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How to Enable Dark Mode On Google Search Pages, Beyond The Apps

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Dark mode has, prior to Android 11, been one of the most requested features on any device and now it’s even possible to change even the Google search page to fit the bill. And that’s exactly what this guide sets how to show.

For clarity, we’re talking here about the Google Search on the web. So, specifically, in a browser. The Google app, found on most Android devices, follows the system-level theme by default. And that is an entirely different process for those who primarily use that app. Or any app. As with many tasks on Android, that also means there are different how-to guides for those types of changes.

Here’s how you can enable dark mode on Google Search via Desktop

It’s worth noting here that, unlike some other changes to enable dark mode, the one for Google Search doesn’t appear to be dependant on the Chrome browser. Namely, this isn’t a change to the app or software itself.

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That’s because this is a change to the website itself, making it a server-side change. So, regardless of where you choose to “Google” things, this guide should help you make the thematic switch. Although, in some browsers, you’ll need to look for the “gear-shaped icon” at the top-right-hand side of the UI. That’s as opposed to using the “Settings” button in the bottom bar — as shown in our sample images.

  1. On a desktop computer, launch the Google Chrome browser. It’s worth noting here, again, that this change should also be available in other browsers. But Chrome is the one we’re using for our example
  2. Navigate to the “Google.com” page
  3. Select the “Settings” option located at the bottom-right-hand side of the page
  4. Select the first option, labeled “Search settings”
  5. On the resulting “Search Settings” page click, tap, or otherwise select the “Appearance” option from the left-hand sidebar menu
  6. Under Appearance, the option will be presented to  “Turn Dark theme on or off” via radial buttons for “Device default,” “Dark theme,” or “Light theme” options. Select the “Dark theme” option
  7. Scroll to the bottom of the Settings page and select the blue “Save” button to apply changes
  8. Google.com should now show with a dark theme for searches on your desktop
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…and for mobile or tablets, although results may vary significantly

Now, not every user will be able to instantiate dark mode for Google.com on mobile in Google Chrome or otherwise. Although using the settings to request a desktop page does always show the option in the same settings as on desktop, it doesn’t always appear on the mobile page. Indicating that Google is still testing this feature to some extent. Or, conversely, that this roll-out is happening a bit more slowly.

However, once the change does become available, it’s fairly easy to find as well. Provided you know where to look within the mobile app.

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  1. Open up the Google Chrome web browser on your smartphone. Other browsers should also support this change but we’re utilizing Chrome for our example.
  2. Navigate to the “Google.com” page
  3. Tap on the three-dash icon located at the top-left-hand side of the Google.com home page
  4. Select “Settings” from the resulting overflow menu
  5. Near the top of the page, under the “Appearance” section and “Turn dark theme on or off” subheading, you should see three options accompanied by associated radial buttons. Namely, those are “Device default,” “Dark theme,” and “Light theme” options. For those who already have the system-level setting on “Dark” that should automatically apply as that’s the default selection. Otherwise, tap on the radial button next to the “Dark Theme” option to select it. Now, as shown in the images below, this feature hasn’t shown up on any of our test or personal devices just yet. So we can’t show exactly what this will look like, although its appearance does mimic the existing menu. However, it does appear when using the mobile desktop mode, in the same place as the above steps for desktop Chrome. For the time being, with regard to mobile, it appears to be rolling out slowly on the server-side. So it could take some time before it appears
  6. If and when it becomes available to you, and once you’ve selected your theme, scroll to the bottom of the page and select the “Save” button. The change should be immediately apparent upon returning to the Google.com home page
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02 1 how to dark theme Google search on desktop and mobile DG AH 2021