How to Enable / Disable Dark Mode in Yosemite OS X Using Command Line

The recently announced OS X Yosemite has got many new features. One of them is Dark Mode. For some users this mode is must-have, especially for those who use their PCs till late night. Though it’s a personal choice but the dark mode provides a soothing experience at night. Some researchers believe that dim light helps you to concentrate on the actual thing while reducing the glare and strain for the eyes.

dark mode in Yosemite

To enhance the user experience and to provide more pleasant environment, Apple has finally added this Dark Mode in Yosemite. We have also seen the demo of this feature at WWDC held in June. No doubt this feature is to be available for general users when the final public build will be released but if you have installed a developer preview build on your computer, you can enable dark mode right now via terminal commands.

For this purpose you should have Yosemite 10.10 Bet 2 installed on your Mac. If you are not developer, we won’t recommend you to install it on your main PC or on your main hard drive, however you can easily install in on a separate disk and even on a USB drive.

Command to Activate Dark Mode in Yosemite:

To enable the Dark mode, open the terminal and write the following command.

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences AppleInterfaceTheme Dark

enable dark mode

Command to Deactivate Dark Mode and Enable Light Mode in Yosemite:

You can also disable dark mode and revert back to light mode using this next command.

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences AppleInterfaceTheme Light

The dark mode in beta 2 of Yosemite 10.10 is not yet final. It may look buggy for some applications. If some elements like DOCK is not showing the dark mode, you should restart your Mac so that the mode is fully activated on it.

Command Line method will not be the only way to get this mode. Apple will definitely include the new buttons in System Preferences to toggle on / off this feature with just one click. A keyboard shortcut might also be made available for this purpose.

We will update this guide when we find any other way to turn on the dark mode on Yosemite in next beta or public release.

3 Comments

  1. Nice article! Unfortunately though, this doesn’t work for me on OSX 10.10.2. Doesn’t help to `killAll Dock` afterwards either.

    1. Ah, I read somewhere else that you’ll have to relog to let the changes take effect. Which renders it pretty much useless for automating day / night scenarios.

      1. Thank you David. I was just wondering why it is not happening here. Personally, I didn’t like this dark mode, even not at night.

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