How To: Activate the Hidden Dark Mode in Facebook Messenger

Activate the Hidden Dark Mode in Facebook Messenger

Facebook is working on a dark mode for Messenger, and it's a true AMOLED black theme. It's hidden away right now, but most of the code is there, ready and waiting to be enabled. By sending one command with root access, you can activate this feature right now.

Shout out to Redditor VincentJoshuaET who discovered the method we'll outline below. Sadly, this doesn't work for iPhones, and it won't work with standard ADB commands on Android — your phone has be rooted to try out the hidden dark mode in Messenger. But really, all you have to do is run a command in a terminal emulator app, tap a few options in a hidden menu, then enable dark mode in Messenger.

Requirements

Step 1: Install the Latest Facebook Messenger Beta

First, since the hidden/unactivated dark mode code is only included in the latest beta version of Facebook Messenger, you'll need to update the app. The easiest way to do that is to sideload the new version from APKMirror. Just tap the link below, then scroll down and hit "Download APK." From there, launch the file from your notification tray, then tap "Install" to update Messenger.

Once you've got the latest Facebook Messenger beta installed, make sure to open the app and log in. If you don't do this now, you won't be able to activate the hidden flags menu later.

Step 2: Get a Terminal Emulator App

You'll need to run a root command to activate dark mode, which means you'll need a terminal emulator app. You can use any such app of your choosing, but if you need a recommendation here, our pick is the tried and true Terminal Emulator by Jack Palevich.

Step 3: Grant Root Access to Terminal Emulator

Now, open your terminal emulator app and type in "su" (without the quotes), then hit enter on your keyboard. You'll be prompted to give the app Superuser access (Terminal Emulator, not Facebook Messenger), so tap "Grant" on the popup. You'll now notice the second command line starts with a hashtag instead of a dollar sign — this means the terminal is running with elevated privileges.

Step 4: Access the Hidden Flags Menu

Next, copy the following command and paste it into the terminal prompt, then hit enter on your keyboard:

am start -n "com.facebook.orca/com.facebook.abtest.gkprefs.GkSettingsListActivity"

You'll immediately be taken to Facebook Messenger's hidden flags menu where low-level tweaks can be applied to the texting app. Tap "Search Gatekeepers" here, then type "dark" into the prompt and hit "OK."

Next, tap each of the results beneath the dark header to change their values from "NO" to "YES." When all three of these say "YES," back out of this menu, then fully close the Facebook Messenger app by swiping it away from your recent apps menu.

Step 5: Enable Dark Mode

Now, reopen Messenger and tap your profile picture (or the silhouette icon) in the top-left corner to access the app's main settings menu. From here, scroll down to the Preferences section and you'll see a new option that wasn't there before — toggle "Dark Mode" on, then tap "OK" on the popup to verify your choice.

Messenger will now be fully black with white text and dark gray accents. Though the popup you just saw said dark mode "won't appear everywhere in Messenger," all of the main menus have received the dark mode treatment.

Cover image and screenshots by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

11 Comments

No gate keepe4s appear how sad?? How to do it properly.. i cant find gatekeeper bla bla bla bla.. help me pls.. im rooted..

Help what should i do Im stuck here ..

You're not rooted. And if you are, it's not working properly, because you have a Huawei and you're using Magisk as the root management app.

The website is wrong. The adb way works.
open up an adb shell from the pc (with the phone connected, obviously) and then:
su(tap grant/allow on the phone)
am start -n "com.facebook.orca/com.facebook.abtest.gkprefs.GkSettingsListActivity"
check the phone after that and you'll be good to go.

Sorry, I meant you couldn't use ADB in lieu of root. I'll update the article to clarify that.

Thanks for the tip, man. Love ya, no homo. Lmao

Nothing wrong with Magisk. And I didn't even have to DL the beta, just updated the messenger straight up and went to Terminal Emulator, did the thing, bam. Dark mode. Boss article.

i have a problem tho. Everyone already has the new update while im here stiLL STUCK WITH THE OLD ONE. I LOVE THE NEW UPDATE BUT I STILL DONT HAVE IT WHAT THE HELL can someone help me with this?

Now what?!

If you're on Messenger version 198.0.0.3.99 and it's still not working, it could be that you have a preinstalled version of the app and it's using a different package name. Use an app like App Inspector to find the package name for Messenger. If it's not com.facebook.orca, try uninstalling Messenger with Titanium Backup (or deleting the APK from /system/app), then restarting and reinstalling the version from APKMirror.

Just update the app, beta DL ain't needed. Kill the mess app for the first run, swiping doesn't let the dark mode appear.

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