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Microsoft Edge has hidden feature to force dark mode on sites — here's how to use it

Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Edge has an experimental feature that lets you force websites into dark mode.
  • The feature was also in Google Chrome until recently.
  • The feature has multiple settings that handle elements such as images differently.

Microsoft Edge has all sorts of experimental features hidden within the edge://flags settings page. One interesting setting that was recently highlighted by MobiGyaan is the ability to force websites into dark mode. This experimental feature was also in Google Chrome until recently, but Microsoft Edge users can still enable it.

You can find the setting by entering edge://flags/#enable-force-dark into the address bar of Microsoft Edge. The feature has several options, including enabled, disabled, and enabled with selective image inversion. Each of these settings addresses switching websites to dark mode a bit differently, leaving different elements of pages untouched. You'll probably want to play around with the settings to see which one works best for you.

This feature appears in the "Try it" section of the build notes for Microsoft Edge Beta Build 83.0.478.64. That build rolled out to the Stable Channel of Microsoft Edge on July 13, according to a Microsoft doc (opens in new tab) breaking down Edge Stable releases. There's actually been another build released to the stable channel since then. Version 84.0.522.40 rolled out yesterday to the Stable channel.

The feature seems to work well, switching white backgrounds of web pages and text into dark mode colors. You can also get this functionality with the extension Night Eye. In addition to flipping colors around, that extension can do custom color mapping, play nicely with websites that have dark modes, and is generally much more powerful than Edge's experimental feature.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

10 Comments
  • Another great article. 👍 I've been using the experimental Force Dark Mode for Web Contents flag for months (typically at night). I love the rich extra-dark shades and the fact that it also forces dark mode on other extension pages, e.g. OneTab, and password manager popup windows. This is something other dark mode extensions I've tried cannot do (probably lacking permissions since they're not native to Edge). There are still cases where contrast is insufficient on some controls or page elements, thus making them virtually invisible. I've been reporting this issue for months, so apparently not a priority for the Edge team. I'm also looking forward to automatically following the system mode instead of manually setting enable, disable or default (which currently behaves like disable as far as I can tell). I've tried other extensions like Dark Reader which is very customizable. However, it's many options may be overwhelming for non-power users and it can't force dark mode on other extensions. Looking forward to trying Night Eye.
  • Biggest issue with this setting is, you cannot quickly revert a website back to its normal colors. You will have to turn off this flag and then restart the browser. I made a one click color inversion bookmark using javascript that does not require the restart.
  • Yes, this is the biggest downside to me. I like dark mode, but I do software QA, so when I need to take screenshots for documentation, I need to be in the normal mode.
  • This is cool, but when is MS going to give us splash screens for To-Do and Your Phone and Skype that also aren't retina-searing and obey systemwide theme settings?
  • Plz add to mobile
  • This is awesome.
  • I have this setting on for more than a year in chrome android.
    Edge android can't have it because microsoft prevents access to flag page
  • This is why I often end up using Samsung Internet browser on my mobile devices. It also has dark mode capability (like Chrome). Hopefully Microsoft Edge for Android will catch up someday.
  • Thanks for the article. "The feature has several options...." It would be helpful if you or someone could de-code what each means. There are seven choices! I'll go with "enable" and see what happens.
  • I think it is unnecessarly cryptic to link a personalization feature to a webadress. In 2020, I would have put it as a toggle in Edge settings (and mark it as beta) . For a per website refined control consider a toggle on the tab.