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MSN News for Windows 10 gets new dark theme for bedside reading

Looks like the last update for MSN News brought a new feature that slipped by our eyes: night mode.

The feature appears in both the Mobile and PC versions of the app as a little toggle near the bottom of an article (or globally in the app settings). Switching it on simply toggles the article background from white to black and reverses the text color.

MSN News dark theme

So-called night mode settings have been very popular in apps lately, and with how often we stay up using our phones and computers we can understand why. Switching the background to black makes reading easier on your eyes — light text on a dark background is much easier in the darkness than "day" modes, i.e. looking directly into a light bulb.

Unfortunately, there are two caveats we have found:

  1. The theme does not change the white borders of the app, which leaves an odd contrast
  2. Custom article categories do not have the night mode feature, only articles that Microsoft sets as curated for the default sections

So far, we have not seen the dark mode feature roll out to MSN Money and other apps although Outlook did pick it up a few months ago. Likewise, other Windows 10 apps like Groove Music and Movies & TV have also grabbed user-controllable dark theme too.

What other apps would you like to get a night mode?

Thanks, Dennis R., for the tip!

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

65 Comments
  • I love all this app uodates for Windows 10 mobile....and its officially on almost zero devices.... :p
  • Exactly!
  • Get with the program and upgrade, stop crying
  • Im not upgrading to anything unofficial. Thanks for the advice, mom.
  • Saw this last week. Kind of wish it was more of a greyish background. Personally find this dark mode to be rather unpleasant to look at. Though it's definitely easier on the eyes than the regular bright white background. 
  • Agree. Instead of the full dard black, a dark greyish background would be a perfect one and it should also cover the margin along the borders.
  • But true black saves battery for oled screens.
  • The problem is all the ads that are designed for white background. They pop out and look worse on black background. And also the top bars in the app should be set to black or gray.
  • Kinda wish it didn't still have the bright white bars at the top and bottom, and in all screens, not just in articles. Kinda a pointless effort.
  • Welcome addition. It helps the eyes a lot while reading news at night hours, like right now!
  • Oh, needed that. Should have added earlier though, and in every app.
  • I thought you had already reported in this.
  • The app itself should be darker too. The white bar at the top glares.
  • Yeah I definitely agree. Almost defeats the purpose of making the article dark since the bars still blast you with white.
  • Yeah it feels like those making those dark themes don't actually try them out, and just think "oh well that should be good enough to shut them up"(them being us requesting dark themes)...
  • Windows 10 Mobile in a nutshell...
  • It seems like it. They just implement things just for the saks of it and maybe to shut up people. What people want is a complete and polished implementation, not half-baked ones.
  • Yeah, I dont know why Microsoft can even make it comoletely implemented. There has to be a catch always.
    That white titlebar and light gray command bay is still distracting. This is similar issue to Movies and TV app.
  • Yep. The main page is blinding. Then the article is dark. But then the bottom bar is bright white. If they are going to do a dark mode, at least make it consistent.
  • It did not slip by my eyes. It was clearly visible down there. But...... it was reported elsewhere, anyways :)
  • Also, MSN Sports received pinnable sports and teams a few days back.  Finally! And MSN Weather had a few graphical tweaks.
  • That's great thanks for the info!!!
  • Νο problem
  • They need to have live scoreboard. Not a final two hours after the game. By then you have already heard through the grapevine.
  • But the service they use reports incorrect weather. Yesterday we had flurries for almost an hour with cloudy skies, but the app showed sunny all day in the hour by hour view.
  • You wrote "our phons"
  • "phones".
  • How about a simple Night Time Mode like UC Browser? Extremely helpful. I wish WM10 had that feature inherant....
  • Wife definitely appreciates this when trying to sleep while I'm catching up on the news.
  • When on Cortana???
  • Huh?
  • Dark theme!
  • She'll update from the backend servers, so nobody knows, or will know.
  • Finally now do the same for Cortana, I hate white backgrounds
  • I have Dark Cortana on PC and Mobile, no tweaks.
  • Cortana bg is white in W10M? Wasn't it originally black in WP8.1? Why would they want to change from black to white background?
  • Don't ask me, it looks stupid with black borders. Ether give us two options white and black.
  • Because Microsoft
  • Just wish that live tiles for news and sport would get sorted. Last half a day then stop changing. Usually with some ugly criminal sort looking at me.......
  • Wish when you enabled night mode all the apps had a dark theme background.  A nice OS switch would be nice as well and I don't think it has been tested yet but it defintiely seems to make viewing a lot easier on the eyes and less strain on the brain using the dark theme as opposed to the bright white screen.  
  • Totally agree with you... An OS feature like that is indeed a needed one.
  • Wear sunglass
  • Saw this on mobile news app the other day and thought it was new... quite like it. Id like to see it on the Sports and Money apps also...
  • A rather half-hearted implementation. Looks quite odd actually. I'll stick with white until they get it sorted.
  • As usual, another half-hearted implementation indeed. I really don't know why when they implement stuff, it has to be incomplete, half-baked, and unpolished.
  • I appreciate the intent, but useless until the boarders at the top and bottom are also dark. My opinion only, let's hope they add this next.
  • This picture is politically incorrect
    LOL
  • Xaxaxa
  • Dan needs to give a warning when he's going to post a picture of Cankles - it's like staring right at Medusa.
  • Mail, calendar, calculator, recorder, sports,newsreader, money,edge, settings, groove,windows store, film&movies, explorer. ​
  • Windows needs F.Lux built-in. Especially on mobile.
  • First of all it specifically says "For Article" in the settings of the new app win 10 desktop. So the bar being not in contrast isnt much of a deal. But yes, if I could have the article maximized in the window. Like how it would be if I would switch from desktop to tablet mode on the surface. Then it'd take the whole screen without the lighter contrast border bothering the reader.
  • Still waiting - rather forgotten and almost given up - on the Windows 10 MOBILE update for my 920. To have a say in things in the cell phone regard. Its such a big company, cmon, it shouldn't take this much time.
  • Windows 10 Mobile is running on my 920 via the TP..  Works great too.
  • This news app has really stepped up. Like it bunches. I wish I could taylor my news sources though. That would make it really shine.
  • Awesome, I hope all MSN apps gets dark theme.... Also, facebook would look wonderful, MS should experiment!!!
  • How did the EiC miss the post about this last week or so?  lol :P
  • So its just partially black, that's even more annoying having top and bottom lightbulbs hitting you
  • Microsoft designers are so confused. Why is the top bar and charm bar still white?
  • Not sure what news app I use, I think it might be the unbranded one from Microsoft, but I remember on multiuple ocasions thinking that a nighttime reading mode would be perfect and would have kept me using the app for a longer period.
  • Sweet! I got this before anyone else!
  • I love dark theme. I use it for every app that it is available.
  • No dark app bar with hamburger menu, just doesn't feel right
  • I prefer night mode in all apps. I've even installed special extension for chrome
  • I still want to be able to choose my news sources. Used to be able to do that but that's gone now.