How To Enable Google Sheets Dark Mode


Google Sheets dark mode can help reduce eye strain, especially when viewing large amounts of numbers on a spreadsheet. To turn on Google Sheets dark mode, a quick solution is to launch the Sheets mobile app and tap “☰ Menu” > “Settings” > “Choose theme” > “Dark.”

If you want to use dark mode on the web version of Google Sheets, you would need to use either third-party extensions or browser-included experimental features. Follow this guide as I walk you through how to turn on Google Sheets dark mode on computers.

How To Turn on Third-Party Extensions for Google Sheets Dark Mode

You can consider using dark mode extensions, the most hassle-free way to turn on Google Sheets dark mode on a computer browser. Just install one, perform a few clicks, and dark mode will be enabled.

There are many dark mode extensions available on the web, so be sure to pick a reputable one. You can try using Dark Reader, which is what I used in this demonstration. However, you can also explore other productivity add-ons to pair with the Google Sheets dark theme, too!

  1. Open your browser and go to the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Click the search box and type “dark mode for Google Sheets” (or any similar query).
Google Sheets dark mode—Searching for a dark mode extension in Chrome Web Store
  1. Select your preferred dark mode extension from the search results.
  2. Click “Add to Chrome” (or any similar button if you’re using other Chromium-based browsers).
Installing an add-on in Chrome
  1. The extension should directly turn Google Sheets to dark mode once installed.
  2. To control the dark mode feature, find the extensions list at the top right and select your Google Sheets night mode add-on.
Selecting an add-on from Chrome extensions list

Make Google Sheets Dark Mode with Chrome Flags

Google Chrome has many experimental features known as “Chrome flags,” including a forced dark mode feature. Here’s how to change Google Sheets to dark mode using Chrome flags:

  1. Launch Google Chrome and run “chrome://flags/” on the address bar.
  2. This will open the “Experiments” tab, which contains all experimental features not directly enabled on a stable Chrome version.
  3. Click the search box at the top and type “dark mode.”
Searching for experimental dark mode feature in Chrome
  1. Find the “Auto Dark Mode for Web Contents” option from the search results.
  2. Click the drop-down menu and select “Enabled.”
Enabling forced dark mode in Chrome
  1. Click the “Relaunch” button at the bottom of your screen to restart Chrome and apply your changes.
Click the Relaunch button to save experimental features on Chrome

This Chrome flag will only allow you to enable dark mode on the general interface of Google Sheets. The cells might remain in light mode.

Google Sheets interface with the controls displayed in dark theme

Note: Flags are not implemented directly in Google Chrome for a reason — the risk of data loss and security issues. Based on firsthand experience, though, the feature is relatively harmless. Proceed at your own risk.

Force Dark Mode for Google Sheets on Opera

Opera is known for its ability to forcibly display web pages in dark mode. If you don’t like this browser, you can always try to find another one with similar capabilities. Here’s how you can enable the feature to force dark mode on Opera:

  1. Launch Opera on your computer and go to “opera://settings/.”
  2. Choose “Basic” from the left pane in the “Settings” tab.
Basic settings in Opera browser
  1. Find the “Appearance” section.
Appearance settings in Opera browser
  1. Open the drop-down menu for “Theme” and select “Dark” from the listed options.
Switch Opera browser theme to dark mode
  1. Turn on “Force dark theme on pages.”
Force dark theme on pages on Opera browser

As of this writing, Opera cannot forcibly make the cells dark using a Google spreadsheet. However, it applies to the menus and other interfaces. The forced dark mode also works on web content on other sites besides Google Sheets.

The same methods we discussed apply even when accessing the Google Sheets dark mode on a Mac. Just install Chrome for Mac (or any Chromium-based browser) to use the dark mode extensions or experimental features. Getting Opera for Mac would also be great in this regard.

Enable Dark Mode on the Google Sheets App

Unlike the web version, the mobile app has a Google Sheets dark mode feature. As such, enabling dark mode is much easier. You don’t have to access third-party extensions and browsers to view sheets in dark mode.

Here’s how you change the theme setting to dark:

  1. Open the Google Sheets mobile app on your phone or tablet.
  2. Tap the icon at the top left corner of your screen (with three horizontal lines) to open the navigation drawer.
Opening the navigation drawer in Google Sheets
  1. Choose “Settings” from the displayed options.
Opening Google Sheets app settings
  1. In Settings, tap “Choose theme.”
Choosing a theme in Google Sheets
  1. Pick “Dark” from the dialog box.
Switching to dark theme in Sheets mobile app

Note: The Google Sheets app interface may differ depending on the model and brand of the mobile devices used.

Meanwhile, if you have enabled dark mode for the entire display of your mobile device, you can enable the dark mode in Google Sheets with the system’s default theme.

The settings to turn on dark mode on mobile would vary based on the operating system. But here’s an example of how you can turn on dark mode for iOS devices:

  1. Go to Settings and choose “Display & Brightness.
  2. Choose “Dark” from the theme options displayed.

How To View an Individual Google Spreadsheet in Light Theme

Google Sheets dark mode is best used in low-light environments. If you want to view your spreadsheet in bright surroundings, switching back to the light theme might be better. You don’t have to disable the dark mode for the Google Sheets mobile app, though — just turn it off for an individual spreadsheet.

  1. Open Google Sheets and choose the spreadsheet you want to view in light mode on your phone or tablet.
  2. Tap the vertical three-dot icon at the top right to view your options.
Tapping the three-dot icon in Sheets to view more options
  1. Tap “View in light theme” from the right panel.
Viewing an individual spreadsheet in light theme in Google Sheets

This light theme feature is only available on the mobile app version of Google Sheets. If you want to do it on the web version, just turn off the extension you installed or disable the forced dark mode state on your browser.

Why Use Dark Mode on Google Sheets?

From experience, working in dark mode allows my eyes not to be easily irritated when my ambient lights are off. It’s also a matter of preference. But these aside, there are several reasons why you should use Google Sheets dark mode, such as:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dark Mode Better for the Eyes?

There is some evidence suggesting that using dark mode in Google Sheets may do your eyes good due to reduced blue light exposure and glare. Still, more studies are needed to prove whether it’s the light theme or the dark mode that is better for the eyes.

How Do I Turn on Dark Mode in Google Sheets?

Open the Sheets app and go to “☰ Menu” > “Settings” > “Choose theme” > “Dark.” For the web version, download browser add-ons like Dark Reader to enable dark mode in Google Sheets.

Does Using Google Sheets in Dark Mode Improve Your Focus?

A white background may produce flickers on your screen. Dark themes reduce these flickers using a Google Sheets black background, which may help you stay focused mentally.

Dark Mode for Google Sheets Enabled Successfully

Aside from satisfying your aesthetics, turning on Google Sheets dark mode may also help reduce eye strain, save your device’s battery life, and make things easier to view.

You can enable dark themes using an add-on from the Chrome Web Store, forced dark mode with experimental features, or built-in options in the Google Sheets app.

To upskill your Google Sheets knowledge, check out this Google Sheets productivity course. It covers everything you need, from improving your workflow to managing your agendas. You’ll be amazed by how much your productivity will increase in just two hours!


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