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Here at How-To Geek we love dark mode and use it a lot. If you’re an Office user who wants a darker experience, here’s how to turn dark mode on in the Outlook web app.

Dark mode is only available in the new modern Outlook design. If you haven’t opted-in to this yet, it’ll soon be there automatically for you, as Microsoft has announced that it will be moving everyone over to the new experience over the next few months.

To turn dark mode on, click on the Settings cog in the top right, and switch on the Dark Mode option.

The Outlook Settings panel with the "Dark mode" toggle highlighted.

That’s all there is to it. The app instantly turns to dark mode, which is a lot kinder on the eyes after the previous all-white incarnation.

The Outlook web app displaying in dark mode

If you want the reading pane, and just the reading pane, to be white, there is a toggle in the selected email that lets you do this.

The Reading pane with the light/dark toggle highlighted.

Click on this to toggle the body of the email between light and dark, if you find dark text on a light background easier to read.

RELATED: How to Enable Dark Mode for Gmail

If you use the Outlook client, you can turn on dark mode for that too, along with the rest of the Office apps. However, if you want dark mode in your Office mobile app then at the moment you’re out of luck. The latest mobile operating system versions are Android Q and iOS 13, both of which have a dark mode, but the Outlook app isn’t affected by them. But it looks as if Microsoft is working towards a dark mode on its iOS app, which usually means the same Android functionality will be added as well. We’ll keep you posted if and when it turns up.

Profile Photo for Rob Woodgate Rob Woodgate
Rob Woodgate is a writer and IT consultant with nearly 20 years of experience across the private and public sectors. He's also worked as a trainer, technical support person, delivery manager, system administrator, and in other roles that involve getting people and technology to work together.
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