How to Enable Dark Theme on WhatsApp for Android

WhatsApp has finally updated the messaging platform to bring support for the dark theme. WhatsApp’s official dark theme blends with the system-wide Dark Mode or Dark Theme introduced in the Android 10. The dark theme in WhatsApp is also compatible with Android 9, giving the newest visual experience to the phones which have not received the Android 10 update.

Dark theme is not everyone’s preference though. Some users prefer the more visible dark background as against the darker one. The dark theme is certainly easier on the eyes when during the device in a darker environment (such as during night hours).

So, to protect your eyes, you should use the darker theme at night at least. The darker UI will also reduce the power usage of your device, hence giving a slightly better battery backup.

How to activate the dark theme on WhatsApp

The dark theme setting is available in WhatsApp versions 2.20.13. The latest version is currently in public beta. If you are on an older version, then you can download the APK file of the latest version and install it to your phone. After updating your WhatsApp application, the WhatsApp dark theme will automatically get enabled if:

Android 10: You set your device’s theme as Dark in Android Settings > Display option.
Android 9: You enable battery saver mode.

However, you can override the default value to selectively enable dark theme on WhatsApp. Similarly, you can also manually disable the dark theme of WhatsApp when the device’s overall theme is set to dark. Here’s how:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Tap on the 3 vertical dots at the top right and then tap on Settings.
    WhatsApp Dark theme settings
  3. Tap on “Chats” to open chat settings.
  4. Select the “Theme” option under the “display” heading. Here, you can choose from:
    • Set by battery saver (Default, Android 9): Turns on the dark theme when the battery saver option is enabled.
    • Light: To keep WhatsApp in the classic white/light theme.
    • Dark: To enable the dark UI in WhatsApp.
    • System default (Default, Android 10): WhatsApp will enable dark or light theme based on your device’s overall theme.

Enable Dark theme in WhatsApp - Android 9 and Android 10

That’s it. The change in the theme will instantly reflect on your WhatsApp UI. You can switch between the light and dark theme by following the same steps.

One disappointment that some users will have is the lack of a “black” mode. WhatsApp decided to go with a darkish grey color tone for the background instead of “true black” which most of the enthusiasts of darker UI would like to see. What’s your take on the WhatsApp’s dark theme? Is it a Yay or Nay!?

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