How to use Dark Mode in Google Sheets

- Written by Puneet

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Like Microsoft Excel, you can also use Dark mode in Google Sheets. Dark Mode decreases the brightness, making viewing and working on a spreadsheet more comfortable for long periods.

Even today, people who use Power BI create dark mode dashboards to reduce glare and reflections, allowing the user to focus more.

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Using Dark Mode can enhance your overall experience with Google Sheets. In this tutorial, we will learn ways to apply the dark mode style in Google Sheets.

So, let’s get started…

Extension to Apply Dark Mode in Google Sheets

If you use Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or any other Browers, you can install an extension to change the light theme in the Google Sheets into a Dark theme.

  1. Go to the Chrome Web Store – If you are using Google Chrome or any other Browser, you need to go to the Extensions, where you can install a new extension. In Google Chrome, click on the three dots on the top right side of Windows and then go to “Extensions”.
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  2. Search for the Extension – In the search bar at the top left corner of the Chrome Web Store, type the extension name you want to install. For Dark Mode, you can use popular extensions like “Dark Reader,” “Night Eye,” or “Dark Mode”.
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  3. Select the Extension – Select the extension you want to install from the search results. Click on the extension’s name or icon to go to its detailed page. For example, if you choose “Dark Mode – Night Eye”.
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  4. Add the Extension: On the extension page, you will see a blue button that says “Add to Chrome”, click this button.
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  5. A pop-up message will appear, asking for confirmation to add the extension. It will also list the permissions the extension requires. Review the permissions; if you agree, click “Add Extension”.
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Once you install it, you need to refresh your Google Sheets workbook and then apply the dark Mode to it once it gets a refresh.

As you can see, there are a lot of extensions that you can use to activate the Dark Mode in Google Sheets. Below are some of the most popular extensions to change to Dark Mode.

  • Dark Mode (Night Eye) – Available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge (My Personal Favorite)
  • Dark Reader – Available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge
  • Night Eye – Available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Opera
  • Midnight Lizard – Available for Chrome and Firefox
  • Turn Off the Lights – Available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, and other browsers.

You can install any of these, but test at least a few to know which works best on your browser.

Note – You can hide gridlines from the View > Show > Gridlines once you apply the Dark Mode.

Apply Dark Mode Only to the Menu and Options with Chrome Flags

Follow the steps below to enable Dark Mode using the chrome://flags method in Google Chrome.

  1. Access Chrome Flags – In the browser’s address bar, type chrome://flags and press Enter. It will take you to the Chrome experimental features page.
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  2. Access Auto Dark Mode for Web Contents – Once you open the Chrome Flags, you need to look for the “Auto Dark Mode for Web Contents” drop-down. You can search for that in the search bar at the top of the page.
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  3. Enable the Dark Mode Flag – Next to the “Force Dark Mode for Web Contents” flag, you will see a drop-down menu set to “Default.” Click on this menu and select “Enabled.”
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  4. Relaunch Chrome – After enabling the flag, you will see a blue button at the bottom of the page that says “Relaunch.” Click this button to relaunch Chrome and apply the changes.
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Once Chrome restarts, open Google Sheets in a new tab or refresh your existing Google Sheets tab. The Dark Mode should be applied to all web content, including Google Sheets. When you activate Dark Mode, this way, it only applies to all the menus and option buttons but not to the worksheet part (Cells).

Note: I suggest you use an extension instead of the flags method, as it has more options.

Important Points

Once you decide to switch to Dark Mode, there are a few points that you need to consider. As you know, Google Sheets is a spreadsheet application; when you convert it to Dark Mode, a few things in the worksheet get impacted.

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  1. Cell Colors: Cell colors might appear differently in Dark Mode. For example, light colors may become more muted or less vibrant against the dark interface. It’s a good idea to test your color choices in light and dark modes to ensure they remain readable.
  2. Conditional Formatting – Dark Mode can also impact conditional formatting rules that rely on color changes. Colors that look distinct in light Mode might not contrast in dark Mode.
  3. Charts and Graphs – Charts might also look different in Dark Mode. The charts’ background and surrounding interface will change, which can change the color’s perceived brightness and contrast.
  4. Printing and Exporting – When you print or export Google Sheets as a PDF edited in Dark Mode, the printed or exported version will not retain the dark interface.

Make sure to check your entire worksheet before you switch.

Dark Mode in Mobile App (iOS & Android)

Dark Mode in the Google Sheets mobile app for iOS and Android can be achieved once you change the dark theme in the Mobile Settings. You can check your Mobile Settings to activate the Dark Mode device-wide.

  • iOS – Settings > Display & Brightness > Enable Dark Mode.
  • Android – Settings > Display > Dark Theme.

However, you can also change the dark theme settings in the Google Sheets application.

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  1. Open the Google Sheets app.
  2. Tap the menu icon (three horizontal lines) in the top-left corner.
  3. Turn OFF the “View in light theme”.

I suggest using an extension instead of the flags method, as it has more options.