How To Enable Dark Mode In Outlook for Microsoft 365

Enable Dark Mode In Outlook for Microsoft 365

Key Points

  • Dark mode in Outlook works for either desktop or web applications.
  • Only Microsoft Office 365 subscribers can enable the dark-on-light theme in Outlook.
  • Other Office versions, except Outlook for Microsoft Office 365, can use a gray theme as the closest dark color.
  • Not everybody wants the dark mode Outlook because it is said that people can become less productive.

Dark Mode in Outlook for Microsoft Office 365

Do you somehow feel bored and tired at the same old and default user interface of Microsoft 365’s email application? Are you one of those people, like us, who fancy a dark-on-light mode interface?

Then you are here for a treat! You can actually switch to dark mode in Outlook for Microsoft 365 by doing a few simple steps.

You can also change the dark mode in both the Outlook desktop application and web-based interface.

Note for our dear readers. The steps below are tested to be applicable only for Microsoft Office 365 subscribers. And we have tried them on our Windows 10 machines. For those who have other Office versions, gray theme will be the closest to the dark mode you can use.

How to enable dark mode in Outlook on Windows 10

Actually, the steps to enable or switch to dark mode in Outlook work not only on Windows 10. For as long as it is Outlook for Microsoft Office 365, the procedure is just the same.

For this example, we used Outlook for Microsoft Office 365 on Windows 10 as the operating system.

Before we start, make sure that the account connected or configured to your Outlook is your subscribed account to Microsoft Office 365.

1. Open your Outlook desktop application.

2. Click File.

Outlook Microsoft Office 365 - File

3. Then look for Office Account.

Outlook Microsoft Office 365 - Office Account

4. Look for the “Office Theme:” drop-down menu and select Black. Upon selection, it will automatically take effect and your Outlook dark mode theme will be enabled.

Outlook Microsoft Office 365 - Office Background
Outlook Microsoft Office 365 - Dark Mode

5. If you don’t want to enable the dark mode on your reading pane, or the part where you read the messages, then you can switch that part (only) to the default black-and-white mode. Just click the sun-like button to toggle.

Outlook Microsoft Office 365 - Switch Background

6. Then if you want to go back to the dark mode theme, just click the crescent moon-like button to toggle.

Outlook Microsoft Office 365 - Toggle Dark Mode

Done! You can switch back to your old settings or any other themes as you wish by just doing the same steps above.

How to switch to dark mode in web-based Outlook

You can also switch to the dark mode theme if you are on the go, accessing Outlook from a different machine or computer, and the only option is to use a web browser.

1. First go to Microsoft Office 365 Outlook website,

2. Find the gear-like button to access the settings.

Enable Dark Mode In Web Based Outlook for Microsoft 365

3. Scroll down until you see View all Outlook settings, click it.

Enable Dark Mode In Web Based Outlook - View all Outlook settings

4. On your left pane, click General. Then on the next pane, select Appearance. From there, you will see a toggle to turn on the dark mode theme. Toggle it to switch your web-based Outlook into the dark mode appearance.

Enable Dark Mode In Web Based Outlook - Toggle To Dark Mode
Enable Dark Mode In Web Based Outlook - Dark Mode On
5. The last step is to click on the Save button for the changes to take effect. Then you are done!

Dark Mode is not for everyone, but we like it anyway!

Yes, not everyone likes the dark color. Most critics would say that when you are working in a dark mode appearance, there is a tendency that productivity may diminish.

One of the most controversial, arguable backlash against dark mode started with Adam Engst’s article in

Except in extraordinary situations, Dark Mode is not easy on the eyes, in any way. The human eyes and brain prefer dark-on-light, and reversing that forces them to work harder to read text, parse controls, and comprehend what you’re seeing.

The Dark Side of Dark Mode written by Adam Engst in

We are not saying that switching into the dark mode, or any other colored themes is bad. We always think that it is an option for you to either grab or not. Productivity does not entirely rely on the appearance of your tool. For us, being productive and creative depends entirely on the person.

Come to think of it, if dark mode is destructive and less effective, then ask yourself this – why more and more applications, gadgets, and even operating systems are either using or switching to dark mode (if not optional)?

Probably, there are some negative implications of dark themes for other people – if that’s the case, then do not switch.

How about you? Would you switch to the dark side?