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Windows 10 has a “dark” secret

Windows was always known as a light and bright operating system, with the famous white / grey colour scale and the unforgettable Bliss wallpaper.

Truth be told, you could always customise the look and feel of your OS by switching between certain pre-set themes or create your own, it was always the default theme which gave the OS its image.

However, with the new version of the OS fast approaching, the guys and girls over at GHacks (opens in new tab)explored whether or not it will include a darker theme.

In the recent builds, as GHack writes, options to control window colours and other colour-related settings have moved or seem to be not available at all anymore.

In the latest build, when you open the Personalisation control panel, all you get on the screen are themes that you can enable but no options to change window colours or links to related preferences.

However, digging around a bit deeper can unveil a “dark” Windows secret.

If you open the Windows Store and hit CTRL-T, the app will switch from light to a dark theme. In order to go back, press the same combination again.

What’s interesting here is that this option works only for the Store.

There’s another way you can get a dark Windows theme, but again, it only works on certain apps. Getting to that theme requires a bit of Registry editing:

  • Tap on the Windows-key, type regedit and hit enter.
  • Confirm the UAC prompt that is displayed to you.
  • Use the left folder structure to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Themes\Personalise
  • Right-click on Personalise and select New > Dword (32-bit value) from the context menu.
  • Name it SystemUsesLightTheme and make sure it is set to 0.
  • Restart the PC or log off and on again to apply the change.

The theme only works on certain apps and it looks and feels unfinished, which is why the question on whether or not it will be included in the final version remains open.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.