How to Turn on Instagram Dark Mode: Tips and Tricks for Android and iOS
Updated: December 15,2022
Instagram can easily capture our attention with an endless stream of pictures and videos. Even more so if you train your Instagram app’s algorithm to show you exactly what you want to see. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying Instagram, prolonged use can cause some users to experience eye strain, particularly at night.
Most people prefer using night mode when the sun goes down to alleviate such issues, which leads us to the question of how to turn on dark mode on Instagram. Turning dark mode on can be a bit tricky if you use Instagram on an iPhone or PC because it doesn’t have an easily toggleable option on the app, but it’s entirely possible.
How To Change Instagram to Dark Mode
You probably noticed that we only said iPhone and PC users might have a problem using dark mode. This is because Android users are the only ones who can enable or disable dark mode via the app itself.
PC and iPhone users don’t have access to easily toggleable options, but instead, the app matches the theme that is currently used on the device. Therefore, if you use a light theme on your device, Instagram will be in light mode, and if you use a dark theme, it will be in dark mode.
The biggest drawback here is accessibility. Instead of two clicks on the app to change the mode, you’ll have to make a couple more clicks each time you want to enable or disable Instagram dark mode.
Instagram Dark Mode: Android
We’ll start with an easy one. As we said, Android is the only device that has an easily accessible toggle button for dark mode as long as the device’s operating system (OS) is updated to Android version 10 and above.
How to turn on dark mode on Instagram for Android:
- Open the Instagram app.
- Click on your profile icon at the bottom right.
- Click on three horizontal lines in the top right corner of your screen to open the menu.
- In the said menu, tap on Settings.
- Scroll all the way down to Theme and tap on it.
- Tap Dark mode.
When you want to turn off dark mode for Instagram on Android, just follow the same steps but set your theme to light instead of dark.
If you are unable to find the theme option at all, try updating the Instagram app and your Android OS version.
Instagram Dark Mode: iPhone
Because the iPhone doesn’t have a conveniently placed toggle button like Android devices, you’ll have to change the theme in the phone settings.
Here’s how to turn on dark mode on Instagram for iPhone:
- Tap Settings.
- Tap on Display & Brightness.
- Pick a Dark theme.
Take note that this is a system-wide dark mode that isn’t limited only to Instagram. If you want, you can enable the automatic changing of the theme. Unfortunately, the light and dark modes can’t be set separately on different apps. Instead, the modes are time sensitive.
How to set the theme to change automatically:
- Go to Settings.
- Tap on Display & Brightness.
- Toggle the Automatic option.
- Tap on Options.
- Pick the time when you want your phone to switch between themes.
If, by any chance, the modes are still not working, update your app and iPhone and try again.
Instagram Dark Mode: PC
Even for PCs, Instagram doesn’t offer dark mode. Luckily for us, there are several ways to get to dark mode on a PC.
A neat trick to enable dark mode on Instagram is to change the default URL by adding ?theme=dark at the end of the URL.
To avoid having to enter the URL extension every time you visit Instagram, you can just bookmark it and use it every time you want to browse Instagram. To turn off dark mode on Instagram, just remove the extra URL, and everything will revert to normal.
Chrome and Edge Flag
If you want to enforce dark mode on all websites and not just Instagram, you can try using Edge and Chrome flags. All features found in the flag section are still in the testing phase, so don’t expect them to work flawlessly.
How to enable the dark mode flag on Chrome and Edge:
- Open any of the two browsers.
- If you are using Chrome, enter chrome://flags in the address bar. If you are using Edge, enter edge://flags.
- In the search bar, enter Dark.
- You should see Auto Dark Mode for Web Contents.
- In the drop-down menu, select Enabled.
Night Mode Extension
While both previous methods have their pros and cons, getting a night mode extension like Dark Reader for Chrome can save you a lot of hassle. There’s no need to go into any hidden menu to turn on Instagram dark mode or use a custom URL.
All major browsers have a couple of dark mode extensions available, you just need to find the one that’s best suited to your needs. Just don’t install extensions from unverified locations, or you’ll risk infecting your PC. Stick to official addon stores.
Different extensions may have different settings, but all of them make it easy to turn dark mode on and off. Some will allow you to whitelist websites to use their default theme instead of dark mode or will allow you to adjust the colors yourself instead of using the default black mode.
With over one billion active users per month, it’s still odd that Meta didn’t develop a more permanent night mode solution available to PC and iPhone users. While it is true that Instagram was meant to be primarily a mobile app, this still doesn’t explain why the iPhone doesn’t have a dark mode for Instagram.
Whatever the reason may be, we, as users, found a way to adapt. Follow our tips and enjoy Instagram’s dark mode.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answer will vary from device to device. To activate Instagram dark mode on Android, you just need to enable it in the settings. For the iPhone, you’ll have to change its theme to dark, and on the PC, you’ll have to install a night mode extension.
You can find detailed instructions in our “How to turn on dark mode on Instagram for Android, iPhone, and PC” article.
The easiest way to activate dark mode on the PC is by installing and using a night mode extension.
The only way to enable dark mode on an iPhone is by changing the device’s theme to dark.
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With a degree in humanities and a knack for the history of tech, Jovan was always interested in how technology shapes both us as human beings and our social landscapes. When he isn't binging on news and trying to predict the latest tech fads, you may find him trapped within the covers of a generic 80s cyberpunk thriller.