How to Enable Dark Mode in Microsoft Office

If you’re a fan of dark mode, you’ve probably set your Windows 10 system theme to dark. But while a lot of apps follow this setting, it won’t change the look of Microsoft Office apps. Thankfully, you can enable dark mode in Office apps without much trouble.




Here’s how to use dark mode in Microsoft Office apps from Office 2016 to Microsoft 365.


How to Use Dark Mode in Microsoft Office

Open any Office app (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or another) and open the File menu in the top-left corner. In the resulting menu, open the Account tab in the bottom-left corner.

Here, you’ll see various Office options, including Office Theme, with a dropdown box underneath it. You can select from four themes here:

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  • White: The lightest theme, with no dark elements.
  • Colorful: Like the white theme, but has colors on the title bar and other elements, which depend on the Office app you’re using. For example, Word uses a blue title bar.
  • Dark Gray: A darker theme that uses shades of gray instead of truly black elements.
  • Black: The darkest theme, with dark blacks and contrasting elements.

Office Dark Mode Options


These same steps are also how you enable dark mode in older versions, like Microsoft Office 2016. However, Microsoft mentions that the Black theme is only available to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so you won’t have this available if you own a standalone copy of Office, like Office 2019.

In that case, Dark Gray is your best option.

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Also on this page, you can use the Office Background box to change the design pattern that appears at the top of your Office app window. It’s a minor effect, but worth looking at while you’re changing the color option.

If needed, you can also change the colors by going to File > Options and visiting the General tab. Here, you’ll find the same Office Theme box under Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office.

Using the Dark Theme in Microsoft Office for Mac

If you’re on macOS, Office’s theme will follow your system setting. If you want to keep dark mode on for your computer but turn it off for a specific Office app, go to [App Name] > Preferences in the menu bar for that program.


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Then, in the General tab, check Turn off Dark Mode to disable it for that app. You’ll need to do this for every Office app you don’t want to use dark mode with.

An Easy Dark Theme for Microsoft Office

Now you know how to change Microsoft Office’s theme to dark mode. It’s an easy toggle, though you can’t use the darkest black mode unless you’re a Microsoft 365 user, unfortunately.

While the remaining themes still show a white page with black text, you can personalize the colors under the General tab if you want. However, you’ll need to do this for every document, which is a bit clunky.

Image Credit: PixieMe/Shutterstock

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