How to Configure Windows 10 to Automatically Enable the Dark Theme at Night

How to Configure Windows 10 to Automatically Enable the Dark Theme at Night

Windows 10 has both a light and a dark theme, and what’s more, Microsoft is currently working to improve the desktop experience with a completely new visual style.

And as we discussed earlier today, the arrival of new light and dark modes for Windows 10 calls for further improvements in the operating system, including a feature that would make it possible to automatically change the visual style at a scheduled time.

Basically, this would make it possible to configure the Windows 10 desktop to adapt to the time of day, so using the right settings would make your PC easier on the eyes all the time.

At this point, a dedicated feature to do this does not exist, but you can still configure Windows 10 to automatically enable the light and the dark theme at a certain time.

Of course, Microsoft launching such a dedicated tool could provide many more options to users, including timezone detection for auto switching at sunset and sunrise, but for now, this is all we get.

The whole tutorial is based on tasks set up in Task Scheduler. So first and foremost, log in to Windows 10 with an administrator account and then launch the Task Scheduler by typing its name in the Start menu.

First, let’s take care of the dark theme. In the right pane of the screen, click the option that reads Create Basic Task to… well… create a task.

Enter whatever you want in the name and description fields (I suggest something that would help you identify the task, like “Dark theme task”) and then click the Trigger option in the menu on the left or press the Next button.

Choose the Daily option and then press Next to advance to the next screen where you have to configure the time when you want the dark theme to be enabled. I suggest something like 8 or 9 PM, but this is up to you. Leave the recurrence option set to 1 day so that the task would repeat every day.

Press Next once again and then select the Start a program option in the Action screen. The next dialog is the one that you should handle carefully. In the Program/script field type:

reg

While in the Add arguments box, you need to enter the following text (I suggest you copy and paste the text below):

add HKCUSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionThemesPersonalize /v AppsUseLightTheme /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

Press Next and you’re basically done here. You can check the option at the bottom of the screen to access additional options, and I recommend you to do it if you are a power user.

Setting up a new dark theme task in Task Scheduler

At this point, your computer should technically enable the dark theme automatically at the defined time, so the next step is to enable the light theme in the morning.

You can follow the exact same steps as above to create a new task with a different name, only that you need to choose a new time, something like 7 AM. Also, in the Program/script field, you also need to type:

reg

And then, in the Add arguments box, the command that you need to use is the following:

add HKCUSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionThemesPersonalize /v AppsUseLightTheme /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

The process is pretty much the same when setting up the two tasks, but the commands you need to enter are different, so pay extra attention to these. You can manually run the tasks from Task Scheduler to see if they work.

Further tweaking could be done at a later time, such as changing the scheduled times or deleting the tasks, and it’s all possible from Task Scheduler.