Skip to main content

Windows 10 update could deliver the dark mode we've all been waiting for

(Image credit: Anton Watman /

An upcoming Windows 10 (opens in new tab) update is set to deliver an upgrade to the platform’s existing dark mode that will offer up a more complete and consistent interface.

Available to members of the Insider program, Windows 10 test build 20211 features an expanded dark mode that alters the appearance of the Windows Search panel, which now corresponds with the black taskbar and Start menu. 

The dark theme now applies to all menus within the panel (as opposed to just the opening frame), web queries triggered via Search and also any open/uninstall pop-ups.

Developers with access to the preview build can activate the new dark mode via the usual route: Settings > Personalisation > Colors > Choose your color.

Windows 10 dark mode

The option to invert color schemes has become highly fashionable of late, with major services including Google Chrome, Facebook, WhatsApp and Gmail all launching their own forms of dark mode. 

Windows 10 has featured a dark theme for a while now, but the current mode does not apply to all aspects of the operating system. For example, while dark theme is available for File Explorer and Settings menus, it is missing from the Properties pop-up and others like it.

Microsoft is reportedly currently unable to offer support for all dialog boxes and menus as a result of the need to adhere to “legacy UI frameworks” - but the company appears to be chipping away at the issue.

Since the dark mode upgrade is currently in testing, there is no guarantee the feature will make its way into a future stable build. However, enthusiasts can rest easy in the knowledge that Microsoft is committed to expanding the alternative Windows 10 theme.

The dark mode changes are also part of a wider initiative to refresh the Windows 10 user interface. Future updates are also expected to give the Windows 10 Start Menu a face lift, tweak the appearance of the Windows Terminal tool and alter the way users copy and paste.

  • Protect your Windows 10 PC with the best antivirus (opens in new tab) services

Via Windows Latest (opens in new tab)

Joel Khalili
Joel Khalili

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, and has been a Staff Writer working across both TechRadar Pro and ITProPortal.