Microsoft Outlook Logo with Dark Background

Microsoft has been rolling out a dark mode to its Office apps for over a year. This change has been available in Outlook for desktop and the web for several months, and now it’s live on Android, iPhone, and iPad. Here’s how to enable the theme.

The instructions for turning on Outlook’s dark mode is identical for all mobile devices. If you don’t see the option for the theme, check for an app update. Dark mode should be available on Android version 4.0.4 (345) and above. iPhone and iPad owners should have Outlook version 4.2.0 installed or newer.

Start by launching the Outlook app on your Android, iPhone, or iPad. Next, tap on the gear icon in the bottom-left corner of the interface.

The Outlook Settings cog.

In the Settings menu, scroll down to the “Preferences” section and then select the “Theme” option.

The Them option showing the default theme of "Light".

Change the theme option from “Light” to “Dark.”

The dark mode option.

The moment you select “Dark,” the Outlook app will invert the white background to black and the black text to white.

The Outlook app in dark mode.

Alternatively, a third option called “Set by Battery Saver” is automatically enabled when your mobile device enters Battery Saver mode. Dark mode won’t necessarily increase your battery life, but it won’t hurt.

Note: For anyone with accessibility needs, dark mode is not optimized for high contrast modes. Some things, like images and text highlighting, aren’t converted, so they may not look great.

Also, at the time of writing, the message body will remain white when you’re editing a draft. Microsoft is working to add dark mode to the editor, but it might be some time before the theme is fully implemented.

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.
Read Full Bio »