Does Instagram Have a Dark Mode?
Since its inception in 2010, Instagram has come a long way from its humble beginnings to become one of the most popular apps out there. In fact, more than 300 million people use the image- and video-sharing platform, and while it has stopped growing like a mushroom after the summer rains, the platform continues to gain clout and influence. A lot of that usage happens late at night, of course – few things are cozier than snuggling down under a warm blanket and scrolling through a few hundred photos and bite-sized videos. Unfortunately, staring at that bright white screen is bad for your sleep pattern and hard on your eyes. For that reason, many people ask us whether Instagram has a “dark mode” to allow you to use a darker color palette with light text on a black background.
Unfortunately, the answer to that is no; Instagram only has the one color scheme and that doesn’t seem likely to change. Fortunately, you aren’t helpless – there are ways to reduce eyestrain and preserve your ability to go to sleep by changing the Instagram color scheme via a third-party app or a browser extension. In this article I will show you how to set up dark mode on Instagram on your Android or iOS device, or in the browser.
Getting Dark Mode on iPhone and iPad
If you own an iPhone, you can use the built-in “Smart Invert” feature to change the background colors of all apps to a night-friendly dark mode. The feature is easy to set up, and while it might take a little bit of time to get used to, you can use it when you’re in a room with little light or during the night without frying your eyeballs. Here is how you can set it up:
- Open Settings.
- Navigate to “General,” then “Accessibility,” and select “Display Accommodations.”
- Tap “Invert Colors,” and choose between the “Smart Invert” and “Classic Invert” options. Select one, and the colors on your screen will invert. (The white background will become black, and black letters will appear as white. Other colors and highlights will keep their original colors.)
- Set up an “Accessibility Shortcut” so you can turn the feature on by tapping the Home button three times.
The “Smart Invert” feature of your iPhone works well as dark mode, but it doesn’t invert all of the colors on your screen. Since the iPhone doesn’t come with a built-in dark mode, you can get a third-party app called IGDarkMode. Beware that the app works only on jailbroken phones, so you shouldn’t do this if your phone is still under warranty as it will become null and void (and accordingly to Murphy’s Law, you will immediately drop and smash your phone).
Here is how you can install and use IGDarkMode for Instagram:
- Open Cydia (the app used to jailbreak your phone), and tap on the magnifying glass icon in the bottom-right corner.
- Open the search bar and type “igdarkmode.” Tap on the first result to access the options.
- Tap “Modify” and hit the “Install” button.
- When the app is installed, hit “Confirm.” Wait for the process to finish and tap “Restart SpringBoard” to restart your iPhone. IGDarkMode is now installed and ready to run.
Enabling IGDarkMode on Instagram
You will have to enable IGDarkMode on Instagram manually, but that sounds harder than it actually is. Here is what you have to do:
- Open the “Settings” app on your phone and tap “IGDarkMode.”
- Tap where it says “Enabled” to turn dark mode on. Go back to the Home screen and open Instagram.
- Your Instagram background will now be dark and easier on your eyes.
Instagram Dark Mode for Android devices
Some Android smartphones come with a built-in dark mode, but you might need to download a third-party app for most of them. With that said, even if you install a dark mode app, it may not work on your Instagram account. Starting with Android 10, dark mode has started impacting a variety of apps– though not all of them. If you have 10 or above, consider trying the built-in dark mode first.
Android Dark Mode
Setting your Android 10 phone to dark mode will make many of the screens appear black with white text. Please note that this will change a variety of apps to dark mode. Your texts, contacts, and photo album backgrounds, for example, will be black with white text. Some apps, like Facebook and Amazon, will continue to look the same, but Instagram is one app that will switch to dark mode.
The process is pretty simple, and you’ll have the ability to switch back and forth between white screen and dark mode as much as you need to.
- Access Settings
- Tap on Display
- You’ll see a toggle next to “Dark Theme” in the display menu
- Toggle this on, and your display will instantly go to dark mode
- Log into Instagram to make sure this change has taken place
If you have an older version of Android, or this method doesn’t work for you, the only real way you can get dark mode on Instagram is by downloading an app called GBInsta.
GBInsta is really an improved version of the official Instagram app. It allows you to make all kinds of changes and tweak your Instagram experience to your preferences. The app also makes downloading and uploading images much easier than with the official Instagram app. Here is how you can change the theme of your Instagram account using GBInsta:
- Download GBInsta.
- Run the app and log in with your existing Instagram ID and password.
- Go to your profile page and click on the settings icon in the top-right corner.
- Tap “Download Themes,” and press “Allow.”
- Select the black theme and tap “OK” to restart the app.
- Your Instagram will now turn black, but only when you run it through the GBInsta app.
You can also download any of the “Dark Mode” apps available on Google Play Store, but most of them won’t be able to change your Instagram theme because it’s a separate app.
Use Night Eye Browser Extension for Desktop
But wait! What if you don’t always Instagram on a mobile device? Shocking but true – Instagram has a desktop version accessible through a web browser. (If this is brand-new information, we’ll wait for you to log on to see if your photos still look amazing on your laptop.) What if you want to darken that? Fortunately, there is a way, with the Night Eye browser extension. Not only will Night Eye provide a beautiful dark mode for Instagram, you can also use it for other web sites to make your late-night browsing easy on the old peepers.
The Night Eye extension is multi-platform and will work on any device running a supported browser. The supported browser list is truly impressive, including Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, and several others. For the most part, as long as you didn’t write your own browser, the extension will work on your machine. The extension lets you set websites to run in one of three modes – Dark, Filtered, and Normal. Under Dark mode, all colors, small images and icons are converted to a dark palette. In Filtered mode, websites’ colors will not be changed, but you can still adjust brightness, contrast, warmth and more. Normal mode is going to be more or less what you’re probably looking at right now.
Night Eye has multiple layers of service, ranging from free to inexpensive. The free version of the extension is yours to use forever, the only limitation being that you can only use it on five specific websites. You can also buy an annual subscription for $9, which removes the 5-site limitation. Alternatively you can drop $40 as a one-time payment to get unlimited use of Night Eye in perpetuity.
Installing the Night Eye browser extension is trivially simple. Just select the appropriate browser from the “Install” menu on the Night Eye site, and then tap the button to add the extension.
Instagram Dark Mode Can Save Your Eyes
It doesn’t matter if you’re using Instagram or any other app; if the background is white, your eyes will feel the strain after some time. Things become even harder on your eyes if you are staring at the screen in a dark room, so it’s always best that you install or set dark mode on in those cases.
Remember, too much screen time has many negative implications for your eyesight and overall health. It’s been proven that people who spend over four hours looking at their phones experience fatigue and headaches, not to mention watery eyes and other issues. Set up dark mode on your phone and you can at least make sure that the damage is minimal.
If you’re reducing the amount of blue and white light in your sleeping area, one important element is your reading lights. We found a terrific amber-light reading lamp for your bedside that will let you read without harsh white light.
For more dark mode information, check out the resources we have for you:
Here’s our guide to dark mode on Chrome.
We’ve got a walk-through on troubleshooting dark mode in Windows 10.
Ever been curious about whether YouTube has a dark mode?
Checking your email at 3 am? Better see whether Outlook has a dark mode!
For the Mac lovers out there, we’ve got a tutorial on turning on Dark Mode in Safari.