Dark Mode – reduce eyestrain – Windows, Teams, Office …

We stare at desktop / laptop screens for hours together. Reduce eyestrain in few simple steps. Enable dark mode in Windows, Office, and Teams. 4 min reading time.

Dark mode poster showing a cat in dark.

Enable Office Dark Mode

Open Word (or Excel or PowerPoint). Go to File – Options – General.

File Options General dialog.

Change the Theme from White to Dark Gray. That’s it.

Office Dark Mode - Dark Gray theme setting

Just change it in one of the apps. It affects all others.

I have started using Office Dark Mode for all my live demos as well as YouTube Videos.

Dark Mode for Teams

Teams app – Click your profile picture. Choose Settings and Choose Dark mode.

Office Dark mode in Teams

Windows Dark Mode

With Windows 10, go to Settings – Colors and choose Dark theme.

Windows 10 Dark theme.

Also try Settings – Night Light – enable. This changes the screen display and makes it less severe on the eyes. If you find it soothing for your eyes, use it during daytime as well.

One word of caution. The Night Light alters all the screen colors. Therefore, if you are working on something where exact color rendition matters – like presentations or image / video editing, disable the Night Light.

It is important to set dark mode for all types of applications you use. Many applications like Adobe use the dark gray theme by default, simplifying the work for you.

Increase Font Scale

Settings – Display – Increase the display scaling to the recommended percentage and try it out. You may be surprised with the improved readability and reduced stress on eyes.

Windows 10 Display scaling

High Contrast mode

Windows, Office and Teams also offer a high contrast mode for people with eyesight problems.

Dark mode in browsers

All browsers have a dark theme.
Edge and chrome follows the Windows system theme.
In Firefox – Options – Themes – Dark.

Increase Outlook preview pane zoom level

  1. Move the zoom slider in the status bar at the bottom to the desired level of zoom.
  2. Then click on the zoom percentage display itself.
  3. In the dialog, choose Remember my preference
  4. Click Ok.
Increase zoom in Outlook preview pane
Remember my preference option

Related articles

Here are other articles I have written about improving readability.

Also read this article about Office theme.

Remember that most of these options can be made default across the organization using Group Policy or Azure AD.

Finally, remember to use the dark theme in all apps you use.


2 Responses

    1. Yes. Here are the benefits.
      Aesthetic preference: A common reason why people prefer Dark mode is because it aligns with their aesthetic better than Light mode. If you prefer darker colors over lighter ones, Dark mode will likely fit your style.
      Easier on the eyes: Dark mode is often credited for reducing eyestrain, which is a syndrome that can occur if you look at a bright screen for too long. Turning on Dark mode may also make the letters easier to read.
      Better for darker locations: A bright screen in a dark room can be harsh on the eyes and could potentially bother those around you. Using Dark mode in a dimly lit airplane cabin or a shared bedroom will help reduce the brightness of your screen to make it stand out less.
      Preserves battery: Does Dark mode save battery life? You bet!


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