Dark Mode System Tray Spotted In Hidden Chrome OS Settings

A new system flags setting that appears to indicate that Chrome OS will soon be getting a dedicated dark mode color scheme in the system tray has been spotted. While the current system U.I. - for example, in the menu hidden behind the "taskbar" on Chrome OS - are set to a theme that's comparable to Android OS's white theme, the new setting would allow something closer to the recently spotted Android Wear UI It's not necessarily a revolutionary idea but dark themes have a loyal following and some users just like their system UI to meld with the rest of their wallpaper or other aesthetics. So the ability to switch between the two would likely be a welcome addition if it does make its way to all users. Of course, it almost goes without saying that the setting is currently only accessible to users on either the Developer channel or Canary channel of the Chromebook-specific operating system.

It also goes without saying that less experienced users may want to hold off on switching over to either since those tend to be more buggy and aren't really intended for general use. For more adventurous users, strangely enough, the way to access the features is a bit different depending on which mode a user is in. First, the Chromebook in question needs to be put on an appropriate channel. That can be accomplished by navigating to settings, clicking the hamburger menu in the top-right, and then scrolling down to the "About Chrome" section. From there, clicking the "Detailed build information" option will reveal a button to "switch channels." It's worth pointing out again that users should avoid using the Canary channel since it's intended for testing purposes and extremely unstable in some instances and backing up any data before performing the steps is recommended. Once the Chromebook resets and the channel is switched, the majority of the theme switching process is the same.

Users need to navigate Chrome and head to the URL "chrome://flags" to access the hidden settings menu. In the search bar at the top of that page, instigating a search for "new system menu" will reveal the appropriate option on either OS channel. For developers in Canary, the option that needs to be enabled will be called "system-tray-unified." On the more stable Developer channel, it is titled, "#enable-ash-new-system." The fact that it's shown up in both of the less stable channels could be an indication that it will make its way to the user-friendly stable channel. It could also simply exist there because developing using a darker theme is sometimes preferred. Unfortunately, there's really no way to know for sure what Google's plans are.

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About the Author
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Daniel Golightly

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for AndroidHeadlines since 2016. As a Senior Staff Writer for the site, Daniel specializes in reviewing a diverse range of technology products and covering topics related to Chrome OS and Chromebooks. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering and has a background in Writing and Graphics Design that drives his passion for Android, Google products, the science behind the technology, and the direction it's heading. Contact him at [email protected]
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