You must have noticed that a lot of apps these days offer the Night Mode or Dark Mode functionality to allow better viewing at night or in the dark. This mode ensures reduced stress to your eyes in the event of prolonged reading or viewing. But, we don’t do all the reading or browsing through the mobile apps. Plenty of times our eyes remain glued to the browser window on the computer or laptop.
Unfortunately, none of the mainstream browsers have introduced the Dark Mode feature natively. This, however, does not mean we must strain our eyes. Thanks to the third-party extensions, you can add Dark Mode feature to your Chrome browser. Google Chrome Webstore gives you access to thousands of extensions or add-ons that extend the functionality of the browser. While you may find many Dark Mode extensions on Webstore, we have made things easier for you by listing the two best of the lot. Here is the guide to enable Dark Mode on Chrome.
Method 1: Night Mode Pro
Night Mode Pro is one of the best Chrome extensions you can use to enhance legibility at night and minimize the straining effect on the eyes. Although the extension title includes the word ‘Pro’ it is totally free of cost. Adding and installing this extension is incredibly easy and so is using it. Here is what you need to do:
- Open Google Chrome browser on your computer
- Click on the Menu in the upper right corner of Chrome (3 dots vertically placed)
- On the drop down, hover mouse over ‘More Tools’ to pop up more options
- Select ‘Extensions’ from the submenu
- Scroll down to the bottom and click ‘Get more extensions’
- This will open the ‘Chrome web store’ in a new tab. Type ‘Night Mode Pro’ in the search box on the top left and press Enter
- Alternately, you can directly go to the Night Mode Pro page on Chrome Web Store by clicking on https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/night-mode-pro/gbilbeoogenjmnabenfjfoockmpfnjoh/related?hl=en-US
- Click ‘ADD TO CHROME’ next to the Night Mode Pro icon in the search result
- Wait for Chrome to install the add-on
Once the extension is installed, you will be able to see its icon on the top right by the address bar (also called Omni box). You may need to restart Chrome in order to get the extension working.
Simply click on the Night Mode Pro icon and choose ‘Night Mode’ to enable the Dark Mode.
Night Mode Pro offers plenty of options. Here is a quick look:
- Brightness Control in Day Mode: If you do not wish to choose the Dark or Night Mode but simply want to lower the browser brightness in the Day Mode, you can move the Brightness slider to the left.
- Keyboard Shortcuts: Night Mode Pro offers a few keyboard shortcuts. You can press CTRL + SHIFT + Y to toggle between Day Mode and Night Mode without having to click the extension icon.
- Add Current Page to Whitelist: If you are using Night Mode but want a certain web page to remain in the Day Mode, you can use this feature. Simply open the web page and select this option (or press Ctrl + Shift + U). In case you wish to remove a site from Whitelist, open the site and select ‘Remove Current Page from Whitelist’ or press Ctrl + Shift + Z
- Hue Control in Night Mode: When in the Night Mode you will see two sliders – one for the brightness and the other for Hue. You can change the hue to your liking.
- Automatic Mode: If you would like to turn the Night Mode ON and OFF at a specific time during the day every day you can use the Automatic Mode. Click the Extension icon and select ‘Open Options Page’. Enable this mode in the Automatic Mode section and select the Start and End time.
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Method 2: Dark Mode/Night Reader
This is another Google Chrome extension you can use to enable Dark Mode for comfortable reading and viewing at night. Dark Mode/Night Reader is a simple tool and does not have a lot of features like Night Mode Pro. If you are looking for an easy to use, a fuss-free tool that lets you toggle between dark and original modes with just a click, this is the right option for you. Here are the easy steps to get this extension:
- Follow the steps 1 to 5 in Method 1 to open Google Chrome Web Store
- Type in ‘Dark Mode/Night Reader’ in the search box
- Press Enter
- Alternately, you can go to the Extension page directly by clicking Alternately, you can directly go to the Night Mode Pro page on Chrome Web Store by clicking on https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/night-mode-pro/gbilbeoogenjmnabenfjfoockmpfnjoh/related?hl=en-US
- Click ‘Add to Chrome’ to add the extension to the browser
- Once added, you will see the extension icon on the top right
Dark Mode/Night Reader offers 4 viewing modes as follows:
- Inverted Colors, reduced Contrast
- Inverted Colors, normal Contrast
- Normal Colors, reduced Contrast
- Normal Colors, normal Contrast (original)
1 and 2 are the dark modes with different contrasts. 3rd mode is the original screen but with the reduced contrast. And, as you may have already guessed, 4th is the original mode; the way you see the screen without the extension.
One of these four numbers will be displayed along with the extension icon depending upon the mode you have chosen.
When you right click the extension icon, you can see ‘Options’ icon in the drop-down. Well, you may believe the extension offers more control through ‘Options.’ But, truly, there is nothing more. When you click Options, it takes you to another page with only a dropdown to select one of these four modes.
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HOW GOOD IS THE DARK MODE?
As aforementioned, Google Chrome doesn’t offer any native Dark Mode functionality and thus we need to rely on these third-party extensions. These add-ons are not really bad. In fact, they do the job to a great extent. By adding one of these extensions, you can ensure less strain on your eyes. These extensions simply invert the colors on the web page and enable soothing browser display at night.
So, what’s the challenge?
Chrome uses its own set of programming and algorithms to display the web content in its window. The way Chrome does it is pretty acceptable. The images retain their resolution and quality, texts do not become blurry, and the other elements are also displayed the way they are supposed to.
These add-ons or extensions, on the other hand, may not always be good at rendering the web elements correctly. For instance, sometimes, while using the Dark Mode, the quality of the images declines or the images become distorted. Some websites optimize the colors and theme for a specific background and switching to Night or Dark Mode may make the rendering undesirable.
That being said, we would still recommend using Dark Mode if you do a lot of web reading at night. More often than not, the text part of the web page in this mode is better legible at night than the normal mode. In the longer run, you will have done the favor to your eyes.