Though Microsoft Office has a dark mode, you may have noticed that it doesn't apply by default. Even if you have your Windows 10 theme set to dark, Microsoft Word will burn your retinas with its bright white coloring.
Activating the dark theme for Microsoft Office
Thankfully, it's not particularly difficult to enable dark Office. All you need is A Microsoft 365 subscription. Even better, you can enable Outlook dark mode, Word dark mode, and Excel dark mode by changing your theme in just one of the apps. Microsoft automatically carries your Office themes across the suite for a unified experience. You can even add additional patterns to suit your preferences.
If you're a web user, you, unfortunately, can't enable Office 365 dark mode using your regular web app or browser settings. In this guide, however, we're going to show you how to install a handy plugin that will have a similar effect.
How to Turn on Microsoft Office Dark Mode via Microsoft Word Themes
You can follow the steps below on any Office 365 application, but we'll be using Microsoft Word. To make following the tutorial easier, we recommend you also enable Microsoft Word dark mode first.
- Open Microsoft Word and press the “File” button in the ribbon
- Click “Account” and enable Word dark mode
After clicking “Account” in the search bar, look for the “Office Theme” header. Click the drop-down underneath it and select one of the Microsoft Word themes. We'll be showcasing all of the Office themes below, including the two Word dark mode options.
- Option 1: Dark Gray
- Option 2: Black
- Option 3: White
- Option 4: Use system setting
This is the one we'd recommend for most people. With it, your Microsoft Office themes will change to match your system preferences. This means that if you change your Windows 10 theme in the future, you won't have to change your Excel, Word, PowerPoint, or Outlook dark mode separately.
- Check your Excel dark mode
- Check your PowerPoint dark mode
How to Personalize Your Microsoft Office Background
Sadly, the default Office 365 interface can be a bit plain. You can further modify your Office themes to include patterns like clouds, circles, stars, and more. Here's how:
- Press “File > Account” and change your Office background
Open Microsoft Word and press “File”, then click “Account” on the sidebar. Find the “Office Background” heading and click the dropdown to choose from one of the options.
You can see the calligraphy option below, and we'll show you the rest in the next steps.
- Option 2: Circles and Stripes
- Option 3: Circuit
- Option 4: Clouds
- Option 5: Doodle Circles
- Option 6: Doodle Diamonds
- Option 7: Geometry
- Option 8: Lunchbox
- Option 9: School Supplies
- Option 10: Spring
- Option 11: Stars
- Option 12: Stars
- Option 13: Tree Rings
- Option 14: Underwater
How to Enable Microsoft Office Dark Mode in Office Online
If you use Office Online, you won't have the same Office 365 dark mode menu. Instead, you'll want to use a third-party plugin. There are a few that can provide dark Office themes, but our preference is Night Eye as it works in all of the major browsers.
Here's how you can install and use it:
- Find the correct extension for your browser on the Night Eye site
- Click “Get” to install the extension
- Visit Office online and change your Night Eye theme to “Dark”
Go to Office Online's Excel page and click the Night Eye icon next to your address bar. Press “Dark” to enable Excel dark mode. The theme should automatically apply to your other Office apps.
Now you should know how to turn on Microsoft Office dark mode in any version of its apps. However, you may still want to know how to change background color in Word or change your taskbar color to match your new themes.