark theme was invented.

Apart from aesthetics; choosing the dark theme setting has two other benefits. Firstly, if you use your laptop during the evening, it’s much easier on your eyes if you don’t have too much light emitting from the display. By changing the background to a darker colour with lighter text, it immediately emits less light.

This puts a lot less strain on your eyes during the evening and should make you sleep better. Staring at a bright display for long periods of time in the evening can disrupt your sleep. Therefore, choosing a dark theme at night may be something you want to consider.

The dark theme setting uses less battery

The reason we saw the dark theme released on our phones before the Chromebook is due to battery life. Although battery life when using our laptops is important. Your phone running out of battery when away from home is arguably more of an issue, as we use them to stay connected with our friends and family.

The dark theme uses a lot less battery life than a light theme. This is because it’s the colour of your display background that takes up most of your battery life. Our gadgets use a lot more power when using a light theme, as more power is needed when using a white background compared to using a black background with white text.

ChromeOS colour scheme

Until the latest ChromeOS 104 update our Chromebooks were not really using any specific theme. When using a browser we were using what is considered a light theme, which is black text displayed on a white background.

This is essentially the theme we’ve been using on computers as far back as I can remember. It’s the default setting when visiting websites and using social media.

When it came to ChromeOS it was by default using a darker colour setting. The menus and the desktop shelf were a dark brownish colour. So compared to the dark and light theme settings now available. We were in a sort of Hybrid situation where some menus had a dark background whilst others had a lighter background.

Dark and Light theme settings on ChromeOS

The new light theme available on your Chromebook now makes everything look completely different. If you choose the light theme you’ll notice everything is displayed with a light background with dark text. Whether that is when accessing menus or browsing the internet.

The browser displays websites with a white background and ChromeOS menus and the desktop shelf use a light blue background. It also changes the ChromeOS logon screen, as this also displays a different colour background depending on the theme you choose.

Auto theme on ChromeOS will switch to dark theme at night
You can choose Auto theme on ChromeOS

The dark theme displays ChromeOS menus and the shelf with a dark background. This looks very similar to what you would have been familiar with when using your Chromebook over the last couple of years. The only difference is that it also changes the background of some apps and when visiting websites from the browser.

However, this isn’t as good as when using a dark theme on a phone, as the browser still uses a white background with black text the majority of the time. You’d have to look at your browser settings to use a dark theme when visiting most websites.

Choosing the auto option on your Chromebook

Apart from the light and dark theme settings available. You will also notice a third choice, which is to choose the auto setting.

If you can’t decide, which theme you would prefer to use you could use the auto setting. By choosing this setting it will use the light theme during daylight hours and automatically switch to the dark theme when it gets dark outside.

This is a good setting if you use your Chromebook a lot at night. As I’ve previously mentioned one of the main reasons for a dark theme setting is for it to cause less strain on your eyes at night. Using the auto theme or the dark theme completely may just help you sleep better.