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How to Enable Dark Mode in OS X Yosemite

Posted by Jim Tanous on July 12, 2014
OS X Yosemite Dark Mode

Apple is introducing a “dark mode” in OS X Yosemite that gives users a new way to customize their desktop look and feel. The company first teased the feature during its WWDC keynote in early June, but the official implementation of Yosemite’s dark mode was absent from the first two developer betas (at least, without a Terminal hack).
With the release of the third Yosemite developer beta this week, however, Apple has now officially enabled dark mode via a System Preferences setting. Here’s how developers can enable dark mode now, and where everyone else will be able to find the feature when Yosemite ships this fall.

Note: this article has been updated to reflect the new checkbox introduced in the fourth Yosemite beta.

OS X Yosemite Enable Dark Mode
 
Head to System Preferences > General. There, you’ll see a new checkbox called “Use dark menu bar and Dock.” When unchecked, the OS X theme will remain the default white that we’ve all come to know and love.
OS X Yosemite Light Mode
Check the box, however, and you’ll see a new side of OS X, where the Menu Bar and Dock background change to a darker color, and black Menu Bar text inverts to white.
OS X Yosemite Dark Mode
As a beta, the feature is not quite fully baked. While it’s certainly usable in most cases, it looks like third party developers will have to update their apps to support it. As it stands, any third party apps that utilize Menu Bar icons don’t switch over to white, and become difficult to read on the black Menu Bar background. First party Apple icons look great, however, and offer a nice preview of what’s to come.
But OS X Yosemite’s dark mode won’t be right for everyone. If you find yourself missing the traditional look and feel of your favorite operating system, you can easily switch back to the default view by jumping back to System Preferences and unchecking the referenced box.

6 thoughts on “How to Enable Dark Mode in OS X Yosemite”

Samplethief says:
But if I change the colour of my bar and dock, how are the people in Starbucks going to know im using a mac? – Said every mac owner ever.
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Aliyan Gohar says:
Thanks for the info
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Erich R. Griebling says:
I don’t get the dark in the dialog box.
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Nirbhay Agarwal says:
A neat little menubar switch to toggle Dark Mode: https://github.com/nirbhayg/Flick/releases
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Nirbhay Agarwal says:
I am not a registered Apple developer yet so you need to change the ‘Apps from anywhere’ setting in System Preferences… and just trust me.
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Alex A says:
Somehow I though it was a whole UI dark mode, not just the menubar. Which honestly, is kind of useless without the rest of the UI also being white on black, instead of black on white. I would rather not need hack the whole UI just to get a user experience more well suited to sensitive eyes and a low light environment. And inverted colors just looks stupid! On every single picture or graphic. Is it really so hard to just have a dark UI element set from Apple.
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Fanny_Windstorm says:
bfd
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Barrett Jasper says:
Big F-ing Troll ^^. Why are you here and posting if you don’t care?
Reply
Fanny_Windstorm says:
to piss you off
Barrett Jasper says:
Except I’m not oussed whatsoever. Its your time you’re wasting.

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