Android Oreo (8.1) automatically applies either a light or dark theme to the Quick Settings menu depending on your wallpaper. If you want a specific wallpaper and theme instead, there’s an easy way to force it.

This is all thanks to a new app named LWP+. It’s essentially a custom live wallpaper that “tricks” Android into thinking the wallpaper is whatever color you set within the app while applying the wallpaper you actually see on top of that. It’s a pretty brilliant workaround. You can use a dark theme with a light wallpaper, or a light theme with a dark wallpaper. The power is back in your hands.

Go ahead and give LWP+ an install, and we’ll run through how to use it. It’s pretty simple.

After it’s installed, fire LWP+ up. The app is really just one screen. You first need to apply it as the wallpaper, which you can do by turning on the “Set as current live wallpaper” toggle at the top. This open the “Set Wallpaper” dialog with just a solid black screen—tap the “Set Wallpaper” button in the top right to make it your wallpaper. You can then choose to apply it to both the home and lock screens, or just the home screen. The choice is up to you.

After setting that choice, you’re back on the main app page. Tap the “Choose Background Image” button, and then select the image you actually want to see as your wallpaper. This part can be a little bit confusing. First, set the portrait crop, and then tap the crop button in the upper right. Next, set the landscape crop, and then hit that crop button again. The image you choose is then applied on top of the black background.

Since the app uses a black background as default, this should force the black system theme starting now. If you want to change this, you can use the “Select Background Color” button. If you prefer the lighter system theme, just choose a light color here.

From there, everything should work beautifully. If it doesn’t, however, don’t stress. There’s also a “Use custom colors” option that should completely override the system theme. Toggle that setting on, and then set everything to black. Done and done.

Now you can use whatever wallpaper you want and your preferred system theme. Awesome.

Left: Before LWP+; Right: After LWP + 😎

It’s honestly something that should be built into Android in the first place, but at least there’s a good workaround.

Profile Photo for Cameron Summerson Cameron Summerson
Cameron Summerson is ex-Editor-in-Chief of Review Geek and served as an Editorial Advisor for How-To Geek and LifeSavvy. He covered technology for a decade and wrote over 4,000 articles and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times.
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