How to enable dark mode in iOS 13 and iPadOS

Apple has created a new system-wide dark theme for iOS 13 and iPadOS. The theme looks great on OLED iPhones as well as LCD displays on iPads. The dark mode applies to every part of the operating system, along with built-in apps.

Dark Mode iPadOS iOS 13

Dark mode was initially added to macOS Mojave last year and is making its way to iOS 13 and iPadOS this year. A dark theme makes it easy to use your device in low light conditions.

When you switch to dark theme, it changes the look of everything from widgets, Notification Center, dock shade to Settings and built-in apps. Even home screen and lock screen wallpapers dim when you switch to dark theme. Apple has included some new wallpapers in iOS 13 and iPadOS that work really well with dark mode.

Developers can also utilize APIs to add support to their apps, so that when you toggle the global dark mode on or off, it will switch the theme in all apps.

The theme change even works with websites in Safari and Chrome, thanks to Dark Mode CSS support. If developers have built support in their websites, they will automatically switch to dark mode style sheets, based on the global system setting.

Dark mode can be enabled in a few ways in iOS 13 and iPadOS:

  • Toggled manually from Settings
  • Toggled from Control Center
  • Scheduled based on timings of your choosing
  • Scheduled based on sunrise and sunset in your location

Here is an in-depth look at how all these options work.

Enable Dark Mode from iOS 13/iPadOS Settings

  • Go to Settings > Display & Brightness and you will see an option to switch between light and dark appearances.
  • Tap on Dark to instantly switch system appearance.

Dark mode iOS 13 iPadOS

Schedule Dark Mode in iOS 13 and iPadOS

  • To schedule automatic switching between light and dark themes, enable the toggle that says `Automatic`.
  • Here you will see two options:
    • Sunset to Sunrise
      • This lets you set appearance to switch automatically based on the sunset and sunrise timings in your location.
    • Custom Schedule
      • This option lets you set your own start time for light and dark appearances.

iOS 13 iPadOS Dark Mode Display and Brightness

If you prefer to use either light or dark theme instead of automatic switching, keep this option disabled.

Enable Control Center shortcut for Dark Mode

  • Instead of going to Settings to manually switch between light and dark themes, a Control Center control can be enabled.
  • Go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls, scroll down and look for Dark Mode.
  • Tap on the green button next to it to add it to the ‘include’ list. Now you can rearrange it as you want. This will make sure that the option always shows in your Control Center.

iOS 13 iPadOS Dark Mode Control Center

  • To access the control, swipe down the Control Center and look for the button as shown below.
  • Tap it to enabled Dark Mode. Tap it again to disable Dark Mode.
  • Alternatively, you can also long press on the brightness control and access the control at the bottom of the screen that pops up.

iOS 13 iPadOS Dark Mode Control Center Toggles

Dark Appearance Wallpapers

You can now use new dark mode compatible still wallpapers, or enable an option to dim your own choice of wallpaper based on ambient light conditions when Dark Mode is enabled.

  • You can select your own wallpaper and then enable the toggle which says `Dark Appearance Dims Wallpaper`. This will make your wallpaper go dark when you switch your theme.
  • Go to Settings > Wallpaper > Stills to see the new wallpapers which support a dark appearance. These wallpapers have a small dark appearance icon on the bottom right of their thumbnails.

iOS 13 iPadOS Dark Mode Wallpapers