How to turn on dark mode in Microsoft Outlook to change your display and reduce eye strain
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  • Post published:26/09/2021
  • Post last modified:26/09/2021
  • To enable dark mode in Outlook, click the File tab, choose Office Account, and set the Office Theme to black. 
  • You can toggle messages between light and dark mode using the Switch Background button at the top of the message window.
  • You can set Outlook on the web to dark mode using the Settings menu.
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Like many programs, Microsoft Outlook offers a dark mode that you can switch on to help reduce eye strain. Black text against a bright background can be difficult to read, especially in the early morning or late evening hours.

You can switch between dark mode and other color settings in Outlook manually or let Outlook follow the way you’ve configured Windows.   

How to turn on dark mode in Outlook

You can turn on dark mode by setting Outlook’s color scheme to black:

1. In Outlook, click File in the toolbar. You’ll see the Account Information page. 

2. In the sidebar on the left, click Office Account.

3. Under Office Theme, click the dropdown menu and choose Black

4. Click the back button at the top left of the window to return to the inbox. 

The Office Account page in the File tab is where you’ll find the Office Theme menu for choosing dark mode.
Dave Johnson

How to turn off dark mode in Outlook

When Outlook is using the dark theme, you can switch dark mode on and off for the current message using the dark mode toggle button. Click the Switch Background button at the top of the message window to the left of the Reply button. The button changes from looking like a lightbulb to a moon depending on whether you’ve turned dark mode on or off for that message.

Use the button to the left of the message’s Reply button to toggle between light and dark mode.
Dave Johnson

If you prefer, you can disable the dark theme entirely:

1. Click File in the toolbar and then click Options

2. In the General tab, find Office Themes in the Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office section.

3. Click the dropdown menu and choose White.

4. Click the checkbox to enable Never change the message background color

Later, even if you turn on the black Office Theme, the option to toggle the message background to black will not appear.    

Go to Outlook Options to disable the dark mode in message windows entirely.
Dave Johnson

How to use dark mode in Outlook.com or Outlook on the web

If you use Outlook in a web browser, you can enable dark mode there as well. 

1. Go to Outlook.com or Outlook on the web in any browser.

2. At the top of the page, click Settings (shaped like a gear).

3. In the Settings panel, click the button to the right of Dark mode. When on, the button will slide to the right and the display will go dark. 

Go to Settings to turn Dark mode on or off.
Dave Johnson

Once dark mode is turned on, you can toggle individual messages between light and dark mode. In a message window, click the button to the left of the reply button. The button changes from looking like a lightbulb to a moon depending on whether you’ve turned dark mode on or off for that message.

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