Desktop Chrome Night Mode Now In The Works But Don't Celebrate Yet


Developers of Google's Chrome web browser for Windows 10 are finally getting started with working on a native dark mode, according to a recently sighted comment from Google Chrome developer Peter Kasting. The statement was made in response to a software engineering student who took to Reddit to point out that the current design of Chrome can be physically painful to use due to a medical condition. Mr. Kasting says that Google recommends that users apply a dark theme for now but that support for a native dark mode is "in progress." That follows a bug report filed back in May justified with a comment noting that because Windows has a native dark theme, the Chrome browser should "respect" that.

Incognito in disguise

The original bug report was filed by Mr. Kasting along with a suggestion that the Google Chrome team simplify its introduction by simply moving to implement most elements directly from the browser's incognito mode. The developer also indicates that the mode will apply to UI elements beyond the background and tab UI, solving at least one contention among users. A dark theme for the browser has been among the most sought out features for Chrome since very early on.  Users have been able to add custom themes on Windows and in other desktop iterations including Chrome OS for quite some time. That's already allowed for a similar experience to a true dark mode in the browser but left items like dropdown menus, the Omnibox, the Omnibox dropdown, and right-click context menus in the standard white hues. So, although theming is a viable option for some, themes and associated add-ons or extensions don't have any impact on the overwhelming majority of Chrome's interface.


Still not a priority

The suggestion to start from a nearly-direct copy of incognito mode should make implementing the change a much easier process for developers but that doesn't mean the new dark mode will be added quickly. For the time being, the matter has been marked in the bug tracker as a priority P2. That's the standard default for bugs submitted to the tool and vaguely reflects that it should be 'fixed' within a 'reasonable timescale'. Comparatively, P1 priority bugs are issues that need to be addressed quickly while P0 bugs are those requiring an immediate fix. Its status is also set to "available" rather than the terms typically used to denote that it's being worked on or has been assigned to a developer. So the bug simply isn't anywhere near the top of Google's list with regard to urgency.

The bug has also previously been assigned at least one 'blocking issue' that could point to problems slowing work on the project. Developers on another variant of a native dark mode that's been in the works for macOS Mojave have noted that some UI elements aren't working as expected with the mode turned on. That was eventually fixed but it isn't unlikely that similar issues are present in the Windows iteration too. If that's the case, work may have stalled for Google Chrome on Windows 10 in the meantime, given its relatively low priority.


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Junior Editor

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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