Enable Dark Mode with a Keyboard Shortcut in OS X
Dark Mode impacts the appearance of the Dock and Menu Bar in OS X, turning both from their grey on white defaults to a higher contrast white text against black background dark alternative. The effect is sort of iOS-like, but it also makes a great addition to the Increase Contrast feature on a Mac with the latest OS X version. Typically to enable Dark Mode on a Mac you have to go into the System Preferences and toggle a switch, but another option is to enable a hidden keyboard shortcut instead, as we’ll show you how to do.
This trick allows users to instantly turn Dark Mode on or off by just hitting a set of keystrokes, which is obviously much faster than digging around in appearance settings in OS X. You’ll need to turn to the Terminal app and use a defaults write command string to get this working, but it’s quite easy:
- Launch the Terminal app, found in /Applications/Utilities/ or with Spotlight and enter the following command string:
sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist _HIEnableThemeSwitchHotKey -bool true
- Hit Return and enter an admin password to execute the defaults command
- Now log out and back into the Mac (the quickest way is by going to the Apple menu and selecting “Log Out”)
- Log back in as usual
- Hit the following keyboard shortcut to toggle Dark Mode ON or OFF: Command+Option+Control+T
You can rapidly toggle Dark Mode on and off by hitting the keystroke repeatedly, the effect in either direction is instantaneous allowing for a quick toggling of the feature to suit your preference.
Dark Mode On:
Dark Mode Off:
As mentioned before, Dark Mode pairs quite well with greater interface contrast options if you’re finding the appearance of the newest OS X to be a bit hard to distinguish.
This keyboard shortcut will remain active until you disable it with a defaults string again, which can be done by entering the following defaults command into the terminal:
sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist _HIEnableThemeSwitchHotKey -bool false
(You can also use a defaults delete command if you want)
Heads up to CultOfMac for the awesome find. For those who remember when Dark Mode was first shown during the WWDC keynote, Apple VP Craig Federghi used a keystroke on stage to show off the feature, which is perhaps what this is from.