How To: Enable Dark Mode in Gmail for iPhone & Android

Enable Dark Mode in Gmail for iPhone & Android

Dark mode for Gmail is here. But not all users have it yet. Reports say the latest update to the Gmail app has brought with it dark mode. Gmail may be the last major app in Google's suite to not have dark mode and now it is rolling out. Find out if you're one of the lucky few to have the long-awaited dark mode for Gmail.

Skip ahead to instructions: Android | iPhone

Google has slowly been releasing dark mode for its apps, and we've been patiently waiting for Gmail to get the feature. Now, it's here (for some) and we can finally see our emails in dark mode and make Gmail match the rest of our apps. No more eye strain, no more boring white. Improved battery consumption when browsing messages, and it will even increase the readability of emails.

Enabling Dark Mode in Gmail for Android

First, make sure you're running the latest version of Gmail from the Play Store. If the "Theme" setting below still isn't available for you after updating Gmail, you may have to wait a week or two for the server-side update. Or if you're rooted, you can use these instructions to enable it right now.

Otherwise, open the Gmail app and tap on the hamburger icon in the top left. Scroll down to the bottom of this menu and tap "Settings," then select "General Settings". At the top of the next page, tap "Theme" and choose "Dark" on the popup.

Alternatively, if you're on Android 10 and you have the system-wide dark theme enabled, you can simply select "System Default" and it will turn dark to match your phone's theme. For pre-Android 10 users, it will say "Set by Batter Saver." This will make dark mode turn on when your app is in battery saver mode.

Now when you navigate the Gmail app, you will have a dark theme. Throughout the app, there will be a dark gray background and light text. Even your emails will be displayed with a dark theme.

Enabling Dark Mode in Gmail for iPhone

Sadly, Gmail doesn't have the same "Theme" option on iPhone, nor does it support iOS 13's new dark mode API quite yet. But there's still one way you can make the Gmail app go dark.

Head to your Settings app and choose "Accessibility," then tap "Display & Text Size." From there, enable the toggle next to "Smart Invert." This will cause all apps that aren't in dark mode already (assuming you're on iOS 13) to turn dark. That has its downsides, obviously, but if you're willing to do it, you will get dark mode in Gmail.

The "Smart" part of Smart Invert's name comes from the fact that it tries to only invert the colors of text and backgrounds. Rarely, as is the case with some avatars in Gmail, it will also invert imagery. And since Gmail was white, this means you'll now have an all-black theme throughout the app!

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Cover image and screenshots by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

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