How to Enable Dark Theme for File Explorer on Windows 10

Starting with Windows 10 1809 you can enable Dark mode for File Explorer which is a feature that users have been requesting for quite a long time.

Dark themes are becoming more popular than ever. You can turn on dark themes for the apps and online versions of the of Twitter, Outlook, and others. Microsoft introduced a dark theme for Windows 10 several versions back, and now, with Windows 10 1809 you can set up a dark mode for File Explorer. The new Dark theme was first introduced with Insider preview build 17666 and will be available to everyone when the next feature update is released this fall.

Enable Dark Mode for File Explorer

To enable the File Explorer dark theme, head to Settings > Personalization > Colors. Then scroll down in the right column to the More options section and choose Dark for the “Choose your default app mode” option.

Windows 10 Settings

That’s it. Close out of Settings and launch File Explorer and you will see the new look.

Windows 10 File Explorer Dark Mode

One thing you can do to make it look more unique is to change the Accent Colors. In the Color section, you will have a variety of different colors you can choose. If you just want Windows to pick it for you, just leave the “Automatically pick an accent color for my background” box checked.

If you’re not satisfied with the default color options, you can go in and use a custom color that gives you a lot more options.

While it’s the same way you enable the Dark theme on Windows 10, unless you’re running 1809 or above, File Explorer doesn’t change with it. This is a good start at getting a more unified color scheme throughout the OS. While it’s a good step, it could be better. For example, Apple does it’s dark theme on macOS Mojave really well. With the flip of a switch, everything turns to that mode and you don’t need to configure apps individually. And it has a more aesthetic look overall in my opinion. Still, this is a step in the right direction and Microsoft will undoubtedly continue to make tweaks and changes to it.



  1. aadi

    does not work only settings and few things got dark not the file explorer

    • agkljh

      Same here, it only changes taskbar, startmenu, and windows setting.

      • ale

        Dark mode of Windows Explorer has only being added starting from Windows 10 version 1809. You need to update it!

        • Mohammad Hossain

          I am a user of Windows 10. And I too am facing the same issue.

        • Frederic

          I’m on version 1903, not working.

  2. athena

    Any news on whether we can have dark mode enabled but keep file explorer white? I have some files that are black text with a clear background and they don’t show a preview in dark mode. I want the rest of my PC to be dark theme with the file explorer background to be white. Is that possible or will it be possible in the future?

  3. LKX

    But mine is the colors settings dark and light mode is gone,how I going to do?

  4. Rupam

    My windows is running on 1809 latests update still my file explorer is not becoming dark

    • aina

      yeah, same things happen to me too.i hope windows can solve my problem.

  5. Likhith Raj T

    Update windows to the latest version to enable the feature.

  6. Charles Puckett

    There is not a “More Options” on the right side menu. I’m running 1903.

  7. VoidHybrid

    Bring me my white File Explorer back. I can’t stand this dark theme for File Explorer. I can’t changed it to light or everything gets changed to light. I only want File Explorer back to light, nothing else. I can’t find anything to do this.

    • 'jake

      I want the OLD Windows 7 “Change Windows Colors” options. Change ALL parts of Windows. I do not have a Mac; am a Creative User of Win.

  8. parmanand

    i am facing the same issue

  9. Mayruf123

    Hi, I followed all the instruction you said but file explorer dark mode not working. Some one please help me.

  10. SuperDooM

    Every App/Window/Explorer or whatever that comes as part of Windows 10 should have an option somewhere to toggle Light/Dark modes, just like websites do.

    People should be able to modulate these colors how they want.
    Best goal would be to have a sub-option for each App/Window/Explorer to customize the color it uses by default when opened.

    Only White or Only Black is proving to be problematic for certain apps, and trying to simplify it is not good enough for users who have a lot of programs going on and spend ALL day looking at them.

    Modularization of color themes per App should be a requirement.

  11. RobN

    I don’t have a settings tab. I have View -> Options, don’t see anything like what’s on here. I am running the latest Windows.

  12. Don

    Hi there.

    The dark mode does no longer affect the file explorer,

    so I tried high contrast black as a workaround.

    In general, this works. But then, two issues appear:

    1. The Frame is in ugly purple. While you can change a lot of text and background colors, the is no field for the border. (or am I missing something?)

    2. The Taskbar has a white grid which is both ugly and unnecessary.

    I tried to find this in the registry but could not identify the responible switches.

    Any suggestions welcome.

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