How to enable Android’s dark mode for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

Technology

I’ve become a firm believer in using dark mode on my phone. Not because of its presumed battery-saving advantages (although those are nothing to sneeze at), but because I have the unfortunate habit of reading in low-light (or nearly no-light) conditions, and dark mode is a lot gentler on my eyes.

While both iOS and Android have introduced system-wide dark modes to phones, Google is now rolling the feature out to its Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps on Android phones so you can set each app to show in dark or light mode individually.

Here’s how you set it for Docs, Sheets, or Slides on an Android phone:

  • Open your app and tap on the “hamburger” lines in the upper left corner.
  • Select “Settings.”
  • At the top of the page, you’ll see the link for the theme. Tap on “Choose theme” and select either “Dark,” “Light,” or “System default.”

If you are using the dark mode and need to temporarily see your document in the light mode instead (for example, so you can better see how it will look printed or to another reader), you can do it from within the document:

  • Select the three dots in the upper right corner.
  • Tap on “View in light theme.” If you want to go back to the dark theme, just follow the same directions.

Note that if you chose to set your app to the light theme or system default, the option to change it within the document isn’t available — you can only do that for the dark theme.