How to enable or disable dark mode in Gmail on iPhone and iPad

How to enable or disable dark mode in Gmail on iPhone and iPad

With the release of iOS 13 and iPadOS, the native Apple Mail app finally started to support the long-awaited dark mode. Then, third-party email clients, such as Outlook for iOS, immediately followed suit. But Gmail remained an exception.

You may have been disappointed or even abandoned Gmail simply because Google didn’t seem to care about implementing the feature. Finally, more. You can now turn on dark mode in Gmail on iPhone and iPad.

So without further ado, let’s see how to use Gmail for iOS and iPadOS in dark mode. If the darker color scheme isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll also learn what to do to turn it off.

Turn on dark mode in Gmail – iPhone and iPad

Gmail’s dark mode works in two ways. By default, it is linked to the system color scheme in iOS 13 and iPadOS (or later). Therefore, turning on dark mode for your entire iPhone or iPad will also turn on dark mode in Gmail. Alternatively, you can set the dark mode only for Gmail itself by configuring the email client through its Settings panel.

Note: Gmail’s dark mode is part of a server-side update deployment. If you can’t activate dark mode using the instructions below, apply updates to the Gmail app (if available), and then try to force close and reopen the app regularly.

System fault

Since Gmail is already linked to the default system color scheme, all you have to do is activate dark mode for your iPhone or iPad. However, your device must have at least iOS 13 or iPadOS installed for it to work.

Step 1: Press and hold the light bar in the Control Center.

Gmail Activate dark mode Iphone Ipad 1

Note: To open the Control Center, swipe down from the right edge of the screen on iPhones with Face ID – the same gesture applies to all iPad models that support iPadOS. On iPhones with Touch ID, swipe up from the bottom of the screen instead.

2nd step: Once the screen has zoomed in on the light bar, tap the Dark Mode icon below.

Gmail Activate dark mode Iphone Ipad 2

Step 3: Open Gmail and you should see the app rendered in dark mode.

Gmail Activate dark mode Iphone Ipad 3

It is also possible to configure the dark mode to start on a schedule on your iPhone and iPad. For example, supported applications such as Gmail can automatically operate in dark mode at night and normally during the day. To configure a program, go to iPhone / iPad settings> Display and brightness> Appearance> Options.

Dedicated parameter

In cases where you don’t want to depend on the system color scheme on your iPhone or iPad to use Gmail in dark mode, you can just switch the theme in the email client settings from System default to Dark.

Step 1: Start by touching the hamburger icon in the upper right corner of the Gmail app.

Gmail Activate dark mode Iphone Ipad 4

2nd step: In the Gmail menu that appears, tap Settings.

Gmail Activate dark mode Iphone Ipad 5

Step 3: Tap the option called Themes.

Gmail Activate dark mode Iphone Ipad 6

Step 4: Change the theme from System Default to Dark.

Gmail Activate dark mode Iphone Ipad 7

Step 5: Exit the Settings panel to apply the theme.

Gmail Activate dark mode Iphone Ipad 9

Gmail should immediately appear in dark mode, regardless of the color scheme of your iPhone or iPad system.

Disable dark mode in Gmail – iPhone and iPad

If you want to turn off dark mode in Gmail, first turn off dark mode for your iPhone or iPad.

Open the Control Center on your iPhone or iPad, press and hold the light bar, and then turn off the Dark Mode icon. This will turn off dark mode for the entire device, including supported third-party apps such as Gmail.

Gmail Activate dark mode Iphone Ipad 8

If that didn’t turn off dark mode in Gmail, or if dark mode was turned off on your iPhone or iPad to start with, it’s likely that the Dark theme is turned on in Gmail settings.

Open the Gmail menu, tap Settings, and then tap Theme. Change the setting from Dark to Clear, then exit the Settings panel to display Gmail in its usual theme.

Gmail Activate dark mode Iphone Ipad 10

Select Default System as the theme to allow the Gmail app to conform to the color scheme of the iOS or iPad OS system.

Black or white

Gmail in dark mode looks awesome on iPhone and iPad. All the elements are clearly visible with different shades of black. Emails also display correctly without strange color inversions, and gray fonts help prevent eye strain late at night. Except in cases where images with a white background will appear to contradict the dark theme, the functionality works well.

If there is a downside, it’s the fact that Gmail’s dark mode doesn’t have those perfect black pixels that help save battery on iPhones with OLED screens. If that was your intention, then you are out of luck. But at the very least, you can finally send an email overnight without having your eyes blinded.


Did you know that you can print emails in PDF format in Gmail for iOS and iPadOS? Click on the link below to find out how.

Last updated on May 27, 2020

The above article may contain affiliate links that help support Guiding Tech. However, this does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains impartial and authentic.

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