How to automatically switch dark and light themes based on time on Windows 10 [Guide]

Users have wanted a dark theme on Windows 10 for ages now. With older versions of Windows, it was easier to modify the desktop and apply themes. Windows 10 is restrictive in that particular area. Microsoft has finally added  a dark theme that users can enable manually. It neglected to include any sort of way to schedule the themes. Auto Night Mode is a free, open source app that lets you automatically switch dark and light themes based on the time of day. If it’s night, you can enable the dark theme, and if it’s day time, you can enable the light theme.

Automatically switch dark and light themes

Download and run Auto Night mode. It lets you select which theme you want to enable which is unnecessary but it also lets you set a time for the themes to switch automatically.

Select the Change Automatic option and then under Light, enter what time you want the light theme to be enabled. Under Dark, set what time the dark theme should be enabled. Click Apply.

There are hacks out there that allow you to do this with scripts that can edit the Windows registry and this app is essentially a GUI for what a script like that would do. It works but sometimes, the theme isn’t changed all the way.

We tested this on Windows 10 1809 and often with File Explorer, the Dark theme would apply either to the ribbon, or to the rest of the window and leave the ribbon out. In some cases, the theme will visibly, change however on the Settings app, under Personalization>Colors the selected theme doesn’t change.

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This app is new i.e., barely a day old right now so the bugs aren’t a huge surprise. They will, very likely be ironed out in the days to come. Microsoft on the other hand needs to consider adding this as an actual feature. It also needs to work hard to improve the dark theme which, at this point, only applies to a handful of UWP apps and that isn’t enough.

The shortcomings of the dark theme on Windows 10 aren’t just that it’s limited to a select few apps. App and icon visibility as well as text legibility is a problem when you have the dark theme enabled. The text on Windows 10 is always easy to read if you have the light theme enabled but the same cannot be said for the dark theme.

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Alex Miller is a bestselling Tech author currently working here. His work has received a lot of appreciation from users and is being made to work hard to meet the user's expectations.

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