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I have dark mode working on chrome's internal pages in Windows 10. Is it not implemented in the Ubuntu version?

I'm using chrome version 75.0. My theme is Adwaita-dark.

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8 Answers 8

67

Note: as of chrome Version 78.0.3904.87 (Official Build) (64-bit) you can easliy turn chrome's internal pages to dark mode, its under chrome flags by default

  • run chrome://flags in the url
  • search for dark and you should see this option Force Dark Mode for Web Contents enable it and relaunch chrome.

this is how it looks enter image description here

for those who don't have the above option under flags, to enable dark mode on Ubuntu, you need to edit the google-chrome.desktop file.

If you use GNOME desktop, run the command below which opens up the required file in editable format. If not, open the file in a text editor of your choice.

sudo -H gedit /usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop

All you have to do is search for two lines and add a dark mode flag in front of them.

  1. Search for

     Exec=/usr/bin/google-chrome-stable %U
    

    and replace it with:

     Exec=/usr/bin/google-chrome-stable %U --force-dark-mode
    
  2. Search for

     Exec=/usr/bin/google-chrome-stable
    

    and add the dark mode flag after it like this:

     Exec=/usr/bin/google-chrome-stable --force-dark-mode
    

Once you have done these changes, try restarting chrome. If that doesn't work, rebooting your Ubuntu system should do the job.

For me rebooting my Ubuntu 18.04 system worked. Also note that if you update the chrome app, the changes will be gone, since the file will be overwritten and you will have to redo the steps.

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  • 10
    Instead of modifying /usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop, the file can be copied into ~/.local/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop and modified without root access. This file will take precedence over the global desktop file. Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 12:03
  • 10
    That's simple ugly inversion, not real dark mode.
    – Ruslan
    Commented Sep 10, 2020 at 10:25
  • 1
    Works on Lubuntu 20_04. The font is now different than before and less readable. But I am happy because I heard that this mode is fair better for my eyes.
    – Timo
    Commented Oct 17, 2020 at 20:27
  • 2
    This solution also works for chromium-browser.
    – soroosh
    Commented Feb 17, 2021 at 9:35
53

On my system, I have the dark mode active:

Dark mode in Chrome 75

I need to do two things:

  • launch the browser using google-chrome-stable --enable-features=WebUIDarkMode --force-dark-mode and
  • set the browser to use the Classic option rather than GTK+ as shown in the image below. Doing so makes the choice your GTK theme irrelevant:

Use Classic, not GTK+ in chrome://settings/?search=themes

Use Classic, not GTK+


Unfortunately, not all internal pages are themed. Opening many of the urls in chrome://chrome-urls/ will confirm that. It's not clear if or when they'll ever get round to that!

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  • 1
    Finally.. Thanks!
    – lamino
    Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 15:03
  • 2
    I use GTK+ and it still works (using --enable-features=WebUIDarkMode --force-dark-mode flags)
    – hashlash
    Commented Sep 5, 2021 at 15:08
  • For those who don't want to launch Chrome from the terminal every time, you can edit the .desktop file (sudo vim /usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop) and add the "--enable-features=WebUIDarkMode --force-dark-mode" switches to the end of every "Exec=" line. That will make it launch in dark mode by default.
    – ArrayBolt3
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 2:39
6

Just paste

chrome://flags 

in the search bar, and in the opened page, search for 'dark' and find

Force Dark Mode for Web Contents

Enable this thing, and you're done.
Now you've got the dark mode.

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  • 12
    This is not the system dark mode, this only emulates dark mode by inverting colors of web pages. It can break readability of some websites.
    – NeuroXc
    Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 17:41
  • This is the only solution I've found that makes the Chrome Web Store and the Settings backgrounds both dark. For normal web pages you can use a plugin like Dark Reader. Works in Chromium 110 / ungoogled version. Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 1:11
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I made a script for it, just run:

bash -c "$(curl -fsSL "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/felipecassiors/dotfiles/master/scripts/enable_chrome_dark_mode.sh")"

Output:

We will:
  - Create the file '/home/felipesantos/.local/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop'

Do you confirm? (Yy)y

All done.
Please make sure you fully close Google Chrome before opening a new instance.

To uninstall, run:
  $ rm -f /home/felipesantos/.local/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop

It currently uses the method described by DK Bose's answer, but I might change in the future if it stops working. Basically, it:

  1. Copies Chrome's system shortcut to the user shortcut
  2. Edits the options on the executable for you

There is no need to change Chrome's theme in my tests tough.

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  • Thanks, it works very well!
    – hadrox
    Commented May 30, 2022 at 8:41
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I would highly recommend installing Dark Reader which intelligently scans the CSS of the page to keep background dark and adjust foreground colors accordingly. Here is a snippet showing dark reader in action

Original Original

Dark reader Dark Reader modified

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  • Why downvoting this post? Is there something against Dark reader chrome extension?
    – Jeanba
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 9:00
  • 5
    @Jeanba for one, extensions can't modify internal and protected pages, so Chromium settings pages will remain light.
    – Ruslan
    Commented Sep 10, 2020 at 10:08
  • Can I change this at runtime? Commented Jan 16, 2021 at 13:02
  • note also that while this "intelligently scans pages", it's not intelligent to detect when a page is already dark, making the majority of dark themes provided by the sites themselves useless
    – somebody
    Commented Feb 17, 2021 at 17:55
  • @somebody not true. You might have had issue with one or two sites. But the vast majority of sites that provide dark themes are rendered fine. It keeps them dark and legible. Thats what matters. Commented Feb 18, 2021 at 18:39
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Works with GTK+

  1. Create a new .desktop file using Chrome's default
cp /usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop
  1. Edit the .desktop file that was just created.
gedit ~/.local/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop
  1. Search for Exec and append --enable-features=WebUIDarkMode --force-dark-mode to the end of the line each time it appears (about 3 times)
# Before
Exec=/usr/bin/google-chrome-stable %U
# After
Exec=/usr/bin/google-chrome-stable %U --enable-features=WebUIDarkMode --force-dark-mode
  1. Restart Chrome.

Glossary

.desktop file: A shortcut to an application that will appear when searching applications. Contains config information on how the shortcut will look and how to launch the application. Any exectable can have a GUI shortcut by adding a .desktop file to ~/.local/share/applications/

Exec: The actual CLI command that launchs the application executable. Command line options can be added here.

-1

if you want to change chrome to dark mode you can just turn the header to dark theme by changing the theme (mine is slate btw) and if you want to change the google page to dark theme there is an option do to do so here enter image description here

and here enter image description here

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An alternative way to emulate dark mode is here.

You can choose a theme and use that very easily to get Chrome dark.

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