The Best Windows 10 Dark Themes for Your Eyes

Windows 10 has its own dark theme now, but try these other Windows dark theme customizations!

The benefits of dark screens are easy to understand—less eyestrain, easier-to-read text, and well, they just look cool, don’t they?

After a couple of years of waiting, Windows 10 now offers a native dark theme mode. You’ll also find plenty of third-party dark themes out there, more than enough to suit every taste and style.

Here are some of the best Windows 10 dark themes you can get right now.

How to Change the Windows 10 Theme

Windows personalization options allow you to change the background, lock screen, color, sounds, and cursor’s appearance. You can change it from the desktop or dig into the Windows 10 settings.

First, either right-click on your desktop and select Personalize > Themes or head to Start > Settings > Personalization > Themes.

You can choose from one of Windows’ built-in themes or click on Get more themes in Microsoft Store to see more.

1. Windows 10 Dark Theme

With the 2017 Anniversary Update, Microsoft introduced a system-wide Windows 10 dark theme, which previously was only available via a registry hack.

If you’re running the most recent version of Windows 10, head to Settings (Windows key + I) > Personalization > Colors, scroll down, and set the default app mode to Dark.

The theme will change the Windows system apps and Microsoft’s store apps. You will still need to change other third-party apps on a case-by-case basis.

2. GreyEve

The GreyEve theme is available for download from DeviantArt. It is one of the best free Windows 10 themes worth trying.

Unlike some of the other themes on this list, it can be installed without using any third-party tools or editing any system files—thus making it great for users who want a hassle-free option.

The developer warns that he was forced to make it a high contrast theme due to Microsoft’s limited dark theme options. You’ll have to check whether or not it suits your needs.

To start using it, download the file and place it in [USERNAME]AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes.

3. Penumbra 10

Before proceeding, be aware that this is a Windows 10-only theme. If you’re reading this article trying to find dark themes for Windows 7 or 8, this won’t work for you.

It’s been designed to use neutral dark colors, so there won’t be any jarring contrasts or unpleasant colors anywhere on your screen.

The installation process is more complicated than the previous options. Before installing anything, make sure you’ve downloaded these three essential tools:

To get the theme up and running, firstly install the Open Sans font (included in the theme download). Then install UXThemePatcher, and finally, OldNewExplorer.

Next, move the contents of the theme’s Visual Style folder to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes. Now is a good time to reboot your computer.

Lastly, select the theme in the Settings app as described earlier.

You can further customize this theme by changing the Taskbar’s color and opacity. The tool is available for download on the theme’s DeviantArt page.

4. Nocturnal W10

Once again, this is a Windows 10-only theme. Despite sharing the same name as its Windows 8 counterpart, it will not work on older versions of the operating system.

This is arguably the most complex to install. You will need three third-party apps before installing the main theme. They are:

To use the dark theme, install Blank.TFF, then run Blank.REG.

Next, copy the theme folder straight to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes. When ready, patch your system using UXThemePatcher.

Finally, navigate back to Settings > Personalization > Themes and choose the theme from the list.

5. Ades Theme

Rather than going for total darkness, Ades Theme uses various tones of gray and introduces some color.

While it still requires a third-party tool, it’s easier than both Nocturnal and Penumbra to install. You need UXThemePatcher, but can otherwise download the file and put it straight into C:\Windows\Resources\Themes.

6. Hover Dark Aero

Hover Dark Aero uses translucent blacks and grays to create a sleek and visually impressive user interface. If you want to recreate the look you see in the image above, you will also need to download the creator’s associated theme pack. The icon pack is included in the theme’s download files.

There are six different versions of the theme to choose from—each has a slightly different feel.

To make the theme work, you will need to make sure you have installed the aforementioned UXThemePatcher.

7. Nost Metro

Nost Metro is another Windows 10 dark theme that we really like.

The theme itself is two-in-one. There is both a dark theme and a Windows 10 light theme in the same download package, and you can choose which one you want to run on your system.

You will also get a theme for Firefox (which helps add consistency across the apps you use) and two icon packs (one dark and one light).

As with many other downloads on this list, you will need to run UXThemePatcher before the theme will work on Windows.

8. Hastpy

The next Windows 10 visual style we’re going to recommend is Hastpy.

The developer behind the theme is Cleodesktop, the same person responsible for Hover Dark Aero, and the similarities are obvious; both use the same icon packs.

Unlike Hover Dark Aero, Hastpy doesn’t have a translucent ribbon. Instead, it deploys a contrasting light grey color. Once again, six different versions of the theme are available.

To install Hastpy on your system, you need to be running UXThemePatcher. Move all the files in the theme download file %windir%/Resources/Themes folder to get up and running.

9. Ubuntu Dark Theme

If you are a Linux user who wants to bring some Ubuntu flair to Windows, check out the Ubuntu Dark Theme option.

It uses the popular Linux distro as its inspiration, with orangy hues and plenty of flat iconography. The theme is completely ad-free.

The theme is entirely customizable, so you can tweak it to fit your needs. Just make sure you are running UxThemePatcher before you begin the installation process.

10. After Dark Cyan

The final Windows dark theme we will recommend is After Dark Cyan.

Unlike some of the other “dark” themes in our list, this one really is completely dark—there are no accent colors or shades of grey; the theme is as black as night.

All parts of the Windows 10 system get the dark treatment, so you will not encounter any light screens that can sting your eyes unexpectedly.

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