Outlook.com snags dark mode as new design exits beta

Not long after teasing its impending arrival earlier in July, Microsoft is now rolling out a dark mode to all Outlook.com users. Built off of the Halloween theme that Microsoft introduced last year, the new dark mode operates exactly as you'd expect, transforming Outlook.com's typically bright experience into a darker one with deep greys and blacks accented with blue and white text.

From Microsoft (via The Verge):

One of the most crucial principles we had when designing Dark Mode was to minimize the amount of eye strain that people felt. Many email clients on the web today advertise a dark mode, but we learned from interviews with others and our own usage that having the reading pane be on-light while the rest of the interface was left on-dark often made the experience worse than if the full screen were left on-light.

Dark mode can be toggled on through the quick settings pane with the flip of a switch. For now, the function only works with the default blue theme. However, Microsoft appears to have plans to make the dark experience compatible with more themes in the future.

Finally, in addition to the dark mode, Outlook's new design is now leaving beta. "Dark Mode is available on the new Outlook.com experience (formerly known as the Outlook.com Beta experience) only," Microsoft says. As of this writing, we're still seeing a beta toggle on Outlook.com, but that will presumably be removed soon.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • it would be nice if outlook app would be updated as well. Same applies to MS Word, Excel etc...
  • Well, actually they already have it (Office 2016). Check the settings!!
  • dark mode was already in Office 365 programs since 2012. There are three options: default colour, dark black, or grey modes
  • The detail view of partners had been left out. I wonder what goes on behind such a move. (...or rather lack of move) Also switching between Calendar, Mail and Partners views always opens a new tab. Cannot open the already existing tab of the application. A feature from 1992 that is missing here.
  • It looks terribly busy and distracting to me, particularly as the scroll bars are not themed (remaining light in color) and other colors in the UI (such as the intense blue theme color and the colored contact circles) are not toned down to match the dark mode. Seriously, the screen shot they published (which shows none of that and is also devoid of browser chrome) is the cleanest presentation possible, but that state will be very rare for most. But I'm glad someone might like it.
  • Looks nice. At least they've finally cottoned on to dark modes being better with subtle greys rather than just making everything black, which they've sometimes done in the past. Pity about only having a rather bright blue as the one theme option available. Hopefully the other themes, especially accent colors, are coming soon.
  • Aren't they able to do a PWA with this? Looks better then the mail app
  • Love it. I much prefer the look with dark greys - even when you open an email. And I agree that it might look better than the Mail app.